Introduction Italian politics long after unification. There

Introduction The Italian Risorgimento is often described as Italy’s struggle for freedom through unification; however, there is often a failure to disclose the greater social and political unrest that would plague Italy in the twentieth century. Nationalists who had fought in the effort for the eventual 1861 unification were subsequently left disappointed with the constitutional monarchy that ruled over Italy. Displeasure with the new form of government further instigated the opposition that was prevalent among the revolutionary forces of the Risorgimento, a group that held little agreement on which form of government the new state should take. The Italian Risorgimento movement originally sought to establish a democracy in place of the foreign powers that had previously ruled Italy due to the outcome of the Congress of Vienna, which saw the return of Napoleonic Europe to its previous monarchies.The once democratic goals held by Italians such as Mazzini and Garibaldi clashed with the monarchical values held by many moderate Italians. These Democratic dreams were ultimately compromised in favor of King Victor Emmanuel III of Sardinia and moderate Italians’ monarchist ideals, while Italy was further split by the conflicting views of traditionalists.  Italians compromised their original intent in order to solve the conflict of their freedom from foreign powers, only to subject themselves to further conflict internally as the new nation progressed.  The Roots of the Risorgimento The Italian Risorgimento is credited as one of the most significant periods in the history of the Italian region. The period is regularly perceived as the turning point in which Italy formally became a “nation” and joined its modern counterparts. The Risorgimento introduced ideals of nationalism and republicanism that continued to affect Italian politics long after unification. There is an absence of agreement on the definite date; however, scholars typically agree that the movement started in 1815 with the conclusion of Napoleonic rule and ended in 1860 when northern and southern Italy unified.  The French Revolution of 1789 serves as the inspiration for ending foreign rule in the peninsula. The armies of the French Revolution invaded western Piedmont in 1793, effectively gaining control of Nice and Savoy. Three years after that, forces under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte marched into Northern Italy. In turn, the ruler gained control of Po Valley from the Austrian government, a crucial part of the whole peninsula, with the signing of  the Treaty of Campoformio in 1797.  The French occupation of Italy marked the beginning of political unrest due to foreign domination that would continue until the 1850s. After gaining control of Italy, Napoleon replaced the ten Italian states with the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Naples and Piedmont.   The constant changes in territory throughout this region due to Napoleonic rule led to a decline in the cultural identity that had warranted multiple Italian states. This lack of stability eventually triggered the end of the city-state system,which had officially been in place since 1454 . While the French occupation signified the end of Italy’s old city-state system, the 1789 French Revolution introduced a new ideology in Italy that placed importance of democracy and representation in government. This new way of thinking would make the peninsula’s Risorgimento possible.Map of Italy’s ten states before Napoleonic rule (left) and map of Italy under Napoleonic rule (right)Giuseppe Mazzini’s Young Italy and the End of Napoleonic Rule In 1814, Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. Although his defeat marked an end to Napoleonic rule in Italy, it left the region as a puppet in the game of European diplomacy. The 1815 Congress of Vienna almost entirely put Italy under the rule of Napoleonic France’s long-term rival, the Austrian Empire, with only the Kingdom of Sardinia remaining independent. Social unrest throughout Italy worsensened due to a famine in 1817, long after the end of Napoleonic rule. Italy’s elite found themselves disappointed to find their original powers severely lessened by new reforms in the wake of the Restoration of Europe’s monarchies, while individuals who had gained power under Napoleonic rule resented the demotion they received under the restored monarchies.  Due to this pressure, revolutionary groups that had originally been created in opposition of French rule found themselves on the opposing side of new foreign rulers. Although these groups held a common opposition for their foreign rulers, they failed to mount a successful rebellion against Austria due to internal divisions between moderates and democrats.  From this mix of disorganized groups, a new movement was born: Giovine Italia (Young Italy), founded by Giuseppe Mazzini. With Mazzini’s views, a future where Italy was free from foreign domination was directly related to the establishment of democratic rule in the region.  Under the slogan of ” Unity, Independence, and Liberty,” Mazzini’s Young Italy called for an end of traditional values such as aristocracy, monarchy, and confessional privilege. As a result, the group hoped to see a renewal in democracy and an era of Italian unity.  During the 1830s, Young Italy was at the head of countless uprisings throughout the region. Though fruitless, they served as a tactic of intimidation against opposing forces. With the leadership of Mazzini, his group was able to link Italy’s freedom from Austrian rule with an extensive political revolution meant to bring an end to monarchical rule in the region and establish a democracy in its place. Giuseppe Garibaldi would take the reigns his predecessor once held and continued Young Italy’s mission.  Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Next Italian Hero Garibaldi spent much of his youth traveling as a merchant sailor. These adventures led to him meeting French exiles that gifted him with a political awareness that would eventually lead him to the ideals of republican nationalism. In April 1833, Giovanni Battista Cuneo recruited the young Garibaldi to the then secret organization, Young Italy. Later, Garibaldi fled to South America after being sentenced to death for his part in Young Italy’s unsuccessful 1834 rebellion against the Piedmontese government, although he was not present for the legal proceedings. As a wanted man, Garibaldi would remain in South America for twelve years. While there, he gained the nickname of “bandit leader” for his participation in revolutionary movements occurring in South America, specifically in Uruguay against the Argentine Confederation.  The time Garibaldi spent in South America helped shape his political beliefs, such as his opinion that dictatorships should only be used only in times of war and for limited periods of time. This time also served to build Garibaldi’s military knowledge, which was famously seen when he masterminded the defense of the Roman Republic against invading French forces seeking to restore Pope Pius IX. The Revolutions of 1848-1849 The revolutionary ideals that accumulated into the Revolutions of 1848-1849 were the results of crises felt throughout Europe at this time. Uprisings broke out in Sicily and soon spread throughout the European Continent- encompassing Berlin, Paris, Budapest, Vienna, and, eventually, the entire Italian region. Due to three years of food shortages and economic turmoil, strikes, riot, and other demonstrations became prevalent.  Mazzini and his movement, Young Italy, used the chaos caused by these uprisings to launch their offensive. Rulers of the Two Sicilies, Piedmont, Tuscany, and the Papal States were persuaded to grant constitutions, as well as unseat the Austrian army and its commander in Lombardy. At the same time, Daniele Manin declared Austrian Venice a republic and became its new leader after the revolution took place.  During this time, Young Italy seemed successful in their efforts for unification, but this proved to only be temporary.  The apparent success of Young Italy masked the problems the group faced from within due to internal divisions. By the mid-1840s, Mazzini’s goal of a true democracy was overshadowed by more moderate Italians, who were willing to compromise with Sardina’s monarchy and the Papal States in order to achieve unification with minimal violence over a greater period of time. Once these moderates gained control of the government in the wake of these successes, they then moved to sideline the very democrats that the movement had been built on. However, the moderates found themselves unable to find a middle ground between unrest and peace. Having lost sight of the divide between cities while paying the countryside no mind, the moderates failed to address the popular unrest that had originally caused the revolutions of 1848-1849. This engraved print by Alexis de Tocqueville depicts the riots occuring in Milan during the Revolutions of 1848-1849 To further exacerbate the faults of the moderates, monarchs throughout Italy demonstrated that they were completely averse to compromise. For instance, King Carlo Alberto of Sardina declared war on the Austrian Empire in an attempt to gain control of the unification movement and, in response, Pope Pius IX claimed neutrality in the conflict and withdrew all volunteers associated with the Papal States out of the region. Consequently, Ferdinand II of Naples staged a coup d’etat in order to remove moderates from office and dissolve parliament. These events highlighted that the confidence moderates placed in the monarchs was utterly unreciprocated. It became clear that the Pope had no interest in supporting nationalism and monarchs such as Ferdinand II had no interest in supporting moderates.  Mazzini took this chance to reestablish the democratic cause. In February 1848, Mazzini arrived in Rome, where a republic was announced. Universal male suffrage was established and Church land fell under the ownership of the state. However, Mazzini’s victories failed to win over the majority of Italians and by 1849 only Rome and Venice were under democratic control. Not even Garibaldi’s military ability could save the democratic and nationalist movement from its underlying flaws. Garibaldi led a resistance with the help of volunteers that drew international awareness when Rome came under attack first by the Bourbons to the South then by the French led by Louis Napoleon. Despite Garibaldi’s best efforts, the Roman Republic was greatly outnumbered and was forced to surrender on July 2 1849. In an effort to save the Venetian Republic, Garibaldi marched north with the last of his army. Unfortunately, despite his efforts, the Republic fell under Austrian siege. In August 1849, the last remnant of a Italy controlled by the Italian revolutionaries fell under the rule of the Austrian Empire.  The revolutions of 1848-1849 failed due to a series of different factors. The uprisings that took place had leadership that had too many divisions to be successful. Mazzini and Garibaldi led a democratic movement that sought to overthrow the traditional aristocracies and monarchies, while their more moderate counterparts sought to compromise with the very foreign powers they were trying to usurp. The democratic ideals fought for by Mazzini’s Young Italy remained unpopular among the Italian masses, while monarchs took advantage of the moderates that sought compromise. Although unification remained a dream, the movement became solidified by the participation of the Piedmontese government. These revolutions proved that independence could not be achieved without fighting the Austrians or making an alliance with the Papacy. 1849-1859 Italians Prepare to Fight The decade following the revolutions of 1848-1849 was marred by the repression of the Italian people from figures such as Pope Pius IX and Leopold II of Tuscany. Both of these figures backed away from reforms, introduced censorship, and curbed any signs of political opposition. Due to this response, the democratic movement began to lose momentum as well as suffer with further divisions. Mazzini’s reputation suffered with eached failed attempt to unify Italy. Daniele Manin, Giuseppe La Farina, and Giorgio Pallavicino Trivulzio founded the Italian National Society in 1857. This new group marked a new beginning in the Italian Risorgimento due to the fact that its leaders had their origins in the democratic movement. However, these men eventually turned monarchists with the conviction that the only way to succeed in unifying Italy was through an alliance with Piedmont (and in turn, the Kingdom of Sardinia). These leaders asserted that Italians should focus on unity instead of independence and democracy. With influence from the Piedmontese government, they proposed that Italians should accept Piedmont and its monarchy in order to mount opposition against Austria as one Italy.  This marked the beginning of the end for the Risorgimento original democratic intentions. The success of this proposed alliance relied on Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, who had been the Prime Minister of Piedmont since 1852. He paved the way for unification in 1860 by mobilizing Italians of all political views under one cause. Cavour was not a nationalist, but instead was a realist who saw that nationalism was the only way for Piedmont to take Austria’s role as the dominating figure in the Italian peninsula. Cavour’s ultimate success laid in his use of diplomacy to achieve his goal. Cavour sought the help of Napoleon III in an effort to further isolate Austria to make it easier to gain control of the Italian peninsula. In return for France’s help, Nice and Savoy were left under French control indefinitely. Austria declared war in 1859, with Piedmont emerging as the clear victor after having gained Lombardy. The peninsula was now largely under Piedmont’s control.Unification and Its Partial Success Through Garibaldi’s famous Thousand Volunteers, the Bourbons to the south were overthrown within six months in 1860. Shortly after, Garibaldi declared himself the dictator of the Two Sicilies, although his rule was short lived due to his failure to annex Piedmont. Cavour worried about Garibaldi’s growing power and subsequently sent French forces to intervene.  On October 26, 1860, Garibaldi surrendered to King Victor Emmanuel III of Sardinia and Piedmont at Teano. Without further opposition, the path was paved for political unification in March of 1860. The unification that was achieved was not ideal. Venetia was under Austrian control and the Pope’s influence over Rome was still protected by the French. Young Italy’s dream of Italian democracy in an unified state remained unrealized as King Victor Emmanuel II now ruled the majority of the peninsula. The Italian people had achieved unification as well as freedom from foreign rule at the cost of democracy in order to establish a largely centralized monarchy.Unseating the Pope. Political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, depicts King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy Taking over as the main power in Rome,instead of  Pope Pius IX.Those still loyal to the Pope kiss his feet as a sign of respect.Conclusion In many ways, the path to unification exposed internal power struggles within Italy that would carry on into the twentieth century. The revolutionaries that made unification possible united in their opposition against Austria, but failed to resolve any of the ideological differences between the democrats and the moderates. In the desperation to achieve unity, Italians accepted the House of Savoy more easily even though they originally dreamed of a republic in order to unite the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Two Sicilies.  Because each viewpoint held by the different leaders opposed each other, the Italian patriotic parties never spoke with a singular conviction. Events from 1848-1860 led to political unity between the north and the south; however,  it also led to an accumulation of the need to have further ideological, social, and political reform in the following century. This was seen when the Italian monarchy was abolished via constitutional referendum after World War II when the monarchs failed to help the Italian people against Benito Mussolini’s totalitarian regime. It had become clear to the common people of Italy that the monarchs did not fight for their subjects despite the faith Italians placed in them. In 1946, Italy abolished the monarchy in favor of the republic that members of the Italian Risorgimento had dreamed of decades earlier, despite Victor Emmanuel III’s efforts to preserve it by abdicating the throne in favor of his son, Umberto II who ruled for just 34 days.