Compare and contrast Cavour and Garibaldi's contributions to Unification.
The 1848 revolution in Italy saw The Kingdom of Piedmont become a constitutional monarchy under King Victor Emmanuel. Prime Minister Conte Camillo di Cavour persuaded Napoleon III of France to sign a secret treaty of alliance with Piedmont (at Plombieres), which allowed the French to intervene on the side of the Piedmontese once Cavour had provoked Austria into a war. In truth, the assassination attempt on Napoleon III by a militant Italian Mazzinian, Orsini, was much more of a prompt for his own involvement than the requests by Cavour. The Franco-Austrian War of 1859 involved much bloody fighting in northern Italy, but premature to Austrian defeat, Napoleon III withdrew in fear of losing a great many more lives. Additionally, the war had been a lot more expensive than at first anticipated. This enabled Austria to recoup some its losses, in particular the wealthy province of Venetia (in an armistice on 24th June behind Cavour's back). At this stage, Cavour was extremely depressed and even contemplating suicide. However, the war had encouraged Italians to rise up against the Austrians in northern Italy and to achieve independence for many of the other northern Italian states. Cavour stirred uprisings in the Pope's northernmost territories, which infuriated France but meant great things for the unification cause. These states accepted potential unification under the government of Piedmont thanks to Cavour's determination and also the help of the National society, who were encouraging voters in the Central Duchies to request annexation by Piedmont.
Strongly encouraged by this turn of events, Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian revolutionary, led an invasion of Sicily with only a thousand men ("The Thousand"). Garibaldi was at heart a Mazzinian. In 1849 he teamed up with Mazzini in controlling Rome, but since that failure he had become more realistic in his approach to the cause of unification. During the 1850s he became an important figure in the National Society, and by 1859, was appointed a Major General in the Sardinian Army. He was even thought by many of the Sicilian Peasantry to be Jesus Christ due to his incredible previous successes and uncannily similar physical appearance (although he was thought to be an outlaw in conservative circles!). The Thousand was made up mostly from students, young professionals and artisans. Thousands more Italians in Sicily and southern Italy rose up with Garibaldi in support of unification, and Garibaldi's Thousand (now with approximately twenty thousand men) marched triumphantly to the Italian mainland and north to Naples.