Italian Unification

1213 words 5 pages
Italian Unification

Count Camillo Benso di Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi can be seen as a contrast between two inspirational and great leaders during the time of the Italian Unification. Cavour was a nobleman, always calm and well educated while Garibaldi was a rough passionate soldier with little education. Though these men both contributed greatly to the unifying of Italy, they are very different in their accomplishments as well as their motives. Garibaldi had been a republican, under the influence of Giuseppe Mazzini in 1831, but turned monarchist, showing his allegiance to Victor Emmanuel. He was very passionate about uniting Italy and spent his entire life fighting for the expulsion of Austrian control and to be independent.
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Cavour knew that something had to be done to stop this from happening. He organized an invasion of the Papal States with the Piedmontese army to stop Garibaldi before he reached Rome. When this interception occurred, all of south Italy and central Italy became under the control of Piedmont and gave Cavour the opportunity to unify. "Cavour's decision to take the drastic step of invading the Papal States had been successful and had made the unification of Italy a reality." After Cavour's success, he arranged for plebiscites in Naples, Sicily and then the Papal States. The question asked, 'Should there be a united Italy under Victor Emmanuel?' had a overwhelming in favor vote. In March of 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed with th exception of the Papal States and Venetia.
4 Cavour's motives for Piedmont and Italy are questionable. At certain points in his lifetime, he seemed to have felt that complete unification was not necessary nor desirable. His exact motives are unclear. Did he react to stop Garibaldi's attack on Rome to prevent him from becoming a leader of Italy, was it because he saw a chance through intervention to bring together a hoped unification of Italy or was it both? The evidence upon his actions are not clear enough to draw an exact conclusion. What is known for sure though is that Cavour wanted freedom of Italy from Austrian control and to strengthen the power of Piedmont in the north.
"The view of late


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