Friday, November 25, 2011

Italian Unification - The Characters

The Kings of Italy:
King Vittorio Emanuele II
King Umberto I
King Vittorio Emanuele III
King Umberto II

The last, pre-unification:
Viceroy Maximilian of Lombardy-Venetia
Duke Francis V of Modena
King Francis II of the Two-Sicilies
Pope Pius IX
Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany

1861-2011 Remember Your Roots!


  1. As much as I think the Italian unification was a good move, I'm not sure what to think about the fates of the kings of the states that existed before the unification. Was it fair? I suppose there were no other way, but even then... it makes me feel a bit uneasy.

  2. It wasn't fair but life seldom is. I have mixed feelings about them myself. Those tied to foreign powers were probably doomed regardless of what they did but, one thing that makes me a little less sympathetic was that, at least in the major cases, they had the opportunity to go along with unification and quite possibly could have kept their thrones. They chose not to and had to accept the consequences.

  3. All right I understand. There is nothing in this world that is not caused by people's own action. Everything happens for a reason.

  4. The tide began turning in favor of Italian unification many decades before it actually happened, and there were a number of proposals to unite the Italian states into either a confederation (with the King of Piedmont-Sardinia as a kind of hereditary president), or an empire as eventually happened in Germany. Either option would have preserved the various Italian states in their existing forms, but the other kings and dukes, etc. basically rejected any attempt to unite the country through diplomatic means and ended up being conquered and dethroned. It was certainly tragic, but it is certainly a case of the greater good prevailing - you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs and all that.

  5. When push came to shove there was just no denying that the lesser states were ruled by foreigners, not simply people from foreign dynasties but whose first allegiances were abroad rather than at home. Italians were sick of killing each other in wars to benefit people in distant lands and of seeing foreign troops shoot down their countrymen. It wasn't nice, it wasn't pretty, but that's the way the cookie crumbled. And, as I've long said, if nationalism is an evil it is at least a lesser evil in my book that internationalism or globalism.


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