Evaluate the contributions of Cavour to Italian unification.

Count Camillo di Cavour (1810-1861) was the architect of Italian, unification. He held that only by economic and military strengthening of Piedmont and by timely alliance with foreign powers could Italy be united. With these in mind, he prepared Italy and Europe for the unification and took the first steps to bring it about by making the fullest use in his favour of the changing circumstances. He himself was a supreme practitioner of Realpolitik.

Insist on constitutional monarchy - whereas all Italian patriots agreed that Italy must be welded into a single state, there were three main schools of ideas on how to achieve Italian unity: the democratic republicans, the Papal federalists, and the liberal monarchists. Young idealists followed the leadership of G. Mazzini who was devoted to the founding of a republic. Religious-minded patriots believed that the most practicable solution would be to federate the Italian states under the presidency of the Pope. The majority of moderate nationalists advocated a consti­tutional monarchy built upon the foundations of the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. These three groups disliked each other and had no wish to cooperate. Each attempted to pose itself as the leader of Italian unity.

Cavour was a strong advocate of constitutional monarchy in Italy. He had studied the political life of Britain and France and from the beginning he insisted that the united Italy should be a parliamentary monarchy on the English pattern. In 1847 he founded the liberal newspaper, Il Risorgimento, to propagate this viewpoint. In 1848 he was elected to the first Piedmontese parliament, established in accordance with the 1848 Constitution. In 1852 he became Prime Minister.

In his insistence on constitutional monarchy, Cavour opposed and finally triumphed over the republican policy of Mazzini and the federalist idea of the Papacy. Such charting out of the course of Italy's destiny was...