Revision overview

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Revision overview.

This is only intended as a basic overview of the topics you have covered. It is designed to help you with your revision.

Topic E1: The Road to Unification – Italy c.1815-1870

  • What was Italy like in 1815? In what ways was Austria given control by the Vienna settlement?

  • Why was there an increase in opposition to autocratic rule?

  • What were the ideas of Mazzini, Gioberti and Balbo?

  • Why did the revolutions of the 1820s and 1830s fail?

  • What were the causes, events and consequences (lessons) of the 1848 revolutions?

  • How important was the role of Cavour? Includes his reforms within Piedmont and his foreign links.

  • Be able to describe the main stages of unification 1859-61, 1866 and 1870.

  • Be able to assess the roles of Cavour, Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel in the unification process.

  • Be able to assess the importance of foreign intervention in Italy especially the roles of France, Austria and Prussia.

  • To examine the role of the Church and the obstruction of unification by Pope Pius IX.

  • Be able to assess the limits (social, economic, political) to unity after 1860.

Topic E3: The Collapse of the Liberal State and the Triumph of Fascism in Italy, 1896-1943

  • To understand the weaknesses (political, regional, cultural) of liberal Italy before 1914.

  • To understand how politics in the age of Giolitti were characterised by weakness, social discontent and a rise in nationalism before World War 1.

  • To be able to explain the impact of World War 1 and its aftermath on Italy.

  • To explain the message, appeal and rise of Fascism after 1919.

  • To understand the consolidation of the Fascist state after 1922 and power and control in the Fascist state, including the role of Mussolini.

  • To understand the social and economic impact of Fascism on Italy.

  • To examine Fascist foreign policy and the impact of World War 2.

Some sample questions…

‘How significant was Cavour in determining the outcome of Italian unification?
‘How far do you agree that the greatest obstacle to the growth of nationalism in Italy in the years 1815 to 1870 was the Catholic Church?’
Did the legacy of the 1848 revolutions play a major part in the eventual unification of Italy? Explain your answer.
How far was the collapse of Liberal Italy caused by the first world war?
How far do you agree that the Catholic Church and the traditional elites aided Mussolini in his consolidation of power in the years 1922-29?
To what extent were Mussolini’s economic policies a success in the years 1925-40?
Finally… access to many materials can be found at

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