Unification of Italy & Germany

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Unification of Italy ( 1848-70 )

» One of the major features of the history of Europe in 19th century was the struggle for the national unification and independence. Italy & Germany were the two important nations which emerged as united, independent states in the 19th century.
» In the early 19th century, Italy was divided into a number of states in which the Kingdom of Sardinia was the most powerful.
» The struggle for Italian independence and unification was organized by the two famous revolutionaries —Mazzini & Garibaldi. The movement led by them is known as the 'Young Italy' movement.
» After the revolution of 1848, Count Cavour, the Prime Minister of Sardinia, took the initiative of uniting Italy under the leadership of Sardinia.
» By the year of 1861, the entire states (except Rome) had been united and then Victor Emmanuel II, the king of Sardinia took the title of 'King of Italy’.
» Rome was still outside the kingdom of Italy. It was ruled by the Pope. Italian soldiers liberated the city of Rome in 1870, and in 1871, Rome became the capital of united Italy.

Unification of Germany ( 1848-71 )

» Like Italy, Germany was also divided into a number of states. At the end of the Napoleonic wars (1792-1815) there were 38 independent states in Germany in which Prussia was the most powerful.
» In 1815, the German states along with Austria were organized into a Germanic confederation.
» In 1848 revolts occurred in every German state and the rulers were forced to great democratic constitution. To unit Germany and to frame a constitution for the united Germany, a constitution assembly met in Frankfort.
» The Frankfurt Assembly proposed the unification of Germany as a constitutional monarchy under the king of Prussia who would become the emperor of Germany. However, the king of Prussia declined the offer. Repression soon followed.
» With the failure of the revolution of 1848 to unify Germany, one phase in the struggle for unification came to an end.
» New Germany was to be unified not into a democratic country be the efforts of revolutionaries but by the rules into militaristic empire. The leader of this policy was Bismarck who belonged to a Prussian aristocratic family. He wanted to archieve the unification of Germany under the leadership of the Prussian monarchy.
» Bismarck described his policy of unification as one of ‘blood and iron’. The policy of blood and iron meant a policy of war.
» He defeated Austria and Germanic confederation. Thus Austria was separated from other German state. In place of old confederation, he united 22 state of Germany into North German Confederation in 1866.
» The unification of Germany was completed as a result of Prussia- France War (1870) in which the French emperor Louis Bonaparte was defeated and captured. This was enabled Bismarck to absorb the remaining Germany states into a united Germany.
» The formal ceremony at which William I, the king of Prussia, took the title of German Emperor was not held on the German soil, It took place at Versailles in France, in the palace of the French kings.
» After unification, Germany emerged as a very strong power in Europe.

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