The essay focuses on an essential element for the consolidation of the revolution of 12th January 1848 in Palermo, namely the intervention of the squadre. The author draws on the memoirs written after the failure of the revolution to verify what was the overall judgment and to understand the true impact of these formations. What emerges is a fragmented, even ambiguous, picture since the chief authors of them held important institutional roles. The association between common delinquency and political opposition was fundamental for the affirmation of the revolution, but that was detrimental to the state of public order. In fact, the attempt to demobilise the squadre was difficult to carry out, and there were further and even more serious problems concerning the reemployment of their members in public security corps.
Keywords: 1848, Palermo, revolution, Sicily, squadre, Bourbons.