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What were the gains and losses between 1861-1870 of the creation of Italy?

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What were the gains and losses between 1861-1870 of the creation of Italy? There are two main areas that must be looked at in order to explain the gains and losses between 1861-1870. These are Political unification, which is mainly to do with the domestic area and Geographical unification, which is mainly to do with Venetia and Rome. To start the idea of Political Unification D'Azeglio who was part of the Risorgimento said, "Italy is made, now we must make Italians." By this he meant that Italy needed to gain a sense of identity, seen as only two and a half per cent spoke Italian. There was poor communication due to the North and South divide as there were economic differences. The North was the urban part of Italy and was economically better then the rural south. There was a Piedmontese system imposed on the rest of Italy, which meant that the other states had to follow Piedmontese rules. The democratic idea was that there should be a constituent assembly, which would be composed of delegates from all parts of Italy and would decide on the format of the Italian government. Garibaldi had already proposed that Naples should gain a constitution. However after unification in 1861 the laws and the government of Piedmont were extended to all of the other states apart from Tuscany. Therefore the 'Statuto' of 1848 became the Italian constitution. From this it can be said that the creation of the new state in 1861 was more like an expansion of Piedmont than the unification of Italy. ...read more.


The other area that needs to be considered when weighing up the gains and losses of the creation of Italy is the geographical aspect. The Kingdom of Italy had been proclaimed in 1861, but still unification remained incomplete, as Rome was still run by the Pope and Venetia was still under the power of Austria. Cavour had already prior to this proclaimed that the kingdom should include Rome and Venetia and had already begun negotiations with the pope. However the Pope was disinclined to accept any of these requests, which made even gaining Rome difficult. In 1862 Garibaldi decided to take matters into his own hands and decided to march onto Rome. Victor Emmanuel who believed just like Garibaldi that they would have to take by force agreed to aid him. Garibaldi gathered 2000-3000 men and crossed over to the mainland to invade the Papal States. However their plot was revealed by mistake and so this meant that the Italian Government had to decide whether they would still go ahead with the expedition. Italy decided that it was not strong enough to appose the Great Powers and so to avoid a diplomatic blunder they disowned Garibaldi and allowed the Piedmontese army to stop him at Aspromonte. In 1864, two years later, the Prime Minister Minghetti was able by means of the September Convention to persuade Napoleon to evacuate his troops from Rome over a period of two years as long as the capital of Italy would be relocated from Turin to Florence and not Rome and that Victor Emmanuel would defend the Papal States in return. ...read more.


In 1870 France withdrew troops from Rome to defend the city of Paris, as they were in desperate need. In September Prussia had a decisive victory over the French at the Battle of Sedan. On the 8 September Victor Emmanuel sent a letter to the Pope requesting that they made an agreement that the Pope could still retain his religious position providing that he gave up his political power over Rome, but the pope refused. Consequently the Italian troops moved in on Rome, which was now unprotected by the French, as they had been required during the 1870 war. The Italian troops easily breached the walls of Rome and there were few casualties. On the 20 September Rome was annexed to the rest of Italy. Another plebiscite was held in Rome, which produced a positive result. This upset the pope and he decided to excommunicate Victor Emmanuel and the Italian Government, which meant that they were thrown out of the church. In conclusion it can be seen that there were many gains and losses to the creation of Italy. In my opinion there were more gains rather than losses as Italy had gained what it had set out to do, even though it may have taken some time due to a number of setbacks. The only major loss will have been to the Italian Government and Victor Emmanuel who had eventually been excommunicated from the church due their persistency to gain Rome and finally produce a properly Unified Italy. Rebecca Johnson Miss Garvie 1 ...read more.

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