After the Napoleonic occupation ended in 1815, much of Italy wanted unification, but was prohibited from doing so by Austrian intervention. Under Austria’s insistence, a decision was made by conservative forces within Europe to restore Italy to its pre-Napoleonic borders. Austria was given control of the kingdom of Lombardy and Venice, while Modena, Parma and Tuscany were ruled by relatives of the Austrian Habsburgs. The Habsburgs were eager to foster a sense of national identity and pride within the parameters of the greater empire, but their conservative rule was increasingly resented. The south was returned to the Spanish Bourbons and the Papal States were again under the Pope’s control. Revolts took place throughout Italy in 1848, led by General Garibaldi, with Italy finally becoming unified in 1861. By 1924, Italy was an established colonial power and, in the 1924 elections, became a fascist dictatorship under Benito Mussolini.
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