Cavour's Contribution To Italian Unification

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The unification of Italy was no easy feat: there were three main obstacles that kept it from being united. The first was the Austrian occupation of Lombardy and Venice in the north and northeast of the Italian peninsula, the second was the Papal States, which cut the north off from the south, and the third was the existence of several independent states. Many figures emerged during this time such as Mazzini, Cavour, Garibaldi, and Victor Emmanuel II. They all contributed to Italian unification in some form, however Mazzini and Cavour played the biggest roles and had the largest impact. Cavour was the son of a noble Family and his political views were greatly influenced by the July revolution of 1830 in France, which seemed to him to prove that…show more content…
In 1847, Cavour was involved in the founding of "Il Risorgimento", a newspaper whose publication had been facilitated by a relaxation of censorship, which became the official voice for the Italian National Movement, similar to that of Mazzini. This shows that Cavour was trying to promote the idea of Italian Unification. Cavour became Prime Minister of Piedmont in 1852, allowing him to have political power and the ear of the king, Victor Emmanuel II. Cavour was a very strategic man, and used his relationship with the King to help unify Italy. His first big role in international affairs was following the Crimean War. At the Congress of Paris in 1856, Cavour secured the participation of the small power of Piedmont, at which the greatest European powers were represented. This shows how Cavour not only gathering support in Italy through his newspaper, but was also smart enough to release that other countries would play a role in unification. By supporting Napoleon III’s intention to intervene militarily in Italy and by taking advantage of the general hostility shown towards Austria, Cavour succeeded in highlighting the Italian problem with the angle that it was one that threatened European peace. This really demonstrates how Cavour was taking advantage of the Crimean war to further his agenda. The difficulty for Cavour was to persuade the two great powers, France and England, to persevere in their support of an anti-Austrian policy on the part of Piedmont. However, his tireless energy and his ability to take advantage of the situations, he finally succeeded in winning Napoleon III over to his side. This proves that Cavour was very successful in Italian Unification as he managed to get a key country involved, France. This unofficial alliance lead to a secret meeting at Plombières in July 1858 where Napoleon III and Cavour agreed to provoke a European war against Austria in the following year. This demonstrates
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