Vittorio Emanuele II
Vittorio Emanuele II (1820-1878) was king of Sardinia from 1849 until 1861, and assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of united Italy. The Italian people gave him the epithet "padre della patria" (Father of the Fatherland). He was styled as the Duke of Savoy prior to becoming king of Sardinia (his father abdicated).
Vittorio Emanuele II took part in the first Italian war of independence fighting in the front line at the battles of Pastrengo, Santa Lucia, Goito and Custozza. His father, Carlo Alberto abdicated the throne in 1849 after humiliating military defeat by the Austrians at Novara.
Vittorio Enamuele II became the symbol of the Risorgimento, the Italian unification movement (resurgence). Risorgimento was political and social movement that agglomerated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of Italy in 1861. It is also the year when he was proclaimed the first King of a new state. The unification, however, finished in 1871 and Vittorio Emanuele II set up the new capital of the Italy in Rome.
Italians do not really love their royal lineage of Savoy family but all people highly appreciate and love King Vittorio Emanuele II. The statue of beloved king could be seen all over Italy.
Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872) was journalist, politician and activist for the unification of Italy. His efforts helped bring about the independent and unified Italy and therefore was nicknamed "The Beating Heart of Italy". In 1831 he became a member of "Carbonari", a secret but rather unsuccessful associationwith political purposes. The same year Mazzini chose exile after was shortly imprisoned, spending next several years in Switzerland and UK.
The First Italian War of Independencestarted by Piedmontese (Kingdom of Sardinia) king Carlo Alberto but turned into a total failure, and it was thereason for his abdication of throne. Mazzini was never popular in the city of Milano because he wanted Lombardy to become a republic, instead of joining Piedmont. Later on it was the reason why he split up with Garibaldi who thought that Italy must be inificated in one kingdom.
Mazzini organized several uprisings but none was successful, yet his merits for the unification of Italy are great. He was persistent and never gave gave up.
Mazzini was an early advocate of a United States of Europe, century before the European Union began, and it is one of his mort important legacy.
What one could say about C.C., everybody probably knows all about him. He was son of Genova/Italy (1451-1506), explorer, colonizer and navigator. Under the auspices of Spain he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that lead to general European awareness of the American continents. Colombo, however, speculated to reach the East Indies by sailing westwards, and it is the historical fact. He discovered American continents only by chance. Colombo himself saw his accomplishments primarly in the light of the spreading of the Christian religion.
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