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Italy did not Make Itself, France Did

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Italy did not Make Itself, France Did Charles Alberts famous quote "Italia fara da se" (Italy will make herself, by herself) was made in 1849 when the Piedmontese army was sent into Lombardy to take it over for the first time. This quote, however, was soon shown to be an empty boast and would stay like that for another 12 years. It became obvious after the failure of Charles Alberts invasion of Lombardy that Italy would only gain independence or unity by means of outside help. If it was ot for the help of France in the war of 1859 the unification of Italy through Piedmont would have never been possible, however it was not only the work of the French that made Italy, Cavour and Garibaldi had a very large say in the future of the peninsula as well. When Cavour became Prime Minister of Piedmont after the resignation of d'Azeglio he publicly supported the people of Piedmont in wanting to get rid of Austria, however his real beliefs were not fully clear. He may have just been trying to gain support, or he genuinly wanted a unified Italy. In the 1850 however, he was quoted as saying that the concept of Italian unity was 'rubbish'. But, his public beliefs are what was important, and what had a huge impact on the future of Italy. ...read more.


The war was exceptionally violent and Austria and France, especially in the battles of Magenta and Solferino, both of which were won by the French. The Piedmontese, however made little effort to mobilise and let the French do most of the work. Also as there was still no real sense of unity and not many people were willing to risk their lives for the cause. The war stopped at an ubrupt halt when, after only securing Lombardy, Napoleon made a truce with Austria in July 1859. He was not prepared to lose any more men or money in the war. He also did not want to run the risk of Austria uniting with Prussia as they would be an almost invincible enemy. He also did not like the Idea of a strong, unified Italy right on France's borders. The main reason however, for Napoleons decision was the fact that he did not fully trust Cavour any longer because of the events in Italy at the time. All over Italy Cavour was stirring up trouble, he started up revolutions in the states of Parma and Modena and set up provisonal governments in them. The main action by Cavour to really lose the trust of Napoleon was his attempt to take over Tuscany, which was not included in the Plombieres scheme for Piedmontese expansion. ...read more.


However, Cavour was very much against an attack on Rome as this would cause widespread trouble, especially with the French. Cavour was also aware that most of the Thousand (by now much more than that) were Mazzinians, and being Mazzinians they would be opposed to the Church and its teachings, and that they would have no problem attacking Rome. Cavour therefore sent an army from Piedmont to Rome in order to stop Garibaldi, however when the two armies met, Garibaldi saluted Victor Emmanuel as "the first King of Italy"2. Garibaldi then soon after oficially handed over all of his conquests to Victor Emmanuel and all of Italy was unified under Piedmont apart from Rome and the patrimony of St. Peter. There is no doubt that without the help of France Italy would have not even gotten close to unifiacation. There would have been no war of 1859, and if there was Italy would have been soundly beaten. But, thanks to the French Piedmont gained the first piece of the jig saw in Lombardy and this was a stepping stone to much greater things. However, if it was not for the work of Garibaldi, Sicily and Naples would not have been annexed to Piedmont until much later. Most of the work was done by Cavour and he orchestrated the annexations with many of the States. 1 The Unification of Italy 1817-70 by Adrina Stiles 2 Quotation of Garibaldi form The Unifiacation of Italy 1817-70 by Adrina Stiles ...read more.

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