Italian Unification Movements
After Napoleon, the Italian states were controlled by France.
They experienced the unity under the rule of an efficient
They felt that they disliked being ruled by foreign countries,
therefore nationalist feeling was aroused.
After the Congress of Vienna in 1815-16, they were divided into 8
states and the northern part of Italy was controlled by
Again, they disliked the alien rule and wanted to be independent.
The nationalist movement began.
In 1820-30s, the Carbonari was formed in Naples. They carried out a
series of revolutions, but all of them failed because they lacked
organization and mass support. There was also no capable leader.
In 1831, Mazzini formed the Society of Young Italy (it was more
popular). He believed that the revolutions failed because the people
in the Italian states had no strong nationalism. Therefore he spread
nationalism throughout Italy.
Mazzini wanted to set up the Republic of Italy to unify Italy into
one country and planned to revolt. He planned to attack Piedmont (the
strongest, independent Italian state) through Switzerland.
Finally, he failed.
In 1848, there was Risorgimento movement. Many anti-Austrian
movements were carried out.
After Metternich fell from power, more Italians supported the
However, they all failed because:
They had different ideas of political system so that the
revolutionaries were divided into 3 groups: federalism (e.g. USA),
republicanism (e.g. France) and constitutional monarchial (e.g.
Britain). This weakened their strength.
Moreover, when the revolutionaries wanted to support King Charles
Albert of Piedmont (timid and indecisive) to be king, Albert hesitated
and gave the chance to Austria to suppress revolutions.
Finally, France army of Napoleon III succeeded to suppress the
Republic, which was set up Mazzini. And the revolts...