We are in 1848, on a cold March morning, King Charles Albert appears on the balcony of Palazzo Carignano. In the square a crowd of nobles and bourgeois with cylinders and pastrani wait composed and still incredulous an event that many had been waiting for a long time, aware that they are living a page of history.
Carlo Alberto belongs to a collateral branch of the Savoia-Carignano family, he is inserted in the line of succession because neither Vittorio Emanuele I nor his brother Carlo Felice have male heirs.
Carlo Alberto does not have a strong personality. During his childhood and early adolescence, he was educated in Paris by his mother, in the climate of modernization of the Napoleonic Empire. Back in Turin, he will be re-educated according to the models of eighteenth-century absolutism.
These two poles will remain in the character of Carlo Alberto, who will often oscillate between opposing positions.
The “King who wants and desires”, or the “King who hesitates”, will rename him the people. For many, aristocrats and conservatives or liberal and Jacobin revolutionaries, he was an indecipherable figure.
In 1921 he participated in the repression of the liberal movements in Spain. In 1833, when a conspiracy linked to Giuseppe Mazzini was discovered, he strengthened the police regime and pressed for those responsible to be judged with extreme severity (26 people were sentenced to death).
But today he is here to help the requests of the liberals, unheard in the other kingdoms of the Italian peninsula.
We return to the morning of March 4, 1848. The crowd is waiting for something incredible. It is the official proclamation of an act of concession, which was also waited for in vain in Naples, Florence and Rome and in other capitals, and which has not yet been obtained despite the long struggles, uprisings and upheavals of the people, often repressed in blood by the monarchic authorities.
What will be announced today is the proclamation of a Statute, that is, a document that will redefine the rules underlying the functioning of the State and that, for the first time will limit the power and arbitrariness of the monarchic power and its relations with the social base.
In short, a fundamental act of modernization of the Savoy State. a revolution from above, one might say.
The Turin of the Risorgimento was born here.
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