Cavour and Italian Unification

Cavour and Italian Unification



Cavour and Italian Unification

A. Thoughts about 1848-9 – “Italia fara da se’

     B. Early career

  Liberal noble – had served in Army as engineer

  Travelled widely throughout Europe – admired British parliamentary system

  1847 founded ‘Il Risorgimento’


C. In Government 1851-1861

  Reform of civil code & local admin

  Extension of ecclesiastical laws

      Promoted industrialization & communications

      Increased the size of the army & navy


       D. International Relations

     Recognized need for foreign assistance

Involvement of Piedmont in Crimean War – some debate over this!

Gains from the Treaty of Paris?

Promises from Napoleon III

Orsini Bomb Plot

Compact of Plombières – what was agreed? What does this tell us about Cavour’s vision of ‘Italy’?

War with Austria – 1859

  1. Victories at Magenta & Solferino – Lombardy seized
  2. Truce at Villafranca
  3. Peaceful risings in Parma, Modena, Tuscany & Romagna – support from Britain

          Extent of ‘Italy’ by 1860

Rising in Sicily – Garibaldi & The Thousand

What threat did Garibaldi now pose?

Piedmontese troops invade the Papal States

        E.  What was Cavour trying to achieve?          


Garibaldi & Italian Unification

A. Background – Career & personal qualities


            Had played early & (effective) part in struggle in 1848-9
Taught supporters techniques of guerrilla warfare
Troops intensely loyal to him
Was successful in 1859 against Austria
Inspired ordinary Italians to join his cause

B. Campaign 1860 –1


Revolt in Sicily & Naples had little to do with Italian unity
Garibaldi used both Mafia & trick to win over the peasants
Brits determined to not to intervene – their goodwill allowed Garibaldi to cross to the mainland
Fall of Naples due to different circumstances; confidence of monarchy & royal forces undermined – no help from Austria
“After the defence of the Roman Republic [in 1849], Garibaldi acquired a unique position as the personification of a national ideal. The scale of his military successes is attributable, in part, to his capacity to inspire personal devotion among his followers. Without his charisma, and without the nationalist enthusiasm of his followers, it is very unlikely that his expedition to Sicily in 1860 could have succeeded.”    (Lucy Riall)

C. Problems – Garibaldi’s legacy

“the plain fact was that in 1860 Italy was not ready for unification under Piedmont, and Piedmont was neither ready nor fitted for the responsibilities for governing a united Italy …Garibaldi forced the pace in 1860; but it was a pace that all but killed the spirit of the Risorgimento in Italy…” (LCB Seaman)

“His greatest weakness was his impetuosity. He acted first and thought afterwards, if at all, for his actions were dominated by his heart not his head. His understanding of politics was limited, as was his interest in them. As a result he was seldom aware of the effect which his actions might have on international relations, as in his plans to march on Rome in 1860, 1862, and 1867.”     (Andrina Stiles)

            “… Garibaldi forced the inclusion into Italy of the Kingdom of the 2 Sicilies, a backward region roughly equal in size to that of the territories united under VE II in 1860… the populist slogans that Garibaldi had employed … generated precisely the demands for social reform that Cavour had been anxious to avoid… the peasants began occupying the land … much to the resentment of the landowners. As a result the southern notables … were extremely hostile to the new state. Finally … Garibaldi provoked a rift between the Vatican and the Kingdom of Italy…” (Jonathan Morris)            


Source: http://ww2.ecclesbourne.derbyshire.sch.uk/ecclesbourne/content/subsites/history/files/Italy%202586/Cavour%20and%20Garibaldi.doc

Web site to visit: http://ww2.ecclesbourne.derbyshire.sch.uk

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Cavour and Italian Unification


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Cavour and Italian Unification