Officially created in 1297 at the behest of Pope Boniface VIII, the Regnum Sardinie et Corsicae was a Church expedient to resolve the War of Vespers between the Aragonese and Angevins.
The kingdom became a fief of the crown of Aragon and a pass for the Spanish invasion of the island, to the detriment of those who already occupied the land and administered its power: the Giudicato of Arborea and the direct domains of the Dorias of Genoa and the Marquises of Pisa.
Spanish domination lasted until 1720, when Sardinia came into the possession of the Dukes of Savoy, who formed a federation of states consisting of the continental territory of the Principality of Piedmont (the Duchy of Savoy, the County of Nice and the Kingdom of Sardinia). On 14 July 1789, with the storming of the Bastille, the Bourbon monarchy collapsed and Sardinia, given its strategic position, immediately became the target of the new French Republic, which sent an invasion fleet to try to conquer it.
When the French arrived on the island in 1793, however, they met with a strenuous defence by the Sardinians, who forced them to flee, all the while Victor Amadeus III of Savoy did nothing to intervene in defence of his island kingdom. Seeing the ingratitude of Victor Amadeus III, a popular revolt broke out in Cagliari in 1794, forcing all government officials to flee (still remembered today on the holiday of Sa Die de sa Sardigna).
A brief period of Sardinian independence followed, which lasted little more than a few months. In 1799, with Napoleon’s invasion of Piedmont, King Charles Emmanuel IV and his court had to take refuge in Sardinia, specifically at the royal palace in Cagliari. The royal family’s stay in Sardinia lasted at least until 1814, when, with Napoleon’s final defeat, King Victor Emmanuel I was able to return to Turin. It was only later, in 1840, that feudalism, which had been in place since 1324, was abolished by Charles Albert of Savoy, who ascended the throne in 1831. King Carlo Alberto also granted the “perfect fusion” in 1847 between Sardinia and the continental territories, abandoning the Federation and creating a single state: Sardinia lost all its autonomy, merging into a single state, whose interests were increasingly closer to the idea of uniting the Italian peninsula under a single flag.
In 1848 Carlo Alberto promulgated the Statuto Albertino, the first true constitution of the Kingdom of Sardinia. The final act of the Kingdom of Sardinia began in May 1860, when the ‘Expedition of the Thousand’ led by Garibaldi landed in Sicily. With the meeting of Garibaldi and Vittorio Emanuele II in Teano on 26 October 1860 and the plebiscite called by the Savoy government, the Risorgimento process came to an end on 17 March 1861. At the same time, the end of the Kingdom of Sardinia and the birth of the Kingdom of Italy were sanctioned.