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4.2 The Unification Of Italy

In the 8th century smaller kingdoms were born in Italy. After the downfall of Napoleon Bonaparte, Italy got its shape as a united nation. From the 15th to the 19th century, European kingdoms were squabbling to grab the smaller kingdom of Italy. Napoleon I succeeded in his attempt and rounded off Italy. It created a feeling of national sentiments and put forth the idea of independence. Now the Italians made serious efforts to unify their country.

Exhibit 4.1
Italy before the Unification

However, after the downfall of Napoleon I in 1815, Vienna divided Italy, and once again, the successors of old royal families were made rulers of these tiny kingdoms. Some of these rulers were autocratic. The princes of the states proceeded with their former oppressive policies. Ironically, this gave the impetus for democratic and nationalist ideas to develop among the people. Due to the strict censorship of the press, they formed secret societies. The Carbonari (the charcoal buyers) was the most important one. Their main aim was the expulsion of foreigners and the achievement of constitutional freedom. Members from all classes joined it. According to Grant and Temperely: "Secret Societies were formed everywhere to work for the union of Italy."

Out of fear, the rulers of Naples and Piedmont established liberal rule. Austria crushed the revolts and re-established liberal rule. The members of the Carbonari revolted in 1830 and 1840 but did not succeed in their efforts at this stage.


4.2a Leaders of the Unification

The credit for the unification of Italy goes to eminent persons like Mazzini, Cavour, Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel. Mazzini was born in General in 1805. His father was a prominent physician. Although he wanted to be a literary man, he became a prominent member of the Piedmont Carbonari. He made the masses ready for establishing a great republic, Italy. Even though Mazzini could not succeed in establishing the republic, he held an important place in the history of Italy. He struggled throughout his life for the unity of the Italian states. Because of his efforts, the young men in Italy felt urged to uproot foreign rule. People of Italy still worship Mazzini and he is considered the founder of the Italian nationalism.

Count Cavour was born in 1810 in Sardinia. He was an army engineer, but found army service more interesting. At that time, England was governed according to the constitutional form of government. He considered this the best way to govern.

Index

4.0 - Introduction
4.1 The Revolution of 1848
4.2 The Unification Of Italy
4.3 The Founding of the Gernam Empire
4.4 The Balkan War
4.5 The First World War
4.6 The Impact of the First World War
4.7 The Founding of the League of Nations
4.8 Points to Remember

Chapter 5





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