Back to top

Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and Emperor Napoleon III of France sign an armistice at Villafranca in Italy

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, circa 1850, detail

Emperor Napoleon, fearing further advances against Austria would involve the German Confederation in the conflict, met the Emperor of Austria in the Italian town of Villafranca and agreed a ceasefire. The main terms of the armistice outraged Napoleon's Italian allies, since the central Italian rulers overthrown during the war were to be restored to power, halting the popular drive to unification of Italy. In reality, turning back the Italian clock proved unworkable and Modena, Palma, and Tuscany became part of Piedmont-Sardinia in 1860. (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

The Annual Register or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1859 (London: F. & J. Rivington, 1860), 250-251. The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1860 (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, and Company, 1860), 391