Sicily and the Unification of Italy: Liberal Policy and Local Power, 1859-1866

Synopsis

This is the first in-depth analysis of the impact of Italian unification on the hitherto isolated communities of rural Sicily. Beginning with the period prior to the revolution of 1860, Dr Riall shows why successive attempts at political reform failed, and analyzes the effects of this failure. Through an examination of the problems of local government - tax collection, conscription, the organization of policing - and of attempts to suppress peasant disturbances and control crime, she shows that the modernization of the Sicilian countryside both undermined the control of the central government and made the countryside itself more unstable.