Unification of Italy

New Course: The Unification of Italy

Key information:

Name: The Unification of Italy

Tutor: Dr Marcella Sutcliffe (Research Fellow in History at Clare Hall, Cambridge)

Number of Modules: 7

Module List:

  1. Introduction
  2. Napoleon in Italy, 1796-1815
  3. The Restoration of the Old Order
  4. The 1848 Revolutions
  5. The Emergence of a National Consciousness
  6. The Role of Garibaldi
  7. Conclusion: United at Last?


In this course, Dr Marcella Sutcliffe (University of Cambridge) explores the Unification of Italy, starting with Napoleon’s invasion of Italy in the late 1790s, and ending with the famous Handshake of Teano in 1861, where Giuseppe Garibaldi handed over control of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont-Sardinia. As we move through the course, we think about the impact of Napoleon’s reforms on Italy; the extent to which these reforms were reversed in following the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and the various insurrections that followed; the outbreak of rebellions in 1848, including the Five Days in Milan and the declaration of the Republic of Rome; the growth of a national consciousness in the years following the crushing of the democrat movements in 1848-49; and the life, career, and celebrity of Garibaldi, his Expedition of the Thousand to Sicily, and the declaration of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. The course ends by considering the challenges that faced Italy after 1861, including the continued opposition of the Catholic church, and the fact that Rome and Venice remained under the control of the Pope and the Austrians, respectively.

Relevance to Specification:

This course is designed for students taking OCR GCE AS/A Level in History [Unit F964, Option B, Study Topic 2: The Unification of Italy, 1815-70) or Edexcel GCE AS/A Level in History [Paper 2, Option 2D.1: The Unification of Italy, c1830-70].