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Italy’s Unification 

(short version)

Under the progressive, liberal leadership of Camillo Benso, count of Cavour (“conte di Cavour”), Sardinia led Italy to final unification.

In 1859, after gaining the support of France and England, Cavour, in alliance with the French emperor Napoleon III, seized Lombardy, and in 1860 all of Italy north of the Papal States, except Venetia, was added to Sardinia.

The Piedmont-born Giuseppe Garibaldi, a popular hero and guerrilla leader, led an expedition of 1,000 “Red Shirts” to Sicily in the same year and subsequently seized the southern part of the Italian Peninsula, which with Sicily constituted the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Garibaldi turned his conquests over to Victor Emmanuel, and in 1861 the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed.

​Only Venetia and Rome were not included in the new state (the former was added in 1866 and the latter in 1870). Italians at last had their own country.


Count of Cavour


Giuseppe Garibaldi

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