Garibaldi’s Thousand “Redshirts” Land in Italy (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Garibaldi’s thousand “Redshirts” land in Italy, provoking an uprising that continues the process of Italian unification begun by Count Cavour.
Summary of Event
In May, 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi departed for Sicily with his army of one thousand volunteers called “Redshirts,” leaving behind a chaotic Italy. The defensive alliance between the French emperor Napoleon III and Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, prime minister of Sardinia-Piedmont, had caused war with Austria from April to July. Lombardy had been brought into the northern kingdom of Victor Emmanuel II, king of Sardinia-Piedmont, but Napoleon III was fearful of a strong kingdom in northern Italy and dared not go against French Catholic opinion at home; consequently he brought the war to an abrupt halt, and Venetia remained in the Austrian empire.
Nevertheless, the war inspired revolutions in the duchies of central Italy and in the Papal States, where the National Society had been active in promoting unity under the leadership of Emmanuel II. On May 22, 1860, Ferdinand II, Bourbon monarch of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, died and left his throne to his weak son Francis II, who refused to join the war against Austria. Three main forces opposed Bourbon rule in Sicily: republicans who followed Giuseppe Mazzini, the founder of the revolutionary “Young Italy” movement; followers of Lucien Murat; and members of the National...
(The entire section is 1544 words.)
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