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How likely was Italian Unification Before 1848?

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Gary Rudd How likely was Italian Unification Before 1848? There was great unrest in Italy in years leading up to 1948. Ideas of revolution had spread through Europe and inspired many people. In this essay I will be examining the forces acting for and against unification and how successful they were. Ideas such as Nationalism and Liberalism became popular with the Italian middle class. The middle classes hatred for Austrian rule was growing and people didn't understand why people of the same culture should be divided and ruled by foreign monarchies. Nationalists wanted a republic rather than a monarch. Why should they be subjects rather than citizens of an independent state? Liberals believed Italy should be ruled by a constitutional monarchy, where the monarch had less power. They didn't trust the current monarchies or republicans. ...read more.


This is why some of them fought for the Austrian army. After the Carbonari was discredited individuals started to become popular with the middle classes. Mazzini was certainly looked upon as a force for unification at first. He founded 'Young Italy'. Metternich considered him one of the most dangerous men. He believed that Italy didn't need outside help and that it could liberate itself by educating the young through secret newspapers and propaganda. Unfortunately he was too idealistic and after a failed revolt in Savoy he too was discredited and people began to mistrust his romantic idealism. Another popular individual was Gioberti, a priest. He wanted the Pope to ruler Italy and believed it would have to be Piedmont who fought the Austrians. Balbo agreed that Piedmont must be the force against Austrian rule and he also believed in a federation. ...read more.


Metternich knew that the further ideas of revolution spread, the harder it would be to contain uprisings. Metternich knew that if Austrian rule was to be maintained, then the Italian states must be kept separate, this way Italy would stay weak and easy to control. The Austrians obviously wanted to retain control so anything threatening that would be dealt with. In conclusion I think that even with what seems like more forces acting for it, unification was unlikely before 1848 basically because of the lack of co-operation between separate states. The fact that communication was very poor also hindered simultaneous revolts. The fact is that many people, such as Mazzini, had good ideas and were willing to do something but they lacked organisation skills and were not prepared. The final pressure against them was two of the biggest powers in Europe, Russia and Prussia. With their support behind Austria, unification was practically impossible. This document was written by N9GRUDD ...read more.

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