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Cavour - the unification of Italy under the Sardinian monarchy.

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Introduction

Cavour. 1. Success came in 1859 - 60 because Cavour had a clear and consistent aim - the unification of Italy under the Sardinian monarchy. Viewpoint. - Disagree. Cavour wanted territorial gains but not the unification of Italy. Cavour was especially interested in the Northern part of Italy as far down as Ancona. Supporting evidence * Cavour wrote to the ambassador of Paris (in reference to the unification of Italy.) "This can only be solidly established only if Piedmont rests her head on the Alps and her feet on Ancona." This would suggest that Cavour was primarily concerned with Northern Italy and Piedmontese aggrandisement. * Furthermore, Massari recorded Cavour saying, "We must leave Naples out of it" This supports the assertion that Cavour was concerned for the North of Italy and neglected the South. * Mazzini accused Cavour of only wanting the "territorial aggrandisement of Piedmont" as opposed to Italian Unification. Also Pallavicini wrote that what Cavour wanted was "Piedmont to be enlarged by a few square yards of soil." Opposing Evidence. * Petruccelli della Gattina, a member of the new Italian parliament claimed, "Count Cavour has had a clear and precise aim; that of creating a unified Italy". ...read more.

Middle

Thus, bribery and corruption was rampant. * Cavour ran Piedmont as a personal dictatorship. His puppet government could be relied on to do what they were told. His subservient parliament were not consulted or even informed on issues such as the Crimean War, Congress of Paris or the Plombieres agreement. * Cavour held so many offices that he almost was the cabinet. * Freedom of speech was also not always guaranteed. For example, the economist Francesco Ferrara was dismissed from his university post for criticising the government in one of his lectures. * Political prisoners were arrested. * The Piedmontese army was unorganised, this is illustrated by the shortage of maps at Lombardy. Opposing Evidence * Cavour changed the army to a meritocracy, this meant that the most able officers gained high positions as opposed to the wealthy. Thus, making the army more efficient. * Made economic and political reforms. Introduced Sardinian parliamentary regime. 4) Success came in 1859 -60 because Victor Emmanuel became a popular, liberal leader capable of working in harmony with Cavour. Viewpoint - Disagree. Victor Emmanuel showed many signs in private of not being liberal. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Cavour had an especially violent attitude to Mazzini, writing to the Piedmontese envoy in Paris "...if we catch Mazzini I hope he will be condemned to death or hanged" * There is dispute over Cavour's reasons for backing the National Society, Massari records Cavour saying "I don't know the people behind the national society but as I see things it is against the Mazzinians and hence must be advantageous...I am convinced all this talk about unification or union will go up in smoke" * Garibaldi has always maintained that his command in 1859 was merely a device to keep him out of the way a "flag to attract recruits" * Far from promoting the popular disturbances, Cavour opposed them. He wrote to the Piedmontese representative in Florence "I exhort you to use all your influence to prevent street demonstrations" Opposing Evidence. * Piedmont had welcomed exiles from other states. * Cavour (a devout monarchist) was tolerant enough to see that men from republican ideals could still be useful in the cause of unification. * Garibaldi was not ignored but given his own command. * Cavour appreciated that popular enthusiasm could be used to promote the unification cause - National Society. Angela Strachan ...read more.

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