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Paper Topic:

Italian and German Unification

Italian and German Unification





Italian and German Unification

During the years from 1858 to 1871 Italy and afterward Germany emerged as unified countries with one constitution and changed the path of history in Europe and consequently the whole world by shifting and changing or in many cases simply disturbing the balance of power not only in Europe but in the world . Both incidents were the direct results of various nationalist movements in both countries which share similarities and have differences in the basic ideologies

behind them and the methods undertaken by their political leaders who made the unifications possible . In Italy the unification movement was lead by Conte di Camillo Benso Cavour (1810-61 , who was the prime minister of the government of Piedmont-Sardinia , a constitutional monarchy . Cavour was a nobleman with liberal ideas while the leader of the German unification - Prince Otto Edward Leopold von Bismarck (1815-1898 , the chancellor of Prussia , - a conservative and absolutist monarchy - was a Junker (German noble landowners ) and a fanatical conservative (Merriman Ch . 17 ) Yet , not only the difference in situations surrounding the social and political life both in Italian and German lands in internal and international stages at the time of unifications , but the differences between the social and political background of these two leaders and their very own way of thinking and ideologies made their methods and the paths of unifications of their homelands different from one another . This will discuss the similarities and differences in the methods undertaken by both leaders to achieve unification and to some extent the results of the two incidents . Further it will weigh the promises for democratization against the potential strengths or shortcomings of national unification in these countries

The very first characteristic of both movements that attracts one 's attention is the fact that both goals were achieved by the means of military and political manipulations and maneuvers , although ironically enough , the early attempts made to unify the states under a same flag both in German and Italian lands were made by liberals and in many cases even republicans who in fact gave birth to the modern idea of unified Germany and unified Italy . But all the attempts made by liberals and republicans in the way of Italian and German causes either by political and peaceful means or through revolts and revolutions were failures and almost all of them ended up in disasters for their leaders and in many cases for every-day average person . As Germany , Italy was characterized by the slow and late public emergence of the bourgeois politics and by an accentuated localism both in the collective expectations and social relationships (Caglioti ) As an example of political and peaceful attempts made by more moderate liberals one can point to the Parliament of Frankfurt which desperately but unsuccessfully tried to force the rulers of the fragmented German states to come together and unify under the rule of Hohenzolern dynasty during the revolutions of 1848-49 (Merriman Ch . 16 ) and as...

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