Foreign domination (1559 to 1814) 




The history of Italy in the Early Modern period was

characterized by foreign domination: Following the Italian

Wars (1494 to 1559), Italy saw a long period of relative

peace, first under Pē] Spain (1559 to 1713) and then under

Hapsburg Austria (1713 to 1796). During the Napoleonic era,

Italy was a client state of the French Republic (1796 to 1814).

The Congress of Vienna (1814) restored the situation of the

late 18th century, which was however quickly overturned by

the incipient movement of Italian unification.


Unification (1814 to 1861) 


map of the unification of Italy



 The Unification of Italy


Napoleon reviewing his Italian troops. The Republic of

Italy he formed in 1801 was changed to a kingdom.


 The French Revolution and the brief Kingdom of Italy

awakened hopes in Italy for an independent nation . The

Congress of Vienna after Napoleon's downfall restored foreign

rulers to Italy . From 1815 onward, many Italians began to

work toward undoing the Congress of Vienna and national

independence .





 Giuseppe Garibaldi (1907-82), hero of the Risorgimento.

Born in Nice, France, became a sea captain and sentenced

to death for an abortive revolt against the Kingdom of the

Piedmont in north Italy in 1834. He fled to South America and

learned the art of guerrilla warfare fighting for the Republic of

Rio Grande do Sul against the Brazilian Empire . In South

America he adopted the red shirt of the gauchos symbol of

Garibaldi and his followers and met the woman who would

become his wife, Anita. He took command of an Uruguayan

fleet in 1842 and raised an Italian legion in the Uruguayan

civil war (1839-51 )He returned to Italy in 1848 with 60

members of his legion. After the roman republic was declared

, he became the leader of an untrained defense force against

a French expedition and the Neopolitan (Kingdom of the Two

Sicilies) allies .He established a force of a thousand red shirts

and took Sicily from the Neopolitian forces in 1860 and

crossed to the mainland and forced the Neopolitan to flee

from his capital. the last of the king's forces were defeated

at Gaeta, freeing the southern part of Italy.He tried to take

Rome, but was unsuccessful against the French expedition

there at the Battle of Mentana in 1867.I n 1870, he

volunteered to fight for the French against the Prussians

after Napoleon III was overthrown.He returned to Italy

after the war and was elected a deputy of Rome  .


After unification, many Italians were forced to emigrate

as the population rose faster than the number of jobs in the new country.


The Risorgimento was the political and social process that

unified different states of the Italian peninsula into the

single nation of Italy. During the revolutions of 1848 ,

nationalist writer Ceare Balbo and Count Camilio Benso di

Cavour of Turin pressed for a constitution in their newspaper

Il Risorgimento . Cavour was the prime minister of Savoy who

was to become the brains of the movement. revolutionary hero

Giuseppe Garibaldi returned from South America and in 1860

seized Sicily and Naples from the Bourbons and handed them

over to Savoy King Vittorio Emanuele II, who became the king

of Italy in 1861.


Battle of the Volturno 1860, where Garibaldi won a victory

against the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies


The Franco-Austrian War of 1859-61 led to the freeing up of

Lombardy in northern Italy. A new Italian Kingdom was

proclaimed. Tuscuny joined in 1861 and Venice was seized in

1866. Napoleon III had to pull his troops out of Rome in 1870

at the start of the Franco Prussian War, and Rome was taken

in 1870. Italian unity was complete and the Italian parliament

was moved from Florence to Rome. the new state saw violent

swings between the conservatives and the socialists .The

Vatican is now an independent enclave surrounded by Italy,

as is San Marino.








 World War I