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Both Garibaldi and Count Cavour were important to the unification of Italy.

Who played the

more important role, and why?

I. Introduction
a. Count Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi both contributed heavily to the Italian
unification movement
b. Each one was known for his own unique style of politics, and therefore each
contributed differently to the movement
i. Cavour – more political
ii. Garibaldi – more military force and presence in the peninsula
c. Neither could have achieved Italian unification without the other
d. However, Cavour’s strategic style of politics and manipulation was by far more
II. Cavour
a. Started newspaper called Il Risorgimento – “The Resurgence” in 1847
b. Became PM of Sardinia in 1852 – goals:
i. Improve infrastructure
ii. Stabilize economy
iii. Raise money for possible war
iv. Strengthen Sicily
c. Very moderate, believed in constitutional monarchy
d. Wanted Italian unification issue publicized, did so at Paris Peace Conference for
Crimean War
e. 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
iv. Nice and Savoy were given to France
f. Cavour “justified” war with Austria by sheltering Austrian deserters and
encouraging Austria’s Italian provinces to revolt
g. April 23, 1859 – Austria sends ultimatum to Sardinia, war begins four days later
h. Treaty of Turin – March 24, 1860
i. After mishap of Villafranca between France and Austria, Italian
nationalists angered because Venetia was left to Austria
ii. France gets Nice and Savoy
iii. Sardinia gains consent to annex central Italy
III. Garibaldi
a. Originally guerilla fighter in South America
b. Italian patriot, radical republican, believed in freedom of individual
c. Raised volunteer army to defend Venetia and Rome from France – “Thousand
Red Shirts”
d. Landed in Sicily to quell rebellion against King Francis II – May 11, 1860
e. Successful in Sicily, gained support of Sicilian peasants
f. Proclaimed himself dictator of Sicily in the name of King Victor Emmanuel II
g. Conquered most of Sicily by July 1860
h. Conquered Naples on September 7, 1860
IV. Cavour and Garibaldi together
a. Garibaldi was complete opposite of Cavour:
i. Cavour applied sophisticated intelligence to politics and prepared every
political move with extreme care
ii. Garibaldi believed in direct action and had courage to take action no
matter the odds
b. Cavour was embarrassed by some Garibaldi’s military campaigns, such as the
defense of Venetia and Rome from France
c. Cavour manipulated Garibaldi and his army – Sicilian war
d. Garibaldi had become dangerous rival to Sardinia
e. Cavour checked Garibaldi’s power by sending a Sardinian army to join Garibaldi’s
army in south Italy, and then to Naples – regained initiative in movement
f. Cavour held plebiscites on October 21 and 22, 1860 in Naples and Sicily – people
voted in favor of union with Sardinia
g. March 17, 1861 – Victor Emmanuel II proclaimed king of unified kingdom of Italy
V. Counterclaims
a. Some might argue that Garibaldi did more of the work, and therefore was more
b. Cavour and Garibaldi each had different approaches and actions:
i. Cavour was more of a political thinker, and acted accordingly
ii. Garibaldi believed in direct action without too much thought
c. Cavour did not have a solid plan to unify Italy, but when Garibaldi began the
military campaigns, Cavour used them to his advantage
d. Although Garibaldi did indeed do most of the “work”, Cavour was the genius
behind all of the actions, political or not
VI. Conclusion
a. It is difficult to choose one man over the other, because each contributed a great
deal to the Italian unification movement