Was Italy united?

how far was Italy united?

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How far did the system of government established in 1861 help to unify Italy?
The Democratic ideal was a constituent assembly, composed of delegates from all parts of Italy.
This had been expected in Lombardy in 1859 and proposed by Garibaldi for Naples in 1860.
In October 1860 Cavour suggested he intended to give the people of Naples freedom of choice when
it came to government.
The REALITY was different ­ Garibaldi was uncertain whether to grant Naples a
constitutional assembly ­ the alternative was a plebiscite on whether Naples should join Piedmont.
Piedmont's representatives argued for the plebiscite ­ October 1860 Neapolitans voted in a ratio of
99:1 to join Italy.
Following unification the laws and government of Piedmont were simply extended to the other states
(with the exception of Tuscany) and the Statuo of 1848 became the Italian constitution.
The creation of the new state in 1861 was more an expansion of Piedmont than the unification of Italy.
The new king of Italy was known by his Piedmontese title, Victor Emmanuel II, instead of the more
logical and diplomatic Victor Emmanuel I.
Cavour reaffirmed his intention to introduce regional government ­ he never did so.
Italy became a unitary state rather than a federal one.
The electoral franchise introduced by the 1848 Statuo was very restricted ­ less than 2% of Italian
adult males had the vote.
Government was representative but far from fully democratic, the government being accountable only
to the national assembly and a small proportion of the Italian people.
The new government was very centralized ­ the national government appointed prefects to run local
affairs and there was little local government.
Localism seemed a more powerful force than nationalism.
There was a desire to raise standards of government to Piedmontese levels.
Centralised government helped to curtail corruptible administrators.
Centralism made the sense of national unity even more difficult.
In the south few people could identify with the people and rule from the north.
Piedmont's policies often had a harmful effect on the south: when tariffs were reduced local goods
began to lose out to imports from the rest of Italy.
Peasants and demobilized soldiers took to the hills on the mainland and in Sicily and terrified local
towns and villages.
The socalled `brigands war', a series of largescale local insurrections, had begun.
The government sent some 100 000 troops against the brigands ­ it is estimated that more people
were killed in these wars during the 1860s than in the wars on independence between 1848 and
Cavour died in June 1861, aged 51, probably of malaria.
Prime Ministers between 61 and 70:
Ricasoli, Rattazzi, Farini, Minghetti, Lamarmora, Ricasoli (again), Rattazzi (again), Lanza


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