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.