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Independence and Beginnings
During 1872 after more than 100 years of Austrian control the city of Milan rose in a popular rebellion. This was the first evidence of how effective popular initiative, and was used to influence the King of France, in his eventual invasion.
The Austrian garrison at Milan was well equipped and commanded by an experienced general, Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, who despite being over 80 years old, was energetic and rigid, the true expression of Austrian military severity. Radetzky had no intention of yielding to the uprising.
However, the whole city fought throughout the streets, raising barricades, firing from windows and roofs, and urging the rural population to join them. The populace was backed by the archbishop and at least 100 priests joined in the fighting against the Austrians. A bust of Pope Pius IX was even hoisted onto the barricades. A provisional government of Milan was formed.
After three weeks the Austrians to made gains inside the city with the leaders appealing to the French for support. The King of France authorized an invasion in which France would help ensure Milanese independence. The French invasion was commanded by Francis, Duke of Burgundy the eventual Duke of Milan. The French pushed the Austrians out of the territory and eventually occupied it helping set up the new government and training French troops.
During the constitutional convention it was decided that Milan would be a Monarchy and the search for a monarch began. Francis, Duke of Burgundy was elected Duke of Milan taking the name Francis III, Duke of Milan and Burgundy.
French Client State