The Italian Unification (1859-1860) 11/1/2012 8:52:00 AM
o Dual Nature
Legitimacy—how to justify his own takeover & empire
Authoritarian & Liberal phase—not straightforward.
Going back & forth between issues and policies.
Always sought the justification for his own empire—
needed international success
Look what my empire did!
o 1850s—Best way to placate French population is to get an
international success—the Crimean War
Bringing back the prestige lost in 1815.
Recognized as greatest power again.
Crimean War—destroyed Quad & Holy alliances and
gained free hand to scheme and re-draw borders of
Gave France the freedom of Action—could do anything
What did he want?
o National frontiers of France lost in 1815.
o Challenged at home by economic decline—one issue at home
can affect foreign policy—need success to distract population.
1850s—France suffered Economic Decline
o By 1858—economic progress started slowing down due to
o Collapse of the Credit Mobilier—major bank
Financed much of the economic development in France
(Railways & Canals)
o When Paris was rebuilt, 2 billion franks were invested into
that but hundreds of millions where ciphered out of the
Created economic pressure—needed to mitigate situation at home. Napoleon III needed a way to expand French borders to redirect
attention from Economic issues—present them with foreign policy
Coincided with the goals of Emilio Cavour, Prime Minister of
o Wants Piedmont to be the center of the united Italian
Most successful state.
o Had the revolutions of 1848 succeed in Italy—Italy would
have never been unified—historians argue.
o If a liberal constitutional monarchy was established in their
own petty states.
o There are at least 8 different, autonomous states in the
They failed though, ensuring future attempt at
The Birth of the Historic Right
Influenced by the failure of the Revolutions
o Austria stopped revolutions in Lombardy & Venetia, came
back as conquerors—saw them as defeated nations.
Alienating the leading elite of these provinces—Due to
this, Aristocrats wanted unification under Piedmont.
Never wanted it originally
Austrians treated them as a defeated nation.
It’d be better as a constitutional monarchy—some rights
of aristocracy would be protected.
Radicals wanted revolution again.
o Created a United Italian Front
This desire is what Cavour capitalized on—we have the
support of all the political and social factions throughout
Cavour was a realist:
o Aware that Piedmont alone could never succeed against
Austria as exemplified by 1848 Revolutions with Lombardy &
Venetia—beaten by crumbling Austria. o Need great power support for unification, can’t do this all
o Cavour then sought a patron for unification—found it in
o Both had a deep-seated interest for an outstanding political
How was the issue Raised?
o Couldn’t violate national agreements or 1815 settlement of
the Italian Peninsula
o Offered troops to the British during the Crimean War—needed
troops to fight Russia. Brits expected Austrians to come in
and fight on their behalf, but they remained neutral
o Cavour Offered 20,000 soldiers to Britain with no reward.
o When Peace treaty came in 1856—Cavour could denounce the
unhealthy fragmentation of Italy, and Napoleon III agreed—
o Jumped at the Italian issue because he couldn’t get Belgium
or the Rhine—German Confederation.
Belgium—British opposition to gain of Belgium
German Confederation—no rhine borders, international
crisis would have ensued if he tried.
o Italians do have a point—Napoleon III.
I support the cause, no gains necessary.
Victor Emmanuel, King of Piedmont
o Totally geeved everything.
o Agreed with Cavour—if we get an ally, then we might try
again for Unification.
July 20, 1858—Meeting Between Napoleon & Cavour
Cavour & Napoleon meet
Lay out the conditions for the Piedmont-French co-operation
Cavour knew Napoleon wanted legitimacy, justification &
recognition—he was royal blood.
Cavour offered a Dynastic link between Napoleon III and Victor
Emmanuel’s family—marry his daughter (Victor Emmanuel) to his
cousin. Promised his daughter to Napoleon’s cousin.
That would give Napoleon legitimacy—there would be a unified,
military operation against Austria
France would provide 200,000 troops against Austrians
As a reward: France would be given Savoy, which they lost in 1815
as part of the Congress of Vienna.
What did Napoleon want?
“United Italy from the Alps to the Adriatic”
United Northern Italy ONLY—not entire Peninsula.
If he helped Cavour unify the Northern part only, they’d be
dependent on French Good will.
o French help allowed this to happen
Fragmented states in the South would also seek help from France.
Kingdom of Two Sicilies—would have found a relation with France
more natural than that of Austria.
o Due to being ruled by a Bourbon.
Every part of Italy would be dependent on French Good will and
What of Papal States? (Central Italy)
o French defeated the revolution and got rid of Mazzini—Italian
Revolutionary in 1849
o Who threatened the Papal States.
o Also occ