Sardinia, kingdom of

Sardinia, kingdom of,

name given to the possessions of the house of Savoy (see Savoy, house ofSavoy, house of,
dynasty of Western Europe that ruled Savoy and Piedmont from the 11th cent., the kingdom of Sicily from 1714 to 1718, the kingdom of Sardinia from 1720 to 1861, and the kingdom of Italy from 1861 to 1946.
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) in 1720, when the island of Sardinia was awarded (by the Treaty of London) to Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy to compensate him for the loss of Sicily to Austria. Besides Sardinia, the kingdom included Savoy, PiedmontPiedmont
, Ital. Piemonte, region (1991 pop. 4,302,565), 9,807 sq mi (25,400 sq km), NW Italy, bordering on France in the west and on Switzerland in the north. Turin is the capital of the region, which is one of the richest in Italy.
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, and NiceNice
, city (1990 pop. 345,674), capital of Alpes-Maritimes dept., SE France, on the Mediterranean Sea. Nice is the most famous resort on the French Riviera. Although the economy depends mainly on the tourist trade, the electronics industry as well as other manufactures are
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; LiguriaLiguria
, region (1991 pop. 1,676,282), 2,098 sq mi (5,434 sq km), NW Italy, extending along the Ligurian Sea and bordering France on the west. The generally mountainous region has a steep, narrow coastal strip that includes the beautiful Italian Riviera.
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, including Genoa, was added by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. During the RisorgimentoRisorgimento
[Ital.,=resurgence], in 19th-century Italian history, period of cultural nationalism and of political activism, leading to unification of Italy. Roots of the Risorgimento
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 the kingdom expanded to include almost all Italy. Lombardy was added in 1859. In 1860, Parma, Modena, Bologna, Marche, and the Romagna (i.e., the Papal States except Rome and Latium) were annexed by the kingdom. After the annexation (1861) of the Two Sicilies, Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed king of Italy. Although the name of the kingdom of Sardinia was derived from the island, Turin was its capital except from 1799 to 1814, when the mainland territories were annexed by France. During that period, Cagliari, on Sardinia, was the royal residence.

Sardinia, Kingdom of


a state that existed on Italian territory from 1720 to 1861.

The Kingdom of Sardinia was formed when the island of Sardinia was united with the Duchy of Savoy. In the early 18th century the kingdom’s nucleus, Piedmont, was a poor agricultural region with small towns and a numerically insignificant and economically weak bourgeoisie. Piedmont did have, however, a centralized and relatively strong feudal-landowner state apparatus. During the wars of the late 18th century against revolutionary France, the kingdom joined the anti-French coalition in 1792. That year French troops occupied Savoy and Nice, which were annexed by France. Piedmont was occupied in 1798 and also annexed.

After the collapse of the Napoleonic empire, the Kingdom of Sardinia was reestablished and given Liguria, with Genoa, by the Congress of Vienna (1814–15). The Savoyard dynasty was restored, and the earlier laws were revived. The harsh reaction that ensued was one of the main causes of the Piedmont Revolution of 1821. In 1834 the followers of G. Mazzini attempted, unsuccessfully, to incite a republican uprising in the kingdom.

In the 1840’s the industrial revolution spread to Piedmont, and the large capitalistic agricultural estates that had arisen earlier in the region grew stronger. The kingdom became one of the economically advanced Italian states. It had a relatively strong army and conducted an independent foreign policy. The revolution that broke out in 1848 forced King Charles Albert to grant a constitution and to assume leadership of the national liberation struggle against the Austrian Hapsburgs, whose expulsion from Italy was the main precondition for the creation of a unified Italian state. However, the position taken by the big bourgeoisie and gentry—who joined the antinational feudal camp out of fear of the people’s revolutionary struggle—and the traitorous tactics of Charles Albert led to the defeat of the Italian Army in the Austro-Italian War of 1848–49. Under pressure from the popular masses Charles Albert abdicated.

In the 1850’s, liberal circles led by Charles Albert’s son, Victor Emmanuel II, and the government of C. B. Cavour developed plans to enlarge the kingdom’s territory. They hoped to achieve these plans through diplomatic maneuvering and dynastic wars against Austria. In an attempt to enlist French support the kingdom entered the Crimean War in 1855 on the side of France and Great Britain. A few years later, in alliance with France, it waged a second war against Austria. In return for helping the kingdom annex Lombardy and Venice, which were under Hapsburg rule, France was promised Savoy and Nice. But France withdrew from the war within a short time, and by the Treaty of Zürich (1859) only Lombardy was annexed by the kingdom. Under the Treaty of Turin (1860) the kingdom ceded Savoy and Nice to France. As a result of the Italian Revolution of 1859–60, almost all the Italian states and regions were united with the kingdom. On Mar. 17, 1861, the Kingdom of Sardinia officially adopted the name Kingdom of Italy.