The Most Important Events in European History Essay

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Two of the most important events in European History are the unifications of Italy and Germany. Both were unified around the same time, and in ways that were both similar and different. The leaders of the two countries were the reason they were unified differently. Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, with the help of Guiseppe Garibaldi, brought about the unification of Italy. Otto von Bismarck is credited with finally uniting Germany. Cavour of Italy and Bismarck of Germany used more similar methods than different methods to unify their countries. These methods included different military tactics, their common use of nationalism as a manipulation tool, and their similar diplomacy in political situations.
One difference between Cavour and Bismarck was their military strategies. Both leaders used their countries’ military power to their advantage. However, they used it in different ways. Bismarck built up the army that already existed in Germany substantially. He improved upon what he was given until he had a suitably powerful army to control. Bismarck believed in a very militaristic government being the best kind of government. This meant that Germany was very military centered under his control. Bismarck’s militaristic views and government must have worked though, because he did achieve his final goal: to unify Germany. On the other hand, Cavour used other countries’ armies instead of his own to accomplish his goal. He provoked Austria until they attacked Sardinia, and Napoleon III came briefly to the aid of Sardinia. However, Napoleon soon abandoned them in fear of retaliation from French Catholics. Cavour was a very manipulative man, but it did him well in the end. Another time he avoided using his own army was when he tricked Ga...

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...helped him when he goaded Austria into attacking Sardinia. He also used Garibaldi’s Red Shirts to gain territory without using his own military. Bismarck made alliances with countries for wars to help unify his country also. After Prussia and Austria joined forces to defeat Denmark, he convinced that Austria must be eliminated from German affairs. After provoking a war between the two, the Austro-Prussian War, he offered Austria generous peace terms and successfully rid himself of Austria interfering with him. Bismarck may not have directly betrayed anyone, but he definitely manipulated many people skillfully. Cavour provoked many wars to obtain what he wanted, including the one between Sardinia and Austria. Cavour’s brilliant strategies were the reason he succeeded in his mission. Both Cavour and Bismarck used brilliant diplomatic tactics to unify their countries.

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