The 19th century still stands as one of the most influential and impactful ages in modern human history.
Dozens of nation-states proved their independence and cemented their name in modernity. Following the Industrial Revolution, an abundance of jobs opened to the lower class, and formal education also became common throughout the masses. Due to these factors, members of the lower class became more intelligent, and began thinking for themselves and their collective group. Therefore, the 19th century entailed revolutions and rebellions throughout the world as potential nations wished to be recognized and unoppressed. One example of a successful rebellion and impactful civilization is Italy. The Italian revolution prompted Italy to not only become its own nation-state, nut to also spread its influence to the outer reaches of what Italian power could muster.
Italy, a strong culture and newly created republic, proved itself as an impactful civilization in the 19th century by colonizing parts of Africa, using its unification as a tangent for influence, and cultivating a powerful rise of fascism.One point that should be made clear about Italy’s unification is that rather than one large organized rebellion there were many separate movements, each part with their own ideas and intentions concerning Italy. Between the revolutionary movements in the north and south there was a lack of cooperation and division. Instead of working together to fight Austria on a united front they attempted it as separate entities.
Liberalists wanted constitutions and Nationalists independence, but the hectic revolution hindered agreements between the two. For example, Giuseppe Garibaldi instigated nationalism in the southern half of Italy in the rally against Austria, and he fought as Italy’s major general during the mid-18th century. He fought valiantly against the Austrians until they returned to their own country. Garibaldi is considered one of the greatest generals of the time and aided the final unification between northern and southern Italy. In the final stages of Italy’s revolution, the king of Austria, Franz Joseph himself complimented the intense nationalism and spirit of the Italian peoples, wishing his own statesman would fight with such vigor against Italy and its allies.
The Austrian army was, without a doubt, more than a minor hindrance to the Italians as the majority of Austrian troops were trained soldiers. The Italian revolutionists were ill equipped and not trained for battle. This is why guerrilla warfare was often resorted to by Italian soldiers. To make matters worse a proportion of the Austrian army were Italian peasants who didn’t care about unification and simply wanted to support their families.
With all of these hinderances in play, Italy’s unification became that much more miraculous – which prompted other countries to respect Italian spirit and might.Italy was a poor country. Many Italians emigrated to North and South America. The colonial effort was a attempt to share in the partition of Africa. This was both a matter of national pride as well the result of the wildly held opinion that colonies were needed for a healthy economy.
An Italian company (Rubattino) bought the rights to Assab Bay from the local Sultan (1869). The Italian Government bought these rights from the company and declared Assab an Italian colony (1882). This was Italy’s first territorial acquisition in Africa. Assab became the primary port in what was to become the colony of Eritrea. The Italians also seized Somaliland and established a small protectorate. Some resistance was encountered as the Italians expanded their new colony.
Italy seized Libya after a brief war with the Ottomans