Unification of Italy

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  • Topic: Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Turin
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  • Published : October 8, 1999
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Q: Describe & Explain the Unification of Italy.
The Unification of Italy divides in to 3 main stages: 1815-1830: Revolts all over Italy. Revolts are suppressed. 1848-1849: Revolts all over Italy. Revolts are suppressed. 1858-1870: The unification of Italy


Introduction
To understand the unification of Italy, matters before the revolution need to be examined.
Up until 1716, Italy was just a big piece of land divided among small kingdoms of monarchs. (ref. H.O. #1 p.29)
When napoleon Bonaparte conquered Italy, he left them 3 things, which were probably the key characteristics in the revolution: -Efficient Government.
-A practical demonstrations of the benefits from a unified Italy -Hatred towards foreign influence.

After the fall of Napoleon, the major European powers (Austria, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, & Prussia) what was to be done with Italy, which was conquered at the time by Napoleon.
It was thus decided that Italy would be divided among different monarchs, all associated with the Habsburgs (except for Piedmont Sardinia, which was to be ruled by Victor Emmanuel, an independent monarch, and Papal States, ruled by the pope.). (ref. H.O. #1 p. 29-30)


Austria had very strong domination over Italy. It had agreements with Ferdinand, king of Kingdom of the 2 Sicilies, and helped the pope maintain his kingdom. Only Piedmont Sardinia wasn't influenced by Austria (ref. H.O. #1 p. 30).

1815 – 1830 Revolution
Almost all "'Italians" hated the foreign influence of Austria on Italy.
Metternich, an Austrian prince wanted to make sure no nationalist activities were in process in Austria's territories in Italy (which was Lombardy Venetia).
He imposed repressive rule in Lombardy Venetia. German was the official language, a strong Austrian army was always present to suppress any hostile activities, an efficient system of spies reported on any nationalist activities, a strict censorship of news was present, and Italian history was banned in schools to avoid the younger generation from learning about the glorious Roman past.

Metternich caused even further resentment when he obligated Lombards to serve in Austrian army, obey Austrian rules, and pay high taxes to Austrian empire. Lombardy Venetia's situation was very bad, and nothing seemed able to be done. (ref. H.O. #1 p. 30).

The situation in Lombardy (and in other parts of Italy) led to the establishment of many secret societies dedicated to the cause of Liberalism and Nationalism the biggest and most famous of those societies was named Carbonari. The Carbonari resented the Austrian domination and initiated many uprisings. (ref. H.O. #1 p. 30).

In 1815, the Carbonari initiated the first revolt in The Kingdom of the 2 Sicilies, ruled by a cruel tyrant named Ferdinand. The revolution managed to issue a constitution from the monarch. Ferdinand though, had no intension in following his constitution. With the help of Austria, he easily managed to suppress the revolution. (ref. H.O. #2 p. 124).

Another revolt was then initiated in Piedmont Sardinia. The Carbonari tried to link the revolt with a revolt in Lombardy, but with no success. Austria and Piedmont Sardinia easily suppressed all revolts. (ref. H.O. #2 p. 124).

By 1830, other feeble tries to suppress Austrians were tried, but all led to failure. Italy wasn't ready for unification. The secret societies weren't strong enough and even worse, not coordinated. They initiated their revolts at different times, allowing the Austrians to deal with them one by one. Maybe the Austrian army would've been defenseless against a series of revolution all occurring at the same time. (ref. Mr. Patrick 12/1/01 history class).

On 1829 a passionate Carbonari rebel called Mazzini was caught and sent to exile into...
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