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Otherwise known as the Risorgimento, which means “resurgence”, the Italian unification was a political and social movement that united the different states of the Italian peninsula into a single nation of Italy in the 19th century.
See the fact file below for more information on the Italian unification or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Italian Unification worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- In the third century BC, Italy was first unified by the Roman Empire. It became an informal extension of the Roman Republic for about 700 years. Since it was protected by Rome, it evaded being converted into a province. It even remained united after the decline of the Western Roman Empire.
- This situation suddenly changed during the conquest of the Frankish empire. For this reason, Italy was divided into a system of city-states.
- Consequently, the Kingdom of Sicily or the Kingdom of Naples led the Southern region, as established by the Normans. Meanwhile, the Pope governed Central Italy as a temporal kingdom known as the Papal States.
- Following the establishment of city-states, the rise of their modern counterparts, known as the nation-states, caused the former ones to decline. Italy, this time, became a site of opposing world powers.
- Until the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, Italy remained divided into small principalities.
- Following this, Napoleon Bonaparte was put into power, and he wanted to conquer the Italian states. He was successful in his agenda after unifying small principalities into one administrative unit. Since the conquest took place during the French Revolution, Italy eventually became part of the French Empire, which was aimed at promoting liberty, equality, fraternity, and people’s participation in politics.
Napoleon also encouraged revolutionary ideas and nationalism. He abolished the feudalistic laws introduced by previous empires and established the Code Civil.
- The Napoleonic Wars eventually took place around Europe, but Napoleon was starting to fail during this time. This ignited revolutions, including the attempts of Eugène de Beauharnais, viceroy of Italy, and Joachim Murat, who both wanted to control Italy rather than unify it.
- After the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, Italy was split again because of the Congress of Vienna in 1815. It aimed to bring Europe back into power again, thus reversing everything that happened during the previous events mentioned.
- This congress attempted to ignore the changes brought by Napoleon, and restore old rulers in their desired positions. It further caused Italy to be divided into different states such as the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Duchy of Parma, the Papal States, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
- Since the Congress of Vienna was ineffective, it only created hunger due to crop failures, unemployment, and further suffering of the Italian people. Thereafter, societies pushed for the idea of a unified Italian state. It includes the Carbonari aimed at liberating Italy through revolutionary movements, which was inspired by the principles of the French Revolution.
- Giuseppe Mazzini, a member of the Carbonari and the founder of another organization called Young Italy, was one of the most significant figures that led the Italian unification. It eventually attracted the attention of Giuseppe Garibaldi, another known figure in the Italian unification.
- As the two leaders joined forces in 1883, they continue to push their ideas. Unfortunately, a failed Mazzinian uprising in Piedmont in February 1834 forced Garibaldi to flee to South America.
- Following this was the turmoil of the revolutions in 1848 known as the First Italian War of Independence. The Second Italian War of Independence soon after took place led by Victor Emmanuel II, the third great figure of Italian unification. Later in 1861, Italy was declared a united nation-state under the Sardinian king Victor Emmanuel II.
- Although most of the Italian Peninsula was already united at this time, Venice and other Papal States were still far from the ideals of a single Italy. As the Austro-Prussian War broke out in 1886, Italy took this opportunity to capture Venice.
- During the Third Italian War of Unification, the Austrian Empire battled against the Prussian Empire, which was already backed by Italy. This war eventually ended in an agreement, leaving all of Italy united.
- The Italian unification was fully completed by the capture of Rome and later by the conquest of Trentino, Friuli, and Trieste at the end of World War I. This was also known in Italy as the Fourth Italian War of Independence.
- However, Italy still faced numerous problems even after the unification. Revolutionary ideals never really thrived as the class divide continues.
Italian Unification Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Italian Unification across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Italian Unification worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Italian unification which was a political and social movement that united the different states of the Italian peninsula into a single nation of Italy in the 19th century.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Italian Unification Facts
- Locating Italy
- Find the Word
- The Rule: Complete the Information
- Italian Unification Timeline
- Giuseppe Mazzini
- Notable People
- Narrating the Unification
- The Aftermath
- Italian Unification Legacy
- In a Nutshell
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Link will appear as Italian Unification Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 3, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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