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Talking History: The Italian Unification

Jan 24, 2016

It's the beginning of 1859, and we're at a pivotal point in the story. While it would be an exaggeration to say that the entire Italian Unification hinges on the events of this episode, the timing of events here will play a role in everything to come. The plan was for Cavour to stir up trouble in the duchy of Modena, which would lead to an escalating series of diplomatic incidents that would start a war between Piedmont and Austria, while making Austria look like the aggressor. France would then come to Piedmont's aid and crush the Austrians. We'll see Cavour's plan begin to crumble as the rest of Europe attempts to intervene to stop the war before it starts. In desperation, the lifelong gambler will double down on his plan. In the end, it will be Austria's foolishness rather than his cleverness that makes the difference, and he will win despite himself.