Unification Of Italy

Revision Cards for the dates of the Unification Of Italy


Treaty Of Vienna 1815

  • Marked the end of Napoleonic Era
  • Old order restored
  • 5 Main Divisions restored (Piedmont, Lombardy&Venice, Papal States, Central Duchies and Naples)
  • PIEDMONT- House Of Savoy, Victor Emmanuel returned, Church restored
  • LOMBARDY&VENICE- Austrian dominated both
  • PAPAL STATES- Pope Pius VII temporal and spiritual power, Austrian forces stationed here (would use force if necessary), Papal Codes returned
  • CENTRAL DUCHIES- Palma: ruled by Mary Louise, replaced Code Napoleon with something similar, Modena: repressive ruler Duke Francis, Tuscany: Grand Duke Ferdinand allowed freedom of speech, liberal, not repressive leader
  • NAPLES- King Fedinand of Bourbons, some British and French influence remained, church restored
  • SICILY- In 1816 the current British inspired constitution was abolished
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Revolutions of 1820-21 (Naples, Sicily)


  • Middle Class liberals revolted
  • Wanted a constitutional monarchy, not unification
  • Causes: King Ferdinand gave church more power, financial troubles, people wanted spanish constitution
  • General Pepe led revolutionaries to Naples, King agreed to constitution
  • Metternich alarmed, Austrian army reclaimed state


  • WC revolted, wanted freedom from Naples and own constitution not unification
  • Cause: Sicily forced union with Naples, in poverty wanted freedom
  • Took over capital Palmero, Naples didn't want them break away
  • Austria dealt with Naples therefore dealing with Sicily
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Revolutions of 1820-21 (Piedmont)


  • Students, army, middle class liberals and carbonari revolted
  • Wanted to be rid of Austrian influence
  • Cause: Absolute monarch Victor Emmanuel had taken over
  • Wanted to gain constitutional monarch by Charles Albert, lose Austrian dominance, become 'Kingdom Of Itay' with an Italian federation
  • Establised revolutionary government, attacked Austria, VE fled, CA issued constitution, Felix returned appealed for Metternichs help, CA ran away, Austrians defeated rebels
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Revolutions of 1831 (Modena, Parma and Papal State


  • All classes revolted including army
  • Wanted united Italy and Italian federation
  • Cause: Saw French revolution, hated Austrian rule
  • Wanted constitutional government with Duke Francesco their ruler, King
  • Thought Duke was with them, arrested rebels and appealed Austrian support
  • Leader in Parma fled and government formed there as well as Modena
  • Francesco would rather be under Austrian control/too scared of them
  • Austrians sent in army and revolution was crushed


  • Middle class revolted
  • Wanted freedom from church not a new state
  • Cause: Church had a strict oppressive rule, wanted to gain a government
  • Formed a Provisional government, Austrians moved in and defeated them
  • More uprisings crushed by Popes loyal army
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Young Italy 1831

Young Italy was formed in 1831 by Mazzini and nationalist with revolutionary methods in the hope to gain Unified Italy.

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Risorgimento Ideas Begin People- 1843-45

  • D'AZEGLIO- Didn't like revolutions, public and europes opinion very important, wrote book
  • BALBO- Moderate nationalist, wanted constitutional monarchy, federation of states, europes opinion important
  • VERDI- Opera with national ideas within it
  • GIOBERTI- Wanted Italy to be rid of Austrian influence, was a priest, wanted federation under Pope
  • POPE PIUS- Elected 1846, reformed parliament when in power, refused to let Austrian troops into Papal States, 1849 called upon forces of France Spain and Naples to help
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Revolutions of 1848 (Sicily and Naples)


  • Wanted to be freed from Venice, not unification
  • Provisional government formed by Middle Class
  • March 1849 elected parliament declared Naples separate
  • Ferdinand crushed revolution in Naples and then Sicily
  • Joined together again and ruled them both more absolute monarchy than ever
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Revolutions of 1848 (Tuscany and Piedmont)

  • Tuscany and Piedmont were promised constititutions after revolutions in naples and sicily
  • Tuscany: February 1848- April 1849
  • Leader forced to offer constitution due to other revolutions, scared, gov formed
  • WC demanded higher pay and better conditions, MC wanted republicanism
  • Leader fled and state established own revolutionary government with dictator
  • Before done, Piedmontese who were fighting Austrians once again failed, CA already having been defeated at Novara, April 1849
  • Austrian army moved into Tuscany and crushed revolution, eager to keep Treaty Of Vienna, duke restored
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Revolutions of 1848 Causes

  • Liberal demands for constitutions
  • Wanted to be rid of Austrian dominance
  • Harvest failures in 1846 and 1847
  • Reforms in Papal States
  • Influence of Mazzini
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Revolutions of 1848 Why Did They Fail?

  • Lack of unity between different groups (Sicilians and Neapolitans, Attitudes of CA, No recognised national leader (Pope,CA,Mazzini) or national ideology)
  • Inexperience of provisional governments
  • Little or no popular support (no land or social reform)
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Statuto 1848

  • Legislation would be passed by King of Piedmont in parliament
  • Legislation on taxes would be introduced by the elected chamber of Parliament
  • The press would be free, albeit subject to some restraint
  • Individual liberty was guaranteed
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The Siccardi Laws 1851

  • By terms of Statuto Catholic Church was national church of Piedmont
  • Separate law courts for priests and holy people abolished
  • The rights for criminals to seek sanctuary and protection in churches were abolished
  • Religious groups, including monastries were restricted in own right to buy property
  • Number of feast days which people were forbidden to work was reduced
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Connubio 1851-2

  • Alliance between Cavour and centre-left leader Rattazzi
  • Strengthened Parliament in relation to the crown
  • Rattazzi elected without Kings approval
  • D'Azeglios government was weakened and quickly collapsed
  • 1852 Cavour was asked to be PM by VE
  • Cavour was wanted economic change
  • Influenced development in Piedmont state
  • Influenced decline in Mazzinian revolutionary supporters
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Anticlericalism and Radical Threat 1852-3

  • Anticlericalism became obvious in Connubio
  • Cavour dropped favoured civil marriage
  • 1855 bill meant that church couldn't get involved in education, forced to resign as PM
  • 1857 Cavour ended Connubio and sacked Rattazzi
  • Faced radical opposition in Milan in 1853 from Mazzini
  • Cavour warned Austria, who dealt with it
  • Also case in 1857 Insurrection in Naples led by Pisacane, failed
  • Revolt in Genoa led by Mazzini also failed
  • Angered Cavour, proved political change wouldn't happen through Mazzinian ways
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Crimean War 1854

  • 1854 Britain and declare war on Russia
  • Austria didn't fight with Russia, benefiting Piedmont
  • Austria being close to Britain and France worried Piedmont
  • Britain and Frances troops got cholera needed reinforcements
  • VE forced Cavour to join Britain and France, 15,000 troops
  • Austria threatened to join allies, Russians sued for peace
  • Piedmontese victory over Russia was greeted with gratitude not to be forgotten
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Congress Of Paris 1856

  • Neither Britain nor France prepared to alienate Austria
  • Cavours attendance at Congress was sign of Piedmonts growing diplomatic stature
  • Although Italy not mentioned until peace signed, 'Italian Question' then discussed meaning Austrian dominance of Northern Italy was diplomatic issue
  • France and Britain grateful for Piedmonts involvement, crucial if Piedmonts military challenged Austria


  • Piedmonts involvement was important in heading towards National Unity
  • Crimean War meant ending of Treaty Of Vienna and watershed in Austrian power
  • Austria lost ally in Russia, now only had unreliable Prussia
  • France nor Britain would be sympathetic to maintaining Austrian power in Northern Italy and its dominance over peninsula
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Assassination Attempt on Napoleon 1858

  • Hope was that the assassination would lead to restoration of Roman Replublic
  • Attempt failed
  • From prison cell Orsini appealed for Napoleon to support Italian unification
  • Napoleon wanted no more assasination attempts
  • Napoleon wanted cousin to find a wife
  • Both Cavour and Napoleon wanted war with Austria, Cavour wanted to remove influence from north italy, Napoleon wanted to gain territory
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Plombieres 20th July 1858

  • Agreed that France would join Piedmont with war against Austria
  • Aim was to use force to drive Austrian dominance out of Northern Italy
  • Kingdom of Upper Italy (Piedmont, Lombardy&Venetia, duchies of Parma, Modena and Papal legations)
  • Kingdom of Central Italy would be controlled by Tuscany, include Umbria and Papal Marches
  • Rome and surrounding areas remain in control of Papacy (Pope federation)
  • Kingdom of Naples remain the same
  • In return for 200,000 French troops, Napoleon gained Savoy and Nice (reluctant Nice)
  • Napoleons cousin was to be married to Marie Clotilde daughter of VE
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War with Austria 1859 (France and Piedmont)

  • VE attempted to provoke speech
  • National society helped gain recruits for Piedmont
  • No popular enthusiasm for war
  • Unpopular with European powers (Prussia with Austria, Russia neutral, Britain didn't want deliberate war, many though French would just take Austrias place)
  • Piedmont and Austria mobilised troops
  • Nothing happened, Austria demanded must be demobilised or fight
  • On 29th April Austria invaded Piedmont, delayed by poor weather, gave french time
  • Austrians defeated at both battle of Magenta (4 June) and Solferino (24 June)
  • Little prospect of F&P winning
  • Napoleon sues for peace on 8th July without Cavour knowing
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Change in Grand Duchies 1859

  • National Society
  • April in Florence, creation of provisional government by Baron Bettino Ricasoli that favoured union with Piedmont, after leader fled
  • May in Modena and Parma, National Society organise peaceful revolutions, rulers fled and provisional governments made
  • June leaders of Modena and Parma fled, linked to Piedmont
  • Insurrections in Papal Legations, Piedmontese commissioners move in
  • Only in Tuscany was there demonstration of popular support in political change of government
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Treaty Of Villafranca 1859

  • Piedmont forced to play second fiddle to Napoleon
  • Some aspects of Plombieres remained but not all
  • Austria agreed Lombardy should go to France
  • Venetia still remained with Austria
  • Piedmont not given Modena or Parma, rulers restored
  • Piedmont was forbidden to annex Mantua and Peschiera in Lombardy
  • Italian Confederation to be set up with Pope as head (Plombieres)
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Pope and Congress 1859

  • Napoleon accepted decline in popes temporal power was inevitable
  • Pamphlet on behalf of Napoleon suggested Pope should lose control over Papal Legations- Crucial part of unification
  • Napoleon upset Catholics in France and Austrians but pleased Britain
  • Lord Russell (british) proposed Italian peninsula should be determined through self-determination
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Treaty Of Turin 1860

  • Between Cavour and Napoleon
  • Piedmont would hand over Nice and Savoy to France
  • France would accept Piedmontese annexation of central Italian duchies, as long as plebiscites agreed
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Central States Annexed 1860

  • Cavour came up with idea that annexation would be determined through a vote
  • Currently being ruled by Ricasoli instead of Grand Duke Leopold even though Villafranca
  • Was a dictator
  • Plebiscite organised by national society for men aged 21 and over to vote, to either be separate kingdom or annexed to constitutional monarchy in piedmont
  • Crushing victory in favour of annexation
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Insurrection at Sicily and Victory at Calatafimi 1

  • Garibaldi and the thousand originally head to get Nice back but then head to Sicily instead
  • Garibaldi declares hes 'going to unite italy in the name of victor emmanuel'
  • Island of Sicily was conquered by the end of July
  • Cavour tries to stop Garibaldi send La Farina, but he ignores
  • Cavour didn't want North and South unified, if Garibaldi headed to Naples he might then head to Rome which would mean loss of support from France
  • British supported
  • Cavour sends Piedmontese navy to Naples but fails
  • Cavour organises uprising with national society in Naples so reason for Piedmontese intervention
  • Garibaldi continues on to mainland (Naples) is successful, important Cavour was seen as supporting Garibaldi
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Piedmontese Troops invade Papal States 1860


  • Napoleon was aware of this, didn't object as long as Rome wasn't touched
  • Papal Army was destroyed at Battle of Castelfidaro
  • Garibaldi defeats Neapolitan army 26th October at Battle of Volturno
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Plebiscites 1860

  • Neapolitans and Sicilians voted to become part of Piedmont monarchy
  • Marches and Umbria also voted for this
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Garibaldi hands over conquests to Victor Emmanuel

  • Greeted as a traitor almost, shunned from political stuff
  • Garibaldi leaves in the hope of being able to rid Rome and Venice from foriegn powers
  • Cavour dies 1861
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Foriegn Reactions to united Italy 1860

  • Fearful that Italian patriotism would spread to Venice, reinforced army here
  • Russians broke off ties with Piedmont because of unseated Bourbons in Naples
  • Expressed urge Papacy was under threat, very Catholic
  • Keen to deter any European powers from intervening
  • Britain suspicious of France after annexation of Nice and Savoy to them
  • Prospect of Austria, Russia and Prussia combining, provoked note from PM to state they supported new unified state, attacked rule of Papal States and Naples, if any power intervened Britain would intervene
  • Note not issued due to Queen Victoria supporting Austria
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Factors for Italian Unification 1860

  • Impact of foriegn powers shouldn't have been underestimated
  • Cavour central person, economic modernisation of Piedmont helped
  • Cavour often forced to respond to events as much as provoke change
  • Cavour wasn't a nationalist, political pragmatist
  • Garibaldis significance was to turn unification of North into whole Peninsula
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Unification Issues 1861-70

  • Considerable divisions remained between North and South
  • Question whether Italy should be a unitary or federation
  • Weak government
  • Economic integration of all regions
  • Divisions between Church and new state
  • Unresolved question of Rome and Venice
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Issue 1: The South (Brigands War 1861-65)

  • Cavour had little understanding of poverty in South
  • Vast majority of South were illiterate
  • Garibaldis invasion caused peasants to expect better life
  • Cavour instead of issuing self-government in South made it his job to crush any opposition present, despatched La Farina to sort it out


  • Bourbon army treated well, 2000 issued into Piedmontese army
  • Foot soldiers fled to mountains after Piedmontese general said anyone caught with weapons would be shot
  • New taxes were introduced to reduce national debt
  • This led to re-emergance of Brigandage and so a Brigands War
  • Fought with great brutality and claimed more lives than whole of unification
  • Civil liberties suppressed, Piedmontese deployed army 120,000 to deal with threat
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Issue 2: A Federal State or not


  • At Plombieres deal was struck to expel Austria, get a federation of states split into three, with Pope as leader
  • 1860 Cavour asks for investigation into this possibility, unlikely and dismissed in 1861 when new Italian Parliament emerged


  • When Cavour was out of office Lombardy got government not Consituent as promised
  • No common language, own educational and legal system, swept away by Piedmont
  • Imposed Piedmont administer model on Lombardy with no vote
  • 1860 Modena votes to be annexed to Piedmont
  • Piedmont laws also imposed on Tuscany
  • Ricasoli argued successfully for protection of Tuscan legal systems
  • This was an exception as most places local ruling class weren't able to negotiate with Piedmont from a position of strength
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Issue 2: A Federal State or not (Constitution)

  • Election in 1861 led to victory for Cavours group
  • This was ahead of centre-left with Rattazzi, far left wanting a federal state including Garibaldians and democrats from Tuscany, far right who wanted return of old order and revolutionaries
  • King remained 'the second' even though first of new kingdom
  • Constitutional monarchy
  • Chamber of Deputies elected by only 2% of people
  • States administrative structure centralised, prefects (North) had most power and influence over crown
  • Piedmontese taxes, weights and measures and idea of free trade imposed on whole of Italy
  • Garibaldi angered at treatment of red shirt, accused Cavour of attempting to start civil war in 1860, Cavour denied this
  • Cavour hoped to get Church to give up Rome and Temporal power in return for freedom of action, church didn't respond and Cavour died in Hune 1861 of malaria
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Issue 3: Weak Government

  • Ricasoli replaced Cavour, Rattazzi replaced Ricasoli
  • Unlike Cavour neither objected to Garibaldis attempted seizure for Rome
  • 1862 Garibaldi set up 'Society for Emancipation'
  • Sailed to Sicily to gain support for attacking Rome
  • When crossing mainland, Rattazzi face with alienating France, couldn't do this so sent military to stop him
  • Garibaldis army surrendered to Piedmontese and were pardoned
  • Rattazzi was sacked and successors lacked support from King and parliament
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Issue 4: Economic Integration


  • Poor
  • Few railways were built but not many
  • Poverty in South became clear
  • Quickly became a necessity for political means
  • National rail system was set up
  • 1871 Mount Cenis tunnel was completed linking Italy to France, very important!


  • 1867 act was passed which nationalised Church land
  • Improved situation in North but South and middle still struggled
  • Political Unification was not accompanied by significant land reform
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Issue 5: Rome (Part 1)


  • Napoleon agreed to evacuate Rome in 2 years in 1864, in return to switch capital of Italy from Turin to Florence, rioting in Turin over this


  • 1862 fair trade treaty between Prussia and France, excluded Austria
  • 1864 German States such as Bavaria, Nassau and Hesse which were normally under the dominance of Austria joined Zollverein
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Austro- Prussian War 1866

  • Napoleon got Prussian leader to sign treaty with Italy but then made secret alliance with Austria (both beneficial to Italy) 1866 said Venice would go to Napoleon in return for French neutrality in war
  • Italy and Prussia agreed Italy would gain Venice is supported Prussia in war against Austria 1866
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