Was the Vienna Settlement the Main Reason Why Italian Unification Seemed Very Unlikely in 1815?

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It could be argued by many that the Vienna Settlement was the most significant reason why the prospect of Italy being unified in 1815 seemed implausible. However, there are many other considerable explanations, such as the role of Austria in many of the Italian states, and in particular Klemens Von Metternich himself who said at the Settlement that he wanted to “extinguish the spirit of Italian Unity”. It is extremely important that the significance of religion and the Church, as well as the Restored Monarchies and the idea of Campanellism in the early 19th Century are recognized, with the part these factors play in the prospect of Italian Unification. The Vienna Settlement is arguably one of the most crucial events in Italian history. Before 1815, Italy was ruled over by Napoleon and the country had a hugely influenced by France and it’s regimes. Many historians argue that the period of Napoleonic reign was the closest Italy came to recognizing itself as a country, with a nationalist spirit slowly developing. However, this spirit was crushed by Metternich at the Vienna Settlement. His desire was to restore the old pre-1976 order, imposing a Conservative settlement and therefore crushing any hopes of liberal or nationalist reforms across Europe. Some of the key aims of the Vienna Settlement were to restore the ‘legitimate rulers’, to maintain the ‘balance of power’ in Europe and indeed to place Austria in a position of control over Italy. Arguably, the treaty triggered and brought with it many more factors which made Italian Unification less likely. Further to this, another extremely significant factor as to why Italian unification seemed unlikely the direct control and influence that the majority of the Italian States felt from Austria and Metternich. Lombardy and Venetia were controlled directly by Austria from across the border, whereas the Central Duchies all
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