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The Italian Unification or Italian Risorgimento is known as the chain of political and military events that produced a united Italian peninsula under the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Five StagesPre-RevolutionaryRevolutionaryCavours Policy and the Role of PiedmontGaribaldis Campaign in Southern ItalyCreation of the Italian Kingdom
After the Napoleonic Wars and Napoleon Bonapartes second defeat, the major powers that has resisted met at a conference called the Congress of Vienna in 1815Agenda: limit Frances Power, balance of power (no nation too strong), divide up territory conquered by NapoleonThe topic of discussion was to limit Frances power, set limits on nations so no one nation became too strong, and divide up the territory conquered up by Napoleon.
Italian Peninsula returned to Austria, which controlled many of the Italian statesFew independent states Kingdom of Sardinia, which controlled Piedmont, Savoy, Nice and Genoa
In its negotiations, the congress returned domination of the Italian Peninsula to Austria. Austria now occupied Lombardy and Venice and had considerable influence on other Italian states. One of the few places of independence was the Kingdom of Sardinia, which now controlled Piedmont, Nice, Savoy and Genoa. .
Some of the things that conflicted and interfered with the unification process were: Austrian control of Lombardy and Venice several independent Italian states the autonomy of the Papal Statesthe limited power and influence of Italian leaders
Revolutionary Phase: During first half of 19th C, only very educated wanted unificationThe masses showed no concern.
At first, they only wanted more rights from the government but the cause began to growBy 1820, Carbonari were involved in many failed revolutions against Italian statesAustrian Empire crushed all of themHowever secret societies were formed, including the Carbonari.
By 1820, the Carbonari were involved in numerous failed revolutions against the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, the Kingdom of Sardinia, Bolonga, and other Italian states. However, the Austrian Empire crushed all of these revolutions; thus leading to more resentment from the Italians.
The Soul and spirit of Carbonari was Giuseppe MazziniHe wanted a united Italy with a Republican governmentHe popularized the movement by creating Young Italy, which spread ideas of unificationThe 1848 revolutions in Europe, brought some reforms to Italy, but not enough
The revolution also occurred in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies were the king signed a constitution.In the Papal States, radicals took over Rome, causing the Pope to flee. In the absence of the pope, Garibaldi and Mazzini created a republic called the Roman Republic. In Piedmont, after the insistence of nationals, the King Charles Albert was sent to Lombardy in their fight for freedom from Austrian rule.
1848 revolutions crushed1849, France sent troops to Rome, and destroyed the short lived Roman RepublicPiedmont lost to Austria, and the King was forced to abdicate, causing his son Victor Emanuel II to become King in 1849
Unification of Italy seemed far offBut, a turning point Count Cavour was appointed prime minister of Piedmont in 1852Italy would never be the same
Who Was Guiseppe MazziniWhile at university he began the life of a revolutionary. He started to become affiliated with the Carbonari group, which was instrumental in applying force in certain areas to spark a revolution. However, he was soon forced to flee to France after he was exposed in affiliating with the Carbonari and ended up in France. While in France, Mazzini founded his most influential cause to the Italian revolution, Young Italy. Mazzini actually conducted this group from abroad in France.
Young Italy was a specific group consisting of liberal intellectuals vying for a strong central government after Italian unification. This group amassed 50,00 to 60,00 Italian in size, and lasted roughly two decades. Also while abroad, he called for the removal of Austrian influence in Italy, an end to the popes temporal power over the Papal States, and the creation of a republican national government.
Mazzini did not return to Italy until April of 1848. Still holding fast to his revolutionary ideas, he supported King Charles Albert of Piedmont-Sardinia against the Austrian monarch. However, this revolution failed, and he relocated to Rome where Mazzini was eventually named as the head of the first republic of Rome.This was short-lived as French troops overran Rome to restore the Popes power. Mazzini was once again forced to flee Italy this time landing in Switzerland. His influence in unification was never really the same again.
After his failed attempt of Revolution, Mazzini was reduced to an onlooker than an active role. However, his role in Italian unification was considerable as it appeared in some of the laws passed by the eventual Roman Republic such as : universal manhood suffrage, instituted government control over clerical salaries, and political clubs designed to support the common man. Although he never saw the democratic republic Italy would become in his lifetime, Italy became a unified nation under a institutionalized monarch. At the very least, Mazzini saw his Italians hold a single country to call home.
Cavours Policy and the Role of Piedmont By the use of bargaining, putting great powers against each other, war, and political cunning, Cavour was able to unite Italy in a short time.
Piedmont a small state but it had considerable influence due to its military strengthAlso, Victor Emmanuel ruled with parliament, which created stabilityCavour wanted a strong state i.e. Piedmont, to lead the unification And Piedmont can only become strong with railroads, economic freedom, stable finances, and a higher standard of living.
Cavour needed an ally FranceGot Napoleon III on his side, since they both hated AustriaNapoleon wanted a liberated ItalyTo seal the deal of this partnership, both leaders met secretly at Plombieres, a French spa. Piedmont would stir up trouble in one of the territories controlled by Austria, thus forcing Austria to go to war against Piedmont. France would help Piedmont in exchange for Nice and Savoy.
In April 1859, war broke out between Piedmont and Austria. France and Piedmont did well won battles at Magenta and SolferinoPrussian mobilized in defence of AustriaPiedmont received Lombardy from Austria as a result of the war. After the war and the political manoeuvring, Piedmont had greatly increased its size. However, Garibaldis campaign in southern Italy would more than double the size of the kingdom
Garibaldis Campaign in Southern Italy If Mazzini was the soul of the unification process, then Garibaldi was the heroHe recruited soldiers from Genoa to go to SicilyThe expedition of soldiers was an instant hitGaribaldis red shirts had tremendous successHe wanted Rome, but this worried CavourCavour like a fox, started uprisings in papal states, and sent Piedmonts army to stop it1860, 2/3 of papal states joined piedmont, and Rome was left alone. Him and his troops marched south Sept 18, Garibaldi gave up command of his army, shook hands with Victor Emmanuel unity of Kingdom of Italy in 1861
Creation of the Italian KingdomAlthough the Kingdom was formed, it did not include all of ItalyRome and Venetia missingRome under control of France, Venetia was Austrias1866, Seven Weeks war with Austria/PrussiaAustria promised Venetia if Italy remained neutral, Prussia promised it if they joined Prussia Italy joined Prussia, and they won
In 1870, the Franco-Prussian War occurred between France and Germany and Napoleon III was forced to pull the French troops from Rome to aid the war effort. While Rome and the remaining Papal States remained unprotected, Italian troops marched in unopposed. In October 1870 Rome voted to join the union and in July 1871, it became the capital.
In the end, Cavour, Garibaldi, and Mazzini became the founding fathers of a nation and were immortalized.