The final character we have to introduce is Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, usually just called Cavour. He was the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Piedmont Sardinia from 1852 to 1861, when he became the first Prime Minister of a united Italy, though he would only hold that position for a mere two and a half months before his untimely death. Cavour was the man pulling the strings behind the eventual Italian unification - he made the secret deals with France and cooked up the excuses that led to war with Austria. His particular brand of liberal conservatism would dominate the early Italian state. Download Episode 24
Giuseppe Garibaldi is, by a huge margin, the most famous person in the story of the Italian Unification. But, his fame goes beyond that. In many ways, he was the most famous person of the entire 19th century - he was the first international superstar heart-throb romantic hero. Garibaldi was famous on a scale never before seen, as his fame coincided with an explosion in the technology of mass media - the telegraph, lithography, photography, combined with increasing literacy and public interest in foreign affairs. Download Episode 23
As we’ve seen while moving through our story, Austria in the 18th and 19th centuries was heavily involved in Italian affairs, exerting strong control over the northern half of the peninsula and supporting the old order whenever possible. We’re starting to approach a pivotal series of events that rocked Europe: the Revolutions of 1848. The Italian side of the revolutions can’t really be understood without first understanding the Austrian side. So, in this episode I’ll be giving a primer on Austria. To start with, let’s be clear: I’m not talking about the modern state of Austria so much as about the Austrian Empire, also known as the Habsburg Empire or Monarchy, which, while centered in Austria, was a multinational empire based more on dynastic than ethnic or cultural ties. We’re going to be looking in particular at the following questions: What was the Austrian Empire, and why was the Austrian Empire? Download Episode 22
Mazzini organized many revolutions in Italy, but because of his public notoriety was blamed for all of them, even those he had actively opposed. The revolutions all failed - partly due to poor planning, but also partly due to bad luck. It was hard to tell ahead of time which revolts would peter out almost before they began and which would somehow light the spark of popular resistance. That Mazzini tried again and again was not because he enjoyed making martyrs out of men, but because he believed in the unity of thought and action - if Italian patriotism was indeed favored by God, how could men of good conscience stand by and do nothing? They had to try. And, by trying, they inspired more people to believe in Italy. We’re not done with Mazzini - he still has a major role to play in the years to come. But, if he had died here, he would still be famous, as the man who made millions believe in Italy. Download Episode 21
In mid-March, 2014, Venetians overwhelmingly voted for secession from Italy in an unofficial, online referendum. Learn more about why this happened and what it means for Italy's future. Download News Flash - Venetian Secession
The stars of the show are about to come on stage. There are three of them, Giuseppe Mazzini, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Count Cavour. They are larger than life in many ways. These three men were critical in defining what it means to be Italian. Each of them is so much more important to the story than simply a list of their actions. Their beliefs and values helped to shape a nation. Mazzini, sometimes called the beating heart of Italy, was the oldest of the three, and the first to become important to our story. This episode is the first of two specifically about Mazzini, as I can’t fit it all into a single episode. Download Episode 20
In the early 1820's most of Italy was still ruled by the same men who had squared off against Napoleon - Grand Duke Ferdinand in Tuscany, King Ferdinand in Naples, and Pope Pius VII in the Papal States. King Victor Emmanuel I had abdicated in 1821 and his brother Charles Felix was now king, but they were men cut from the same cloth, so Piedmont still had a decidedly pre-Napoleonic mindset. There will be a changing of the guard, and by 1831 all of these men will be dead and gone, replaced with new rulers who will be some of the key players in the Italian Unification. We're also going to see another wave of revolutions in that break out in 1831, and which will meet much the same fate as those in 1820 and 21. Download Episode 19
Where classicism had emphasized a cosmopolitan, international perspective, romanticism inspired nationalism and a search for identity. In Italy, though, this was a more complicated task than you might think. The peninsula had been fragmented for over a thousand, people spoke different languages, had different ethnic backgrounds in some cases, and had fought wars against each other not that long before. The formation of the modern unified Italian state was NOT a foregone conclusion. Download Episode 18
Francesco Hayez's Pietro Rossi, lord of Parma (http://www.francescomorante.it/pag_3/302hb.htm)
We cover the revolutions against the Kingdom of Piedmont and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1820-1821). Also be sure to check out my upcoming interviews on historypodcasters.com! Download Episode 17
Episode 16 - The Restoration, is out! In this episode we're going to see what came after Napoleon, and how the victorious British, Prussians, Austrians, and Russians tried to undo the damage that had been done to the Old Order. We'll see the old governments restored in Italy. Some will be reactionary, removing all things French, while others will be more progressive. Download Episode 16
At the beginning of the episode you heard Zack Twamley, from the podcast When Diplomacy Fails, be sure to check his podcast out, it's one of our favorites!
Benjamin and Adam are brothers, and are both in grad school studying theoretical chemistry. History is their hobby.