One of the main difficulties which stood in the way of Italy’s unity after 1848 was her dominance by Austria. The States of Italy were so small and weak that they could not by themselves drive out Austria. No doubt efforts were made by leader like Mazzini to combine the various states against the Bourbon despots but these efforts proved futile.
The prospects of uniting the seven Italian States against Austria also did not look quite bright. On the other hand, France could not reconcile with the growing power of Austria in Italy and decided to checkmate the Austrian ambitions by restoring the Pope. This move of France also operated against the Italian interest and was, therefore, naturally unwelcome to Mazzini.
However, despite this opposition France succeeded in restoring the Pap&l States. Thereafter, France was naturally committed to maintain a force in support of the Papal authority and opposed all movements for Italian unity.