Short Essay on the Greatness of Garibaldi

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After freeing Sicily and Naples from the autocracy of Francis II, Garibaldi decided to attack Rome in order to complete the work of the unification of Italy. But Cavour did not like the decision of Garibaldi.

At that time, the army of France had been staying in Rome since 1849 for the support of the Pope. Cavour knew it well that if Garibaldi would attack Rome, he would have to face the strong military opposition of France.

Cavour, therefore, decided to forestall the efforts of Garibaldi and to take the leadership of the national movement out of the hands of Garibaldi. He at once sent Victor Emmanuel along with a large army to the Papal States in order to prevent the campaign of Garibaldi.

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A proposal was made to Garibaldi for giving the conquered provinces to Piedmont. The people of these states also voted in favour of annexation to the new kingdom of Italy.

Garibaldi gladly accepted the proposal. He gave up all the conquered provinces in favour of Victor Emmanuel II. Not only this, he also refused all rewards and honours and clearly said:

“Patriotism is itself a great reward. I do not want anything. Long live Free Italy.”

He refused to take anything except a bag of seeds and went away to the island of Caprera. On 17th March 1861, the new parliament of the new kingdom of Italy representing all Italy except Venetia and Rome, declared Victor Emmanuel II as the king of Italy. Turin became the capital of Italy.

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The unification of Italy had not yet been completed. The state of Venetia was under the Austrian Empire and Rome was under the domination of the Pope. The rest of Italy had been united as a nation.

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