chapter  2
25 Pages

Lover, Farmer and Speculator, 1830–48

The dramatic phase of Italian history, from 1830 to 1861, which culminated in the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy, has traditionally been associated with the three figures of Mazzini, Cavour and Garibaldi. Cavour's immediate successor as prime minister of Italy was the Baron Bettino Ricasoli. Although Cavour had always regarded Garibaldi as a dangerous rival, and at times as a personal enemy, by a strange paradox Garibaldi, after Cavour's death, never again reached the heights of achievement he had reached in 1860. In one sense the task of creating the nation-state had been completed when the Kingdom of Italy had been proclaimed and the majority of world powers had extended diplomatic recognition to it. Although neither Cavour, nor democrats like Mazzini and Garibaldi, was in sympathy with the federal idea, there were serious-minded and far-thinking theorists who recommended a federation.