Clearly, the 1840's were a troubled time in Italy. The decade had begun with increased demands from the business minded classes for economic liberalization. Books advancing Italian nationalism had become stunningly successful, helping to turn popular opinion against the Austrians. Pope Pius had added fuel to the fire by starting his pontificate with a series of sweeping reforms, realizing too late what he had set in motion. People all over Italy began demanding reforms and constitutions. For the moment the rulers were able to placate their subjects with modest reforms, as they were unwilling to issue constitutions.