The unification of both Germany and Italy changed each country forever. The impact for both the unification of Germany and Italy created a forceful mindset for independence, economic growth, and a strong nationalism. However, to each its own can be a statement here, as the unifications also brought bloody war, separation, and controlling politics. This essay will compare and contrast the unification of Germany and the unification of Italy.
War is war. It is a natural force, it can unite some, and divide others, and the unification of both Germany and Italy are to be understood with the same frame of thought for this essay. The similarities for Germany and Italy are many, but here I will list the points that are most recognizable from an academic perspective.
Primarily it is important to notate that both unification processes required the work and order of a confident leader. Even though the unification of Italy required a changed in leadership, the process led to the same goal. Where Germany had, Bismarck, Italy had di Cavor. Bismarck was known as the “Bloody Iron.” His thoughts of unification were of pure survival. He required brutal force to gain unity for Germany.
Italy’s leadership thought with a more political mindset. Camilo di Cavor (the kingsmen that finally took Italy all the way into unification) relied more on approval from political groups and out of economic desperation. In addition, Italy had a larger fight due to the extent of the current disorganization and separation of her borders. There were at least 39 individual bordering locations to unite with what later became the capital of Italy, Rome.
In addition, both unifications had a goal of uniting their broken country and providing a centralized government rule. However, being that the reasoning is considered to include economic means in both unifications; the importance in the economic stand for Italy was far more important and necessary. Italy had faced bankruptcy and a great depression from all of the prior promises from prior leaders. This was Italy’s main drive, survival after multiple tries and complete previous failure.
The basics of each country and their push for unification were that multiple territories desired the unity of then having control and running one united country or government. The needs for the people were presented different in the story of the unifications, but the needs for a government do appear important, if not more important, to the unification process. Germany had a plan and struck while the iron was hot, where Italy had to take some major falls before they were able to unite as one.
Unlike other wars, the unifications of both Germany and Italy gained support from all social classes. The unification’s purpose for both of the countries led to a nationalism to allow each country too then thrive. The social populations of both countries shared the same needs, but for different controlling factors. Austria ruled Northern Italy, and the Catholic Church controlled central Italy. Germany was nowhere near as discombobulated as Italy, yet had the same desire of centralization control in government and policy.
As far as actual process of unification, simply put, Germany’s unification process did differ in ways from the unification of Italy. Where Italy was under a thumb of foreign control, Germany was independent. Some of the foreign controls for Italy included Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Pope, the Duchies of Spoleto and the kingdom of Two Siciles. Germany entered unification with a major war with France and later established world power, but this was through denial of advice from multiple areas, including the Pope! Their consistent temperament led to a quick victory.
Another form of difference between both countries’ unification is the actual process required to gain each of their unifications. Germany won their unification quickly and swift, just seven weeks, where Italy was a bloody battle for their solitary government for multiple years and multiple leaders. Italy took years longer along with a lot of leader and king restructuring too finally gain the same success as Germany.
Even though each country had similar objectives, their ideas of the need to unify did differ slightly. Germany wanted to form a “third Germany” in which Germany excluded from Austria and Prussia. Germany also gained their unification through direct and open conflict. On the contrary, Italy’s objected was to separate themselves from France in hope of a solitary government. There were tremendous up’s and down’s for Italy and her people, and unification fit the need at the time.
Looking at the leaders for each of the unifications, Italy faced failure through Napoleon after just 100 days into war. He was later exiled and succeeded by Louis IVIII, this led to the riots of the people and the non-support due a direct failure that later led to a bankrupt Italy. Later, enters Italy’s prime minister of the kingdom Savoy, Camilo di Cavor. He launches war and uses diplomacy and war to drive power. He is better known as the Brain. Cavour is the leader that finally led Italy (after a few failed attempts) to unification. The process was long and difficult, but the reward was worth Italy’s scars.
Germany’s leader is simply one man, Otto Von Bismarck. In 1862, Bismarck was appointed the King of Prussia. Bismarck used policy of Realpolitik to govern. Bismarck held little or no thought to individual ethics, over all morals, or current legalities. Bismarck’s goal was to strengthen military and the industrialized the core of Germany and Germany’s people. His thoughts of unification were unite German states under one ruleâ€¦simply stated, not Austrian, but Prussian rule! Quickly, the Germans defeated the French and at the end of the war, all of the German states joined with Prussia to unite as one German Nation.
The nationalistic feeling was on the rise during the time that Bismarck and Cavor controlled the countries of Germany and Italy. Both leaders opted to exploit that feeling through war. Through Treaties, alliances were formed for Germany, but it is through failure then success that alliances were formed for Italy. Both unifications served similar purposes and yet different reasoning. As I stated in the beginning of this essay, the impact for both the unification of Germany and Italy created a forceful mindset for independence, economic growth, and a strong nationalism. The end reward for both Germany and Italy remain the same, singular nationalism through combined unity.
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