Italian Unification - Notes on who the real father of the Italian Unification was.

Essay by forgiveme88 April 2006

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Who was the real father of the Italian nation?

Thesis: It would be arduous to imagine statesmen other than Giuseppe Garibaldi and Count Camillio di Cavour, as contributors to the Italian cause. Garibaldi, as a patriot, democrat, and freedom fighter was determined to create a 'single Italy', and devoted his life to national liberation but only Cavour, however, knew how to make it possible. Indeed, as the historian Philips puts it: "[Cavour kept [the unification] pure from any mutinous spirit, did it away from barren utopias, kept it clear of reckless conspiracies, steered strait between revolt and reactions and gave it an organized force, a flag, a government, and foreign allies."

In order to end Austrian domination of the Italian states, Cavour had overseen a major step in the unification process when trying to gain international support at the Paris peace conference in 1856. Cavour was sure that without foreign assistance, riding Italy of Austrian domination, hence an important step in unifying Italy, would be almost impossible.

"In this he failed, but he was successful in making important personal contacts, especially with the French emperor, Napoleon III. Napoleon committed himself to the goal of securing an alliance with France in order to accomplish the expulsion of Austria from the peninsula." (Eric Wilmot 224)

"...his scheme was for an Italian Confederation; this was explicitly stated in a confidential memorandum to Victor Emmanuel explaining the contents of the secret Pact of Plombieres with Napoleon III in 1858."(Stephen Lee 76)

"Yet he was determined to rid of the peninsular Austrian influence and to allow Italians to determine their own fortunes. He envisaged a modern and extended Piedmont at the head of the drive towards independence. With these aims in mind he initiated the economic transformation of the state. He would conclude trade treaties...