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The Struggle For Italy

To the left of Italy and Rome, in the
Mediterranean Sea, lies the small kingdom
called Sardinia. Their king, Victor Emmanuel II,
was loved by his people and elected king by the
peoples’ vote. In 1848, King Emmanuel hoped
to join and unite other Italian states as his own.
In 1852, Emmanuel made Count Camillo Cavour his prime
minister. Cavour was a very educated military man from a noble
family, and believed strongly in a unified Italian state. Like Bismarck
in Germany, he was willing to do almost anything to achieve his goals.
At first, Cavour set up schools and increased agriculture production in
Sardina. He believed a state’s success depended on a healthy and
educated population. With a well-fed and educated army, Cavour in
1855 began his march to northern Italy to end Austrian power there.
During his march north in 1855,
Cavour met King Napoleon III
in Paris. Cavour and Napoleon
hit it off, and Napoleon made a
secret deal to help Cavour in
case it ever faced a war with
Austria. In 1856, Cavour
instigated Austria into battle by
insulting the Austrian king and
people. Cavour even did an
interview with an Austrian
newspaper writer, where he
bashed (criticized) Austrian
politics. Cavour’s instigation led
to war with Austria. With help
from France, Sardina defeated
Austria and took control of northern Italy. These states in Northern Italy
joined with Sardina.
To the south of Italy lies an island called Sicily. Sicily, like Sardinia,
is an island and shared a similar culture to those people living on the
Italian mainland. In Sicily, a man named Giuseppe Garibaldi, who
was a nationalist like Mazzini, was ready to claim southern Italy and
make it united with Sicily. Like Cavour and Mazzini, Garibaldi
wanted to create a unified Italy. When Cavour heard of Garibaldi’s
efforts, he sent troops and military supplies to aid Garibaldi against
the French forces. Like Bismarck betraying his friendship with
Austria, Cavour betrayed Napoleon and France, and declared war on

France. “A unified Italian state was more important than relationships
with foreign countries,” said Cavour. Within six months, Garibaldi
was able to defeat the French forces in southern Italy. Eventually,
Garibaldi and Cavour forces met up in Naples. Cavour and
Garibaldi did it! They now had all of Italy under their control. A Unified
Italy made perfect sense, due to people sharing a common language,
background, race, ethnicity, religion, and history.
With French and Austrian forces defeated, and Italy now united, it was
time to choose a king. Both Cavour and Garibaldi chose King
Emmanuel II to rule the united Italy. He became the official first
Italian king in 1861.
Part 1 – Draw an arrow and locate and label Italy, Russia, and
Germany on the map.


Directions – Choose FOUR questions to answer in complete
sentences. EVERYONE must do QUESTION 5. Write as much as it
takes to answer the question. Be specific, explain yourself and the
facts, and don’t forget to answer the question WHY!
1) Who are Victor Emmanuel, Cavour, and Garibaldi? Identify each of
them in at least a sentence for each that states their importance.

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2) Which two countries occupied Italy?

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3) How were Cavour and Bismarck similar to each other? Be specific.
Would you choose Cavour as a leader of your country? Why or why
not?

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4) Why do you think Cavour and Garibaldi allowed Emmanuel to
become king? What do you think would have happened if they
disagreed on who should be king?

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5) How was German and Italian unification similar and different?
Provide specific examples and use details to support your answer.

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