Italian unification

creation of the politically and administratively integrated nation of Italy
(Redirected from Unification of Italy)

Italian unification (Italian: Unità d'Italia), also known as the Risorgimento (meaning "the Resurgence"), refers to the Italian movement that united the Italian states in the 19th century.

Italian unification
Map showing the unification of Italy, 1829–1871
Native name Unità d'Italia
Also known asRisorgimento

Napoléon Bonaparte invaded Italy in 1796 and later controlled it. When he was defeated in 1815, at the Battle of Waterloo, the free states could now join together. The Congress of Vienna (1814–1815) restored the prewar ancien régime. The Austrian Empire, ruled by the Habsburgs, controlled most of Italy.[1] The movement began in 1815 with the Congress of Vienna.

It ended in 1871, when Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy by the efforts of Count of Cavour, the prime minister of Piedmont, and Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian national hero who united southern Italy.[2][3] That allowed King Victor Emmanuel II to become the first king of Italy.

Italy after 1815 change

Conquest of Sardinia change

Victor Emmanuel II and Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, main figures in the Italian unification.

Victor Emmanuel of Piedmont-Sardinia had a great vision of a unified Italy. He wanted Piedmont-Sardinia to be a model for the unification of Italy. To do so, he started many public works, projects, and political reforms. Piedmont-Sardinia was soon recognized as an emerging power. The next step for its conquest was to get Austria out of the Italian Peninsula.

With the Crimean War breaking out between France and Britain on one side, and Russia on the other, Piedmont-Sardinia had a chance to earn some respect and to make a name for itself. Britain and France proved victorious, and Sardinia was able to attend the peace conference. As a result, Piedmont-Sardinia gained the support of French Emperor Napoléon III.

War against Austria change

In 1858, Sardinia and France secretly plotted a plan of attack against Austria. The following year, Sardinia put its plan into action. Instead of attacking, Sardinia encouraged nationalist revolts in the Austrian-held territories in Italy to provoke Austria into starting the war. Following the Battles of Magenta and Solferino, France drove Austria out of Lombardy, but Austria still held onto Venetia.

France then dropped out of the war, since it feared that a unified Italy might be a threat and realized that the Austrian strength would eventually crush the French. That ended the war, with Austria keeping Venetia.

Completion of unification change

Meanwhile, the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi led a nationalist uprising to join the states and territories into one republic. As Sardinia ended the war, Garibaldi gave it most of the provinces. In March 1861, a parliament of all of Italy except Rome and Venetia agreed to unify Italy with Victor Emmanuel II as its first king. When Prussia defeated Austria in a war in 1866, Italy struck a deal to force Austria to turn over Venetia, which left Rome as the last Italian city not yet added.

Franco-Prussian War change

Because of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, France sent its army away from Rome. Without protection, the Pope could not resist, and Rome finally became the capital of Italy.

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References change

  1. "How Napoleon became 'King of Italy'". 23 October 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  2. Collier, Martin (2003). Italian unification, 1820–71. Heinemann Advanced History (First ed.). Oxford: Heinemann. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-435-32754-5. The Risorgimento is the name given to the process that ended with the political unification of Italy in 1871
  3. Riall, Lucy (1994). The Italian Risorgimento: state, society, and national unification (First ed.). London: Routledge. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-203-41234-3. The functional importance of the Risorgimento to both Italian politics and Italian historiography has made this short period (1815–60) one of the most contested and controversial in modern Italian history.

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