In the months leading up to the 5 Days of Milan, there were rising political tension due to the Austrians occupying Milan at the time. During a gathering of people who were praising the archbishop by singing, police shot toward the crowd. In January of 1848 the Milanese stopped using tobacco, which was a big trade item for the country. In response to this, Radetzky, the Austrian Military Leader, ordered his soldiers to smoke in the roads, because this was a “provocative move”, fights broke out in the streets. As the news of the revolution happening in Vienna got to Milan, it caused a lot of “political excitement”. After the news got to Milan, a group of young “radicals” decided to start a protest for free press, along with a civilian guard.

They also wanted a national assembly to be formed. Later, a very large group of people got together, and raided the government building, in an effort to coerce the governor to agree to their demands. After this, the leader, Radetzky, ordered his people to take back the building, this lead to much bloodshed and death. After this raid, the Milanese put up about 1600 barricades overnight. This slowed the movement of the opposition through the city.

In the fights that ensued after this mostly lower class Milanese citizens were killed. These fights brought to light, the political weakness within the Milanese government. A republic group started a war council to lead militaristic operations. This causes a provisional government to be made. Later, Cattaneo dissolved the war council, and combined it to create a defense committee. The people who led the people to a military victory, lost politically.

The defense committee was then able to end the rebellion and force the Austrians out of Milan. The historical significance of the Five Days of Milan, was pretty big. Since the Austrians were forced out of the city, Milan was added to Rome, they later gained a seat on the council of Rome. It became the center of Culture and Agriculture in Rome.


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