Thursday, June 15, 2006

Social and Historical Situation of the Time

On 1789, the French Revolution broke out.
On 1796, the French invaded the North Italy; Napoleon closed down all the convents, but later Magdalene was able to receive some buildings from Napoleon himself.
After the Congress of Vienna, with the ‘restoration,’ the situation in Europe was ‘normalized’. Later on the first revolutionary movements for Independence start.
On this time, the prevailing ideas are the Illuministic ones that would develop in the Liberalism. These ideas entered in all levels.
Verona at this time was an important center; it was at the crossroads of south Europe.
Verona was deeply touched by the new ideas.
The city was part of Republic of Venice, the most conservative one and opposing strongly to the new ideas.
When Napoleon on 1796 came to Italy, he entered in Verona that would be a battle field and a hospital town.
Italy becomes a land to rob.
The countryside was attacked; the properties of the church were taken away. Stealing and violence was normal.
Because Verona was the center of the military operation, the government got the churches to be used as military hospitals. On this time, the Fraternity of the Hospital also developed.
In Verona, there developed a natural hatred for the French; Verona was also frustrated by the apathy on the Republic of Venice, she was oppressed by famine, she was also force to feed and care for the wounded soldiers.
On 1797, there had been the so-called “Easter of Verona,” that is, a popular rebellion against the French; this was headed by the nobles and the clergy.
A cruel bloody repression followed.
Many armies were passing over Verona, even the Russian (we can imagine the consequences for the city with continually new rulers, new laws news oppressor and thieves).
For a short time, Verona was even divided into two cities.
On 1815 with the Vienna Congress and the peace of Paris, there was more peace and stability for Lombardia e Veneto. Magdalene lived on this time. She was deeply touched by the concrete realities of the people, not so much by the politics. Her letters to Carolina Durini were without any political color, but were full of a great sensibility for the people; she was looking with humanitarian eyes the suffering of the people. She was touched by the poverty, the famine, the ignorance of the people. She was a noble so she did not have problems with the authorities, but she looked at the things in a different manner.


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