Angelo Secchi, Father of Modern Astrophysics
The Napoleonic era, which formally ended at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, brought sweeping social and political changes across Europe. Traditional values and beliefs were being questioned, as a new wave of libertarian ideas swept through Britain, France and the Italian peninsula. Politically though, the old, pre-Napoleonic status quo was once again established and for Italy, this meant Austria once again administered various states within its borders, including Lombardy and Venice. The Savoy-ruled kingdom of Sardinia recovered Nice, Piedmont, Savoy and Genoa, an important steppingstone on the journey to unify Italy, in a movement the nationalists called ‘Risorgimento’. The large division of wealth between the north and south of the Italian peninsula led to rapid urbanization and industrialization in the former, while the latter was still poor, supporting a largely underdeveloped, agrarian lifestyle. The Papal States, which occupied central Italy and the Spanish dominated Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, administered from Naples, ruled much of southern Italy, as well as the island of Sicily (Fig. 22.1).
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