The Process Of Unification Occurred Over A 100 Year Period

1813 WordsJan 22, 20158 Pages
The process of unification occurred over a 100 year period, and was spurred on by a number of individuals, both Italians such as Cavour and Crispi and foreigners such as napoleon the III. There were, however, different stages of unification throughout the entire process. The actions of each key individual must be assessed within each stage they influenced and how their actions affected unification in a positive or negative way. The first stage of unification was 1800 to 1815, where Napoleon I was the primary mover. He made a huge number of changes such as changing ruling dynasties , simplifying trade boundaries, and most importantly, establishing his ‘Code Napoleon’ as law. Mack Smith argues that these reforms made Italy change “radically, sometimes in opposition to Napoleon, but more often in response to the freewheeling ideas which the French had brought in” . Mack Smith implies that Napoleon was advantageous towards unification, which would support the idea that Napoleon gave Italy its first sense of political unity through his reforms that gave the first sense of nationalism to the Italians. However, Pearce and Stiles take a more nuanced view of Napoleon’s role. “French rule all too often fell lamentably short of the standards it aspired to” . They point towards the abolition of the old monarchs, which was made with ease later on, the return to reactionary ways and then almost total abolition of the Code Napoleon. Even Napoleon’s attempt to encourage the speaking of
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