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HIS103 20. Napoleon III and the Wars of Italian Unification part I.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Denis Smyth

Napoleon III and the Wars of Italian Unification Key Words Notes • For all of Bismarck’s assessment of Napoleon III, there was no doubt that Napoleon III knew what was wrong in the structure the European body politics. He knew there was some profound inadequacy in the structure of international power in central Europe. • He knew that the time had come, and that was the idea  Napoleon III addressed of central European nationalism. Like it or not, one an idea of central could not ignore the fact that the growing pressure, European Nationalism: especially inside the educated elite inside Germany and - He said that if the rest Italy were uniformly pushing for some form of national of Europe was too state. Some form of greater political unification brittles to amongst German and Italian state. accommodate them it • It was the post-Crimean war discussions with the would snap powers that napoleon saw as the unsatisfactory - The Italian peninsula condition of international relations amongst the German itself was quite and Italian people. The Italian peninsula was a power unstable. It was bunch head. It was obviously unstable and was fragmented in of scattered territories number of state. And dominated by Austria, it was not a being governed by tenable situation. Austria - However, Napoleon • In another way Napoleon III was being a sophisticated statesmen in making these points and in posing it to did not have a solution other great powers. He was pointing out that unless the to the way the system was flexible enough, mature enough to make problem should be way for major changes in the central Europe, it would handled break. It was too brittle to accommodate the demands for the central Europe nationalism; it would go down in ruins. Yet, when asked for more specific answers to the problem, Napoleon III had no ready solution. • The nationalist themselves proved to be disappointed and dissatisfied with the his inaction. With his simple rhetorical commitment to their cause.  January 14, 1858 Nationalist leader Orsini • 14 of January 1858 small group of Italian radical patriots attempted to assassinate gave expression to their disappointment by attempting to assassinate him. Napoleon III. • The leader of this group Orsini was tried and executed; however he was given the opportunity to defend  Cavour: Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia. himself. He wrote a letter and that was published in full -Approached Napoleon to in the officially controlled French newspaper. The see if a deal could be opportunity was now there for the leader of the most viable form of Italian unity, the Prime Minister of made Piedmont-Sardinia Cavour, to approach Napoleon III to -Personal Agendas: see if a deal could be done to address the Italian  Cavour knew that immediate Italian question in one way or another. Both had their own unification wasn’t agendas. possible. So he - Cavour’s was to expand the territory of Piedmont- Sardinia, northwestern Italian state ruled by the sought territorial House of Savoy. He didn’t want immediate Italian expansion. For this unification, because he knew it wasn’t going to he needed French happen in practical terms. But he thought they’d help. restructure it a bit with a little expansion.  French did not want Dependent more on France, Austria would be in another great power, fear of this place. so he turned to France for championship. The piedmontians tried to fight the but he knew that by helping Cavour he Austrians during the years of 1848 1849, but they would take them had been beaten roundly. All the progressive away from Austria Peidmonties realized only with French help could and Peidmountinians they cast off the Austrian shadow. would be dependent - Napoleon III said that he didn’t want to create a new great power. He didn’t want to unify Italy, but on the French -This was the basis of a in Italy, which would be remade with French help deal between Cavour would be dependent for its protection upon French and the Napoleon III championship. So France would have taken Italy from Austria as its fear of influence and interest. - This was the basis of the deal made off of national interests of two states-leaving aside questions of th  July 20 1858 broader interests of the Italian question injected -Cavour and Napoleon III into the wider international system. meet at plombiéres to • For the 20 July 1858, these two statesmen, Cavour sign on to a secret deal from Piedmont-Sardinia ruled by King Victor Emanuel -The deal is to go to war and Napoleon III met at Plombiéres and made a secret against Austria and deal to wage war against Austria, to have it rejected reject it from the Italian from the Italian peninsula. peninsula. - The deal consisted of a project by Piedmont- -Piedmont-Sardinia, with Sardinia with the help French army, which would the help of the French conquer the Austrian provinces of Lombardy and army would go to war Venetia. against Austria. The - The rest of Italy would be reorganized into several French would be dependent kingdoms such as upper Italy, central rewarded with the Italy, the papal states and so on territory of Savoy and - This restructured Italian land would depend for its Nice. viability and survival upon French military -Italy would be protection. Against any act of Austrian revenge in reorganized into the future. dependent kingdoms - So Italy would be more territorially consolidated, -The Italian lands would such as Parma, Modena, Tuscany, and Papal states, be consolidated, into larger kingdoms. But not too large as to however they would challenge France rather then to be dependant upon still be dependant on it as satellite kingdoms of the French empire. France for protection. • Obviously to wage war against Austria, the French and
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