Unification of Italy Post 1861
1. Rome and Venetia
Venetia was not successfully won back from Austria until the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. Even so, it was only claimed back through support of Napoleon III and Bismarck in Prussia and only after a humiliating defeat of Italy by the Austrian navy. Garibaldi made two unsuccessful attempts in 1862 and 1867 to invade and take Rome. However, Rome didn’t become part of Italy until the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 and again only after Napoleon III’s army left the city. Rome was the natural capital and failure to include it in 1860 had been a grave disappointment for the liberals. 1870 saw the end of the Pope’s temporal powers and Rome was finally declared the capital.
2. Leadership of Italy
Cavour’s successors as PM were of poor quality in the 1860s. No-one had charisma, leadership qualities or could be seen as equal terms to the heroes of the Risorgimento. Farrini had a mental breakdown had tried to knife the king and was removed after three months. Ratazzi became involved in the failed attacks on Rome and was forced to resign. However others believe they did good work and were successful and important, e.g. philosopher Benedette Croce wrote in defence of them. The Communist historian, Antonio Gramsci, said they were moderate liberals who had managed to outwit democratic republicans and set up government. 1861 – Italy was a Constitutional Monarchy – not the republic Mazzini dreamt of, nor a federation under the Pope as Gioberti, Cavour and Napoleon III had proposed. The Constitution was based on Charles Albert’s Statuto of 1848. The sovereign body was the King in parliament and not the people as Mazzini hoped. It was not a true democracy – but an unsatisfactory parliamentary democracy. Government was Piedmontese nobility and educated middle…