Italian School Uniform: Chronology--19th Century


Figure 1.--This Italian school scene was painted by Giuseppe Costantini (1844-94). It is an oil on wood entitled 'La scuola del villaggio' (The village school). The Italiam Kingdom's first census (1861) found that the average percentage of illetterate people aged more than 5 years old was 69 percent of males and 81 percent of females. Illiteracy reached 95percent in some southern provinces. At the proclamation of Kingdom of Italy (March 1861) the current Piedmont/Sardinia school law was adopted by the new Italian state. The law delegated the primary schooling to the municipalities. The primary school was free and consisted of four grades. School attendance was compulsory only in the grades 1 and 2, and only the municipalities with more than 4,000 inhabitant were required to establish grades 3 and 4. Although the attendance was compulsory in the fisrt two grades, there were no sanctions for those who ignored the law. Reforms subsequently expanded the system (1877).

There was no unified Italian state at the dawn of the 19th century, meaning there was no Italian education system. Piedmont dominated the northwest. The Austrians held the northeast. The Papal states controlled central Italy. And the now French Bourbon monarchy controlled the Kingdom of Two Scilies in the south. Each of these states has different education policies which for the most part gave little attention to education. Into this mix, the French Revolution and Napoleon and the French burst and made major changes in boundaries and rularship. New ideas were introduced into very conservative societies. The first public schools were introcuded in Piedmont. Schooling was limited elsewhere in Italy, especially in the poverty-stricken south. This did not change until the Risorgimento and the unification of Italy. The Piedmont school law became the school law of unified Italy. Public education, however, continued to be very limitd, especially in the south. The major problm was financing. Municipalities in the south had limited resources to support public schools and the endemic poverty meant that many families could not support their children educational aspirations.

The 1800s

There was no unified Italian state at the dawn of the 19th century, meaning there was no Italian education system. Piedmont/Sardinia dominated the northwest. The Austrians held the northeast. The Papal states controlled central Italy. And the now French Bourbon monarchy controlled the Kingdom of Two Scilies in the south. Each of these states has different education policies which for the most part gave little attention to education. Into this mix, the French Revolution and Napoleon and the French burst and made major changes in boundaries and rularship. New ideas were introduced into very conservative societies. After the defeat of Napoleon, The Congress of Vienna restored the old order, but it was impossible to expunge the liberal ideas that were now circulating.

The 1810s

The defeat of Napoleon resulted in the Congress of Vienna returing Europe, including the Italian Peninsula to conservative rule. The seeds of Italian national sentiment and the ideals of liberty had been sown in Italy as a result of the French invasion which brought with it the ideals of the French Revolution. The First Napoleonic Campaign was a major event in generating a feeling of national identity and unity whuch were aroused by the establishment of first republican structures and then the Kingdom of Italy. These, united to the administrative and judicial reforms extended from France into Italy (especially the introduction of the Code Napoléon), began totake root despite the restoration. Support came from the intellectual and middle-classes in all theItalian States and from numerous patriotic associations, often working in secret (as the `Young Italy', of Giuseppe Mazzini) but profoundly influencing society.

The 1840s

Conservative Europe was convulsed by the Revolutions of 1848 and the Italian Peninsula was among the areas most impacted. Italy like Germany in the early-19th century was still divided into a number of independent states (Sicily, Papal state, Savoy, Sardinia, and others) as well as areas under Austrian control (Milan and Venice). Also as in Germany, the French Revolution had inspired liberalism and nationalism in Italy. Increasingly Italians began to demand a unified country and a republican constitution. This movement for unification became known as the Risorgimento (Resurgence). Guiseppe Mazzini in 1832 founded Young Italy, a patriotic society dedicated to Italian unification. Revolts break out in Venice, Milan (cinque Giornate), and Parma. Ausytrian and French armies resored the old order. King Charles Albert, however granted a new constitution to his people. The events of 1848-49 while undine by theAustrians and French were the first steps toward Italian Unification.

The 1860s

King Victor Emanuel proclaimed a new Italian kingdom, uniting the north with the southern provinces conqured by Garanaldi (1861). The King also anned Umbria and Marches from the former Papal States. Italy could finally begin to create a national education system. The first census of the Kingdom of Italy (1861) found that the average percentage of illiterate people aged more than 5 years old was 69 percent of males and 81 percent of females. Illiteracy reached 95 percent in some areas of the south. At the proclamation of Kingdom of Italy (March 1861) the current Piedmont school law became the law of unified Italy. The law delegated the primary schooling to the municipalities. The primary school was free to all children and had 4 grades. School attendance was compulsory only in the grades 1 and 2, and only the municipalities with more than 4,000 inhabitant were required to establish grades 3 and 4. Although the attendance was compulsory in the first two grades, there were no sanctions for those who break the law. The Risorgimento meant that that the Catholic Church had lost its virtual monopoly of education and welfare. The new Italian state education was decidely secular

The 1870s

Rome was not part of the new Kingdom as it was still occupied by French troops. And Venice was still under Austrian control. The final pieces of Italy were added as the result of major conflicts to the north--most importantly the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). The French withdrew troops from Rome which was then annexed by the new Italian monarchy. Education reforms expanded the public school system (1877).

The 1880s

A British reader writes, "I found an Italian book titled Heaert about the year in an Italian Primary school. It ws published in 1888 story. There is alot in it and some parts are of interest to HBC readers. The characters in the class are wonderfully described. It is a good read and it a different approach to writing a school story. I do not think a British school story would have been done then in this way."

The 1890s










HBC-SU





Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Main Chronology Page]
[The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s]



Navigate the Relate Boys Historical Clothing Style Pages
[Main country page]
[Long pants suits] [Short pants suits] [Lederhosen] [Kneesocks] [Eton suits]
[Jacket and trousers] [Blazer [School sandals]



Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing School Uniform Pages
[Return to the Main Italian School Page]
[Return to the Main School national page]
[Australia] [England] [France] [Germany]
[Ireland] [Japan] [New Zealand] [Scotland]
[United States]



Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main Italian school chronology page]
[About Us]
[Activities] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Debate] [Economics] [Garment] [Gender] [Hair] [History] [Home trends] [Literary characters]
[School types] [Significance] [Transport and travel [Uniform regulations] [Year level] [Other topics]
[Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Return to the Historic Boys' School Home]






Created: 9:07 PM 4/13/2017
Last updated: 9:07 PM 4/13/2017