How did the decline of Austria in the 1850s help Piedmont-Sardinia to gain control of most of Italy in 1859-1861?

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The decline of Austria in the 1850s helped Piedmont (led by Count Camillo Cavour) gain control of most of Italy because Austria had been the major power in Italy.  As it weakened, it became more possible for Piedmont to gain strength and eventually to oust Austria from the peninsula.

At the Congress of Vienna in 1814 and 1815, Austria was put in a position of power in Italy.  It directly controlled two major...

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