Italian Unification

Unification of Italy up to 1871

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  • Created by: Charlotte
  • Created on: 28-05-08 10:31

Those Favouring Change - pre 1848

Neo Guelphism - Vincenzo Gioberti's Primato, Italy should be drawn together under the Pope. 'Guelph' from middle age battles with German emperors. Believed the Roman Papacy gave Italians the upper hand over Europeans. Moderate approach.

Piedmontism - Cesare Balbo, Italy should be drawn together under Charles Albert. Founded Il Risorgimento 1847

Mazzini + Young Italy - Believed Italy should be one nation, wanted independent nation of freemen and equals, Christianity 'worn out' and should be replaced by democracy. Ideas too intellectual, idealistic, impractical; no basis for revolution

Carbonari/Adelfia - Naples, 60,000 members, 5% adult male population there. Not necessarily concerned with unification; main aim to gain constitutions and other freedoms. No united leadership/organisation, didn't work together. Conservative methods. Adelfia wanted Italy to be a Communist Republic.

National Sentiment in Culture/Language/Science - Term 'risorgimento' referring to Italy as a whole, used from 1775 onwards. Little impact - small audience, common themes good triumphing over evil, linked Italian culture with liberty. 1840s works with patriotic themes, Giuseppe Verdi's political messages in his music, more literature on unity, national scientific conferences to show unity.

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1820s & 1830s Uprisings


Kingdom of 2 Sicilies - Carbonari uprising, Ferdinand IV granted constitution, social divide, Austrians invaded + regained control, revolt about liberalism, not unity]

Piedmont - Victor Emmanuel removed all French influence, returned to autocratic ways, Neopolitan revolt sparked Piedmontese uprising. Charles Albert conspired with army to create constitution and remove Austrians from Lombardy but betrayed them, defeated by Austrians 1821


> Caused by desire for liberalism, revolutionary action in Parma, Modena + Papal States, main aim to grant constitution, short term success, defeated once Austrians assisted reorganised rulers

Why did they fail?

- Temporary success mainly due to disorganisation of rulers + fear of execution
- Revolutionaries disorganised,no cooperation/communication, local issues prioritised
- Except Sicily uprisings were middle class, didn't seek to improve peasantry

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Ways Unification Could Still be Brought About

>Mazzinian Republicanism - mobilise + educate middle class, unified uprising would create unified Italy

> Liberal Reformism - unification a prudent step economically e.g removal of internal customs barriers

> Neo-Guelphism - Pius IX seemed liberal 1846, Gioberti's idea strengthened

Pius' Reforms

- 1847, Church ended press censorship, Civic Guard (locals) created to protect property

- Council of State set up to advise Papacy, appeared to liberals the first step in electing the desired parliament

- Piedmontese expansionism, strong state with Italian rule, some nationalists looked to Piedmont to lead the Italian peninsula and be a constitutional monarchy

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