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The Concept of Nationalism in Italy

Nationalism in Italy

Nationalism is described as “loyalty and devotion to a nation” (Merriam-Webster). In places like the United States, the sense of pride in the American people is apparent. However, countries in Europe did not start showing a sense of pride until 1800’s like with the unification of German and Italian states.

Camillo di Cavour was the prime minister of Piedmont-Sardinia and had a desire to unify the Italian states. TO be able to unify Italy, however, Cavour would have to start a war with Austria since they were in control of the bottom half of Italy. Instead, he made a deal with France’s Napoleon III so that if Austria attacked Italy, French would come to help. To come out as looking innocent, Cavour had his men march on the border so that Austria would attack them and France would come to their aid.

Soon, support for Cavour’s plan to unify Italian began to grow in the people. A man named Giuseppe Garibaldi set sail to help aid Cavour’s plan by rescuing Sicily. The King, Victor Emmanuel II’s, army was coming from the north while Garibaldi’s from the south. They met in Naples in 1861 and Garibaldi pledged himself to the King and Cavour’s plan. Sadly, Cavour died months after, leaving other men in charge of the unification of Italy.

Because of the devotion of men like Cavour and Garibaldi, Italy was freed from Austria and unified. I believe that because of their devotion to their country, Italy could embrace their nation and they were able to be proud. “Holding the new nation together amid these difficulties was the romanticized retelling of the Italian struggle for freedom” (Hunt 719).

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