Describe the process of Unification of Italy.
Italian unification was the political and social movement that consolidated different states of the Italian Peninsula into the single state of Italy in the 19th century. The several stages of unification of Italy can be understood with following points:
- During the 1830s, Mazzini, a revolutionary, decided to make a programme to unite Italy and formed a secret society named Young Italy.
- After few failed attempts, King Victor Emmanuel II took to unify the Italian states through war. He got the whole-hearted support of his minister Camillo di Cavour who was successful in uniting Italy under the crown of Sardinia.
- In 1855, the kingdom of Sardinia participated from the sides of British and French in the Crimean War.
- In 1858, Cavour formed an alliance with France that included a pledge of military support against Austria, Italy's major obstacle in unification.
- Austria declared war against Sardinia in 1859 and was easily defeated by the French army.
- The peace treaty of November 1959 signed in Zurich, Switzerland, made Lombardy, a former Austrian province, a part of Sardinia.
- In 1860, armed volunteers under Garibaldi liberated Sicily and Naples, which together made up the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
- Assemblies in the central Italian provinces of Tuscany, Parma, Modena and Romagna voted in favour of unification with Sardinia in the summer of 1859.
- In 1861, Italy was declared a nation under the Sardinian king Victor Emmanuel II.