Development of a nation: unification of Italy, 1848–70 Edexcel IGCSE Resources

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Paper 1: Depth Studies, Development of a Nation, Unification of Italy, 1848-70

What students need to learn::

The 1848 Revolutions in the Italian states

  • The causes of the 1848 Revolutions in the Italian states, including new constitutions in Tuscany and Piedmont;
  • Mazzini’s failed democratic revolt against the Pope in Rome.
  • Reasons for failure of the 1848 Revolution.
  • The legacy of the 1848 Revolutions: Victor Emmanuel and the Statuto, the impact of Austrian dominance, the impact on the papacy, the French occupation of Rome.

Developments in Piedmont, 1849–54

  • Political developments in Piedmont;
  • The rule of Victor Emmanuel II;
  • The appointment of Cavour (1852) and its impact.
  • Cavour’s financial and domestic reforms, economic expansion and his policies to reduce the influence of the Church.

The defeat of Austria, 1854–59

  • Piedmont’s relationship with Austria.
  • The significance of the Crimean War.
  • Causes of the Second Italian War of Independence, including nationalism in Piedmont, relations with Napoleon III, the significance of the Orsini Affair and the Pact of Plombières.
  • Origins, events and results of the Austrian war, including the significance of the battles of Magenta and Solferino;
  • The Treaty of Villafranca;
  • Cavour’s resignation;
  • The annexation of the Central States and the loss of Nice and Savoy.

Garibaldi and the Papal States

  • Garibaldi’s motives for intervention in Naples and Sicily and his relationship with Cavour and Victor Emmanuel II;
  • Proclamation of Kingdom of Italy;
  • Garibaldi’s successes in Sicily and Naples and the Papal States and the reaction of the great powers and Cavour;
  • The establishment of the Kingdom of Italy.

Venice and Rome and the extent of unification by 1870

  • Obstacles to unity after 1861: the role of Austria, France and the Pope, including ‘Piedmontisation’;
  • Piedmont and Austro-Prussian War;
  • The second battle of Custozza and Union with Venetia;
  • The problem of Rome: the papacy and French occupation;
  • The failure of Garibaldi’s diplomacy (1862–67);
  • Piedmont and the Franco-Prussian War and the acquisition of Rome;
  • Unity in 1870: factors promoting and working against unity.

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