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Meriel Turner History/Italy Mr. Lambe
Analyse the political factors involved in the unification of Italy up to 1861.
The political factors involved in the Italian unification from 1848 till 1861 included the obtaining of foreign aid and support, the strengthening and mobilisation of Piedmont, the intervention of Garibaldi and the effect it had on Cavour’s policies and the impact of cultural development on Italian politics including the Risorgimento. However without the intervention of foreign powers, the other factors would not have had as much of an influence in the unification of Italy. Prior to Garibaldi’s and foreign influence the previous failed attempts at Italian unification showed that the previous political strategies and revolutions were not effective, however with the addition of these factors Italy was unified by 1961.
Foreign support was the most important political factor in the unification of Italy by 1861. Without the support of Napoleon III against the Austrians, they would not have been able to defeat them. Cavour realised in 1852 that without the support of foreign powers Italy Piedmont could not expand and therefore Italian unification would not be possible. Therefore to help to evoke international sympathy for the Piedmontese plight at the hands of the Austrians from the French, Cavour sent men to fight in the Crimea in 1855.
French support was agreed on the 20th July 1858 in the Treaty of Plombieres, however on condition that it was in retaliation to the Austrian Empire, which inevitably lead to the defeat and ousting of Austrian forces in Piedmont.
However although France played a crucial role in the unification of Italy, Britain also influenced the end result. This was seen in the participation from Britain as they managed to negotiate with France to allow the central duchies to hold plebiscites, which lead to them being able to certify their determination to be united with Piedmont and thus unifying Italy.
Therefore the foreign intervention of France in the form of military support to ousting the Austrians, and the negotiating for plebiscites which showed support for the unification of Italy was the most important political factor, as without the foreign influence of France and Britain the Austrians wouldn’t have been pushed out and they would not have been able to unite.
The intervention of Garibaldi was an important political factor in the Italian unification by 1861 as he was a major contributor to the North South unification. Garibaldi was further important to the unification of Italy as he gained control of Sicily. However it was the influence that his growing influence had on Cavour that made a lasting impact for Italian Unification. This was shown in the previous assumption of Cavour that Italy would not include the South, however as momentum and pressure grew from Garibaldi the Two Sicilies as well as Naples were then added to Piedmont unifying the North and the South wh...