Who is Who in Italian History
Camillo Benso - Conte di Cavour
1810 - 1861
Camillo Benso, Conte di Cavour was born raised and educated in Turin, Piemonte (Piedmont).
Cavour began his career as lieutenant of the Sardinian army which he served from 1826 to 1831. In 1847 he co-founded “Il Risorgimento” (The Resurgence), a nationalist newspaper that called for Italy’s unification and expulsion of the Austrians.
In 1848 Cavour became a member of the Sardinian chamber of deputies and became prime minister in 1852. Under Cavour’s leadership, Sardinia, Britain and France became allies and marched in what is known as the Crimean War (1854-56) against Russia
Cavour was also the architect of Sardinia’s alliance with Napoleon III against Austria. Cavour resigned as prime minister in protest of the king’s (Victor Emmanuel II) agreement to the peace treaty of Zurich (November 1859) which allowed Austria’s strong presence in Northern Italy. (Napoleon III had made peace with Austria without consulting Cavour and had agreed to Austria retaining Venetia and Lombardy falling to France.)
Cavour became prime minister again in 1860 after Tuscany, Romagna, Parma and Modena voted in favor of annexation to Sardinia.
Cavour is regarded as one of Europe’s most able politicians and statesmen of his times.