Topic 11 - Italian and German Unification Topic 11 - Italian and German Unification

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16 Oct 2011
Topic Ten
Italian & German Unification
Fragments after the Crimean War
-- Both the Quadruple Alliance and the Holy Alliance have collapsed;
-- Britain: fairly neutral policy; focuses on recovery;
-- Russia: ceases to be the “police of Europe”; focuses on the revisions of Treaty of Paris;
-- France: dynamic and proactive policy;
-- Austria: in illusion of legitimacy, treaty rights and pledged words of honor;
-- Austria is in bad relation with the rest of the powers; severely alienated;
Italian Unification
-- Sardinia, the most advanced & prosperous kingdom was the hope of Italian unification;
-- However after 3 defeats (including 1848), Sardinia nearly lost its hope;
-- Cavour, PM of Sardinia, had the following plan:
-- In the Crimean War, Austria refused to ally with Britain;
-- However Sardinia offered 15,000 troops to Britain; (not very many troops)
-- His aim: a great power sympathy & support;
-- France and Sardinia were immediately drawn together, although for completely different reasons;
-- France’s agenda:
-- Napoleon participated in Italian revolution against Austria, so his sympathy lies with Austria;
-- France always wanted a separate French Church while Austrian always sided with the Roman
-- Through the Italian case, France could challenge the status quo without being seen as an instigator;
-- France could regain Niece and Savoy which he lost;
-- Sardinia and France agreed:
-- Sardinia offers: Savoy; Dynastic link between the Italian king and Napoleon’s cousin;
-- France offers: military support;
-- France would be able to hide behind nationalism
-- 1859 April 23: Austrian ultimatum to Sardinia;
-- Austria declares war on Sardinia; France joined the war;
-- Battle of Magenta (1859) & Battle of Solferino (1859): Austria was primarily wiped out by France;
-- Once more, Military victory DOES NOT EQUAL diplomatic success:
-- Russia was unhappy seeing the overthrown of the central Italian dynasties, as well as Cavour’s
contacts with Hungarian rebels;
-- Germanic states mobilize; Possibility that Prussia might join the war; after all Austria had influence
in the German Confederation;
-- This was threatening to France, because the entire French frontier was now undefended;
-- France never wanted a strong/unified Italian state;
-- France abandoned Sardinia, concluding Armistice of Villafranca (1859 July 11) with Austria;
-- Britain intervenes; Britain wanted:
-- A unified & Italian state free from neither France nor Austrian control, but leans towards Britain;
-- Garibaldi united Southern Italy, and moved north; Italy was united in 1871;
-- Venetia and Rome became parts of Italy later;
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