Unification of Italy and Germany

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Unification of Italy and Germany

By 1871 both the kingdom of Italy and the empire of Germany were united. Even though both countries used popular trends to that time, both liberalism and nationalism, the process unifying these two countries was very different. The end result was Germany emerging as a strong nation and Italy appropriately, the weaker.

Italy’s problems started with the fact that it didn’t have one main ruler, but two people and a concept, resulting in a different approach to the unification. Gulseppe Mazzini had a radical program focusing on a centralized democratic republic based on universal suffrage and the will of the people. Vincenzo Gioberti, who was a catholic priest called for a federation of existing states under the presidency of the pope. Then there were the people who favored leadership toward the autocratic kingdom of Sardenia. Sardenia’s rule was much more popular to the middle class than the other two because Sardenia appeared to be a liberal, progressive state displaying national unification. That is what the people were striving for. They thought Mazzini’s ideas too radical- and they were trying to get away from religion running the nation as it had done in the past. They wanted a distinct separation between church and state.

Cavour was the man who made the change, but he sought unity only for northern Italy to become a greatly expanded kingdom of Sardenia. “In the 1850’s Cavour worked to consolidate Sardenia as a liberal state capable of leading northern Italy.” (McKay, 836) Cavour saw Austria as a threat in unifying Italy and this is one point where both Cavour and Bismarck were on common ground. Therefore, they strategically persuaded European powers to fight against Austria…Italy provoked Austria into war Cavour then used Garibaldi’s popular appeal to his benefit. “When Garibaldi and Emmanuel rode through Naples to cheering crowds, they symbolically sealed the union of north and south, of monarch and people.”...
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