Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Protestant churches have, at various times and in various places, been both opposed to monarchy and supportive of it, depending on the situation. Originally, the teachings of Martin Luther sparked widespread opposition to the idea of any traditional authority at all, secular or spiritual, which was manifested in the “Peasant’s Revolt” in Germany. Luther himself, who was sheltered by a German prince, quickly tried to make amends by calling on the princes to slaughter the disloyal peasants and the Protestant cause soon came to be wedded to the monarchies of the various nations which embraced it. In England, for example, Protestantism came into power in a rather round-about way. It started very much with loyalty to the Crown being paramount above all else and this meant what was largely a continuation of Catholicism but with the King (Henry VIII) rather than the Pope at the head of it. It was only later, during the regency of the unfortunate King Edward VI, that the Church of England actually became Protestant. From the time of Queen Elizabeth I onward, Protestant Christianity and the monarchy seemed to be inseparable. The same could be said for countries such as Denmark or Sweden.
This was, of course, in a country that was largely Catholic and in Protestant countries, the bonds between the Crown and the national church generally went on proudly together. The break between the established Protestant churches and the cause of monarchy came relatively quite recently. In some ways, these churches remained at least nominally monarchist even longer than they remained at least nominally Christian. There were even a number of news stories this year that, after a long period of precipitous decline, attendance at the Church of England was growing along with the revived sense of national pride and patriotism that grew up around the “Brexit” referendum. However, given the reaction of the Anglican hierarchy to the outcome of that vote, I would not be too hopeful about this continuing. These established Protestant churches remain, today, officially supportive of the monarchy in its current, purely ceremonial form, but they are increasingly abandoning any pretense of actual Christianity and embracing, even championing ideas which run directly in opposition to the very fundamental idea of monarchy. Of course, the monarchies themselves have been poked, prodded and cajoled into going along with this trend which works directly against the long-term survival of the monarchical institution.
Why do I bring this up? Because it undermines the idea that royals are set apart, that their bloodline matters and it seems to go hand in hand with the other changes in society, the borderless, internationalist world the Swedish pastors are so fond of in that Europeans seemed to have stopped caring about the bloodline of their royals at the same time they stopped caring about their own. It all feeds into the narrative of the egalitarians that we are all the same, we are all interchangeable, “everyone is special” which means that no one actually is. It is simply an unavoidable fact that monarchies are being dragged along with this revolutionary, egalitarian mindset. To say that male primogeniture is “unfair” is true, in the terms of the egalitarians, but it is no less “unfair” than saying the firstborn is heir rather than the second or third. By these standards, *monarchy* is unfair and they will always see it as such. Likewise, it would be absurd to argue that a monarch must be a descendant of a certain bloodline, a lineage with historic roots in the country, but that the people of said country could be anyone from anywhere. This is obviously not conducive to monarchy nor is it in line with Biblical Christianity which Protestants once prided themselves on. Even a cursory reading of the Bible will show immediately just how important genealogy, bloodlines and national history was to the Christian religion.
As the popes became real or potential rivals for power with the emperor and lesser monarchs, the papal attitude toward monarchy tended to shift depending on the situation. An important distinction was that the popes tended not to be anti-monarchy, simply anti-whoever was the strongest monarch. So, the Pope would ally himself with the republican city states of northern Italy because they were not a threat to him while the Emperor in Germany was powerful enough to be so. Later, the popes, as we have discussed previously, tended to alternate between the Germans and French depending on who was the least threat to them. So, for example, when the German Emperor became the most powerful Catholic monarch, the Pope would support the King of France against him and, alternately, when the King of France became the most powerful Catholic monarch, the Pope would throw his support behind the Emperor in Germany. This was generally a successful strategy in maintaining papal control over central Italy but it also meant that any time a Catholic monarch emerged who was strong enough to unite Christendom, the Pope would be working to undermine him, even, ultimately, if that placed him on the same side as the Protestants such as during the time of papal opposition to King Louis XIV of France and by extension his Stuart cousins in Britain.
However, that era ended with him after which the world got its first, short-lived, taste of a liberal pope. When Blessed Pius IX came on the scene he reversed all of his predecessor’s policies. He not only let the revolutionaries out of prison but appointed them to high office under a new constitution that brought laymen into the government of the Papal States. He championed the cause of Italian nationalism and urged the Emperor of Austria to withdraw his armies from Italian soil so that all his children might live happily in their own national territory. Then he was ousted by a republican mob and instantly reversed himself in every regard, allying himself with a Bonaparte President-turned-Emperor to maintain his rule over Rome. Ultimately, history proved that Pius IX had attached himself to a falling star and with the downfall of Napoleon III, Papal rule over Rome ended too and Rome was once again the capital city of a united Italian peninsula. However, it would take some time before the papacy would count as lost what had been lost and this would lead to some unusual situations such as Pope Leo XIII making peace with Protestant Prussia and allowing French Catholics to participate in republican politics while still refusing to deal with the Catholic King of Italy or allowing Italian Catholics to participate in politics in the Kingdom of Italy.
Nonetheless, in theory or in terms of general concepts, the Catholic Church remained pro-monarchy throughout all but its recent history. It would be wrong to heap all blame for changing on the Second Vatican Council (aka ‘when the hippies took over’) as the creep had started before that but it does represent the most visible break with the traditional teachings of the Church of Rome of the past. Democracy, freedom of conscience, separation of church and state etc, all once condemned by the Church suddenly became embraced as good things. Attitudes which were once lauded as being devout and pious have recently been criticized as being rigid and dogmatic. Holding fast to sacred traditions was previously considered a divine commandment only to now be regarded as Pharisaical and putting ‘form’ ahead of ‘substance’. What was once considered being reverent is now considered exclusionary and un-Christian. It should come as no surprise that even while the current Roman Pontiff has received glowing praise from the secular elites, mass attendance and religious vocations have continued to decline rapidly. A lukewarm faith doesn’t seem to be winning many converts, indeed those in the most heavily Catholic part of the world, Latin America, are either moving to the very Protestant United States (with the encouragement of the Church) or are converting to Evangelical Protestantism in their own countries brought by American missionaries.
Much has also often been made of the national character of Eastern Orthodoxy after the fall of the Byzantine Empire, the lack of unity and nationalist attitude of the various churches often being compared, unfavorably, to those united with Rome. Again, however, this can be rather unfair and, upon reflection, I think may be exaggerated by those eager to have something over the Orthodox. After all, for much of the history of Eastern Christianity, most of these national churches were under the rule of Muslim conquerors and surely that would have contributed to nationalistic attitudes more than the administrative divisions of their Church. The divisions of Eastern Christianity may have also actually been beneficial in at least one way. Since their entire outlook on how the Church was supposed to work required a unity that did not exist, it meant that no one had the power to change things or mess things up as, I think it would be hard to argue, did happen in the West. Furthermore, while Orthodox Christians have often opposed each other, the same could be said for Catholics and Protestants as well. For that matter, one could simply point to the very existence of Protestantism in the West, which the papal office did not prevent (and, indeed, at times exacerbated) whereas no similar division of such magnitude ever happened in the east where Church and Crown were more firmly on the same side.
It cannot escape notice, however, that while Christian monarchs still reign in the west, none do so in the east. However, that is not very significant when one considers how this came about. Catholic France was already on her third republic by the time the monarchy fell in Russia and the Orthodox monarchies in Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia were not overthrown by their own people but conquered and demolished by the invading Soviets. It also says something about the strength of monarchist sentiment in the east that the idea of a limited, ceremonial monarchy always remained rather alien to them. The Czar of Russia remained an absolute monarch practically until he was overthrown and the Romanian, Bulgarian and Yugoslav monarchs all were effectively absolute monarchs as late as just prior to World War II with the “King’s Government” of Boris III in Bulgaria in 1935, the “January 6 Regime” of Alexander I in Yugoslavia in 1929 and the “National Renaissance Front” of Carol II in Romania in 1938. Even the “August 4 Regime” in Greece under George II of 1936 was somewhat similar. The point is that, monarchy in these Orthodox countries not only survived but was quite robust up to the very end.
What has been done is significant though and I think worthy of praise. It would be great if Protestant and Catholic leaders would follow the example of the Orthodox in this regard because the Orthodox leaders who speak out in favor of traditional authority are, as such, the only ones offering a viable and proven alternative to the liberal malaise of modern times. Western Christian leaders are, sadly, not doing this and, indeed, are moving ever further from genuine Christianity in favor of a “social justice gospel”. It is, for this reason, not surprising that while right-wing dissidents in the east rally around the Church, similar dissidents in the west have begun rallying around a sort of neo-paganism. That would be unfortunate enough from a Christian point of view and yet, worse than that, it seems to invariably be a neo-paganism of the Celtic or Germanic variety which has little to offer. As I recently pointed out, if you are of European descent, unless your lineage is Greek or Italian, your pagan ancestors were not much to write home about. They became some of the most advanced and outstanding civilizations the world had ever seen in the Christian era, but as far as non-Christians go, the Egyptians who built the pyramids, the Jews who built the Temple of Solomon or the Babylonians who built the hanging gardens could rightly ask the worshippers of Odin and Thor just what they had ever done that was so impressive.
Altar and Crown, both must be restored.
Monday, June 26, 2017
|King Mingyino of Toungoo|
When the Shan captured the city of Prome in 1532, an ally and just across the river from a Toungoo city, King Tabinshwehti decided to go to war to unite Burma under his leadership, beginning with an attack on the Hanthawaddy kingdom south of Toungoo. This was the largest city-state of the many which grew up in the aftermath of the fall of the Pagan Kingdom of Burma and being located on the coast was very wealthy as a center of trade. This made it an attractive target but also a difficult one and the war would last from 1534 to 1541. Initials attacks were unsuccessful so the Toungoo resorted to subterfuge to spread division and distrust in the enemy camp. This tactic was highly successful, causing the Hanthawaddy leadership to turn on each other and many of their most accomplished ministers were executed on suspicion of being disloyal. This sufficiently weakened the Hanthawaddy for the Toungoo forces to win a stunning victory over them at the Battle of Naungyo despite being outnumbered. This gave Toungoo a great deal more wealth and power and caused many of the other leaders of the region to come on side and pledge allegiance to King Tabinshwehti.
|Postcard of Toungoo|
All of Lower Burma was now under the control of Tabinshwehti as well as access to the sea, trade routes and the money to employ his own (usually Portuguese) mercenaries and their modern weaponry. At this point, he turned his attention back to Upper Burma and the city of Prome, launching an offensive against it on November 19, 1541 after the end of Buddhist Lent. After pushing the defenders and their allies inside the city walls, the Shan Confederation forces arrived under King Thohanbwa but they were unable to break through the Toungoo lines. More reinforcements were called for but Toungoo forces ambushed them and wiped them out, leaving Prome isolated. Finally, on May 19, 1542 King Minkhaung surrendered Prome to King Tabinshwehti. This victory greatly alarmed the Shan Confederation and they assembled a massive invasion force from across the seven states to crush Toungoo once and for all. Despite having the larger army, they were unable to defeat Tabinshwehti who had a respectable and veteran force of 12,000 troops, a 9,000-man flotilla and Portuguese weapons and mercenaries. After a month of combat, the Shan forces retreated and the Toungoo gave chase, expanding their reach all the way to old Pagan (or Bagan).
|Remains of Bagan|
Unfortunately, for those who like to see a clear moral cause behind every dispute, this conflict depends entirely on which side you are on as to who is in the right and who is in the wrong. For Burma, the Siamese attacked and captured their city of Tavoy and King Tabinshwehti retaliated. For Siam, this city already belonged to them and the Burmese were simply exploiting a time of internal conflict for the Kingdom of Ayutthaya to expand the Toungoo empire. In any event, even with his very talented chief lieutenant Bayinnaung leading the way, this war was not a success for King Tabinshwehti and the Siamese successfully repelled his invasion, Queen Suriyothai famously dying in the climactic battle. It was not, however, a catastrophic defeat for the Burmese and they would be back before too much time had past under Bayinnaung. That, unfortunately for him, would not be a victory that King Tabinshwehti would live to see.
Despite his sorry end, King Tabinshwehti had achieved a great deal for Burma and is still highly revered to this day, regarded as a saint or a sort of god, one of 37 in the Burmese national pantheon. He is famous for being a great leader, a successful warrior, a courageous man who started his campaign of conquest by attacking the strongest rival rather than the weakest. He united almost all of Burma under his leadership and laid the foundation for the even greater victories that would come after him, a period in which Burma would dominate everything between India and Vietnam. Ultimately, King Bayinnaung would accomplish more in terms of territorial expansion, yet none of it would have been possible without the campaigns of King Tabinshwehti. It is thus entirely fitting that he should be a hero of Burmese history and an example of what great heights Burma is capable of achieving.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
here), the one line that was singled out from the entire interview to plaster all over the headlines was his relating that no one in the House of Windsor really wants the “job” of being monarch. He said, “Is there any one of the Royal Family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.” It is no coincident that this one line was singled out for the most attention rather than the Prince’s follow-up remarks about the dedication to duty the Royal Family has and the importance of the monarchy for people in Britain and across the Commonwealth. No, they seize on the line about no one wanting the top job because it fits in well with a traditional republican narrative, I call it the “nice guy” republican narrative. This is the one that says, ‘see, the royals don’t event want to live the sort of life they do, they have no freedom, so the best thing we could do for them is to abolish the monarchy and set them free from their gilded cage!’ or some such similar nonsense.
This is a typical republican response to monarchies that enjoy high popularity as it allows them to advocate abolishing the monarchy without attacking the monarch but, rather, posing as the ‘saviors’ of the Royal Family. The problem with this is that it is one, rare, republican argument which actually has facts behind it, what is despicable is the completely dishonest and disingenuous way they use it. The truth is that, yes, the royals do not have quite so envious a position as people think. They are constantly under tremendous scrutiny, have obligations they never asked for, have much of their lives planned out months in advance and have less personal freedom than anyone in their country. They have no freedom of movement (for the monarch anyway), no freedom of speech and no right to vote among others. They have all of the stress and scrutiny of a position of authority but none of the power to go along with it. Were they to lose their royal status, they would simply be very wealthy private citizens and could live their lives without a care in the world or any concern for public opinion. I have no doubt it would be quite liberating.
here) who is the second wife of Prince Joachim of Denmark, his first wife being Alexandra Manley, a mixed race woman of Euro-Asian ancestry from Hong Kong who was previously Princess Alexandra, now Countess of Frederiksborg and soon to be no longer on the government payroll. Their breakup was the first royal divorce in Denmark since 1846, so, rather significant. Both have since remarried, Prince Joachim to Marie Cavallier, a native of Paris, France in 2008. Her father-in-law is also French and both converted from Catholicism to the Lutheran Church of Denmark for their marriages.
Princess Marie gave a perfectly pleasant and perfectly frank interview and came off looking like an altogether nice person, open, honest and good natured. I think more highly of her after reading it. However, as stated as the outset, she did say some things that the SJW crowd would be quick to pick apart and pounce on if they were to actually read it (which I doubt any will). Some parts would likely have raised more eyebrows in the past than they would now. Her remark that, coming from France, she had to adjust to how much earlier people start to work in Denmark, would have, in years past, caused some huffing about stereotypes of Gallic laziness versus the Protestant work ethic but I don’t think anyone notices that anymore. What they would, however, surely seize on was her remark that, in explaining how much more trusting Danes seem to be than other people and asked if this had anything to do with the size of the country, “The size probably plays, because the territory is homogeneous. But we must also take into account our very ancient history. We have the oldest monarchy in Europe and are deeply attached to our traditions. At the same time, the country is very modern. Education also plays a great role.”
Princess Marie was then asked about Prince Joachim, the interviewer pointing out that he is half French. She responded with glowing praise for her hubby, saying that he inherited great qualities from both his parents but emphasizing that, “He’s indeed the perfect Dane…” which I am sure some could find fault with. However, that would be as nothing compared to her answer to a question about the negative portrayals of Denmark, this coming after she related how wonderful she thought Denmark and all things Danish are. The Princess seemed at a loss as to what could possibly be a negative cliché about Denmark so the interviewer proposed the notion that Denmark is a country of Vikings. In an answer that would surely upset the snowflake crowd, Princess Marie brushed this aside, seemingly oblivious to the idea that anyone could possibly consider being associated with the Vikings as a bad thing. She actually agreed with the stereotype but thought it was a positive thing saying, “It’s also true. My husband is never sick. He never goes to the doctor. He’s very tough. He’s quite a Viking. They have very good genetics!”
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
|Battle of Williamsburg|
At long last, in the early XXth Century, with money gifted from J. D. Rockefeller, the Royal Governor's Palace was rebuilt in its entirety using historical documents and descriptions from the period. It has since been renovated as new information has been uncovered to make it as historically accurate as possible. An exhibition of the palace, outbuildings and grounds was first given to the public in 1934. It is the second largest building in colonial Williamsburg after the capital building itself. Today it is a museum and often part of the whole "living history" experience that is maintained in colonial Williamsburg, making it easier to imagine what it was like back in its day as the center of society and government for the colony of Virginia under the British Crown. More information can be found on the official webpage of the palace here.
Monday, June 19, 2017
|Soldiers of Lauzun's Legion|
Not surprisingly, the Duc de Lauzun, after the surrender of the British at Yorktown and subsequent recognition of the independence of the United States of America, returned home to great fanfare as a genuine war hero. King Louis XVI promoted Lauzun to maréchal de camp for his exploits. However, Lauzun started on a new career in politics after the King, reluctantly, recalled the Estates-General. The Duc de Lauzun was chosen to be a deputy for the nobility of Quercy and, not surprisingly, became an outspoken advocate of the Revolutionary cause. When the French Revolution began, despite all of its ridiculous egalitarian thundering, the Duc de Lauzun was an ardent supporter. That is important to understand as he was not simply going along to get along as many other cowardly aristocrats did when the disaster came, he was taking his earlier political views to their logical conclusion and was just as devoted to the cause of the Revolution as he was to eradicating any who opposed it. In 1791 he was trusted with taking the oath of the French army of Flanders and was subsequently given command of that army. The following year he was given command of the Army of the Rhine to stand guard against the Austrians.
|Badge of the Vendee' royalists|
The aristocrat, Duc de Lauzun, had sided against his class to support the Revolution but, in the end, he discovered that this would not save him. The barbaric firebrand Jean-Baptiste Carrier accused Lauzun of treason or “lack of civic virtue” in the revolutionary parlance and in July of 1793 he was stripped of all rank and offices and imprisoned. After a quick show trial by the Revolutionary Tribunal he was taken to the guillotine and beheaded on December 31. His wife was also subsequently arrested and she too went to the guillotine the following summer. So it was that the story of the Duc de Lauzun came to a tragic end, yet, it is hard to imagine anyone feeling much sympathy for him. Here was a man who was a traitor to his king, his country, his religion, his class and the entire civilization that birthed these things. In the end, he was also condemned as a traitor by his fellow traitors and that at least provides a valuable lesson, even for people today.
|Biron, the revolutionary general|
The revolutionary fervor of these men did not save them from being consumed by the flames they helped to fan in the first place. The drivers of the Revolution, with all of their egalitarian rhetoric, were happy to have the help of aristocrats like the Duc de Lauzun to gain power but they turned on them in the end since, no matter what their opinions, words or actions were, *who* they were, the very blood that was in their veins, made them the enemy. The Duc de Lauzun was obviously a man of talent, an aristocrat who, as such, was a natural leader. His military victories show what great deeds he was capable of and yet he could not or would not grasp the simple facts that his own revolutionary cohorts could; that a prince and a peasant are two different things that can never be the same, no less than a Swiss and a Saracen or a man and a woman. Aristocrats like the Duc de Lauzun, clergymen or even princes of the blood would never be more to the revolutionaries than what Stalin referred to as “useful idiots”. Some, like the famous Marquis de Lafayette, were able to survive but revolutions tend to ultimately feed on themselves and the Duc de Lauzun, as with most others who did not manage to escape the country, fell victim to the forces he had helped unleash. One can but wonder if, on his way to the guillotine, he did not have the awareness to regret the terrible path in life he had chosen to take. His life and his death should be a warning to anyone who thinks they can make common cause with the forces of darkness, posing as the forces of “enlightenment”.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
That same year, rebellions broke out in both Piedmont-Sardinia and the Two-Sicilies and Austrian troops were dispatched to both to suppress them. In Turin, the rebels did not try to bring down the monarchy but demanded a constitution, which Prince Carlo Alberto gave them, as he had taken control of the government when King Vitttorio Emanuele I abdicated in favor of his brother King Carlo Felice who was out of the country at the time. King Carlo Felice, with his loyal regiments and the Austrians, regained control of the country and restored the absolute monarchy, exiling Prince Carlo Alberto to France. In Naples, Austrian troops suppressed the rebels and restored King Ferdinando IV to power. This, however, only strengthened the hand of the radicals who argued against constitutional monarchy and in favor of radical republicanism. This faction was led by Giuseppe Mazzini who had no use for kings at all and would make great use in his propaganda for every time a monarch on the Italian peninsula granted a constitution at a time of weakness only to revoke it once they had an Austrian army behind them.
|King Carlo Alberto & Kaiser Franz Joseph|
1834 and 1838 had seen revolutionary outbreaks across Italy but in 1848 revolution began to sweep across multiple countries throughout Europe. In January the Sicilians rose up and overthrew the authority of the king in Naples, by March the Austrian Empire was engulfed in rebellion with uprisings in Milan, Venice, Budapest, Cracow, Prague and even Vienna itself. The regime of Kaiser Ferdinand was suddenly threatened by independence movements by the Hungarians in the east and the Italians in the west. In Milan, after five days of bitter struggle, the Austrian authorities were driven out while at the same time the Austrians were expelled from Venice in an uprising led by Daniele Manin. The Habsburg Grand Duke of Tuscany, the Habsburg Duke of Modena, the Bourbon King of the Two Sicilies and the Bourbon Duke of Parma were all forced by popular uprisings to grant constitutions. Likewise, in Rome, political reforms were demanded of Pope Pius IX who had initially favored the nationalist cause, to the point of liberating from prison and appointing to high office a succession of revolutionaries whom his predecessor, Pope Gregory XVI, had arrested.
So it was that with only 68,000 troops at his disposal and no immediate prospect for reinforcement for Radetzky that the Italian nationalists saw their chance and men such as Camillo di Cavour, Cesare Balbo and Massimo d’Azeglio urged King Carlo Alberto to take the lead and attack the Austrians before the republicans took control of the uprising. The King agreed and on March 29 led his small but highly proficient army of 28,000 men across the Ticino River with the aim of moving on Milan. With so many of their forces tied down all across Lombardy-Venetia trying to suppress rebellion, for the time being, the Austrian and Piedmontese forces would be about evenly matched. Further, as soon as word came that King Carlo Alberto had crossed the frontier, nationalist support for the Savoy monarchy erupted all across the Italian peninsula. Not wanting King Carlo Alberto to claim all the glory of liberating Italy for himself, Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany and King Ferdinando II of the Two-Sicilies likewise dispatched forces to join him in a joint war-effort against the Austrians. Even Pope Pius IX sent his support. The vision of independence and unification by way of a coalition of the princes of Italy seemed to be coming true.
|Uprising in Milan|
On March 29, to great public fanfare, King Carlo Alberto entered Milan at the head of his troops. He marched on and his army pushed the Austrian rearguard across the Mincio River. The Austrian withdrawal caused the Piedmontese to push ahead before their allies from the south had arrived. Durando and the Papal Army was still south of the Po, Pepe and the Neapolitans were further north and the division from Tuscany was still on the march. King Carlo Alberto, seeing the Austrians retract, was determined to keep up the pressure on them and push forward, crossing the Mincio in mid-April toward Verona. On April 30 he met the Austrians at the Battle of Pastrengo and won a solid victory. Peschiera was besieged and the King was still pushing forward toward Verona. Graf Radetzky was finally compelled by this to take action and do something to take the initiative away from the Italians. An Austrian contingent was ordered to strike out from the city and on May 6 they administered a sharp sting at Santa Lucia that forced King Carlo Alberto to divert to the southwest of Verona, to Villafranca, to wait for further Piedmontese reinforcements and his allies from the south to join him.
|Sardinian Grenadiers at Goito|
The Savoy star was still shining brightly, however, the situation was far from favorable. What little support that had been available from Tuscany, Naples and the Papal States was now completely gone and even with the many volunteers from across Lombardy and reinforcements from Piedmont, King Carlo Alberto had only 75,000 men which would be insufficient to launch a major offensive into Venetia or to mount a proper siege of the fortress cities of Mantua or Verona. King Carlo Alberto had no option but to remain at Villafranca and watch. At the same time, unflustered as usual, Graf Radetzky was methodically carrying on and was also finally receiving reinforcements from the rest of the Austrian Empire. The window of opportunity of Austrian weakness had closed on the Italians and Radetzky was able to launch a serious offensive of his own, descending on the Italians with two armies at the Battle of Custozza .
|Austrian attack at the Battle of Custozza|
For the Austrians, the war had been one crisis among many. They had gained a new monarch in the young and determined Kaiser Franz Joseph, more laurels for a genuine war hero in Graf Radetzky and though they had come close enough to disaster to look it directly in the eye, that disaster had been averted and the Austrian Empire would survive, though ultimately concessions would be made to the Hungarians. Nothing of the sort would be forthcoming for the Italians however who continued to be ruled in the same manner that they had been before. The Kaiser even became somewhat cross with his younger brother, Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, when, as Viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia, he attempted to win over the Italians rather than flog them into submission. There was even talk that the Archduke himself entertained thoughts of uniting the Italian peninsula himself. He was soon put in his place and made no more than a ceremonial figure so that he began to look toward Mexico for a place to prove himself. In short, despite coming so close to defeat, the Austrians were determined to change nothing in regards to Italy.
|Abdication of King Carlo Alberto|