During the course of the nineteenth century the role of the Italian army underwent great changes. Prior to 1848 it was the prop of Piedmontese absolutism; its tasks were to suppress internal dissent and to defend the realm against external aggression to the best of its limited capabilities. Between 1848 and 1866 it was called upon to wage aggressive war to extend the kingdom, and in the course of the Risorgimento its complexion underwent a radical alteration. After 1866 it had a four-fold mission: to oversee external defence, fight oversea wars, foster Italianità and support the civil power. Three of those roles were new; the fourth, a traditional task, had to be carried out in novel social and political circumstances.


Senior Officer Officer Corps General Staff Radical Alteration French Army 
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Copyright information

© John Gooch 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Gooch
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LancasterUK

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