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Third phase of the unification of Italy

Naples, Sicily, Venetia and Rome were still out of reach of Italy. Italy still had to acquire the remaining half of the peninsula. Naples and Sicily were greatly influenced by Austro-Sardinian war of 1859 and violent uprisings had taken place there also. The people of those states were dissatisfied as their rulers were of foreign origin. The public of Sicily was against the despotic rule of Bourbon dynasty. The patriots of Sicily requested Garibaldi to lead their mission. Garibaldi agreed to help them on condition that they should rise in revolt in the name of Victor Emmanuel and Italy. In April 1860 revolt broke out near Masina. Although the French troops suppressed it, Garibaldi made up his mind to help Sicily. Cavour too wanted to help Sicily but he could not do so openly for fear of breaking international laws. Therefore externally he demonstrated his neutrality but extended help to Garibaldi and Sicily secretly. In May Garibaldi marched forward from Genoa to Sicily. In May he defeated the troops at Naples at Keltapheme took possession of Palermo and by the end of June, established his dominance over Sicily and declared him to be sovereign of Sicily. But Garibaldi’s achievements put many troubles at the door of Cavour who suspected that Garibaldi would make the conquered territories republic under the influence of Mazzini. Cavour wanted to employ Garibaldi’s success in favor of Italy so he proceeded with great circumspection. In his message to Garibaldi Cavour asked him to merge Sicily with North Italy but Garibaldi refused to do so. Cavour sent a few selected volunteers to Sicily and Naples. They succeeded in preparing consensus in favor of the merger of Naples with North Italy. On Cavour’s advice Admiral Parsano persuaded the fleet of Naples to act in favor of Italy.

In August 1860 Garibaldi attacked Naples. He was in a better position than earlier because he had mustered the mass support and success he had elevated the morale of his army. Napoleon III wanted to thwart Garibaldi’s progress and sent a proposal to England to prevent Garibaldi from not reaching north of Sicily but Great Britain rejected that proposal and Garibaldi marched forward to Naples .All efforts made by Francis II to prevent Garibaldi ended in failure and the ruler of Naples fled to Geetta.Garibaldi marched forward without any hindrance and declared himself to be the sovereign of Naples. Garibaldi resolved to subjugate Venetia and Rome. But Cavour made the firm determination to finish Garibaldi’s efforts. He decided to have Papal States attacked by the army of Piedmont in order to defend Rome from the dominance of Garibaldi. Napoleon allowed Cavour to engineer attacks on the Papal States on condition that Rome should be spared. By the end of October the public of Naples, Sicily and the conquered Papal states voted for merger into the state of North Italy. It strengthened Cavour’s position. On the other hand Garibaldi was convinced that he would not succeed in his mission without the help of Italian forces. He accepted Emmanuel as a ruler of Italy and surrendered his rights and force to him. In November 1860 Victor Emmanuel was declared the ruler of combined Italy. With the merger of the states of Southern region the third phase of unification of Italy came to an end. In February 1861 the first session of Italian parliament was held at Turin and was attended by all the representatives of Italy except those from Venetia and Rome. Victor Emmanuel II was accepted, as the ruler of Italy and Sardinia became the state of Italy. The Parliament acceded to Cavour’s proposal for making Rome the capital of Italy.