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Giuseppe Garibaldi

The role of Giuseppe Garibaldi in the affairs of Italy that led to unification started well in 1848 after he had left the United States for Italy. His role began when he started participating once more in the Italian liberation movement that was commonly referred to as the Risorgimento or ‘revival’. Garibaldi organized a volunteer corps that served the king of Sardinia or Charles Albert of the Piedmontese. Firstly, he was unsuccessful when he rose against Austrians in a war fought at Lombardy, but this did not deter him as he moved with his numerous volunteers to the city of Rome to aid the Roman Republic that Mazzini and a number of other leaders had set up in 1849. At this time, Garibaldi was able to defend Rome with a degree of success against the French, but at the end, he had to inhabit with the French in Rome. While leaving Rome with about 5000 followers his force was captured, killed and dispersed and he had to flee Italy.

After learning some crucial lessons in his earlier expeditions, Garibaldi returned in 1854 to Italy and stayed in Caprera, an Island on the Northeastern part of Sardinia. A crucial point at this time was that Garibaldi had separated his political ideology and practice from Mazzini and was allied to Victor Emmanuel II, the then King of Sardinia and Conte Camillo di Cavour his premier. Garibaldi was very popular and had a huge following, and this made Italians in their thousands to pledge their allegiance to the monarch at Sardinia.

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Of note is the fact that Garibaldi’s dream of a unified Italy was what motivated the successful expeditions he led against such forces as the Austrians in 1859 within the Alps. By 1860, Garibaldi had conquered Sicily and left an insular government that served provisionally. His conquest after Sicily was Naples that he later delivered to his allied King, Victor Emmanuel II by 1861 after which he went back home to Caprera.

Giuseppe Mazzini is considered as one of the inspirations of the Italian revival or Risorgimento. Right from his teenage years he had a commitment for the unification of Italy and its independence. Apart from Garibaldi, Mazzini is the only other leader who was internationally renowned across Italy and the world at that time. His primary goals ricocheted what was later to unify Italy, such as ending the hegemony of Austria in Italy, ending the papal temporal power and liberation of Italians under oppression. He wanted to see democracy in Italy with Italians united in one accord as one people and under God. Some of his dreams were accomplished when in his English exile he heard of his inspired revolutions achieving success. He was always opposed to foreign help even when some Milanese revolt leaders wanted to ask the French for help against Austria.

After Rome had become a republic by 1849, he was invited to be a key player in the future of the republic culminating in the most dramatic period of his entire political career and life.     

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At last, he was given the chance to cultivate his democratic goals towards a united republican but democratic Italy. However, the Roman republic was short lived as in the same year, 1849, the French rose against Rome at the appeal of the then pope, Pius IX. It is important to note that at this time Garibaldi worked with Mazzini to defend Rome against the onslaught of the French army with measured success before Rome fell on 3rd of July 1849. The opening of the Roman gates for the French army signified the end of Mazzini’s revolutionary era, but marked the start of political forces realignment across Italy that would finally lead to the unification of Italy.

He was held in high affection, esteem and respect but he refused to accept a unified monarchical Italy and agitated until his death (1872) for a democratic republic.

Camillo Cavour

Camillo Cavour’s part in the unification of Italy was crucial to the future of the successes that followed after Garibaldi’s expeditions. He was the premier of Sardinia Kingdom in 1852, and he was a skillful leader with accommodating policies that finally made Italy a united nation in about a decade.

Cavour was highly persuasive and made Napoleon make war against Austria. Cavour was an opportunistic and a fantastic strategist, and he caused in 1859 a crisis that made the Austrians make an ultimatum for the disarmament of Piedmontese. In his planned strategy, Cavour went against the ultimatum leading to a war with Austria where the French came to help the Piedmontese. Austrians were thoroughly defeated in Solferino and Magenta, two of the major battles in the scuffle. Thus, Lombardy was surrendered by Austrians to Napoleon III, together with the city of Milan. In the same year (1859), Napoleon gave Lombardy to be under Victor Emmanuel III’s sovereignty.

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In 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was declared by Victor Emmanuel II and Cavour became the official Italian prime minister

Victor Emmanuel

Victor Emmanuel II was the King of Sardinia from 1848 to 1861, and under him the unification of Italy came to be. It is worth noting that the other two figures that played a crucial role in the unification, Giuseppe Garibaldi and Camillo Cavour all played under his umbrella as much as they had a distaste for one another. After Garibaldi had conquered the Southern states of Italy such as Sicily, he finally brought all of them under the sovereignty of Victor Emmanuel by 1860. Cavour was Emmanuel’s premier and went ahead to become the first premier of a unified Italy. It is worth noting that right from the beginning when the unification wars were at their worst everyone looked at Emmanuel as the one king who could rule the new Kingdom since he was agreeable across the different States. 

Under Emmanuel, the annexation of Marches and Umbria was completed from the arm of the papal government with a unified Italy being established with him as the King in 1861. However, since the Italian kingdom was without Rome, still under the pope, as well as Venice under Austrians, the unification was incomplete until 1870 when the French withdrew from Rome in the Franco-Prussian War. The city of Rome was unprotected after the French as well as other Papal states and Emmanuel troops entered Rome without any opposition. He then moved his capital from Florence to Rome on the 2nd of July 1871.

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The unification of Italy was complete with Victor Emmanuel II as the overall King of the Kingdom of Italy.

  1. What steps, under the leadership of Otto von Bismarck, led to German unification and the establishment of the German Empire (2nd Reich)?

It is worth remembering that Otto Von Bismarck used a combination of persuasion, political strategies and bloodshed to unify Germany into one nation.

The steps to unification of Germany under Otto Von Bismarck included the 1864 war with Denmark in the clamor for Schleswig-Holstein. After this, Bismarck waged war against the Austrians in 1866 leading to the establishment of confederation of north Germany in the same year. This led to the Reichstag or parliament and Bundesrat establishment.

The other step that Bismarck used towards German unification was war with the French in 1870 to 1871 to have all the Southern states brought into Germany. War with the French was what Bismarck used to convince the Southern states to believe in one German state since the invasions of Napoleon earlier had marked the French as the common enemy of Germany. He foresaw that a defeat of French, or the common enemy, would strength the key German states right from Prussia, Bavaria to Baden.

 After success with unification, Bismarck decided to prevent the French war of revenge and future scuffles with other nations by directing his prowess in foreign policy to strengthen German as an empire. He made a decision not to isolate the French diplomatically and ended the Russian hostility with the Dual Alliance and with Italy in the Triple Alliance in 1882.  Bismarck also sought British cooperation.

  1.  (Questions 3-5 below)

3. What events led to the Beer Hall Putsch?

The events that led to the Beer Hall Putsch were as a result of Gustav Stresemann, the Chancellor of Germany and President Ebert’s decision to work with the French rather than oppose them to a point of calling off some passive resistance around the Ruhr valley and agreeing to pay the reparations agreed upon in the Treaty of Versailles. The nationalists saw this as admitting that Germany was guilty of having started World War 1. Simply put, this was something the nationalists could never tolerate.

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4. Why did Hitler do what he did?

There is no clear answer as to why Hitler did what he did. However, there are some pointers showing that the reasons were more than one. For once, Hitler led the march knowing that he could be killed or even mortally injured. The first point to why he did this was that he had spent around four years on the then Western Front, something that could have reinforced his resolve and removed any sense of fear.

Another pointer might have been coercion by the Munich SA members who were turning out to be restless with Wilhelm Brucker claiming that the members wanted some action. There is also another possibility that since he was facing a potential loss of SA men, whom he desperately needed, he was pushed into doing what he did as much as he might not have wanted to be involved in the march.

5. What were the outcomes?

The initial outcome after a few minutes into the march was the death of 16 Nazis and three policemen. Also, Hitler was injured and later arrested and charged with treason. Other Nazi members such as Luderndorff were arrested, as well.

Politically, the Beer Hall Putsch was Hitler’s lesson in politics and patience in political strategy. The Nazi party was lacking political experience, and the outcome was instrumental in future events in the line of political ideology and tact of Hitler and the Nazi, more so in the future Nazi propaganda.

  •   (Question Below)
  1. Who was Harriet Martineau, and what were her intellectual contributions?

Harriet Martineau was an English woman born in Norwich, England, who contributed a lot to literature, mostly in the line of sociology. She committed herself to the profession of writing at an early age of 27, in the year 1829, even though she gained much of her education from self- study.

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Harriet’s intellectual contributions had started early, but they became influential once she started living in London at a time when the literary circle made up of very influential and famous authors such as Thomas Malthaus, Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte, was at its best.

One of her early contributions were in empirical studies as she was visiting the United States, where she reported the findings she made in both the 1837’s Society in America  and 1838’s How to Observe Morals and Manners. She also addressed methodological strategy in her contribution to sociology in Society in America. In How to Observe Morals and Manners, Harriet came up with a positivist solution to the problem of correspondence in verifiable observables, unobservable theoretical problems and inter-subjectivity.

Even before Weber, Engels and Marx came with their controversial works, Martineau had already observed religion, social class, domestic relations, suicide, criminology, national character and the interrelations existing between individuals and institutions.

The most famous intellectual contribution was her translation into English in 1851 of Cours de philosophie positive that led to positivism introduction in America.

In her entire life, Harriet wrote more than 1500 columns and pioneered methodological studies and thought in the field of what is termed as sociology.

7. Marx believed in an inevitable class struggle that operates by predetermined natural laws and cannot be stopped; he also appears to deny human free will. Given these premises, is it illogical for him to call for the workers to revolt, which implies their ability to will and act freely?

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Given Marx stand on class struggle and denial of free will, a call on workers to revolt seems illogical, but on a closer look, it is not so since freedom in Marxism means practically nothing. 

The term free will or freedom in Marxism indicates the liberty of a people to make a choice on the society that would determine their behavior (Shlomo, 70). This does not mean that people are to choose their own behavior. Therefore, when people are not able to exercise their free will in the choice of a society, the controlling factor is the environment or a specific situation. The Marxists trash on free will is the belief of the society as being responsible in regulating its people. In such a context, free will has no meaning. A society that regulates workers or human development does not depict the logic of calling the same workers to revolt. The belief in an inevitable class struggle and denial of human free will looks at workers as evolving humans that need some adjustment before their humanity is perfected.

8. Have you ever noticed that nations are usually addressed by "he" or "she"? You do not hear of one referred to as "it". Why is that, and does that relate to nationalism? What is nationalism?

Nationalism is a political ideology that leads a group of people to identify with a specific political unit described in collective or national terms such as a “nation”.

In my opinion, the fact that many countries are not being referred to as “it” has different explanations but has nothing to do with nationalism. Firstly, I think the issue is a case of grammar and a mix of different aspects of languages. In other words, apart from English, different world languages assign some gender to their nouns. Taking the case of Russia as an example, the name of the country is feminine and termed as Rossiya, while the pronoun referring to Russia as a territory is “she”, pronounced as ona. In German, the case is the opposite where “Deutschland” is masculine. The English language does not allot gender pronouns and “it” is mostly used to refer to anything that lacks gender. That is the reason why using “she” or “he” sounds arbitrary but the guess is that most English speakers use grammatical norms of other world languages in country names.

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Modern English terms as optional the reference of different objects as “she” as a figure of speech. Chicago Manual Style has vehemently advised this (Chicago, 356).

9. Is political assassination ever justified? If so, under what conditions? Was it justified in the case of Francis Ferdinand?  Is it justified in more recent current events?

As per the United Nations Charter Article 51, assassination is authorized with the rationale that the criteria of balancing harm or utilitarian favors assassination over the use of an enormous defensive force. In other words, rather than attack a whole nation, for instance, targeting the head of the nation or the perceived leader could minimize harm.

According to the definition by Chart Article 51, I believe the assassination of Francis Ferdinand by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo was justified. The political objective for the assassination was aimed at breaking the Austria-Hungarian south slaved provinces towards combining them into a greater Yugoslavia or Serbia. In addition, the motive of the assassin was consistent with Young Bosnia movement, as it came to be known later.

In more recent events, assassination is justified or has already been. A case in point is the death of Osama bin Laden who was the perceived head of the Alqaeda terrorist group. His death has been reported as weakening the terrorists leading to some success in the war against international terrorism.











10. Based on the information provided below (in the links), which do you believe are the three most dangerous terrorist groups and why? You can use the links provided below and also conduct your own research on the topic to answer the question above.

As per the links provided, the three most dangerous terrorists groups are Alqaeda, the Taliban and rag tag Islamic Jihadists. The reasons for the three are varied yet all of them have a common ground in Islam as a religion and strong Jihadist views, which have led to chaos across the world.

Alqaeda is at the top of the three. The reason why it is a terrorist group that sends jitters in the life of many is the effect of its radical Islam across the globe. The US government and a score of others have used billions of dollars to deal with the group in counterterrorism measures and attack on countries or specific groups that have affiliated themselves with the group. With Osama bin Laden at the helm, Alqaeda became a group that was mostly associated with the Taliban in Afghanistan, but after 9/11 and consequent sporadic attacks across the world the group has become a global problem. Every Islamic terrorist group that rises today in a specific region is claiming affiliation with Alqaeda, such as the Somali Al-Shabaab and Boka Haram in Nigeria. The death of Osama bin Laden has made the Alqaeda change tact into militias for hire with their attacks reported in Iraq, Yemen and other areas across the world. 

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Rag tag Islamic Jihadists are possibly the most lethal than Taliban due to their faceless nature. In fact, only Jihadist ideology is needed for a jihadist to become a terror in his or her community. A good example is the case of terrorism attacks on the transport system and other areas in Europe and Israel and the rise of Somali Al-Shabaab as well as small but many terrorist groups in Pakistan. The recent case of shooting of Jews in Toulouse, France, is a case of Jihadist ideology that creates a terrorist out of a normal Muslim.  This occasionally leads to rise of various groups with such a common ideology and becomes hard to trace and monitor.

Taliban is third on the list due to the level of the corporation it has received from Alqaeda until the entry of the US Anti-terrorism led forces into Afghanistan that ousted the terror regime. There have been a lot of sporadic but dangerous attacks on the Afghanistan population and the US forces with the Taliban being at the center of the problem. On the other hand, Taliban is not an Afghanistan problem alone since Shiite Muslims from Iran were killed by the Taliban and the same group has been regaining power and changing tact but still unleashing an attack after the other on its perceived enemy as well as on ordinary Afghanis. The affinity to join ranks with Alqaeda has made it one of the most dangerous terrorist groups. 

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