Unification of Italy - Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Class 10 History

Here, students will know about Unification of Italy in detail of Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Class 10 History which will help them in getting a solid understanding of the various concepts embedded in the chapter. You will be able to understand the subject in a more advanced way and also in a simpler way. Through topic explain a student will be able to frame good answers in the examinations.

Unification of Italy - Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Class 10 History

Unification of Italy - Chapter 1 The Rise of Nationalism in Europe Class 10 History

• From more than a thousand years, Italians were scattered over several dynastic states as well as the
multi-national Habsburg Empire.

• During the middle of the 19th century, Italy was divided into seven states. These were:
1. Sardinia and Piedmont, ruled by an Italian Princely house.
2. Lombardy and Venetia were under the Austrian Habsburgs.
3. Centre was ruled by the Pope.
4. The southern regions of Naples and Sicily were under the domination of Bourbon kings of Spain.
5. The states of Parma, Modena, Tuscany.

• Only one, Sardinia-Piedmont, was ruled by an Italian princely house. Even the Italian language had
not acquired one common form and still had many regional and local variations.

Giuseppe Mazzini

• Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian revolutionary born in Genoa in 1807 who saw the creation of nation-states as a necessary part of this struggle for freedom. He became a member of the secret society of the Carbonari. At the age 24, he was sent into exile in 1831 for attempting a revolution in Liguria.

• He subsequently founded two more underground societies, first, Young Italy in Marseilles, and then, Young Europe in Berne, whose members were like-minded young men from Poland, France, Italy and the German states.

• He believed that nations to be the natural units of mankind. Therefore, Italy had to become a single unified republic within a wider alliance of nations. Formation of Italian republic only could be the basis of Italian liberty.

• The failure of revolutionary uprisings both in 1831 and 1848 meant that the mantle now fell on Sardinia-Piedmont under its ruler King Victor Emmanuel II to unify the Italian states through war.

• After 1848, the building of Italian nation state became essentially the task of the Sardinia-Piedmont. In the eyes of the ruling elites of this region, a unified Italy offered them the possibility of economic development and political dominance.


• Chief Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont Cavour led the movement to unify the regions of Italy was neither a revolutionary nor a democrat. Like any Italian elite, he spoke French much better than Italian.

• He was convinced that Italy would never be able to unify its regions without external help thus, he made diplomatic alliance with France and succeeded in defeating the Austrian army in 1859.

• He gained Lombardy region through this war.

Giuseppe Garibaldi

• Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian revolutionary who was also a member of Young Italy which was founded by Mazzini.

• He joined the process of unification of Italy in 1860. He together with his armed volunteers marched into South Italy and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. They succeeded in winning the support of the local peasants and attacked the army of Bourbon kings of Spain.

• Garibaldi and his forces defeated them and handed the territory to Cavour.

• The peasants who supported the Garibaldi were illiterate and were unaware of liberal-nationalist ideology. They had never heard of Italia (an Italian name for Italy) and believed that ‘La Talia’ was wife of Victor Emmanuel.

• In 1861 Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed king of united Italy.
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