Carlo Filangeri

Prince Carlo Filangeri

Prince Carlo Filangeri

Carlo  was the Prince of Satriano, Cardinal and Duke of Taormina.

He was also the Baron Davoli and Sansoste, and known as the Prince of Satriano or Satriano ( Cava de Tirreni, May 10th 1784 – San Giorgio a Cremano , October 9 1867). He was a general and a politician in the twin Sicilian kingdoms.

The son of Gaetano Filangieri, he participated in the Napoleonic wars in the French army, and took part in the battle of Austerlitz and the Country of Spain . Transferred to the Kingdom of Naples for having killed in a duel a general Italian-French, was aide-de-camp of King Joachim Murat , who appointed him general in 1813.

After the restoration of the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, was reinstated and had various positions, commanding a successful campaign for the conquest of Sicily (1848-1849) . He remained on the island as a lieutenant until 1855 .

In the period immediately prior to ‘ Company of the Thousand was President of the Council and Minister of War (June 8, 1859 -16 March 1860 ) inNaples . In this position he fought in vain for an alliance of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies with Piedmont and France .

After the collaboration with government of the Kingdom of Italy . 

Carlo Filangieri, a descendant of an old noble family of Naples, was the son of Gaetano Filangieri , Neapolitan jurist and philosopher, and Frendel Carolina, a Hungarian teacher of the Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon second daughter of King Ferdinand IV . 

After their marriage, celebrated in 1783 , Gaetano Filangieri had to get away from Naples for health reasons and spend a period of time in Cava de ‘Tyrrhenians dwelling in Villa Eva. [3] where, on 10 May 1784 , was born the eldest son Charles.

Carlo Filangieri, orphaned of his father in 1788 , from his early youth he showed a propensity for military life for which, as usual in the Neapolitan nobility, still a minor obtained the patent of a cavalry officer (in the Regiment Prince Leopold ). He studied Latin, philosophy, the sciences and mathematics, which favored. He learned French for election.

At age 15, he was invited by his uncle Antonio Filangieri (father’s brother) to pursue a military career in Spain , except that King Charles IV as a result of the Neapolitan Revolution of 1799 had prohibited the entry into Spain to Naples. Carlo Filangieri found himself, so, Livorno no chance to continue his journey and decided to go toMilan , the capital of the Cisalpine Republic , which had already spread the echo of the victories of the ‘ Napoleonic army.

The entrance in the French army

Villa Eva in Cava de ‘Tirreni , birthplace of Carlo Filangieri, in a postcard of around 1920.

General Brune , an admirer of Gaetano Filangieri, allowed Charles to enter theGrande Armée.

In Milan , the young Charles made ​​the acquaintance of the commander of the French army in Italy, General Guillaume Marie Anne Brune who was an admirer of the works of Gaetano Filangieri . The general decided that the son of the famous jurist would have to continue their studies and allowed Charles to leave for France.

He arrived in Paris after a short interview with Napoleon, who wanted to know “the orphan of the illustrious author of the Science of Legislation » Carlo Filangieri came to Prytanée , the institution of higher education who in 1808 would become the Prytanée national militaire.  After graduating with brilliant results on 8 January 1803 he obtained his first degree in the French Army: Lieutenant of the 33rd Infantry Regiment. With this unit, the party for Flanders as a result of the breaking of the Treaty of Amiens (1802) , Filangieri got their baptism of fire June 3 1804.

In the context of the Napoleonic Wars of the Third Coalition , in November 1805 , Charles found himself under the command of French General Davout engaged in Austria in pursuit of the army of the Russian General Kutuzov.

After the French conquest of Vienna (November 12, 1805), however, the Austro-Russians concentrated massive army to counter the French near the town of Austerlitz (today Slavkov u Brna ).

On December 2, 1805 Charles Filangieri, framed in the division of General Louis Friant (1758-1829), participated in the early stages of the battle , during which he was wounded in the conquest of enemy positions.

After Austerlitz, one of the most brilliant victories of Napoleon , Filangieri was promoted to lieutenant with four other officers of the 33rd Regiment of the line .

Against the Bourbons of Naples.

With the attention of the Austrian defeat, Napoleon turned to Italy, where the Kingdom of Naples to Ferdinand IV were fighting on the side of Great Britain.

The emperor decided that all the Neapolitans of the French army would have to leave for the invasion of the Bourbon Kingdom , which began February 9 1806 at the hands of the army of the French general André Masséna . Arriving in Naples (conquered February 14) in May of 1806, Filangieri was called with the rank ofcaptain to be part of the Chiefs of General Mathieu Dumas . Immediately sent to the front, he was called to participate in the ‘ Siege of Gaeta , which ended July 18, 1806. [14] Even in this circumstance Filangieri was distinguished for his military skills earning the Legion of Honor.

Escaped from the siege of Gaeta in which he was a staunch defender, the Austrian general Philippsthal organized in 1807 by the Bourbon Sicily an attempted invasion of Calabria . The French rushed to combat it and Filangieri participated in the victorious operations against the enemy ( Battle of Miletus ) and the conquest of Reggio . In 1808 , based on the reports of his superiors, Filangieri was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the ‘ Royal Order of the Two Sicilies and promoted caposquadrone of the Army.

In Spain

In July 1808 , during an assignment to escort the queen consort of the King of Naples, Joseph Bonaparte , Julia Clary , Filangieri was ordered, in Lyon , he moved to Madrid.

In the Iberian peninsula was blazing the Peninsular War , which saw the Spanish, English and Portuguese to fight the Napoleonic empire.

In this context Filangieri received various positions of exploration and connection between the generals, the generals and between Napoleon and between the generals and King Joseph, who in the meantime had passed from the throne of Naples to that of Spain and of which Filangieri not admired military skills.

To win the war, in the autumn of 1808 Napoleon took direct control of ‘ the French army in Spain. Filangieri was assigned to the General Staff of the Marshal Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult and actively participated in the conquest of Burgos (10 November 1808).

A few days after the battle for the conquest of this Spanish city, an event marked the life of Charles Filangieri interrupting his military career in Spain.

On November 15, 1808 in fact, challenged to a duel General Milan-François Franceschi Losio (1770-1808) guilty of an allegation of lack of courage against an officer absent as Naples. Theduel took place the day after the gun at 10 in Burgos. Franceschi, but fired the first shot pierced the right flap of the uniform Filangieri which remained unharmed. Filangieri in turn fired and hit him in the belly rival who died after a few hours.

For this action, the more severe but for the fact that a captain had challenged him to a duel and killed a general, Filangieri was transferred to another position in Naples , where a few months ago held the throne Joachim Murat

With Giacchino Murat (1808-1815)

Joachim Murat , King of Naples, of which Filangieri was aide-de-camp.

After brief assignments in Abruzzo and Calabria and the notification of the Cross of Commander of the Two Sicilies , Filangieri, participated in the failed attempt to conquer Sicily Bourbon by the army of Murat . Later, promoted to colonel in March 1811 , he was given command of the 6th regiment of Naples line . With this body was prepared to take part in the Russian campaign of 1812 but, due to a feared landing of Anglo-Bourbon in Naples , he was commanded to surrender the rights.

On 5 July 1813 he was promoted to Field Marshal [22] and in 1814 he was appointed aide-de-camp to Murat, committed to the survival of his kingdom after the first fall of Napoleon . To do this, the king sent a part of the diplomatic mission of Naples at the Congress of Vienna Filangieri who, back home, Murat disillusioned about the possibility of maintaining the status quo.

At the Battle of the Panaro 

Joachim Murat Filangieri assists wounded after the Battle of the Panaro. 

After the departure of Napoleon from ‘ Elba Island and some hesitation, Murat decided to attack Austria on March 15, 1815, thus beginning the Austro-Neapolitan war . Advanced in the Papal States , the Neapolitan troops defeated the Austrians at Cesena , but had to be stopped at the river Panaro behind which was attested to the general Habsburg Ferrerius Vinzenz von Bianchi with 6,600 men.

The crossing of the river at the bridge fortified Sant’Ambrogio (at San Cesario sul Panaro ) was entrusted by the division of General MuratCarrascosa April 4, 1815. After two failed attempts, Murat ordered to Filangieri to communicate to the general Jean-Baptiste Fontaine to stick with the 3rd Regiment of Lancers barricade the enemy as soon as the Neapolitan artillery had opened a gap there.

Fontaine refused to execute the order and after Filangieri been allowed to Murat, at the appropriate time, with 24 riders stormed the bridge over the barricade which had been damaged. Without reinforcements, wounded several times and lost all his men, Filangieri was captured, almost lifeless , by the enemy.

Despite the incident, the battle turned in favor of the King of Naples, who after the victory Filangieri found semiconscious on the way to Modena , abandoned by the Austrians in retreat. Murat, after rescue personally promoted him on the field, at age 31, Lieutenant General.

The victory of the Battle of the Panaro not allowed, however, to Murat to win the war, the outcome of which led to his tragic fall and then the death in October of 1815.

The Bourbon Restoration (1815-1821)

Ferdinand IV (later Ferdinand I), returned to Naples in the War Council welcomed his former enemy Filangieri.

The current appearance of the building Ravaschieri in Naples, home to Filangieri since 1820.

After the final fall of Napoleon Carlo Filangieri was, thanks to the Treaty of Casalanza , confirmed in grade. Witnessed the restoration of the old regime of his enemy Ferdinand IV who, abolishing the post of Minister of War, he formed the “Supreme War Council.” We were part of Leopold of Bourbon as president, and among the councilors, two generals and two Bourbon loyalists “murattiani”: Angelo D’Ambrosio (1771-1822) and Carlo Filangieri.

latter in the same period was also chosen by the eccentric sister father, Teresa Filangieri, as heir of his considerable wealth.The aunt of Charles, in fact, was the wife of Philip Ravaschieri Fieschi, Prince of Satriano in Calabria , a landowner of ancient feuds to which was joined the noble title.

The difficult coexistence within the Supreme Council came to an end in August 1816 , when D’Ambrosio and Filangieri resigned. Due to the withdrawal was a decree which instituted an award for the soldiers who had fought on the side of Ferdinand IV, thus discriminating against the “murattiani”.

Dissoltosi the Supreme Council in 1817 were united the offices of army commander and Minister of War in the person of the Austrian general Laval Nugent von Westmeath , winner of Murat in some of his last battles. This caused the final break between Bourbon and murattiani.

Embittered by these vicissitudes, Carlo Filangieri, in the spring of 1820 , he found comfort in the marriage union with Mary Agatha, daughter of Prince Sicilian Giovanni Luigi Moncada di Paternò. The couple went to live in Naples , in the Riviera di Chiaia , in the palace Ravaschieri of Satriano.

Constitution and Austrian intervention

In the same 1820 broke out in Naples the carbonara revolt, in favor of the constitution, which also led to defection of some army units. In July Filangieri was appointed to take command of the city guard and a committee of public safety. At the same time, to judge the conduct of the officers, was created a “Board of Scrutiny” of which Filangieri refused help by trying to invalidate the Bourbon reaction. Soon after, Ferdinant promulgated the constitution that had been granted in Spain.

In the Neapolitan parliament prevailed constitutional ideals of the decade Murat so, the party re looking for help December 14, 1820, with the Congress of Ljubljana , the ‘ Austria decided his intervention in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to re-establish order. We opposed a weak constitutional army in which Carlo Filangieri commanded the 4th Division of the Army Corps ofWilliam Pepper . Between 7 and 9 March 1821 at Antrim was fought the decisive battle that, partly because of loyalty to the king of the Neapolitan troops and the consequent desertion, ended with the victory of Austria. Accepting the invitation of Ferdinando, the Neapolitan army dissolved and March 23, 1821, the Austrians entered Naples.

Removal and rehabilitation (1821-1848)

With the final restoration of the Bourbons, on 27 March 1821 Carlo Filangieri was relieved from the command of the Guard and April 20 communication had to be under investigation. Having refused to appear in court in front of his subordinates six generals replied in writing to the allegations. The defense, however, was unnecessary, since July 29, 1821 Ferdinand deposed him from the rank of general revoking any honor.

He retired to private life in his possessions, Filangieri devoted himself to the management of the ironworks of the Cardinal in Calabria.

After nine years, ascended the throne in 1830 upon the death of his father Francis I , Ferdinand II proved to wanting to break with the old policy filoaustriaca and reassess the officers dismissed in 1821.

As evidence of the new course, Filangieri was reinstated in his rank of general and 11 January 1831 he was called to court and decorated by the King with the collar of the Order of Saint Januarius , the highest honor in the kingdom. The same year he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Knighthood of St. George and Reunion.

Following Ferdinand II called him to the Diet of the generals for the reorganization of the army and entrusted him with the command of an artillery of Engineers, military schools and survey offices. With these mandates Filangieri strengthened the defenses of the fortress of Gaeta , built barracks, hospitals and extended the military arsenal. Freed the military fleet by British engineers in establishing the Pietrarsa school of theory and practice of drivers which served to boost the steam navigation and the construction of locomotives . Filangieri also arranged for the education of the most capable officers in France, Belgium and Great Britain.

In 1843 , another sign of real benevolence, Filangieri came to the Court as “Gentleman of the Chamber of Her Majesty with the year”.

At the head of the Sicilian expedition (1848-1849)

Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies.

Carlo Filangieri reconquered Sicily in two campaigns: in 1848 and 1849.

First among the movements that would upset Europe in 1848 were those of the Sicilian Revolution . I agree with most of his colleagues, including Filangeri and Ferdinand II on February 11, 1848, to stem the protests, promulgated the constitution. The event, instead of appeasing the people waved all over Italy and 13 April, the Sicilian Parliament decreed the newly elected deprived of the throne of Sicily Ferdinand II.

That same month, discouraged by the Bourbon rulers and found it impossible to be helpful in some way, Filangieri asked and obtained permission to retire to private life again, but August 26, 1848, given the serious situation in Sicily, Ferdinand II recalled him giving him the command of the expedition that would have to retake the island.

Filangieri organized the shipment in three days, August 30, 1848 he sailed to Naples with two Swiss regiments and his staff on thefrigate Stromboli . Followed the other boats, destination: Bagnara , near Reggio where it was determined the concentration of troops.

From there Filangieri passed the strait and on September 1 he landed his men near the citadel of Messina , one of the few still Bourbon hand in the city. Then drove his troops into two divisions: the first, commanded by General Pronio within the citadel, the second, commanded by General Nunziante , with the troops landed. The two divisions totaled 13,587 soldiers and non-commissioned officers, and 519 officers.

The conquest of Messina

On September 1, 1848 Filangieri inform him of the imminent opening of hostilities the foreign consuls residing in the coastal cities, stating that it had a duty to take up some of the city by force.

Filangieri is found in the following days to manage a complex situation that saw the combined operations of the fleet and troops on the ground, the forces inside and outside the fortifications of embarkation and disembarkation of troops and had to take into account the presence of the naval squadron of Britain , officially neutral, but that certainly was sympathetic to the separatists.

On September 4, the guns began to bombard the Sicilian town of Messina who returned fire on the city. This duel of artillery, which continued for the next four days, badly damaged the town.

On September 6, Filangieri landed at Contessa along with a contingent that attacked Messina outside. To voice the commanders of the British and French ships, the Sicilians asked for a truce of twenty-four hours. Filangieri replied asking for the surrender of the city, a condition which was not accepted.

The result was that the next day, after very hard fighting which occurred during episodes of cruelty on both sides, the defenses of Messina buckled. The final yield was there however the 8th of September 1848. Filangeri admitted losses between 1,500 and 1,600 men, in addition to injuries (about 900) and the dead of the citadel. The day before the fleet had set sail towards Calabria: “It was necessary to remove the troops so [Neapolitan] every possible idea of retreat, if ever among my soldiers there were some that believed or wanted as possible ‘.

After the capture of Messina, Filangieri gave orders to the engineers to extinguish any fire that blazed in the city. Task made ​​more difficult by landmines and unexploded ammunition depots Sicilian hidden in the most unthinkable as it was discovered in a monastery of the Dominicans.

September 9, 1848 The day also the city of Milazzo surrendered, while in Naples a messenger was commissioned by the king to award the Grand Cordon of St. Ferdinand in Filangieri with these words: “Tell him I will be proud that my steps to its chest “.

The truce sets

Fall Messina , on 11 September 1848 the admirals of the English and French squadrons on behalf of their governments asked for a truce in the fighting. Officially, Ferdinand II did not accept mediation but, in front of the interference of the two great powers, but was not able to decide to stop the hostilities.

There was a long period of peace during which armed troops in Sicily were strengthened and reorganized. At the same time Filangieri he made ​​strenuous efforts to restore normal living conditions in Messina while in Palermo is threatening the death penalty anyone who had accepted his favor.

Returning to Naples , the new political order which was thought to give Sicily , Filangieri was busy in diplomatic negotiations with the British and French ambassadors, during which which specified that he would never accept a separation from the kingdom (January 13, 1849), nor a self-Sicilian army. This refusal was eventually accepted by France and Great Britain .

During the same period Filangieri had to defend the House of Peers in Naples on charges of cruelty perpetrated by his troops on the Sicilian populations (10 February 1849).

The resumption of war

The Polish general Ludwik Mieroslawski (1814-1878) commander of the army in Sicily.

On 28 February 1849, Ferdinand II made an offer for constitutional concessions to the Sicilians for the maintenance of the ceasefire. The Sicilian rulers refused unanimously Filangieri and prepared to leave for Messina to resume hostilities.

Sicilian forces in the six month ceasefire that went by were able to regroup and strengthen. A Palermo was elected the head of state independence Ruggero Settimo and the army, which numbered about 4,000 men before the truce, in March it fielded 14,000, armed with rifles purchased by Great Britain and the French Republic (which also provided guns). It is meanwhile preparing to take the driving forces of the Polish general Ludwik Mieroslawski Sicily (1814-1878), star of the Greater Poland Uprising (1846).

These forces Filangieri, who positioned his headquarters in Messina, opposed troops of 12,916 men, 468 officers, 40 guns and 610 horses. Before the outbreak of hostilities to Sicilians sent a proclamation calling on the people to desist from the struggle and his soldiers an agenda in which the Sicilians called “our brothers”. 

At dawn on March 30, 1849 Filangieri began operations against the Sicilians. To confuse Mieroslawski pointing Messina, Palermo feigned an attack by sending a naval squadron off the coast of Cefalu and Messina from a column that began to march towards the West. The bulk of the forces from Messina pointed instead to the south with the aim of winning Taormina and Catania.

The conquest of Sicily

After the conquest of Sicily Carlo Filangieri received numerous awards from conservative nations of Europe.

On 2 April 1849 the Neapolitan troops encamped in Taormina. The same day, Filangieri reached his men by sea and, given the necessary orders, the day after he attacked Taormina conquering it with a real coup Hunters . The general Mieroslawski, still on ‘ Alcantara , he could not react. The city ofGiarre , which surrendered without a shot being fired, was occupied on 4 and Acireale 5.

After the fall of Acireale, Filangieri ordered him to surrender Catania , whose defenders refused to accept it.Reached the vanguard of the troops and established the order of march, Filangieri engaged the enemy at 10 and a half AM on April 6, 1849. From that time until late at night the fire between the two sides was intense. 

After fighting very hard as a result of the assaults of the Neapolitans at the barricades Sicilian troops entered Filangieri in Catania for the port of Aci and after more fighting at 9 o’clock in the evening they found themselves in control almost the entire city. The next day, April 7, 1849, Catania was fully occupied. Filangeri had captured a large quantity of arms and ammunition as well as a fifty guns, but recorded among the dead and wounded 43 officers and 867 enlisted men.

Defeated and wounded Mieroslawski in Catania, in a few days also surrendered defenderf Augusta, Siracussand Noto of Austria.

The Sicilian demoralized troops withdrew in Palermo that, before capitulating, demanded a general amnesty. Filangieri gave notice to the king while local armed gangs took possession of the Sicilian capital . In early May Filangieri’s army reached the gates of Palermo, in front of which stood, although they may enter.

The news spread of the amnesty of King Ferdinand that benefited everyone except those who had masterminded the the revolt. The day before, the same May 9 and the following day the Sicilian gangs attacked the outposts of Filangieri around the city being rejected without undue difficulty. Only in Palermo when the order was restored, Filangieri entered it with his troops May 15, 1849. The expedition had conquered Sicily in less than two months. Grateful for the enterprise. Ferdinand II gave to Filangieri the title of Duke of Taormina with an income of 12,000 ducats a year.

Lieutenant in Sicily (1849-1855)

Monument to Charles Filangieri in the Church of Santa Maria di Piedigrotta in Naples.

Once in Palermo, Filangieri had as as his first concern the re-establishment of order and security which he entrusted to the National Guard. He then followed with the various institutions also reset when the revolt in Sicily seemed to resume following the news of the alleged defeat of Naples in Velletri (May 1849). Filangieri then released on his own initiative obtained a proclamation aims to appease Sicilians and which promised them some concessions, including the eldest son of the reigning monarch would be their representative in Sicily. Ferdinand II , strongly disagree to leave Palermo hostage to his son, disavowed Filangieri and these persisted in his reasons; Ferdinand refused again and Filangieri joined him at Gaeta to persuade him to grant self-government to Sicily. Only then did the king promised concessions for the future, and the general returned confident in Palermo.

In that same period, forced to maintain order at all costs, Filangieri proclaimed the death penalty for the holders of weapons. Measure considered cruel that allowed, however, to completely restore the order in Sicily, and which was applied twice.

Probably to reduce the powers of the general, July 26, 1849, Ferdinand II established a body which, from Naples, had decided island life: the Ministry of Sicily. In contrast, on 27 September, he appointed Lieutenant in Palermo Filangieri who, disappointed by this institutional dualism, the October 8, 1849 he resigned. Ferdinand did not accept the reforms and promised more Filangieri advocated.

For the lieutenant thus began a long period of strife with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sicilian Giovanni Cassisi (1788-1865). He managed, however, to carry out its functions while preserving the old privileges of the island, performing municipalities by debts incurred during the Revolution, restoring the Church and the State in the property alienated by the rioters and those returning confiscated from the Jesuits and Ligourini. He reset the laws and administrative Sicilian shelf and the public debt of the island without introducing new taxes. On the other hand Filangieri never failed to influence the nobility of Sicily, since it was related to one of the most illustrious families of the island, the wife belonged to the fact Moncada di Paternò.

The clash with Cassisi and the resignation

Relationships with Filangieri Cassisi worsened when the lieutenant presented a plan for the construction, within six months, 25 new roads for a total of 625 miles and eight suspension bridges. At first Ferdinand II did not want to authorize the contract because the name of a French entrepreneur, then intervened Cassisi insinuated that the use of nominees Sicilian behind which lurked the French anyway. The fact is that the contract was not signed and that Filangieri, June 11, 1854 , he wrote again to the king, renewing his request for resignation, after which he left for a period of care to Ischia , during which he learned that Cassisi, taking advantage his absence, had opened an investigation of an administrative nature against him. At that point Filangieri wrote to the king that he would never set foot in Sicily and Ferdinand II, in February 1855 , finally received his request for retirement on the grounds of ill health.

The withdrawal and disease (1855-1859)

Lieutenant General in retirement, Filangieri, since September 1855 suffered by the worsening of the illness caused by his old wounds. Was operated so that the infection will subside and he was saved his life, but could no longer bend the right leg or ride a horse.

After the Campaign in Sicily, various honors They reached the general conservative Europe, among which, the most pleasing, the Austrian one of the ‘ Military Order of Maria Theresa for which Filangieri was invited to Vienna , from his old enemies, June 18 1857.

Meanwhile, the health of Ferdinand II were worse. The last few days the king recommended to Filangieri the heir [77] and died May 22 1859 , leaving the throne to his eldest son Francesco.

Chairman of the Board (1859-1860)

A few days after the ascension to the throne, concerned about the successes of Piedmont and Francis against Austria, Francis II decided to write some personalities, including Carlo Filangieri, ask them to join the government.

Filangieri appointed Chairman of the Board , he did not choose his ministers. Except Francesco Antonio Casella (1819-1894), Minister of Police, and Achilles Rosica, Minister of the Interior, the others were not, and some of his confidence, as Ferdinand Troya (without portfolio) he had even adverse effects.

After coming to power on June 8, 1859, the first concern of Filangieri was to revive the country with the public works that had been planned and approved but not yet started. It took railway lines to Puglia and the ‘ Abruzzo and the streets of thecapital recovering, among others, the project for the construction of the road Maria Teresa (now the Corso Vittorio Emanuele ). Other ordinances regarded the improvement of prison conditions and the reorganization of the army.

The work of the government, however, was soon troubled by serious internal problems to the kingdom. In June 1859Filangieri faced the revolt, which was crushed in blood, of a regiment of Swiss mercenaries . Then he discovered a plot of the second wife of Ferdinand II, Maria Theresa Isabella , who wanted his son the Count of Trani in place of Francis II.At the news of the plot, the king threw his cards into the fireplace Filangieri saying, “She is the wife of my father”.

Upon learning of the incident became Maria Theresa Isabella, heading filoaustriaca wing of the court, the bitter enemy of Filangieri, who decided instead to open in France and Great Britain .

The attempt to alliance with Piedmont.

After the Congress of Paris of 1856 , during which to Ferdinand II was by Lord Clarendon told him to choose a more liberal policy, Britain and France broke relations with the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

For closer politically to the Western powers Filangieri, tied to France from the Napoleonic period, was willing to loosen its ties with the ‘ Austria and to change the system of internal politics in the direction of greater liberality, providing also one Statute . An attempt to open a new course, both France and Britain officially reopened relations with the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies by appointing their representatives: the French Baron de Anatole BRENIER Renaudière (1807-1885) and the Englishman Henry George Helliot ( 1817-1907).

The ideas of Filangieri had perhaps their greatest hits in the Piedmontese Count Ruggiero of Salmour who arrived inNaples on the same day of the formation of the new government. He was commissioned by Cavour to probe the Neapolitan government on the possibility of an alliance with the Piedmont . At the time the covenants were functional in a war and Salmour proposed to Filangieri a conflict against Austria .

Though not hiding difficulty of a successful proposal at Francis II , Filangieri assured his intervention with the support of the ambassadors of France and Great Britain.

He suggested, perhaps naively, in Salmour to meet with Ferdinand Troya , very close to the king and filoaustriaco. Troya was immediately opposed the plan and had the same attitude when Francis II Filangieri tried to talk about it. The reaction of the king was so lively that the chairman of the board resigned, then withdrawn at the insistence of the monarch.

The Constitution and the pro-French maneuver.

On the other hand Filangieri favor of the proposals of Salmour an alliance with Italy and a possible enlargement of the kingdom at the expense of Pope Pius IX , proved to be granted contrary to the Constitution of Naples in 1848 as they wanted the Piedmont and Great Britain, “as they push too far.” Filangieri was feared at that stage the danger of a historic defection of the army and the separation of Sicily.

He desired effects in a less liberal Constitution of the mold, which he entrusted to the jurist John Manna. Afterward, Filangieri and Manna discussed by correcting the proofs in some points concerning Sicily, after which the Prime Minister put it to the attention of Napoleon III by the ambassador BRENIER. The French emperor made ​​a few minor modifications on 4 September 1859 Filangieri introduced to Francis II, the constitutional project  stating that Napoleon III had approved the statute and thereby suggesting that the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies would come to the political sphere French abandoning the Austrian one. According Filangieri, in fact, only under the protection of France friend of Piedmont, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies could avert the impending catastrophe.

But Francis II not only flatly refused to consider the document, but imposed on Filangieri to keep quiet about what had happened, putting him in a grave situation facing BRENIER and Napoleon III who were waiting for a response. Definitely discouraged, with a few letters of 5 and 6 September 1859 , Filangieri asked to be relieved from the post of president of the Council on the grounds of age, health and family. Francis II replied with a personal letter with which granted him a permit to forty days.

At the end of September 1859, General Christophe Michel Roguet (1800-1877) sent to Naples by Napoleon III, had a long talk with Filangieri who made ​​a last-ditch attempt by Francis II: in a letter dated 2 October urged him to side with the France, in exchange for an approach to its political system, would have protected the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, assuring him a prominent role in Italy. A return of post Francis II said that the ruin of his country was just the influence of foreigners.

On March 16, 1860 were finally accepted the resignation of nearly seventy-six Filangieri. Took his place at the Council Presidency, the same age as Prince of Cassaro and the Ministry of War the eighty Francesco Antonio Winspeare.

The last time (1860-1867)

He retired to private life in Sorrento , a few days of the landing at Marsala in Garibaldi , on 14 May 1860 was recalled to Naples . Francesco II asked him to return to work for groped to save Sicily. Filangieri refused but convinced the king to appoint the commander general Ferdinando Lanza, who had fought with him in 1849 but that did not prove up to the new situation.Also advised to leave Palermo and concentrate the bulk of the troops to Agrigento and Messina, leaving in despair the king that he would not want to leave the Sicilian capital.

In another Council of State, May 30, the day of Garibaldi’s occupation of Palermo , Filangieri asked Francis II of appeal to Napoleon III to intervene so that to ensure the autonomy of theKingdom of the Two Sicilies . The king agreed, but it was too late. Other attempts by Francis II to take over the reins of the state in Filangieri in those months convulsive failed. The last of which, a few days after June 16, 1860, saw the king and embark visit to Filangieri in Sorrento.

With the approval of the Prime Minister Liborio Romano who considered him dangerous to the internal stability of the kingdom, Filangieri asked and obtained leave of his country. On 11 August 1860 he sailed at once to Marseilles with his sick wife. The latter then returned to Naples, where he died December 3 1862 , six hours before Filangieri you did to turn back. [

After the unification of Italy

Despite his age, Filangieri devoted himself to studies and reports of a military character that he made ​​following a request from the 1865 Chairman of the Board of Marmora and General Fanti. The most important of which was active army composition of the army of Italy: studies and projects that were presented to me by the Minister of War of the Kingdom of Italy . In 1866 and the early months of the following year he opened a large correspondence with the former General Bourbon, past the Italian army, Giuseppe Salvatore Pianell , his faithful admirer. He died at 83 October 9th 1867


Honors Napoleonic

Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honor
Commander of the Order of the Two Sicilies real

Honors Bourbon

Knight of the Royal and Illustrious Order of Saint Januarius
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of St. Ferdinand and Merit
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal and Military Order of Saint George and Reunion

Foreign honors

After the Sicily campaign of 1848-1849 Filangieri won several honors, such those of which we know from reliable sources:

Commander of the Military Order of Maria Theresa (Austrian Empire)
Knight of the Order of St. Andrew (Russian Empire)
Knight of the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky (Russian Empire)
Knight of the Order of the White Eagle (Russian Empire)
Knight of the Order Pour le Mérite (Prussia)
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown (Kingdom of Bavaria)
The Knight of the Order of the Iron Crown Class (Austrian Empire)
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa (Kingdom of Spain)
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Savior (Greece)
Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Sword (Sweden)
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit under the title of St. Louis (Duke of Parma)
Commander of the Order of St. Joseph (Grand Duchy of Tuscany)
Senator SAI Grand Cross Constantinian Order of Saint George (Parma)
” Grant 07/12/1849 »
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122 thoughts on “Carlo Filangeri”

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The Filangeri Family

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