What were the Policy of Count of Cavour regarding the Unification of Italy?


Following were the main elements of the policy of Cavour which he adopted to make Italy a real nation:

(i) Cavour was the first man who felt that only Piedmont-Sardinia could lead the war for independence and unification of Italy. He was a great monarchist and thus wanted to unify Italy und monarchy.

(ii) He laid great emphasis upon the social, economic, spiritual and intellectual issues along with the political problems.


I considered that if Piedmont had to lead the national movement of Italy, she must be made a model state of Italy by raising her up in the political, social, economic and spiritual fields, so the other states of Italy would recognize her leadership. In his own words:

“It would gather to itself all living forces of Italy and will be in a position to lead her to the high destiny to which she is called Piedmont must begin by raising herself by re-establishing in Europe as well as in Italy a position and a credit equal to her ambition.”

(iii) He had seen the experiences of the patriots during the last for years. He desired the unity and independence of Italy. His al hated Austria and called her as the oppressor of Italy.

He knew very well that Austria was the greatest opponent of the liberty and unity of Italy and the patriots could not achieve their go without driving her out of Italy.


But, at the same time, he all knew the actual position of the military power of the states Italy. His views were quite different from those of Mazzini considered this issue. Mazzini considered that only Italians could complete the work of unification.

But, on the other hand, Cavour was the view that Austria could not be driven out of Italy without seeking foreign help. In other words, it can be said that Cavour was the first man who wanted to internationalise the problem of Italy.

It was due to the diplomatic ability and farsightedness of Cavour that the question of Italy became an important issue of discussion among European powers.

C.D.M. Ketelbey has rightly remarked:


“Cavour’s whole policy was dominated by an inflexible ambition to effect the emancipation of Italy from Austria, was based upon the fundamental assumption that only by European support and foreign alliance could his great end the achieved.

By European diplomacy and war, Italian unity must be lifted out of enervating obscurity of Austrian domestic politics. It must become European question on which the power should fight.”

(iv) Cavour believed that the freedom and unity of Italy could on be achieved by war, and for this purpose he considered essential to increase the military strength against Austria. Hence, the military organization of Piedmont was the main element of Cavour’s policy.

In view of these considerations, Cavour adopted some important measures in the domestic and foreign affairs by which the unification of Italy could be completed.

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