Chapter 22 – The Age of Nation-States
In the mid-19th century, Italy was made up of all independent states that were not united.
- Many Italians feared republican nationalism, because they did not want to be under Austrian rule
In 1860, the Italian peninsula was turned into a nation-state with the help of Camilio Cavour, the prime
minister of the Kingdom of Sardinia in northern Italy.
Cavour believed that a unified Italian state was necessary for economic and social progress.
- He promoted free trade, railway creation, and agricultural improvement to show that Italy was
- He believed an alliance with France (Napoleon III) was their only path to defeating Austria
March 1861 – Victor Emmanuel II is proclaimed King of Italy.
- This unified had difficulties because of the economic and social discrepancies between north and
south Italy. The south was rural and poor while the north was industrializing.
- Italian politics became corrupt with bribery and favors gaining people seat in the cabinet
Before unification, Germany was just made up of the German Confederation, which was a loose
confederation of 39 states established at the Congress of Vienna.
- At the time, William I was the King of Prussia, and his Prime Minister was Otto von Bismarck.
- Bismarck was against the liberals, and set about uniting Germany to attract support towards the
monarchy and the army.
Bismarck wanted to pursue unifying a small Germany, excluding Austria.
- He proposed war against Denmark to gain certain northern German states, and they easily
defeated Denmark in 1864.
The Austro-Prussian War, 1866 – The war lasted 7 weeks and was seen as a German civil war. Prussia
easily defeated Austria, and the Treaty of Prague ended the war in August. This excluded Austria from
German territory, so only Prussia was now involved in Germany.
All German states north of the Main River became known as the North German Confederation.
- Germany became a conservative monarchy supported by aristocracy and the military
France declared war on Prussia on July 19th due to tensions with Spain, but in the conflict the southern
German states joined Prussia against France