Italian Unification Movements

Topics: Italy, Prussia, Austro-Prussian War Pages: 12 (2437 words) Published: January 30, 2013
Italian unification

l Background

l After Napoleon, the Italian states were controlled by France.

l Effect:

l 1. They experienced the unity under the rule of an efficient government.

l 2. They felt that they disliked being ruled by foreign countries, therefore nationalist feeling was aroused.

l After the Congress of Vienna in 1815-16, they were divided into 8 states and the northern part of Italy was controlled by

l Again, they disliked the alien rule and wanted to be independent. The nationalist movement began.

l In 1820-30s, the Carbonari was formed in Naples. They carried out a series of revolutions, but all of them failed because they lacked organization and mass support. There was also no capable leader.

l In 1831, Mazzini formed the Society of Young Italy (it was more popular). He believed that the revolutions failed because the people in the Italian states had no strong nationalism. Therefore he spread nationalism throughout Italy.

l Mazzini wanted to set up the Republic of Italy to unify Italy into one country and planned to revolt. He planned to attack Piedmont (the strongest, independent Italian state) through Switzerland.

l Finally, he failed.

l In 1848, there was Risorgimento movement. Many anti-Austrian movements were carried out.

l After Metternich fell from power, more Italians supported the movement.

l However, they all failed because:

n 1. They had different ideas of political system so that the revolutionaries were divided into 3 groups: federalism (e.g. USA), republicanism (e.g. France) and constitutional monarchial (e.g. Britain). This weakened their strength.

n 2. Moreover, when the revolutionaries wanted to support King Charles Albert of Piedmont (timid and indecisive) to be king, Albert hesitated and gave the chance to Austria to suppress revolutions.

n 2. Finally, France army of Napoleon III succeeded to suppress the Republic, which was set up Mazzini. And the revolts in Northern Italy were suppressed by Austria.

l Effect: It was a turning point of Italian unification movement.

n 1. The revolutionaries understood that the existing system they suggested were not feasible. So they wanted to unify Italy to be one country and to have strong central government.

n 2. They could not unify without foreign help. So they sought help from foreign countries. In order to do that, the changed their foreign policy. They made friends with foreign countries and actively participated in foreign wars e.g. the Crimean war.

l Process of unification

l 1. Abdication of King Charles Albert

n After the 1848 revolution, King Charles Albert resigned and gave throne to King Victor Emmanuel II. Cavour became the Prime Minister of Piedmont.

l 2. Internal reforms of Cavour

n In order to carry out the unification movement, Cavour tried to carry out internal reforms to strengthen Piedmont. He wanted Piedmont to be the leading state to lead the unification movement.

l Economic:

n Created state banks (provided funding so that people could invent money in industrial and agricultural aspects)

n Encouraged foreign trade and internal trade (removed trade restrictions e.g. no quota and low tariff)

n Improved transportation and communication (improved economy)

n Strengthened the army (fought against enemies e.g. Austria, France)

l Decreased the power of Catholic church (power struggle between the state and the church):

n Suppressed monasteries

n Decreased their power of trial (the church had canon law before)

n Forbade to own properties without the approval of the government

l Foreign policy:

n Made friends with other countries (e.g. helped Britain and France in the Crimean War)

l 3. Meeting of Napoleon III and Cavour--- the Pact of Plombieres

l In 1858, after the Orsini plot of assassination, Napoleon met Cavour in Plombieres and promised to help Piedmont to carry out the unification movement (to fight against...
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