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The Crimean War and Italian Unification

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1 The Crimean War and Italian Unification

2 Causes of The Crimean War
The Ottoman Empire granted Catholic France rather than Orthodox Russia the oversight of the Christian shrines in the Holy Land. Russia wanted to extend its control over the Ottoman provinces of Moldavia and Walachia (in present day Romania). The tsar’s duty to protect Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire furnished the pretext for the Russian aggression.

3 Execution of the War Russia occupied Moldavia and Walachia in the summer of 1853.The Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia in the fall of 1853. The other great powers soon became involved and a war among major European states resulted. Both France and Great Britain opposed Russian expansion in the eastern Mediterranean, where they had extensive naval and commercial interests.

4 Russia’s in Trouble In France, Napoleon III thought an activist foreign policy would shore up domestic support for his regime, so on March 28, 1854, France and Britain declared war on Russia. Austria and Prussia both had their own designs on the Balkans, so they remained neutral, to the great consternation of Tsar Nicholas I. Initially both sides fought poorly, but after a long siege, the Russian fortress of Sevastopol finally fell to the French and British.

5 Treaty of Paris 1856 Humbles Russia
Surrender territory near the mouth of the Danube River. Recognize the neutrality of the Black Sea Renounce claims of protection over Christians in the Ottoman Empire. Previously forced to withdraw from Moldavia and Walachia.

6 Consequences of Crimean War
Image of mighty Russia shattered; Concert of Europe destroyed. Great powers displayed little reverence for the Congress of Vienna settlement. Napoleon III favored redrawing the map along lines of nationality. To compensate for failing to act during the war, Austrians tried to assert more influence within the German Confederation

7 Consequences of Crimean War
Prussia became increasingly unhappy playing a smaller role in Germany than Austria. Embarrassed by the 1856 Treaty of Paris, Russia tried to assert itself just as Great Britain began to hesitate to become involved in Continental affairs. Without the restraining influence of the Concert of Europe, each nation felt that its international ambitions were only constrained by the limits of its military power and diplomatic influence. Foreign policy increasingly became an instrument of domestic policy, as evidenced by the unifications of Italy and Germany.

8 – Historian Gordon Craig, on the impact of the Crimean War.
“After 1856 there were more powers willing to fight to overthrow the existing order than there were to take up arms to defend it.” – Historian Gordon Craig, on the impact of the Crimean War.

9 Italian Unification Nationalists had long wanted to unite the small, absolutist principalities of the Italian peninsula. During the first half of the 19th century, however, there were differing opinions about how to achieve that goal.

10 Italian Unification After nationalist uprising failed to unify Italy in 1831, Giuseppe Mazzini assumed the mantle of romantic republican leadership. He declared “Nationality is the role assigned by God to a people in the work of humanity. It is its mission, its task on earth, to the end that God’s thought maybe realized in the world.”

11 Italian Unification In 1831, Mazzini founded the Young Italy Society to drive Austria from the peninsula and establish an Italian republic. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mazzini and his fellow republican Giuseppe Garibaldi led insurrections, and conducted guerilla warfare. They spent much time in exile, so they were well known across Europe and in the United States.

12 Italian Unification Republican nationalism frightened moderate Italians, who wanted to rid themselves of Austrian domination, but not at the cost of establishing a republic. Note that moderate Italians had once looked to the papacy as a potential vehicle for unification; but that was ruled out after the Pius IX’s experience with the Roman Republic in 1849. Yet between 1852 and 1860, Count Camillo Cavour, the moderately liberal prime minister from Piedmont, transformed Italy into a nation-state with a constitutional monarchy. How?

13 Cavour’s Policy Unification was achieved through armed conflict coupled with stealth diplomacy. Piedmont (the Kingdom of Sardinia) in NW Italy, was the most independent state on the peninsula. It had been restored as a buffer between French and Austrian ambitions. After losing to Austria a second time, King Charles Albert of Piedmont abdicated the throne in favor of his son, Victor Emmanuel II, who made Camillo Cavour Prime Minister in 1852.

14 Cavour’s Policy Deeply influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, classical economics, and utilitarianism, Cavour had made a fortune investing in railroads, reforming agriculture on his own estates, and editing a newspaper. Cavour favored monarchy over republican government. He believed that if Italians proved to be efficient and economically progressive, the great powers might decide that Italy could govern itself.

15 Cavour’s Policy As Prime Minister of the Piedmontese Cabinet, Cavour worked for free trade, railway construction, credit expansion, and agricultural improvement. To gain a broader base for unification, Cavour fostered the Nationalist Society, which established chapters in other Italian states to push for Italian unification under the leadership of Piedmont. He also believed that Italy could only achieve unification with French aid.

16 French Sympathies for Italian Unification
Cavour used the Crimean War to bring Italy into European politics. In 1855 Piedmont joined the war on France and Britain’s team and sent in 10K troops. This contribution of troops allowed Cavour to raise the issue of Italian unification at the Paris Conference in 1856. His intellect and political skills impressed everyone at the Conference, particularly Napoleon III.

17 French Sympathies for Italian Unification
During the rest of the decade, Cavour achieved further respectability for the question of unification by opposing Mazzini’s nationalist uprisings. By 1858, Cavour represented a moderate liberal alternative to both republicanism and reactionary absolutism in Italy. In July 1858, Cavour and Napoleon met at Plombieres and plotted to provoke a war in Italy that would permit them to defeat Austria. For its aid, France would receive French-speaking Nice and Savoy from Piedmont.

18 War with Austria They were just looking for a way to start the war when Austria did some stupid things: it imposed military conscription on Venetia and Lombardy (super unpopular), and it sent a declaration of total disarmament or war to Piedmont. So after two battles at Magenta and Solferino, things are going well when Napoleon III quits b/c he realizes he is falling into a trap (worried about Piedmont getting too strong)! Signs the Treaty of Villafranca  Napoleon III pulls out of war and the Austrian-Sardinian war ends. Piedmont received Lombardy, but Venetia remained under Austrian control. Later that summer, Parma, Modena, Tuscany, and the Romagna voted to unite with Piedmont.

19 I’m a baldi, you’re a baldi, Girabaldi!
Girabaldi recruits a thousand volunteers, sails down to Sicily and attacks the Kingdom of Two Sicily. As he wins battles, his army grows, and he is soon ready to take on the Papal States (also France then) and Cavour (b/c Garibaldi is a republican and Cavour favors monarchy). So, in 1860 he marches to meet the North and, in order to prevent a civil war, he gives ALL his conquests to Cavour. In late 1860 Naples and Sicily voted to join the northern union forged by Piedmont.

20 The New Italian State In March 1861, Victor Emmanuel II was proclaimed the king of Italy. Three months later, Cavour died. So now Northern Italy (with the exception of Venetia and Rome) joins Southern Italy. In 1866, through the Austro-Prussian war, Italy gets Venetia, and then, in 1870, through the Franco-Prussian war, Italy sneaks in and takes Rome. Now Italy is totally unified. Go Italy, its your birthday, Go! Go! Go! Go!

21 The New Italian State The economies of North and South Italy were incompatible. The south was rural, poor, and backward The North was industrializing, and its economy was increasingly linked to the rest of Europe. The social structures of the two regions reflected those differences, with large landholders and peasants dominant in the south and an urban working class emerging in the north.

22 Political Problems The political framework of the united Italy could not overcome these problems. The Constitution provided for a conservative constitutional monarchy. Parliament consisted of two houses: A senate appointed by the king, and a Chamber of Deputies elected on a narrow franchise. Ministers were responsible to the monarch, not to Parliament.

23 Political Problems These arrangements didn’t foster a strong parliamentary system. Political opponents were “transformed” into government supporters through bribes, favors, or a seat in the cabinet Italian politics became synonymous with corruption.

24 The New Italian State Many Italians wanted other territories, such as Venetia and Rome, added to their nation. After Venetia was gained in 1866, Rome continued to be guarded by French troops until the Franco-Prussian war forced their withdrawal in 1870. The Italian state then annexed Rome and made it the Capital. By 1870, only the small province of Trent and the city of Trieste, both ruled by Austria, remained outside of Italy. The desire to liberate these two small outposts was one reason for the Italian support of the Allies against Austria and Germany during World War I.

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