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Describe the Different Stages to Italian unification between 1856 - 1871.

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Introduction

Describe the Different Stages to Italian unification between 1856 - 1871 By Nikhil A Shah There were three individual and intertwining phases during 1856-71 that led to the formation of a united Italy; the war of 1859 and the surplus of nationalist sentiment led to the establishment of a great northern state; Garibaldi's conquest and the inclusion of Sicily and Naples and finally the Prussian wars of expansion in 1856-70 supplied Venice and Rome. All this happened in a more adaptable, elastic and positive international environment. Consequently, the Crimean war crushed concert of Europe leaving Austria as the lone guardian of the Vienna settlement. Austria surfaced from the Crimean war alleles, economically inert, militarily overstretched and politically stagnant. In terms of the great powers, Britain embraced a semi detached role in European affairs and concentrated her efforts on empire and trade. To make matters worse for the Austrians, Russia withdrew their support for Austria in the east and instead she focused all her efforts on undo the Black Sea Clauses of the Treaty of Paris. Finally the French, under Napoleon III emerged as a political force in Europe. ...read more.

Middle

Garibaldi's response to this disturbance in Palermo was to divert from his previous plan of regaining Nice from the French and to recruit more followers for the Palermo cause. By May 1860 he had managed a force of 1200 of young men with no ammunition and was known as 'The Thousand'. He left in the name of 'Italy and Victor Emmanuel'. The odds were against him, the force had been put together too quickly, and a small number of men, and had a lack of resources. On top of all this, these expeditions like this have been known to fail without the hindrances stated previously i.e. the expedition of 1857 which had a much larger force and still failed. Cavour refused Garibaldi's request for arms and equipment and in his opinion believed 'Sicily like the rest of the south was too poor and backward to be ready for take over by Piedmont'. Within a week they had ventured to the land of Sicily with force of 3000 gathered on the way and was now facing a force of 20,000 from the Napolitans. They seized Palermo swiftly due to the fact that there was 'so sign of any local uprising until quite late in the day'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The war was initiated on the 19th July 1870 by the French, outraged of the Ems Dispatch published by Bismark. The key battles of this war took place at Sedan and Metz. Again the Prussian army were quick to mobilise e.g. half a million troops had been transported by train into the Rhineland. Intimidated by previous Prussian military success the French tried a defensive approach; drawing 10,000 men into the fortress of Metz. Finally the Prussians defeated the French and in January 1871 William I proclaimed himself the Emperor of the newly created of a German Empire. Moreover, due to the agreement of the Treaty of Frankfurt in May 1871, Italian troops entered Rome on 20 September 1870 and Italian unification was thus completed. In conclusion it is apparent that there were three diverse and interweaving stages between 1856-71 that led to the creation of a united Italy; the war of 1859 and the extreme nationalist activity led to the establishment of a great northern state; Garibaldi's conquest and the inclusion of Sicily and Naples and finally the Prussian wars of expansion in 1856-70 supplied Venice and Rome. All this happened in a more flexible, fluid and favourable international environment. ...read more.

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