Napoleon II and the wars of Italian unifications Jan 21, 2013
Key Words Notes
The Italian National Italian national unification. Better perhaps the Italian national
movement. movement. The so-called de-revitalization of the sense of
collective identity part of the Italian people. Had that
phenomena escaped the leash, which Napoleon III and France
Napoleon had done a deal tied to harness for their own particular foreign policy purposes,
with Cavour to quash Austria the unification wouldn’t occur.
and to reorganize Italy into four
Napoleon III had done a deal with the Piedmont Statesmen
kingdoms Count Cavour precisely to promote the expansion of Piedmont
- Expanded Piedmont across Italy to bring about the expulsion of the dominant
- Kingdom of Central Italy existing power within the Italian peninsula, the Hapsburg-
- Papal State Austrian Empire. To reorganize Italy into four separate
- Kingdom of Naples kingdoms.
- An expanded Piedmont.
- The Kingdom of Central Italy.
- The existing Papal states
- The existing Kingdom of the two Sicily in the south-
otherwise known as the Kingdom of Naples.
Napoleons plan was to divide These four medium sized states would be a gesture towards
them into smaller kingdoms be
Italian national consolidation. So Napoleon III could pose as a
their champion while promising champion of the Italian national movement. If these states were
to protect them against any set up that would mean considerable territorial consolidation
future Austrian aggression- under the French forces. As we saw in the war of 1859, which
there for making them satellite the French and the Piedmonts fought the Austrians. But the
states would also be dependent upon France for future
protection against a revengeful Austria. This was the ideal
However there was an outcome. Napoleon III posing as the champion, however at the
uprising and revolution erupted same time lording over Italy and bringing it under the French
across the states. Middle class sphere of national influence.
Italians led revolutions once The one part Napoleon III hadn’t calculated on interfering in the
they saw that the Austrians
process was Italian people. More specifically, the middle class
were beat by the French. This Italians nationalists, agitators or supporters. They proceeded to
drove the French to quickly sign undermine his project under the influence of his victory over the
on to a unilateral armistice with Austrians, the … of Solferino of 1859, ran revolutions across the
the Austrians. country. Upper Tuscany, Parma, and Modena. They lead popular
movements that over threw the puppet Austrian rulers of those
days. They forced through referenda and joined their territories
to the kingdom of Piedmont. This was the reason why Napoleon
Garibaldi: professional, and a III stopped dead in his tracks at the point of military victory over
committed life-long democrat the Austrians in July 1859. He called for a unilateral armistice
and republican revolutionary. with Austria, ignoring Piedmont, and left them in charge of
- He was a citizen of Nice. Venetia, Northeastern Italy. However, he as powerless to stop
- When he heard that
the Piedmont expansion southward.
Peidmont was to going to It was clear that there was a dynamic in the move. Especially
give Nice to the French he when more professional radical elements came to the move. One
wasn’t happy. of these was Garibaldi. Garibaldi was a professional, and a
- He used the growting Italian committed life-long democrat and republican revolutionary and
national movement and the
social and rural rebellions to one aspect of the deal done by Cavour with Napoleon III
particular annoyed him. Garibaldi was a citizen of Nice. And his favor. Even though napoleon III hadn’t delivered on this full promise to
- He gathered volunteers for the Piedmonts, Cavour cleverly realized that one way of
the invasion of Sicily. reconciling with Napoleon III for an expanded Piedmont was to
- Him and his army, give him Savoy and Nice. This had been part of the pre-war
Garibaldi’s Red Shirts, were Piedmont promise in return of the French military services. This
given rusty muskets, no was the traditional heartland of the Savoy monarchy. Cavour
ammunitions and a bad insisted that the reluctant Piedmonts sanction the transfer of
boat. Nice and Savoy, not withstanding the fact that Napoleon III had
- After Garibaldi won the fully delivered on his side of the bargain.
victory against the Sicilians As this deal was proposed to the parliament of the Piedmonts in
on May 15, 1860. the spring of 1860, even before it was fully ratified by them in
- Seeing this more people June, Garibaldi decide to seize upon the growing dynamic Italian
joined his army. national movement and also exploit the fact that social and rural
- August 19 1860 Garibaldi’s rebellion had broken out within the kingdom of Naples. In the
army marched northward. island of Sicily there was considerable forcible resistance to the
- His plan was to liberate the land owners to enclose lands. This had provoked a sporadic
Kingdom of Naples, have a peasant revolt, which was also fed by traditional Sicilian
unified Italy, and invade separatism. With that problem already Garibaldi decide to move.
Rome, the Papal States, the He appealed to volunteers to join him in an invasion of Scicley.
Austrian occupied land and It was such a crazy project and obviously disapproved of by
the French in Nice.
Cavour, not only of patriotic reasons, but also because the
French wouldn’t hear of it, that only a few people responded to
the cause. Only the most socially alienated and irresponsible
people responded, namely the undergraduate students. 1000 or
less gathered. They wore multicolored shirts, more were
wearing red so the name Garibaldi’s Red shirts. Cavour made
sure that they only had rusty muskets; no ammunition and they
set sail in a very bad boat. They managed to eluded the
Piedmont’s navy and take up arms from fellow Italians from
Tuscany. They landed in Sicily on May 11, 1860. They sent a
small detachment to Garibaldi’s army and Garibaldi’s red shirts
routed them on the 15 of May 1860. Thousands of peasants
volunteered joined the army. Within weeks Garibaldi had
captured the main town of Sicily, Palermo and was now
threatening to cross the strait to southern Italy.
Cavour still did everything possible to quarantine this
spontaneous movement, which escaped not only Napoleon III
control now, but also Cavour. Bth nothing could stop Garibaldi
and his thousands. On the 19 August 1960 they crossed the
narrow strait and marched northward. Garibaldi announced it to
be his intention of liberating the kingdom of Naples, and joining
it to unified Italian states, he announced that he was planning on
invading the Papal states, the city of Rome, and continue
northward to oust the Austrian and even attack the French in
Napoleon III had an idea. He Napoleon III appealed to the other powers in a great congress to
wanted all the main powers to settle the Italian question once and for all.
come together to settle the - The Austrians refused to attend knowing that it could only
Italian question. However, he end with them being rejected. The Austrians said no.
realized that this wouldn’t
- The Russians were quite happy, after Austrians desertion of work. the Crimean war they found no favors from the Russians.
- Austria didn’t want to - The British on the whole were on for Italian unity. The
attend because they were British were always ready for unity as long as it was far away
aware of the fact they’d get from their land. the British were on Italian unity as a whole.
rejected and they’d have Napoleon III realizing his project wouldn’t fly was not prepared
territorial loss. to look upon a further Piedmont expansion less undesirable as
- The Russians were willing republican (Garibaldi) hijacking the Italian national movement.
- The British were willing So he kept his peace when on the 15 of September 1860 the
army of the Kingdom of Piedmont invaded the Papal States from
So Napoleon instead decided the north. As one foreign commentator observed, Cavour was
to ally himself up with motivated not by acquiring more provinces, his aim was to stop
Piedmont-Sardinia. Garibaldi. That was acceptable in the heel of the hunt by
Napoleon III. He had to say yes to this Piedmont move even if it
was with a sour face and gritted teeth.
October 1860: On October 1 , 1860 Garibaldi’s force with superb tactically was
- October 1 : Garibaldi’s utterly defeat against 50,000 defending the capital city of the
forces move to defeat at Kingdom of Naples. All Italy and a large part of Europe held its
Kingdom of Naples breath as Garibaldi’s force-marched northward and met the
- October 26 : key encounter Piedmont forces marching south.
between Garibaldi and - The key encounter came on October 26, 1860 when King
Victor Emanuel. Garibaldi victor Emanuel of Piedmont met Garibaldi in person.
hands over his territorial - Although republican in most ways, Garibaldi hailed king
gains and a referendum is Emanuel Victor as all king. He was not prepared to shed
held. Within months the
Italian blood for his republican ideals.
Kingdom of Italy is unified - He handed over his territorial conquest and within a short
with Emanuel victor as king. time a referenda were held which produced suspicious large
majority in favor of Southern unification with the King of
March 1861: The Kingdom of Piedmont. The kingdom of all Italy was proclaimed in March
Italy under the rule of King
victor Emanuel is born. - In terms of Italian unity this enforced over fast-accelerated
process of Italian unification and this was something of an
Italian tragedy. Even today the scenes of the Italian state
tend to come apart somewhere around middle of Italy. There
is still considerable rivalry and you can feel the separatist
- All this because of the rather oppressed and forced conquest
of the south by the north.
For the rest of Europe it was still unclear about the ultimate fall
out or results from this rapid construction of a potential great