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Cavour Significance

In: Historical Events

Submitted By MitchellH
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Camillod de Cavour was the architect of Italian unification. He hold that only by economic and military strengthening of Piedmont-Sardinia and also by timely alliance with foreign powers could Italy be unified. With these ideas in mind, Cavour prepared Italy by for unification and took first step to bring unity about. In March 1861, Victor Emmanuel II, king of Piedmont-Sardinia assumed the title of king of Italy and proclaimed the new kingdom of Italy. However, in June 1861, Cavour died, dying at the very moment when his survival seemed essential to the completion of unification. Nevertheless, Cavour was praised as the national hero of Italy.

Cavour was a strong advocate of constitutional monarchy in Italy. He studied the political systems of Britain and France and from the beginning he insisted that the unified Italy should be a parliamentary monarchy on the British model. In 1847, Cavour founded a newspaper, Risorgimento, to propagate his national ideas. One year later, he was elected to be the member of Piedmontese Parliament. In 1850, Cavour was made Minister of Commerce and Agriculture. One year later, he also was made Minister of Navy and Finance and finally to be Prime Minister in 1852. Within a few years, Cavour transformed Piedmont-Sardinia into a completely modern state.

Cavour saw that the construction of railways, miles, factories, banks and business enterprises were the only avenue to economic prosperity in Italy. He seized upon the importance of railways, making Piedmont-Sardinia part of an international network of communication. The railways greatest strategic importance was extended. The Mont Cenis tunnel was planned to pierce the Alps and link up the Piedmontese territories with France. Genoa was changed from a naval base into a great commercial port with new docks and leading facilities. By rail and steamship, Piedmont-Sardinia came to be...

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