The Italian war of 1859
DOI link for The Italian war of 1859
The Italian war of 1859 book
When the New Era had hardly begun a fresh international crisis was already in the making. Napoleon III had met Cavour, the Piedmontese prime minister, and had made a secret agreement to help Piedmont to drive Austria out of Italy and then hand the conquered Austrian provinces of Lombardy and Venetia over to an enlarged North Italian kingdom. The war between France and Piedmont against the Habsburg empire which broke out in April 1859 had even greater implications for Germany than the Crimean War and stirred and divided opinion much more deeply. One can distinguish three main positions, which cut across party lines. There were those who wished to see Prussia use the opportunity to drive Austria out of Germany and unify Kleindeutschland. Then there were those, a majority, who wanted to support Austria against France, which, since the Napoleonic era and the wars of liberation that ended it, was widely regarded as the national enemy. In between these two camps there was a smaller group who wanted Prussia to help Austria against a French hegemony in Europe, but to extract kleindeutsch unity as a price for this support. Some of the radicals of 1848 took the first position, but so did many of the moderate conservatives of the Wochenblatt group.