Italy Unification

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Unification of Italy
Study Topic 1: Italy 1830 ­ 1870
Key Issues for Study and examination
What were the main obstacles in the way of Italian Unification 183049?
What was the Risorgimento and who were its key figures?
What were the main factors in the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861?
How divided or united was Italy in the period 18611870?
The Revolutions of 1830 and 184849, the reasons for their failure, the influence
of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Pius IX.
The nature of the Risorgimento, the roles of Mazzini, Garibaldi, Cavour and King
Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont.
The development of Piedmont, the role of France and other foreign
circumstance, Plombieres and the wars of 185960.
Unification with Venetia and Rome, the condition of Italy 186170, the nature and
extent of unity, problems and divisions.

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Part 1: Italy up to 1849
Background information up to 1820
1. Europe before 1815.
In 1789 many European people were ruled by foreigners.
Nationalism only really developed in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.
Most people in the C18 would not have understood the desires and passions
aroused by nationalism.
Most of Europe was ruled by an autocracy ­ rule of one man.…read more

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Europe. Only Britain was never controlled. Napoleon was finally defeated at
Leipzig in 1813 and Waterloo in 1815.
The Napoleonic Period ­ in simple terms.
1. Feudalism disappeared in many areas of Europe. In places where it
was reimposed it was greatly resented.
2. The Code Napoleon, a sound and fair legal system, was widely
3. The governments which Napoleon had established in the territories
that he conquered may not have been democratic, but they were fair
and efficient.
4.…read more

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Italy before 1820.
Stiles p5. Cameron p11. Map p9.
"Italy is just a geographical expression" ­ count Metternich.
Italy did not exist as a country in 1815 it had not been united since the collapse
of the Roman Empire in the C5.
a. Reasons for Italian Disunity.
A major reason was the part played by the Papacy ­ after the collapse of
the Roman Empire, the Popes had laid claim to the legacy of the
emperors.…read more

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Italian laws were standardised and French civil and commercial legal
codes were introduced. The French also introduced representative
government into Italy with elected assemblies which gave the new Italian
middleclass a chance for political discussion and action. State
boundaries were consolidated several times, ending up with a peninsula
divided into 3 parts:
1. One third, including Piedmont, annexed to France.
2. One third became the Kingdom of Italy.
3. Remainder ruled by Napoleon's brother, Joseph, as Kingdom
of Naples.…read more

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­ liberals). Both liberals and radicals were united in
their opposition to the `restored monarchies' reintroduced in 1815.
Metternich was opposed to nationalism and liberalism and had no
intention of allowing such dangerous ideas to develop in Italy,
believing that Austria's safety depended on the C18 status quo in
Italy. Helping Metternich was the fact that for most Italian residents,
local loyalties were more important than dreams of national unity.
d. Italian States in the Early Nineteenth Century.
Officially called Sardinia.…read more

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Naples and Sicily
King Ferdinand I (Spanish Bourbon family) headed a brutal and
inefficient government.
The country was poor and backward ­ peasants turned to banditry.
Built Italy's first railway line in 1839 ­ no tunnels allowed (encouraged
Italy was backward compared to Western Europe.
Industry was slow to develop due to lack of capital and raw materials.
Different states seriously impede internal trade.
Unity impossible to achieve as long as Austria dominated Italy.
e. Carbonari.…read more

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The 1820 Revolutions
In 1820 the resentment over the Vienna settlement boiled over into rebellions,
starting in Naples. They were encouraged by a revolution which had taken place
in Spain. By 1818 King Ferdinand had greatly increased the power of the
Church, allowing them press censorship, making freedom of expression
impossible. Ferdinand was also in great financial difficulties, cutting back on
government expenditure drastically. Poverty was endemic, the government
corrupt and censorship and restrictions on personal freedom harsh.…read more

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Turin. The Austrians remained until 1823 to
back up Charles Felix.
Definition: endemic: regularly or only found among a particular people in a
certain region.…read more


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