Italy became united as a kingdom in 1861 under Victor Emmanuel II. Prior to that, this king had been the king of Sardinia. Aided by the Count of Cavour, Victor Emmanuel succeeded in uniting most of the country. Italian unification continued with the acquisition of Venice in 1866; Italy had fought with Prussia against Austria and was rewarded. Then the Papal States were absorbed in 1870. With Italian unification completed, Rome became the capital in 1871.
There were many Italians who remained dissatisfied with the new nation's geographic scope, however. Their movement was known as Italia irredenta (unredeemed Italy). These nationalists coveted additional lands in Austria. Italy's desire for these additional territories was the main reason for its entry into World War I.
Italy faced the Roman Question after 1871 because the papacy did not accept the loss of its lands. This created a problem, because the vast majority of Italians were Roman Catholic. The standoff between Italy and the papacy...
(The entire section contains 4 answers and 855 words.)