The Unification of Italy and Germany
In the 1800s, the people of Europe were energized and influenced by the ideas of Nationalism and Enlightenment. These ideas influenced many regions to revolt against the Europeans and seek their independent nations. The ideas of Nationalism and Enlightenment also coerced Italy and Germany to become unified.
In the mid-1800s, neither Italy nor Germany existed as they were fragmented into smaller regions that often fought for autonomy, though they did share similarities, especially cultural ones. These similarities in terms of culture, history, language, and religion triggered feelings of nationalism in the people of Italy as well as Germany.
The Unification of Italy
In the middle of the 19th century, Italy was divided into seven states. The Italian princely house ruled only the state of Sardinia- Piedmont. The north was ruled by Austrian Habsburgs, the center by the Pope, and the southern regions by Bourbon kings of Spain.
In the 1830s, Giuseppe Mazzini started a program for the unification of Italy. He also formed a society called Young Italy to achieve the goals, but failed and the mantle of unification now fell on Sardinia- Piedmont. The Italian princely house saw opportunities for economic development and political dominance with the unification of Italy.
In 1852, Count Cavour became the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sardinia. He used political negotiation to unify Italy. He allied with France and waged a war with Austria to unify Italy. In southern Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi led the Red Shirts Army into a battle to capture the islands of Sicily and agreed to unite with Sardinia-Piedmont. The Papal States were the last part to come under the control of the Italians and when it did, Rome has named the capital of a unified Italy.
The Unification of Germany
Germany was divided into 30 states that allied with the German Confederation. This Confederation was mainly dominated by the Austrian Empire, but the state of Prussia was the one to start the unification of Germany. In 1862, Otto von Bismarck was chosen as the prime minister of Prussia and declared that his objectives of unification could be achieved only by blood and war. He fought wars over a period of seven years with Denmark, Austria, and France to emerge victoriously. This led to the unification of Germany and in 1871, The King of Prussia, William I was proclaimed the emperor of a united Germany.