Unification of Italy - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC & IAS Study Material

Unification of Italy

by Devender

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Unification of Italy occurred in a two-step process. In the first step, it took independence from Austria and then in the second step, it united all the independent Italian states. There were two people who played an important role in this process - Mazzini & Garibaldi.

Unification of Italy

In 1831, Mazzini formed an organization for the unification of Italy which was named as Young Italy. Since then, the organization repeatedly tried to revolt against the monarchy but failed to form a democratic and united Italy. Still the organization was able to inspire people for united Italy and under the rule of a democratic government.

  • Role of 1848 Revolts: The 1848 revolts have been led through intellectuals and liberals who have been in opposition to the reactionary Austrian management and desired a liberal government. These revolts did bring in democratic reforms, however neither did this end in independence from Austria nor the merger of the states right into a united Italy.
  • Unification through policy of Prime Minister Clavour:

Prime minister Clavour of the Italian state of Sardinia was used to attempt the unification of Italy after the revolts of 1848. Sardinia formed allegiance with France to fight against Austria resulting in freedom of many Italian sates and these states were unified under the Monarch of Sardinia except a few states like:

Venetia, Kingdom of Sicily and Kingdom of Naples still remained under the rule of Austria whereas Papal states were under under direct rule of the pope in Rome and this was supported by the French troops.

Revolutionary fighters led by Garibaldi liberated Sicily and Naples from the autocratic rule of Ferdinand II, so the Kingdom of Italy was established in 1860 under the constitutional monarchy of Sardinia. In 1866, Italy took advantage of the Austrian Prussian War of 1866 to annex Venice.

After the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the French became week and they couldn't support Pope anymore. Italy took advantage of the fact and annexed Rome making it Italy's capital.

This step completed the unification of Italy and soon after unification, both Germany and Italy started Industrial revolution.

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