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Italian Unification Essays

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Questions and Answers: Italian Unification

1. What factors discouraged an early unification of Italy and how were these overcome?

Before the year of 1848, the Italian faced a lot of difficulties to urge the unification movement. Until, 1848, the situation had been changed and directly contributed to the unification movement.

After 1815 Italy was once again a mere geographical expression. Austria was to control a large part of Italy directly, that is, Lombardy and Venetia, and indirectly through the restored Bourbon Kings in some minor Italian states. Italian unification was once again frustrated ever the Risorgimento was quickly in advance. The explosion of Austrian power in Italy was the main problem which discouraged an early unification of Italy. Moreover, the general political atmosphere in Europe did not allow new concessions to Italian balance when the powers were concerned with maintaining the balance of power and to prevent the setting of French hegemony in Europe again. So a united Italy in 1815 would only mean French domination of Italy, so the powers generally accepted the settlement even though the 1815 settlement ignored the moral principles which first French Revolution and the Romanticism had unleashed in Europe. Even liberal powers like Britain and the mother of Revolution, France did not dare to take the risk of a war which may be caused if Italy was united and this might invite foreign intervention in the young Italy. So foreign aid was generally unavailable in the first generation of the nineteenth century. Moreover, any war against Austria in the 1820's would mean war against Russia and Prussia too because the Holy Alliance acted as international police force resisting the tide of change. So the political, diplomatic and military condition in 1820's and 1830's did not favour the unification of Italy.

Moreover, the movement of…...

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