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

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

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was Cavour a leader of the unification of Italy? Cavour's contribution to Italy's unification is a momentous one. This is why to a certain extent he can be justly acclaimed as the leader who converted Italy from a geographical expression to a unified country. The turning point in the process to Italy's unification can begin with Cavour's appointment as prime minister of Piedmont in 1852. For Italy to ever have a chance of unification they had to defeat their biggest obstacle, which was to combat Austria's domination over their country. Austria had previously ceased Lombardy and Venetia during Charles Albert's reign, making it increasingly impossible for Italy to have their independence. Cavour as prime minister had a distinct aim, he endeavoured to make his policy of modernizing Piedmont a reality. This was important as it would require a strong Piedmont to take the lead in a national movement against Austria. Subsequently, his plan of action involved creating a series of programmes which ultimately helped the Kingdom of Piedmont to become the leading Italian state. He introduced progressive internal reforms, reorganised the administration, the financial system, industry and the army. ...read more.


With the resignation of Cavour's post as prime minister in 1859 it can be argued that he was abandoning Italy's chance of unification. However it has to be remembered that unification was at the time not his intention. Cavour's stint as prime minister had generated tremendous support for the unification cause. His supporters not only demanded union with Piedmont they refused to accept the return of their old rulers as ordered by the Treaty of Villafranca. This shows that Cavour's policies were respected, Britain showed support for Piedmont's cause, thus encouraging Napoleon to show support for he did not wish Britain to have an established influence in Italy. The fact that Victor Emmanuel reinstated Cavour as prime minister in 1860 reinforces the fact that Cavour was a successful leader who undeniably was contributing towards a form of unification. Cavour, it would seem through Piedmont's development had brought about the prestige and power Italy desperately needed after the Mazzinian failures in the late 1840s. However, despite the effects of his political and diplomatic tactics, his motives were far from the true nationalistic spirit of Italy. Cavour's main priority was his ambitions for a dominant Piedmont in Northern Italy. ...read more.


minds of the public that it motivated Italian nationalists to eventually turn to the monarchical leadership offered by Cavour and Victor Emmanuel. In hindsight Cavour can be acclaimed with the title, leader of Italian unification partly because if he had not used his political diplomacy as prime minister he would not have secured foreign allegiances with Britain and more importantly France. This alliance with France was fundamental to the unification of Italy as without the help of Napoleon Piedmont would never have defeated Austria. It was this defeat that restored hope and initiated the possibility that one day Italy may be fully united. It becomes irrelevant that Cavour did not actually live to see the completion of Italy's unity as he was the one who had learned from the revolutionary mistakes and began Italy's road to independence. However the other three figures also contributed as leaders of the cause in one way and it can be said that without one of them, unification would have been far less likely. Mazzini inspired ideas of unity among the people, Victor Emmanuel appointed the right leaders, Garibaldi used his charismatic leadership and military competence to great effect by conquering the South. Therefore only to a certain extent Cavour can be considered leader of Italian unification. . ...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. To what extent was Austria the main obstacle to the unification of Italy in ...

    The Austrian army was extremely well led and organised and the extent of this is evident in its ability to suppress the more widespread revolutions between 1848 and 1849. Revolutions had spread from Palermo throughout mainland Italy and other serious disturbances were occurring in 1848 as a result of the

  2. The Unification of Italy.

    However, soon afterwards the revolutionary movements failed all over Italy except for Sardinia, which remained independent. Previous rulers came back to power, nevertheless the patriots did not give up. Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, the chief minister of Sardinia, set up a nationalist newspaper.

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

    Whether Cavour was pushed by external international factors or stepped willingly into this role as part of a long-term plan is debateable. This was a crucial role of Cavour in his foreign policy in the fact that it gained Piedmont a seat as an equal with many of the great European powers that led to greater Franco-Piemontese cooperation.

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

    Cavour, remembering the Plombieres agreement grasped the long awaited opportunity. The war of 1859 opened a new and promising channel for the devotion of Giuseppe Garibaldi to his native land.

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

    Within the year a colony was established in South West Africa, an area of British interest. Later in July Gustav Nachtigal, who had already experience in the area, was appointed as responsible to govern Togoland and the Cameroons. A year later the area where is now Tanzania was acquired by Karl Peters through deals with native tribes in the region.

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

    The traditional view of Bismarck sets him to be the chief architect of the German Empire. It is thought that he had a long term strategy to make war on Austria and France in order to create a united Germany under Prussian control, as he later claimed in his memoirs.


    Garibaldi- wished to see all of Italy united as quickly as possible by revolutionary means using the Red Shirts. Victor Emmanuel- wanted to see Italy united under Sardinia Mazzini- wanted to see a united Italy using Reform and secret societies (Carbonari)

  2. To what extent did nationalism within the Austria-Hungarian Empire contribute to the outbreak of ...

    However, her poor situation after 1871 had obstructed her plan of finding friends. Her traditional animosity with Russia and Britain delayed her in setting up alliance with them. Therefore, during the time of Bismarck, the alliance system is unilaterally under the direction of Bismarck, who successfully utilize the system in

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