La strategia navale britannica nel Mediterraneo e l'unificazione italiana

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] British naval strategy in the Mediterranean and Italian unification

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

[Autom. eng. transl.] The British action in the Italian vicissitudes of 1860 responds, on the one hand, to the transformations induced by the events of the previous year, culminating in the preliminaries of Villafranca, and on the other to the longer-term changes affecting the country during the early Victorian age. The redefinition of the international position of London following - among other things - the crisis of 1857 / '58 in India and the assumption by the Crown of direct responsibility on the possessions already owned by the East India Company, combined with the prospects opened by the The start of the works for the realization under the French aegis of the Suez Canal (1859), contribute to increase - in these years - the centrality of the Mediterranean theater. In parallel, a set of endogenous and exogenous factors, partly evidenced by the experience of the Crimea, determines the erosion of the position of undisputed acquired supremacy - in the naval field - during and after the end of the Napoleonic wars. The results obtained by France with the Treaty of Turin, the perspectives they open to the ambitions of the Second Empire and the perceived Piedmontese weakness in the face of the pressures of Napoleon III constitute the prime motive for the action in London. The objective pursued is, above all, the containment of possible French initiatives with respect to its western frontiers, through the 'sterilization' of the position of Vienna and Paris and the weakening of the factors capable of bringing about a new confrontation between the two Powers. Subordinately, London's interest is the defense of its position in the Mediterranean, both - in a first phase - in the perspective of a traumatic detachment of Sicily from the rest of the Kingdom, and - later - in that of a general collapse of the Bourbon monarchy. On a local level, this is, on the one hand, declined in an attempt to counter the 'satellite' of Piedmont, favoring its state consolidation and supporting its autonomous action with respect to French directives, and on the other in avoiding a 'flight forward' of the unitary process, capable of breaking the laboriously achieved structures in a traumatic manner. In this perspective, the role played by the Mediterranean fleet (Mundy), deployed to protect British interests in Naples and Palermo, reflects a dual need. On the one hand, it aims to exert a deterrent function with respect to a possible internationalization of the conflict, and on the other to pilot its developments once the irreversibility of the process underway and the preferability, for the political and strategic objectives of London, of the unified solution compared to the hypothesis of an Italian confederation. On an operational level, the action of Mundy is therefore integrated (and, in part, overlaps), as well as that of Russell and Palmerston, with that of the British minister at the court of Francis II (Elliot) and of the consul in Palermo (Goodwin), within the framework of a policy which - although based on a proclaimed neutrality and on the cornerstone of non-intervention - aims to detach the Savoy monarchy from the French orbit and to counter the possible deterioration in anti-British terms of regional assets. Beyond the popular favor and the sympathies enjoyed by the Italian cause within the British political circles, the pursuit of this double objective justifies, to a large extent, the support offered by London to the Garibaldian initiative, at least until this had appeared destined to to lead to a new intervention by foreign powers in the Peninsula and / or in a conflagration on a European scale. Faced with the persistence, in the Two Sicilies, of a social and political situation considered unsustainable (above all compared to that of northern Italy), revolutionary action becomes - in the British perspective - the path of
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] British naval strategy in the Mediterranean and Italian unification
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationL'anno di Teano. Atti del Convegno Nazionale CISM-SISM su Il Risorgimento e l'Europa
Pages155-168
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventConvegno Nazionale CISM [Commissione Italiana di Storia Militare], "Il Risorgimento e l’Europa. Attori e protagonisti dell’Unità d’Italia nel 150° anniversario", Centro Alti Studi per la Difesa, Palazzo Salviati, Roma, 9-10 Novembre 2010 - Roma
Duration: 9 Nov 201010 Nov 2010

Publication series

NameQuaderni

Conference

ConferenceConvegno Nazionale CISM [Commissione Italiana di Storia Militare], "Il Risorgimento e l’Europa. Attori e protagonisti dell’Unità d’Italia nel 150° anniversario", Centro Alti Studi per la Difesa, Palazzo Salviati, Roma, 9-10 Novembre 2010
CityRoma
Period9/11/1010/11/10

Keywords

  • Gran Bretagna
  • Great Britain
  • Italia
  • Italy
  • National Unification
  • Naval Strategy
  • Risorgimento
  • Strategia navale
  • Unificazione nazionale

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