The in Germany demonstrated that strong idealism was

The 19th century, a wave of nationalism termed as the ‘Age Of Nationalism’ proliferated through Europe. Small regions with similar culture and language created by the Congress of Vienna began to consolidate into a single entity of state. The period of Napoleonic hegemony initiated the politicism of the prevalent view of state and society in Central Europe (Hamerow 1972:4 ). It led to series of Republican uprising of 1847 against the monarchies of Sicily, Italy, Germany and the Austrian empire. All of had failed respectively and all had ended in failure and repression. However, the effects of 1848 was the ‘twilight of legitimism’. It became the final hours of liberalism seeking to justify hierarchal form (Hamerow 1972:7).By 1871, this failure, paved way for the unification of Italy and Germany.Both were motivated by the same historical trends.In addition, there was a change in the philosophy shifting from romanticism to realism and its political outgrowth of ‘realpolitik’ of which leaders such as Camillo Cavour and Otto von Bismarck used as a foundation to lead the way for unification process of Italy and Germany.The age of Risorgimento in Italy and Reichsgründung (Binkley 1963:14)  in Germany demonstrated that strong idealism was not enough to accomplish the revolutionary goal but rather the gathering of power and alliance was necessary.This essay will focus on the similarities and differences of the role of ‘Realpolitik’ in the unification process of Italy and Germany and it will aim to explore the reasons for such patterns.Realpolitik or realistic politics (Bew 2014:71) is an ideology conceptualised by Ludwig son von Rochau, rooting from ideas of Machiavelli in his book the Prince. Realpolitik is ‘politics or diplomacy based primarily on power and on practical and material factors and considerations rather than ideological notions or moralistic or ethical premises’ (Bew 2014). It is the prioritisation of the advancement of national interest above idealistic or ethical views in the form of acquiring power mainly through smart alliances and war. Bismarck and Cavour have greatly demonstrated this thinking as a strategy to unify their respected countries. From here, differences can be seen between Bismarck and Cavour in their way of thinking. Bismarck being a man with the preference of direct warfare whereas Cavour with his likeness to diplomacy to unify Italy.Money is Power is Realpolitik. In order for a unitary state to be a protagonist of unification. Bismarck and Cavour realised that economic stability and reform must be ensured in order to create a foundation for a strong military power. In Piedmont, like many states in the peninsula was poor and backward. Agriculture dominated the region and its little manufacturing sector used traditional, quasi-artisanal techniques shielded from foreign competition behind high duties (Frederico et jungidico:4 ) Therefore , Cavour initiated a reform under the British model of economic development. He aimed to bring his country into mainstream Europe by adopting a free trade policy and investment in infrastructures such as railways and in the manufacturing industry. Furthermore, he instigated reforms in military and judiciary sectors (Absalom 1995:24). After the failure of the battle between Austrian in July 1848 ,Cavour realised that ‘no nation-state could be created without the capacity to win its independence by force of arms and defend it’  (Absalom 1995:24) thus it was absolute that Piedmont must be economically stable to continually fund its army in order to ease the unification of Italy. In the case of Bismarck, Prussia benefitted greatly from the Zollverein in ensuring its constant economic supremacy against other states within the region (Williamson 1986:4) including Austria, who felt the most severe economic loss. As mentioned, money is power, therefore, the economic losses within Austria weakened the state as a whole and was reflected in its military power in its defeat in the Austro-Prussian War in 1866.In addition, Prussia was geographically situated within the Rhineland with rich mineral resources. Its position meant it had control over western and eastern territories over tariffs. The combination of such factors meant the value of the Prussian economy was worth more than Piedmonts thus explained Bismarck’s confidence to pursue a more competitive military stance for unification and its lack of reliance from external parties, unlike Italy.The main feature of realpolitik of which Bismarck and Cavour employed in their aim to unify their country was the use of smart alliances to provoke war in order to gain power, regain land and to reiterate the sense of nationalism. This is the process where Italy and Germany diverge. Otto von Bismarck was a true advocate of realpolitik and began the unification process with the use of diplomacy accompanied by direct warfare. In his ‘Blood and Iron’ speech on 30th September 1862 as a Prime Minister. Bismarck highlighted his strategy to unify Germany ‘Great questions of time will not be resolved by speeches and majority decisions…but by iron and blood’ (Smith 2015 :291). Bismarck bluntly stated that war was necessary for Germany’s unification in the connotation of ‘blood’ with the use of ‘iron’, a material produced in masses by many German states such as Prussia which can be manufactured for weaponry. Unlike Cavour, Bismarck was able to achieve German unification without foreign assistance but rather, a combination of foreign manipulation and war. This is reflected greatly on its involvement in the Danish War of (1862), Austria-Prussian War in (1866) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). Bismarck engineered a war against Austria to ensure Prussia dominance over the region. The victory in the Austria-Prussian War was extremely significant in the unification process of Germany. Austria was excluded from any decision-making process regarding the national question (Smith 2015:292). Hanover, the Electorate of Hessen Kassel, Nassau, and Frankfurt, were annexed by Prussia, therefore, allowing western territories to dissolve with the East. In the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck sought to provoke a war with France in order to unify Germany with Alsace and Lorraine. He felt that he could win the support of the Southerners if an external threat was imminent. Tactically, Bismarck intentionally boasted his expulsion of the French diplomat who was sent to prevent William I to not interfere with the succession to the Spanish Throne furthermore an altered version of the diplomatic telegraph (Ems telegraph) was published to further provoke France. France took the bait and declared war with Prussia, of which it had loss due to France disorganised and weaker army against the economically backed, organised and well-equipped Prussian army. On January 18, 1871, a new German Empire was proclaimed. Along with the external manipulation, Bismarck ensured that the unification process of Germany was not hampered internally. He offered peace to the Prussian liberals by proposing a bill to legalise unconstitutional financing and other liberal policies such as state pension and employee insurance (Binkley 1963). Bismarck in this way prevented a change in public opinion by using small changes from the top down to avoid a major change from the bottom up.Camillo Benso di Cavour, a cross of Sir Robert Peel and Machiavelli (Smith 1995:3) was a man who utilised realpolitik in the form of war in order to pursue national interest. However, unlike Bismarck, Cavour avoided the means of direct warfare. His assessment of the practical situation had led him to favour diplomacy as a platform to manipulate external powers into alliances for military engagement. His policies and Piedmont’s current economic situation prevented him to be directly involved in a war. Cavour aimed to insert Piedmont into the European balance of power not to cause instability but to be the embodiment of a unified state of peaceful, orderly and above all non-revolutionary (Absalom 1995:36). It is important to stress the word aimed at the previous statement as Piedmonts successfully participated in the Crimean War 1855 alongside the British and France. From there, he gained France and Britain as his ally. Moreover, despite not having any quarrel with Russia, he used the Crimean exposure as a platform to show the international community the Italian agenda. In 1859, the Plombieres Agreement was signed between Piedmont and the French arranging a joint military alliance against Austria, Italy’s main obstacle for unification. Cavour’s goal was the expulsion of Austria from the peninsula with the help of France and in return, cede Savoy and Nice. Such agreement angered the Austrians resulting in an ultimatum being issued to the Piedmontese to demobilise its troops (Wells 2012:56). The ultimatum was deemed as ‘one of those lucky turns of the lottery that arrive only once a century’ (Binkley 1963:211) as it provoked war at Austria’s expense thus it allowed Cavour to call upon the French for help, not as a conspirator but as the victim. From there, the Franco-Austrian War ensued and Italy was able to unite Piedmont with Lombardy. The Kingdom of Italy became officially unified in 1871. Bismarck and Cavour used realpolitik in a similar strategic manner.Both leaders assessment of the current situation meant manipulation of the external players was the practical solution to gain power. They established smart and key alliances and used them when necessary. Although, Italy was too reliant on such alliances to carry out its work whereas Germany was more willing to take part.Another point of difference between Germany and Italy’s unification was the lack of common institution for the representation of people in Italy (Sperber 1994:91).Germany had Zollverein, a tariff union established in 1834 to which most German states belonged and which Prussia had direct control by 1860.The Zollverein allowed Bismarck to have direct control of the smaller states on Eastern and Western territories, therefore, preventing any opponents or from causing a stagnation to Germany’s unification. What Germany had from the start was Prussia, an organised, economically and politically dominant centre (Smith 2015:282). On the other hand, Italy lacked an initial protagonist institution thus making it difficult for the unification to take place. They were too many larger states with strong monarchy holdings: Papal States, Tuscany, Naples, to name a few. Piedmont was not the first choice. The states that are more capable of becoming the unitary state like the most populous Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was the most economically backward. It had the manpower but lacked the economic power hindered by the extremely conservative monarchy which controls it. Similarly, the most advanced peninsula of Lombardy and Venetia with the most prosperous, urbanised and best-educated people were directly under the rule of the Austrian Empire. Italian liberal nationalist was stuck with Piedmont for the lack of anything better (Sperber 1994:93)To Conclude, Otto von Bismarck and Camilo Benso de Cavour used realpolitik as a strategy for the unification process of Italy and Germany. Both prioritised and pursued national interest through the combination of alliances and war. Alliance was an efficient way to gain socio, economic and political power. Undeterred by the ethical and idealistic consequences, both leaders persevered for the unification of their states. Bismarck and Cavour utilised wars like the Crimean, Austria-Prussian, and the Franco-Prussian, as a platform to gain alliances. Once such relationship was established, they encouraged and aided but never declared wars between external powers. With the intention of accumulating territories for the advancement of unification, both leaders ensured that an agreement was always made prior to any conflict. Nevertheless, Germany’s unification was more straightforward and efficient than Italy as despite creating alliances it was prepared for any direct engagement in war. Germany’s unitary state of Prussia was strong economically and politically. It gave Bismarck the confidence to pursue a war in order to produce a quicker result. Whereas Cavour had to meticulous in his actions. He knew that Piedmont with its weaker economic power was incapable of winning wars and he was more likely to lose his territories in this process. Cavour had to be dependent on the alliances he had created and his skill to manipulate external powers. This process was inefficient as it required certain conditions at perfect times to pursue an agenda. Italian unification was obtained more by smart alliances through diplomacy as well astute timing rather than reliance on military power like Germany.