Chapter 1

Class 10
3. Through a focus on any two countries, explain how nations developed over the nineteenth century.



Through a focus on any two countries, explain how nations developed over the nineteenth century.



The dedication, contribution and effort of the three great leaders: Mazzini, Cavour and Garibaldi helped in the unification of Italy. Italy had a long history of political fragmentation. Italians were scattered over several dynastic states as well as the multinational Habsburg Empire. During the middle of the nineteenth century, Italy was divided into seven states, of which only one, Sardinia- Piedmont, was ruled by an Italian princely house.

The north was under Austrian Habsburgs, the center was ruled by the pope and the southern regions were under the domination of Bourbon Kings of Spain. During the 1830s, Giuseppe Mazzini sought to put together a program for a unitary Italian Republic. He also formed a secret society called Young Italy for the dissemination of his goals. The failure of revolutionary uprisings both in 1831 and 1848 meant that unification of Italy could be possible through war under the king Victor Emmanuel II.Victor Emmanuel’s chief minister Cavour supported him wholeheartedly in this task. He was neither a revolutionary nor a democrat but he led the movement to unify the Italian regions.

He made a tactical diplomatic alliance with France and succeeded in defeating the Austrian forces in 1859. Apart from regular troops a large number of armed volunteers under the leadership of Garibaldi joined the fray. In 1860, they marched into South Italy and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and succeeded in winning the support of the local peasantry in order to drive out the Spanish rulers. Finally, in 1861king Emmanuel II was proclaimed king of united Italy.


The Frankfurt Parliament tried its best for the unification of Germany under the leadership of King Wilhelm IV of Prussia but it failed and made it clear that German unification had to come through a combined effort of the monarchy and military supported by large landowners of Prussi(A) From then on, Prussia took on the leadership of the movement for national unification. Otto von Bismarck, the Chief Minister of Prussia, was the architect of this process. He wanted to achieve his aim by expanding Prussia into Germany. He reached his goal with the help of the Prussian army and the bureaucracy. Bismarck fought three wars over seven years with Austria, Denmark and France which ended in Prussian victory and completed the process of unification. On January 18, 1871, an assembly comprising the princes of the German states, representatives of the army, important Prussian ministers including the Chief Minister Otto von Bismarck gathered in the unheated Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles to proclaim the new German Empire headed by Kaiser William I of Prussia.

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