• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How and why did Piedmont-Sardinia play an important part in Italian Unification

Extracts from this document...


Begum Cogal I.B History HL How and why did Piedmont-Sardinia play an important part in Italian Unification? Piedmont-Sardinia played a colossal role in the achievement of national unity in Italy. Piedmont's determination and commitment to the endorsement of its own interests, inadvertently paved the way for Italian unification. After 1848, the ideas of Gioberti, Mazzini and other such republicans no longer seemed feasible and Piedmont was recognized as the hope of liberal Italy. After the 1848 revolutions the old regimes had survived but they were still clearly vulnerable and too dependent on the weakened Austria. On the other hand, Piedmont had a constitution and a liberal government. Only in Piedmont had the 1848 Constitution survived, confirmed by the new King Victor Emanuel II on his accession. Arguably, according to some, Italy was finally united because the 1848-49 revolutions had produced only one constitutional monarchy (Piedmont), instead of a series of them, which thus had a greatness thrust upon it. Throughout the years leading up to and following the 1848 insurrections, Piedmont took part in many undertakings that led to economic progress and to the building of stronger ties between progress of Italy itself but for its own interests. However, Piedmont's interests, be it economic or political coincided with those of most other regions in Italy. One of the most significant undertakings was the campaign for the building of railways. ...read more.


As mentioned previously after the 1848 revolts, Piedmont remained the only Italian state where the liberal constitution survived. Piedmont was the only state, which had an army capable of fighting the Austrians, and in Victor Emanuel II it possessed a leader willing to continue the struggle against Austria. As a result of this, many people who were keen on seeing Italy independent and political exiles were attracted to Piedmont. Finally in 1855-56, these circumstances gave rise to the Italian National Society. The Society had a direct political role. It was committed to the cause of Italian independence and supporting Victor Emanuel and Piedmont in that cause. It was a very effective instrument in the hands of an ambitious politician like Cavour. Cavour used the Society to stir up revolts all over Italy while allowing the government of Piedmont to deny any responsibility. The Italian National Society continued to encourage and participate in revolts throughout the late 1850s in its own name but it was done with the support of the government of Piedmont-Sardinia. The foreign policies of Piedmont played an even more important role in the unification of Italy. Once again, their policies were aimed at promoting their own interests, but at the same time they served to bring Italy closer to unification. Piedmont wanted independence of Austria and to expand its power with the acquisition of Lombardy and Venetia. ...read more.


Victor Emmanuel was forced to sign the armistice because the Piedmontese army would be unable to conquer the Austrians without the aid of the French. However, there was a lot of discontent in central Italy about the new provisional governments and in 1960, Cavour (who had resigned following the signing of the armistice by Victor Emanuel) was reinstalled Prime Minister and he made an agreement with France that if Tuscany and the other central Italian states voted in favor of annexation, they would become a part of Piedmont and in return France would gain Nice and Savoy. This agreement was embodied in the Treaty of Turin, which was signed in March. The plebiscites were carefully managed by the Italian National Society who made sure that they gave the right results in favor of annexations in central Italy as well as in Nice and Savoy. This resulted in Piedmont possessing a larger kingdom than that had been anticipated. Even though it was not the original intention, through the successful foreign policy of Piedmont, the enlargement of the existing Piedmont-Sardinia was made possible and thus a northern unified Italy was created and this was the most major step to the unification of Italy. Piedmont was only interested in increasing its power and influence and in promoting its own interest. However, the interests of Piedmont-Sardinia coincided with those of a united Italy. Piedmont's determination to continue the struggle for independence and its resistance to Austrian control combined with its effective domestic and foreign policies allowed for it to form the foundation for the unification of Italy, ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1900-1939 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1900-1939 essays

  1. Italian Unification

    success, he arranged for plebiscites in Naples, Sicily and then the Papal States. The question asked, 'Should there be a united Italy under Victor Emmanuel?' had a overwhelming in favor vote. In March of 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed with th exception of the Papal States and Venetia.

  2. To what extent was the unification of Prussia due to weaknesses of Austria?

    to unify Germany under a parliamentary government, the economic and military advantages did not go on separate pathways as they did before but went hand in hand towards a common purpose-Kleindeutschland only, as Bismarck confidently proposed, or a combination of the previous and Grossdeutschland in order to appease the Austrians.

  1. To what extent was Austria the main obstacle to the unification of Italy in ...

    unified Italy would almost naturally emerge by means of common interest and nationalist ideals. The parochial nature of society and the failure of the provisional governments to unite in their actions were inter-dependant. This is because it is the nature of the society which caused the provisional governments to act

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

    He also feared the capture of the cause of unification by democracy and resolved to halt the advance on Rome of Garibaldi's "Red Shirts." But in order to do so Piedmont troops had to march through Papal territory. On 18 September 1860 they clashed at Castelfidardo, where the Papal army, under a French general, was beaten.

  1. To what extent was Cavour a leader of the unification of Italy?

    The war encouraged Italians to rise up against the Austrians in northern Italy and to achieve independence for many of the other northern states. Also, Cavour stirred uprisings in the Pope's northernmost territories which infuriated France, nevertheless it meant great things for the unification cause.

  2. How successful was Bismarckas Chancellor in his foreign policies between 1871-1890?

    Basically, this treaty provided Russia would not attack Austria-Hungary (in which case Germany would be tied to her ally). With the celebration of the Reinsurance Treaty - which could be renewed after three years - with Russia, it seemed Bismarck achieved everything he wanted concerning his foreign policies and in

  1. Unification Movements - Italian unification

    Napoleon met Cavour in Plombieres and promised to help Piedmont to carry out the unification movement (to fight against Austria). * In return, Cavour promised to give Nice and Savoy to France. * At the beginning, the Franco-Piedmontese army had won several wars.

  2. To what extent does Cavour deserve his reputation as the architect of Italian Unification?

    One of these conditions was that a war with Austria would not lead to Italian unification in any form. He realised that a united Italy for France would be problematic due to the presence of another power on the French doorstop.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work