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Napoleon agreed to help drive Austria out of the northern provinces of Lombardy and Venetia. A combined French- Saridinian army won two quick victories against Austria.
Major battles were fought at Magenta June 4, and Solferino June 24, A plebiscite held in ,determined the incorporationinto the kingdom of Sardinia ofthe states of Parma, Modenaand Tuscany. Rome was declared Capital of Italy, despite that it was not even in the new Kingdom. Three months later Cavour died. Before dying, Cavour purportedly said: "Italy is made.
Cavour had a strong belief in scientific and economic progress, and was a firm supporter of unification. However, he did not share the same republic views as Mazzini and Garibaldi. And Piedmont can only become strong with railroads, economic freedom, stable finances, and a higher standard of living.
Cavour immediately began by implementing some liberal but necessary ideas. He encouraged people to participate in government, started to change public opinion by skillfully using the press and the government, and economic freedom, and most importantly spread the propaganda of Italian unity under Victor Emanuel II.
Italian unification - New World Encyclopedia
France proved to be a good partner because it was a traditional enemy of Austria and any loss of Austrian influence would be beneficial. To seal the deal of this partnership, both leaders met secretly at Plombieres, a French spa. Piedmont would stir up trouble in one of the territories controlled by Austria, thus forcing Austria to go to war against Piedmont. France would help Piedmont in exchange for Nice and Savoy.
In April , war broke out between Piedmont and Austria. The plan worked very well the joined forces of Piedmont and France won at Magenta and Solferino. Pretty soon, Prussia started to mobilize an army in Austria defense and more Italian provinces wanted to join Piedmont under one nation. Both of these events alarmed Napoleon III because Prussia was starting to have a strong presence in European affairs and more Italian states wanting unification greatly exceeded what he had envisioned for Italy.
So he signed an armistice with Austria and ended the war but angered Cavour. Piedmont received Lombardy from Austria as a result of the war. After the war and the political maneuvering, Piedmont had greatly increased its size.
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If Mazzini was the soul of the unification process, then Garibaldi was the hero. In early , he started to gather volunteers in Genoa for an expedition to Sicily. As Cavour neither opposed nor helped, thousands of soldiers from Romagna, Lombardy, and Venetia set sail for Sicily in May The Expedition of Soldiers, as it was called, was an instant hit with the public. The Kingdom of Two Sicilies had long been a corrupt government and now it was seeing its last days. Although the Garibaldi Red Shirts were less skilled and ill equipped, they were a tremendous success.
They occupied Sicily within two months and already Garibaldi was setting his eyes on mainland Italy. However, after his declaration to advance to Rome, instead of stopping in Naples, Cavour became increasingly worried. If Rome was attacked, France and Austria would immediately help the Pope and crush the opposing army, thereby discrediting and destroying the unification agenda. In yet another brilliant move, Cavour encouraged riots and uprisings in the Papal States thus giving the Piedmontese troops a reason to come under the pretext of maintaining order.
In , two thirds of the Papal States joined Piedmont and Rome was left alone. As the Piedmontese army bypassed Rome and the remaining Papal States and marched south, Garibaldi would surprise everyone with one of the most memorable gestures in history. On September 18, Garibaldi gave up command of his army and shook hands with Victor Emanuel II, signifying the unity and formation of the Kingdom of Italy in Although a Kingdom of Italy had been formed, it did not include all of Italy. The missing parts were Rome and Venetia. Neither could be gained easily because Rome was under the protection of Napoleon III and French troops while Venetia was controlled by Austria and its troops.
But an opportunity arrived and Venetia was annexed in Austria promised Venetia if Italy stayed neutral and Prussia promised Venetia if Italy joined them in the war. Italy decided to join Prussia due to a previous agreement. Although the Italian army did poorly, Prussia won the war and it held up its part of the bargain.
While Rome and the remaining Papal States remained unprotected, Italian troops marched in unopposed. In October Rome voted to join the union and in July , it became the capital. The unification was a long and arduous process.
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But all the problems that remained before the unification were not solved after the unification. As the last quarter of the century unfolded, this was evident. But, Italy stayed united and focused on solving its new problems.
In the end, Cavour, Garibaldi, and Mazzini became the founding fathers of a nation and were immortalized. As I was sitting on a rock in India, looking over the city of New Delhi, contemplating on my next decision, I was chastened to submit my thoughts and passion about money unto the world.