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Map showing the unification of Italy, 1829–1871
|Native name||Unità d'Italia|
|Also known as||Risorgimento|
Italian unification (Italian: Unità d'Italia), also known as the Risorgimento (meaning "the Resurgence"), refers to the Italian movement that united the Italian states in the 19th century. The movement began in 1815 with the Congress of Vienna. It ended in 1871 when Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, through the efforts of Count of Cavour, the Piedmontese prime minister, as well as Giuseppe Garibaldi - an Italian national hero, who united the South. That allowed king Victor Emmanuel to become the first king of Italy.
Victor Emmanuel of Piedmont-Sardinia had a great vision of a unified Italy. He wanted Piedmont-Sardinia to be a model for the unification of Italy. To do so, he started many public works, projects, and political reforms. Piedmont-Sardinia was soon recognized as an emerging power. The next step for Piedmont-Sardinia 's conquest was to get Austria out of the Italian Peninsula. With the Crimean War breaking out between France and Britain on one side, and Russia on the other, Piedmont-Sardinia had a chance to earn some respect and make a name for itself. Britain and France proved victorious, and Sardinia was able to attend the peace conference. As a result of this, Piedmont-Sardinia gained the support of Napoléon III.
War with Austria
In 1858, Sardinia and France secretly plotted a plan of attack against Austria. The following year, Sardinia put its plan into action. Instead of attacking, Sardinia's encouraged nationalist revolts in Austrian-held territories in Italy. This provoked Austria into starting the war. Following the battles of Magenta and Solferino, France drove Austria out of Lombardy, but Austria still held onto Venetia. At this point, France dropped out of the war, fearing a unified Italy might be a threat, as well as realising that Austrian strength would eventually crush them. This ended the war, with Austria keeping Venetia.
Meanwhile, the Italian nationalist Giuseppe Garibaldi led a nationalist uprising, combining the states and territories into a full Republic. As Sardinia ended the war, Garibaldi gave most of the provinces to Sardinia. In March 1861, a parliament of all of Italy except Rome and Venetia, agreed on unifying Italy with Victor Emmanuel as its first king. When Prussia defeated Austria in a war in 1866, Italy struck a deal with Berlin, forcing Vienna to turn over Venetia, leaving Rome as the last missing Italian city.
- Collier, Martin (2003). Italian unification, 1820–71. Heinemann Advanced History (First ed.). Oxford: Heinemann. p. 2. . "The Risorgimento is the name given to the process that ended with the political unification of Italy in 1871".
- Riall, Lucy (1994). The Italian Risorgimento: state, society, and national unification (First ed.). London: Routledge. p. 1. . "The functional importance of the Risorgimento to both Italian politics and Italian historiography has made this short period (1815–60) one of the most contested and controversial in modern Italian history".
- "How Napoleon became 'King of Italy'". Napoleon.org. 23 October 2012. http://www.napoleon.org/en/reading_room/articles/files/hicks_napoleon_kingitaly.asp. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- The Risorgimento: A Time for Reunification
- Women of the Risorgimento
- Garibaldi & The Risorgimento
- Cavour and the Unification of Italy
- Arcaini, G.B. (6 March 2005). "The Italian Unification". History of Italy. http://www.arcaini.com/ITALY/ItalyHistory/ItalianUnification.htm. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Arcaini, G.B. (30 November 2003). "Italy's Unity". History of Italy. http://www.arcaini.com/ITALY/ItalyHistory/ItalyUnity.htm. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- In the sign of the tricolour: Italians and Hungarians in the Risorgimento