The Italian Almanac


More about Cavour

Camillo Benso Count of Cavour

Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour (1810-61)

Piedmontese statesman and premier (1852-9), who brought about the unification of Italy (1861), born in Turin, NorthWest Italy. As premier, he greatly improved economic conditions, and brought the Italian question before the Congress of Paris. He promoted free-trade, abolished many of the priviliges of the clergy and aristocracy, and modernized Piedmont. He resigned over the Peace of Villafranca (which left Venetia Austrian), but returned in 1860, and secretly encouraged the expedition of Garibaldi, which gained Sicily and S Italy. He believed church and state should be separate: "libera chiesa in libero stato" (free church in a free state) and was negotiating a solution to the Roman question when he died.

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