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How Important Was Leadership To The Unification Of Italy?

971 words - 4 pages

The unification of Italy very much depended on the leadership of three important figures. The unification, eventually, was achieved through war and diplomatic alliances. This is due to the shrewd thinking of the Piedmontese prime minister, Camillo di Cavour, and the military achievements of, Giusseppe Garibaldi. However the political themes of the Risorgimento, which were independence, liberty and unification, was introduced in a trinity initiated by another leader, Giusseppe Mazzini.Giussepe Mazzini was a man who possessed impressive rhetoric. However, his actions were not as remarkable and inspiring as his words. Mazzini's scheme and strategies were futile because it did not reach out to the masses of the population being the peasants and the urban "plebs". However through his continued though ineffective efforts, Mazzini inspired optimistic students and artisans. He aided in destabilizing the validity of Italian rulers and authenticating the process of unification. He made known to the people why a unified Italy is desirable in contemporary and practical terms. By introducing the idea of the trinity, Mazzini showed that a unified Italy would provide freedom and democracy. His powerful language was a tool that thrust Italy towards unification. His form of leadership was the first stage to the unification as it was one where the idea of a unified Italy was implanted firmly into the people's mind.However just having the idea of a unified Italy is insufficient. There must be an impetus that allows for this idea to be put into action. This impetus came in the form of Camillo di Cavour. Cavour's aims were restricted to Piedmont as he modernized it economically and tried to make it the centre of the unification. He realised that Italy could not "go it alone" as suggested by Mazzini. Therefore he used diplomatic tactics to achieve the goal. The Crimean War gave Cavour an opportunity to try to drive away the Austrians from Italian land. In 1854, Piedmontese troops were sent to the Crimean war and shockingly proved to be successful. This earned Italy a seat in the Paris Peace Conference. Cavour managed to present Italy's case in the conference. Though he returned empty-handed, he achieved much by securing a small state like Piedmont a seat among the major European powers. He had also managed to pose the Italian question such that it was discussed by the powers. Furthermore, the Crimean war had also broken the Vienna settlement of 1815. In his next attempt towards eliminating Austria out of Italy's way, Cavour made negotiations with France such that they would have to fight against Austria together if Austria is provoked into declaring war herself. This negotiation was proving to be a failure as Napoleon III was contemplating about the Franco-Austrian dispute while the other powers made efforts to prevent war. However the Austrians declared war and Cavour's prophecies seemed to be coming true.The war, on the other hand, had many complications along the...

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