The Unification of Italy

cards on the period of 1858-1861

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1858; secret meeting between Cavour and Louis Napoleon

Agreed a unified Italy would be a confederation of states led by the Pope. There would be 4 different regions:

  • Kingdom of Nothern Italy (Piedmont, Venetia and Lombardy)
  • Kingdom of Central Italy (Tuscany, Central Duchies, parts of Papal States)
  • Rome and surrounding spaces
  • Naples to remain unchanged (Allied to Russia)

Wouldn't go to war unless Austria were seen to be the agressors

When they went to war France would bring 200,000 men and Piedmont 100,000

As their reward France would have Nice and Savoy (discussed but not decided on, Piedmont reluctant to give up Nice)

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Magenta / Solferino

1859, Austria declare war


French and Piedmontese win at Magenta and Solferino but the suffering is horrific


Napoleon sues for peace, shocked by the carnage

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Uprisings in 1859

At the same time as Solferino and Magenta there were uprisings in the Central Duchies:

  • Tuscany - demonstrations againts Grand Duke Leopold, he flees and Ricasoli leads a provisional government close to Piedmont
  • Modena and Parma - the National Society bring about revolutions, the dukes flee and Farini leads a government in support of Piedmont
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Armistice at Villafranca (1859)

Louis Napoleon sued for peace because:

  • he was worried about Piedmontese aggrandisement
  • he was threatened by a Prussian army on his border

Austria agreed to cede Lombardy to France who would then cede it to Piedmont, but Venetia was to remain Austrian

The original rulers were reinstated in Modena and Parma

Pope was to be head of a confederation

As a result of these agreements Cavour resigned

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Treaty of Turin and creation of Northern Italy (18

Cavour returns to negotiate a deal with Napoleon regarding handing over Savoy and Nice to France in order for France to recognise Piedmont's annexation of the Central Duchies (accompanied by plebiscites)


  • Tuscany and Emilia vote overwhelmingly for annexation by Piedmont
  • Nice and Savoy to join France
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Garibaldi's expedition to the South

Garibaldi travels down with his 'The thousand' to the south

He successfully captures Sicily taking over the capital Palermo and becoming a dictator

He makes some changes in Sicily including abolishing the tax on grinding corn and introducing Piedmont law

He sets off to Naples in August 1860

This worries Cavour because because this may upset the French, and also his dream Italy was limited to the North

Cavour tries to stop Garibaldi by sending in Persano - not the act of an Italian patriot

Garibaldi sails across the straits of Messina to Naples and by the 19th of August he was in control of Naples, Ferdinand flees but the Neopolitan army were still at large

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Papal States

Piedmont invade the Papal States after the National Society engineers uprisings in order to forestall Gariabaldi's invasion

Piedmont defeat the Papal army and Garibaldi's forces force out the Neopolitan army

The two victorious forces meet at Teano and Garibaldi hands over his conquests

Plebiscites: Sicily and Naples, then the Marches and Umbria vote for annexation by Piedmont

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