Cavour, Count Camillo Benso de

Cavour, Count Camillo Benso de, one of the greatest of modern statesmen, born the younger son of a Piedmontese family at Turin; entered the army, but was precluded from a military career by his liberal opinions; retired, and for 16 years laboured as a private gentleman to improve the social and economic condition of Piedmont; in 1847 he threw himself into the great movement which resulted in the independence and unification of Italy; for the next 14 years, as editor of Il Risorgimento, member of the chamber of deputies, holder of various portfolios in the government, and ultimately as prime minister of the kingdom of Sardinia, he obtained a constitution and representative government for his country, improved its fiscal and financial condition, and raised it to a place of influence in Europe; he co-operated with the allies in the Crimean war; negotiated with Napoleon III. for the expulsion of the Austrians from Italy, and so precipitated the successful war of 1859; he encouraged Garibaldi in the expedition of 1860, which liberated Sicily and Southern Italy, and saw the parliament of 1861 summoned, and Victor Emmanuel declared king of Italy; but the strain of his labours broke his health, and he died a few months later (1810-1861).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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