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Charles Albert

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


(1798–1849), King of piedmont-sardinia (1831–49). Chiefly known as a modernizer, he had in 1821 briefly served as regent to his cousin, charles felix . Though swiftly banished for the concessions that he had offered to advocates of change, Charles Albert then succeeded to the throne in his own right ten years later. His reign began with moderate policies of financial, administrative, and military reform. During the 1840s, however, he also became increasingly responsive to more radical ideas of liberalism and nationalism . Early in the revolutions of 1848–9 he granted a constitution – which was one of the few political reforms to survive those upheavals and indicated Piedmont-Sardinia as the most likely state to promote some measure of italian unification . Though Charles Albert's intentions remain obscure, it looks as if he was chiefly interested in acquiring Lombardy, and he supported the Milanese revolt in March 1848. His army was quickly defeated by the Austrians at custozza (July 24) and shortly afterwards he signed an armistice. Criticized by radicals at home and by the Milanese, he renewed the fight in March 1849 only to be beaten again, at novara . He abdicated in favor of his son victor emmanuel ii and went into exile in Portugal where he died shortly afterwards. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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