Chief Minister Cavour led the movement to unify the regions of Italy. He was neither a revolutionary nor a democrat.
Like many other wealthy and educated members of the Italian elite, he spoke French much better than he did Italian.
Through a tactful diplomatic alliance with France engineered by Cavour, Sardinia-Piedmont succeeded in defeating the Austrian forces in 1859.
Apart from regular troops, a large number of armed volunteers under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi joined.
In 1860, they marched into South Italy and the kingdom of the two Sicilies, and succeeded in winning the support of the local peasants in order to drive out the Spanish rulers.