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The Unification of Italy Part 1. Mazzini and Garibaldi. Italy before Unification. Italy never existed as one country. It was a group of small city states or kingdoms that was linked together only by language and culture.

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The unification of italy part 1

The Unification of ItalyPart 1

Mazzini and Garibaldi

Italy before unification
Italy before Unification

  • Italy never existed as one country.

  • It was a group of small city states or kingdoms that was linked together only by language and culture.

  • However, since Nationalism hit Italy, (again we see the influence of Napoleon) Italians began to feel like they should be together in one strong united country.

  • Parts of Italy were constantly invaded and/or occupied by foreign powers

  • In Northern Italy, for example, French, Germanic and Slavic linguistic and cultural influences can be seen

  • In Southern Italy, there is the vast influence of the Catholic Church.

  • The Papal States literally cut the country in half

  • Also, the church owned approx. 60% of the land in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

  • During the 19th Century, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was controlled by the Bourbons, the French Royal Family

  • Vast poverty in Southern Italy

The 3 wise men
The 3 Wise Men

The Story of Italian Unification (in Italian the “Risorgimento”)can be best understood through

the lives and accomplishments

of 3 men


  • Mazzini was a famous Italian Nationalist Writer.

  • He believed that all Italians should be joined together and that Italy could be a great and powerful country.

  • He also believed that a strong Italian government could use liberal ideas to improve the conditions of the poor throughout the land.

  • Mazzini’s works inspired the revolutions of 1848 and he was a hero of the Nationalist movement.

Quotes from mazzini
Quotes from Mazzini

  • A Country is not a mere territory; the particular territory is only its foundation. The Country is the idea which rises upon that foundation; it is the sentiment of love, the sense of fellowship which binds together all the sons of that territory.

  • Slumber not in the tents of your fathers. The world is advancing.

  • So long as you are ready to die for humanity, the life of your country is immortal.

  • The theory of rights enables us to rise and overthrow obstacles, but not to found a strong and lasting accord between all the elements which compose the nation.

  • God has given you your country as cradle, and humanity as mother; you cannot rightly love your brethren of the cradle if you love not the common mother.

Garibaldi the early years
Garibaldi: The Early Years

  • Garibaldi was born in Nice, which was French, but given back to the Italians after the congress of Vienna

  • Garibaldi was, as a young man, passionate about building the Nation of Italy

  • He was enthralled by the works of Mazzini

  • He eventually joins “Young Italy,” a secret society dedicated to destroying Austrian rule in Northern Italy

  • He joins the Carbonari Revolutionary Association and takes part in a rebellion against the King of Piedmont in 1834

  • It fails and Garibaldi flees the country

  • He is sentenced to death in absentia

To south america
To South America

  • Eventually Garibaldi finds his way to Brazil

  • There he met his future wife, Anita, and they fought together alongside “Gaucho” rebels to separate from Brazil and form a new, democratic country

  • This is where Garibaldi developed his “look” . . . Red Shirt, Poncho and Sombrero . . . And his horse riding skills.

  • Garibaldi and Anita, then travel to Uruguay and took part in their civil war

  • He raised an Italian Legion and fought many victorious battles against numerically superior opponents

  • However, through it all, he never forgot his homeland and wished to someday return to liberate Italy

  • In all his battles, his soldiers wore the trademark “red shirts” and they carried with them a black flag with a volcano in the middle

  • Black representing mourning for Italy

  • The Volcano representing the dormant power of the Unified Italian people

  • In 1848, much of Italy revolts and Mazzini, the now skilled warrior, returns home


  • Garibaldi went to Milan and fought with their revolutionary government against Austrian Rule

  • However, after a major Austrian victory, the cause was lost

  • Garibaldi then went to Rome, where revolutionaries had declared a republic in the Papal States

  • Garibaldi fought several battles and defeated numerically superior French forces

  • However, the French sent a massive amount of reinforcements to defend the Pope

  • Garbaldi was forced to retreat

  • His wife died and he was forced to leave the country again

  • He travelled to the USA and lived in New York

  • There he worked in a candle factory and a merchant ship captain

Back to italy and the march of the 1000
Back to Italy and the March of the 1000

  • Garibaldi returned to Italy and aligned himself with King Victor Emmanuel of Piedmont in his war against Austria

  • He was impressed with this king and realized that a strong leader was needed to unify Italy

  • He was promoted to General and won many victories

  • The war was won and Garibaldi became a national hero

  • However, he would not be satisfied until all Italy was free

  • In 1860, during popular uprisings, he took 1000 of his Red Shirts and invaded the kingdom of Sicily

  • As, he marched through, local peasants and rebels joined

  • With just this small force, he managed to defeat the entire army of the Kingdom

  • He proclaimed himself dictator in the name of King Victor Emmanuel . . . He hoped to unify his new conquest under the leadership of a king that he trusted

The march on rome
The March on Rome

  • Garibaldi wanted to continue and took his Army north, into the Papal States

  • However, he was blocked from doing so by the Army of Piedmont

  • King Victor Emmanuel did not want to risk war with France

  • Victor Emmanuel himself travelled south to meet with Garibaldi

  • The two men met of a bridge to discuss the future of the country

  • Victor was desperate to stop here and receive the gift of southern Italy

  • Garibaldi was desperate to unify all Italians, get rid of the horrible influence of the catholic church in Italy and now was beginning to distrust Emmanuel

  • The result of this meeting . . . Next time!