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Charles Albert of Sardinia

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Title: Charles Albert of Sardinia  
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Subject: First Italian War of Independence, List of monarchs of Sardinia, Battle of Santa Lucia, Sardinian lira, Granatieri di Sardegna Mechanized Brigade
Collection: 1798 Births, 1849 Deaths, Burials at the Basilica of Superga, Claimant Kings of Jerusalem, Contemporary Italian History, Grand Masters of the Gold Medal of Military Valor, Grand Masters of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, Grand Masters of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, House of Savoy, Italian People of Polish Descent, Italian Royalty, Kings of Sardinia, Knights of the Golden Fleece, Knights of the Order of Saint Joseph, Monarchs Who Abdicated, People from Turin, People of the Revolutions of 1848, Princes of Carignan, Princes of Savoy, Roman Catholic Monarchs
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Charles Albert of Sardinia

Charles Albert
King of Sardinia
Reign 27 April 1831 – 23 March 1849
Predecessor Charles Felix
Successor Victor Emmanuel II
Prime Ministers
Born (1798-10-02)2 October 1798
Palazzo Carignano, Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia
Died 28 July 1849(1849-07-28) (aged 50)
Porto, Kingdom of Portugal
Burial Basilica of Superga, Turin
Spouse Maria Theresa of Austria
Issue Victor Emmanuel II of Italy
Ferdinand, Duke of Genoa
Full name
Carlo Alberto Amedeo di Savoia
House House of Savoy
Father Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Carignano
Mother Maria Christina of Saxony

Charles Albert (Carlo Alberto Amedeo; 2 October 1798 – 28 July 1849) was the King of Sardinia from 1831 to 1849. His name is bound up with the first "Italian statute" (constitution) and the First Italian War of Independence (1848–1849). He abdicated after his forces were defeated by the Imperial Austrian army at the Battle of Novara (1849), and died in exile soon thereafter.

Early life and studies

He was born in Turin in October 1798, to Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Carignano and Maria Cristina of Saxony. His father was the great-great-great-grandson of Thomas Francis, Prince of Carignano, youngest legitimate son of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, and founder of the Savoy-Carignano line of the House of Savoy. He was the third cousin once removed of Victor Amadeus III, and the next male-line heir after the three sons of Victor Amadeus. When Charles Albert was born in 1798, none of his cousins had a son, making him the likely eventual successor on the throne of Sardinia-Piedmont.

He was educated in the intellectually liberal atmosphere of Geneva, then in Paris during the First French Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon named him a lieutenant of dragoons in 1814. After the final fall of Napoleon the following year, Charles Albert returned to Turin. Two mentors were entrusted with countering the dangerous ideas about "national liberation" ("liberté, égalité, fraternité/liberty, equality, fraternity") Charles had learned in France. However, he continued to display some sympathies with the liberals.


In 1821, as regent for the Kingdom in the absence of the new king, Charles Felix (then in Modena), he conceded a "constitution" that was soon disavowed by the king. Charles Felix sent him to Spain, to serve with the French army that King Louis XVIII of France sent to suppress the liberal revolution there and restore Ferdinand VII. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Trocadero in 1823, which gained him the favor of the leading conservative European power, the Austrian Empire, and also of King Charles X of France (who succeeded in 1824).

Coat of Arms of the Kings of Sardinia of the House of Savoy after 1815.

Charles Albert succeeded his cousin Charles Felix to the throne of Sardinia in 1831. Although an Italian patriot who allegedly was opposed to the Austrian hegemony and domination in Northern Italy, he put down Mazzini's 1833 conspiracy. He introduced a series of reforms following the many Revolutions of 1830 that convulsed Europe. He abolished domestic customs and trade barriers within the Kingdom, supported the arts and sciences, and promulgated the Statuto Albertino, a constitution. The Statuto was inspired by the earlier reforms of Louis Phillippe, the new moderate "King of the French", of the new kingdom of Belgium, and even later the reforms and parliamentary laws instituted in Great Britain.

During the Revolutions of 1848, he agreed to a constitutional regime which remained in place for the century that the Kingdom of Italy lasted. The same year he declared war on Austria. The small army of Piedmont was supported by volunteers from the whole of Italy. However, after his initial victories lost him the support of the Pope and the other Italian rulers, he was defeated at Custoza (24 July

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