Mains Marks Booster     4th August 2023        
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Interesting Fact: The unification of Italy faced numerous challenges, including opposition from foreign powers and internal conflicts. The Papal States, which were under the control of the Pope, posed a significant obstacle to unification, and their integration into the Kingdom of Italy marked a critical milestone in the process.


 The unification of Italy took place in two stages:

    • Gaining independence from Austria, and
    • Uniting the independent Italian states into a single entity.
  • Giuseppe Mazzini, a revolutionary, formed an organisation called Young Italy in 1831, aiming for Italian unification under a liberal government.
  • From 1831 onwards, Young Italy repeatedly attempted revolts against the Monarchy but all of them failed to establish a democratic and united Italy.

Role of 1848 Revolts

  • The 1848 revolts in Italy were led by intellectuals and liberals who opposed Austrian control and sought a liberal government.
  • While these revolts brought about democratic reforms, they did not achieve independence from Austria or the consolidation of the Italian states.

Unification through Bismarck-like Policy of Prime Minister Cavour:

  • Prime Minister Count Cavour's Policy: After the 1848 revolts, Prime Minister Count Cavour of the Italian State of Sardinia pursued a policy similar to that of Bismarck in Germany.
  • Alliance with France and War against Austria: In 1859, Sardinia formed an alliance with France and waged war against Austria, liberating several Italian states from Austrian rule.
  • Unification under the Monarchy of Sardinia: Most of these states were united under the monarchy of Sardinia, except for Venetia, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and the Papal States.
  • Liberation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies: The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was liberated by revolutionary fighters led by Garibaldi and incorporated into the Sardinian monarchy in 1860.
  • Annexation of Venetia: In 1866, Italy annexed Venetia during the Austro-Prussian War.
  • Rome under Papal Rule: Rome, the capital of the Papal States, remained under the direct rule of the Pope and was protected by French troops.
  • Annexation of Rome and Completion of Unification: In 1870, Rome was annexed by Italy, completing the unification process.
Unification through Bismarck-like Policy of Prime Minister Cavour:


  • The unification of Italy brought together disparate regions, cultures, and identities into a single nation-state, laying the foundation for the modern Italian state.
  • While challenges and tensions persist, the unification of Italy remains a symbol of the power of nationalism, the pursuit of self-determination, and the aspiration for a united and prosperous nation.
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