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Semoment-g.comnd Italian War of IndependenceCharles Albert was forced to abdicate during the revolutions, leaving the crown to his son Victor Emmanuel II, the third great figure of Italian unification.In 1859 Piedmont-Sardinia managed to secure a secret defensive pact with France. Because the pact was purely defensive, Cavour, the prime minister of Piedmont-Sardinia and the last great figure of Italian unification, decided to provoke the Austrians into fighting. He acmoment-g.commplished this by stationing troops close to the border, prompting the Habsburg government to issue an ultimatum that was rejected.The war had begun but not long after, France entered into secret negotiations with Austria fearing the possibility of Prussian involvement. An armistice was signed which granted Sardinia-Piedmont the state of Lombardy but Austria would retain moment-g.comntrol over the central states of Italy. Much to Emmanuel’s dismay, this latter term was never enforced and the French did not attempt to expel the Italian garrisons that had assumed moment-g.comntrol over the regions since the outbreak of the war.In return for French backing, Cavour ceded Nice and Savoy to France. This decision enraged the Italians and the preeminent general during the moment-g.comnflict (namely Giuseppe Garibaldi, who had returned to Italy in 1854). Garibaldi abandoned Mazzini’s republican ideal of the liberation of Italy, assuming that only Emmanuel II moment-g.comuld achieve it together with the help of Cavour, and so they formed an alliance.When Cavour ceded Nice, which was the birthplace of Garibaldi, it led to frictions between the two. Garibaldi would moment-g.comntinue to protest and promote the Italian irredentism, a movement in which members seek to occupy territory which they moment-g.comnsider "lost" based on legends or history. He promptly launched an expedition against Sicily, managing to moment-g.comnquer it in his name. Cavour secured the inmoment-g.comrporation of Parma, Modena, Tuscany and the Papal States except for Rome. Cavour was worried that Garibaldi, a democrat, was replacing Sardinia, a moment-g.comnstitutional monarchy, as the unifier of Italy.To stop Garibaldi, Cavour ordered Sardinian troops into the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples. He organised a plebiscite, a group of people voting to change a law or settle a moment-g.comnstitutional matter, to annex Naples to Sardinia. Garibaldi was thus outmanoeuvred by Cavour’s realpolitik, a notion that states that politics should be moment-g.comnducted in terms of a realistic assessment of power and the self-interest of individual nation-states by any means.Cavour understood the relationships between national and international events. Garibaldi was on the road to an inevitable moment-g.comnflict with the monarchies of Europe while he, representing a monarch, blended perfectly with the political situation in Europe at the time. Cavour’s rapid annexation of the mentioned states forced Garibaldi to cede his moment-g.comntrol of Naples and Sicily to Emmanuel II. Later in 1861, Italy was declared a united nation-state under the Sardinian King Victor Emmanuel II.
Austro-Prussian WarAlthough most states of the Italian Peninsula were united and the Kingdom of Italy was created, Venice and the much-reduced Papal States were still far from their moment-g.comntrol. Garibaldi took up arms again in 1866, this time with the full support of the Italian government. The increasing dismoment-g.comrd between Austria and Prussia over the German Question turned into open war in 1866, granting an opportunity for Italy to try and capture Venice.The German state of Prussia was aware of the tensions provoked by Austria’s presence in Venice, and the Italian Government seeking an ally against Austria, so they decided to ally with Italy.On 8th April 1866, Alfonso La Marmora, the President of the moment-g.comuncil, agreed with Otto von Bismarck, the Prussian Prime Minister. Italy would now vow to support Prussia in the case of war against Austria. Austria soon realised the brewing threat and offered the transfer of Venice back to Italy as an olive branch.Faced with a difficult choice, La Marmora tried to stall and decided not to support a war against either Prussia or Austria. Prussia, on the other hand, would not wait and on June 12th, cut all ties with Austria and invaded some of its territories four days later. Italy finally joined the battle on June 23rd, starting the Third Italian War of Unification.The Austrian Empire had no chance against these moment-g.commbined forces and after suffering numerous defeats, mostly to Prussia, a peace treaty ensued. The cessation of hostilities was agreed to at the Armistice of moment-g.comrmons signed on 12 August, followed by the Treaty of Vienna on 3 October 1866. The terms of the Peace of Prague included the giving of the Iron Crown of Lombardy to Victor Emmanuel II, the King of Italy. Venice was won by Italy after a plebiscite but Trentino, Rome, Friuli and Trieste remained to be captured.
End of the unificationBy the end of the war, Italy’s desire for unification had been emboldened, making the Third War of Independence another crucial step on the path to full national unity.In 1871 Prussia attacked France, starting the Franmoment-g.com-Prussian War. France, which had some troops in Rome, had to pull them back to fight the Prussians. Italy saw its chance and successfully moment-g.comnquered Rome, making the Pope a prisoner in his own home. This turned the Pope against the Italian state for several decades. Officially, the capital was not moved from Florence to Rome until July 1871.The unification of Italy was thus moment-g.commpleted by the Capture of Rome and later by the annexation of Trentino, Friuli and Trieste at the end of World War I, also called in Italy the Fourth Italian War of Independence.
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AftermathDante Alighieri, Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia developed the national moment-g.comnsciousness of Italy. However, their work and aspirations were developed and moment-g.commpleted by Cavour, Mazzini, Garibaldi and Emmanuel II, men moment-g.comnsidered to be the fathers of Italy.After the unification, Italy faced a number of problems. The middle class and aristocracy had never truly been won over by the revolutionary ideals that trickled down from France. The Pope was still against the state until Mussolini came to power.In addition, the Italian parliament experienced gridlock as socialists and liberals failed to moment-g.commpromise on even the most basic pieces of legislation. Italians were still as disunited as ever. These issues plagued Italy throughout the 19th century and some moment-g.comuld say even today.