Assess the effect of foreign influences on Italian unification. I. Introduction a.

One of the most important lessons learned from the 1848 revolutions was that Austria could not be ejected from Italy without the help of foreign allies b. Influence – pressure or persuasion to sway things in a certain way c. Throughout the course of the Italian unification movement, few foreign nations exercised influence: Sardinia, France, Austria, and possibly Prussia and the German states d. When analyzing foreign influence on unification, split into two parts: process/events and result e. Foreign nations had a great impact on the process f. Sardinia had only major lasting effect on result Sardinia a. Sardinia had a great interest in the unification of Italy i. Many Sardinians were ethnically Italian ii. Count Camillo Benso di Cavour wished to free Italy of foreign domination and bring about political transformation on the peninsula (nationalist) b. Cavour i. Became PM in 1852 ii. One of his goals was to strengthen Sicily iii. Publicized Italian problem at Paris peace conference for Crimean War c. Sardinia was the only nation to gain a diplomatic advantage from the Crimean war – European nations supported Sardinia against Austria France a. Four years after the Crimean War, Sardinia succeeded in forming an alliance with Louis Napoleon of France b. France had interest in central Italian states c. Plombières Alliance – July 20, 1858 i. Secret agreement between Cavour and Louis Napoleon at a spa ii. Napoleon promised to join war to drive Austria out of Italy, as long as it could be justified in the eyes of diplomacy iii. Reorganized as confederation of four states – upper, central, papal, Two Sicilies iv. Nice and Savoy were given to France v. Sardinia needed only provoke a war with Austria War with Austria a. Cavour provoked war with Austria by sheltering Austrian deserters and encouraging Austria’s Italian provinces to revolt

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b. April 23, 1859 – Austria sends ultimatum to Sardinia, war begins four days later c. France was becoming less confident about alliance i. After two battles, Austria had still not been decisively defeated ii. War stirred anti-French sentiment in Prussia and German states d. France made peace with Austria at Villafranca – July 11, 1859 i. Armistice between France and Austria ii. Austria gave up most of Lombardy, but kept Venetia iii. France gave Lombardy along with Nice and Savoy back to Sardinia iv. Italian nationalists angry that Austria kept Venetia e. Treaty of Turin – March 24, 1860 i. France regained Nice and Savoy in exchange for consent for Sardinia to annex central Italian states f. Rest of events leading to unification were conducted entirely by Sardinia on peninsula Subtle foreign influences on process/events a. Paris peace conference for Crimean War caused European powers (Britain, Russia, Prussia) to support Sardinia but not actually join in war with Austria i. Austria was kept mostly isolated, which helped in its defeat b. Garibaldi wanted to attack Venetia, but the thought of war with Austria and/or France influenced Cavour keep military forces on the peninsula Foreign influences on results a. Result of movement – unified Italian kingdom under rule of Victor Emmanuel II b. The only parts of the peninsula that were not unified was Rome, which was left to the Pope, and Venetia i. Prussia gave Venetia to Italy in 1866 ii. Italy gained Rome on September 20, 1870, after withdrawal of French troops c. France did not succeed in gaining central Italian states d. Austria lost all Italian provinces e. Sardinia had a major influence on unification, but annexed Italy, so it might not be considered a “foreign nation” Conclusion a. Although foreign nations (Sardinia, France, Austria, Prussia, German states) had great effect on process leading up to unification, only Sardinia had a lasting effect on the results b. However, the foreign nations helped in a way that decisively shaped the process c. It is unclear whether Italian unification would have been achievable without influence of foreign nations

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