Unification of Italy : 1848-70 Background of the Unification of Italy
The state of affairs continued well into the 17th century until the rise of the Italian city-states, such as Milan and Venice, changed the balance of power in the region. Wars would be fought between the states and the Holy Roman Empire culminating in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Although it would end the involvement of the Holy Roman Empire, most of Northern Italy would still be ruled by the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire at the time. The Spanish Wars of succession would end the Habsburg Rule in Italy by 1714
1. One of the major features of the history of Europe in the 19th century was the struggle for national unification and independence. Italy & Germany were the two important nations that emerged as united, independent states in the 19th century.
2. In the early 19th century, Italy was divided into a number of states in which the Kingdom of Sardinia was the most powerful.
3. The struggle for Italian independence and unification was organized by the two famous revolutionaries - Mazzini & Garibaldi. The movement led by them is known as the 'Young Italy' movement.
4. After the revolution of 1848, Count Cavour, the Prime Minister of Sardinia, took the initiative of uniting Italy under the leadership of Sardinia.
5. By the year of 1861, the entire states (except Rome) had been united and then Victor Emmanuel II, the king of Sardinia took the title of 'King of Italy'.
6. Rome was still outside the kingdom of Italy. It was ruled by the Pope. Italian soldiers liberated the city of Rome in 1870, and in 1871, Rome became the capital of united Italy.