The Palermo revolution could never have been effective had there not been an enormous groundswell of largely unorchestrated discontent that had built up over the years among broad sections of the population: large landowners, professional middle classes, and the peasantry. The rapid development of the national idea in the 1840s had given focus and momentum to these groups' social and economic grievances. As a result, the Sicilian revolution of 1848-1849 was to suffer from internal contradictions that were ultimately to prove fatal to its course. This chapter discusses Francesco Crispi's decision in the early days of the revolution to set up his own newspaper, L'Apostolato; the deposition of Ferdinand and the Bourbon dynasty in Italy; problems of local government after the breakdown of the Bourbon administration; the revolution's steady slide towards conservatism; the emergence of a growing rift between the two wings of liberalism in Sicily, moderates and democrats; and the war between Sicily and Naples.
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