Victor Emmanuel II

1820-78, king of Sardinia 1849-78; first king of Italy 1861-78.

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Italian Vittorio Emanuele

born March 14, 1820, Turin, Piedmont, Kingdom of Sardinia
died Jan. 9, 1878, Rome, Italy

King of Sardinia (1849–61) and first king of a united Italy (1861–78).

The son of Charles Albert, he took part in the war against Austria (1848) and became king when his father abdicated in 1849. Assisted by his minister Camillo Cavour, he strengthened the kingdom and supported the Risorgimento movement for unity. In the war with Austria (1859–61), he commanded troops to victories in the Battles of Magenta and Solferino. He secretly encouraged Giuseppe de Garibaldi in the conquest of Sicily and Naples and led the invasion of the Papal States. He assumed the title of king of Italy (1861) and later acquired Venetia (1866) and Rome (1870).

Victor Emmanuel II

Alinari-Art Resource/EB Inc.

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▪ king of Italy

born March 14, 1820, Turin, Piedmont, Kingdom of Sardinia
died Jan. 9, 1878, Rome

      king of Sardinia–Piedmont who became the first king of a united Italy.

      Brought up in the court of his father, Charles Albert, and given a conventional monarchical education emphasizing religious and military training, he was married to his cousin Maria Adelaide, daughter of an Austrian archduke. After the Revolution of 1848, when war broke out with Austria, Victor Emmanuel was given command of a division. In the luckless campaign that followed he proved a brave soldier but an indifferent general.

      Ascending the throne on his father's abdication, he consolidated his position by suppressing the republican left and paying an indemnity to Austria, which brought him considerable opprobrium in Italy. In November 1852 he made the momentous decision to turn the government over to the able, determined Count Cavour (Cavour, Camillo Benso, conte di (count of)), whose skillful manoeuvres over the next few years made him king of Italy. At the decisive battles of Magenta and Solferino, he commanded the Piedmontese corps in person, and following the armistice of Villafranca, he exercised a valuable restraint on Cavour, who wanted to continue the war alone. The following year Victor Emmanuel secretly encouraged Garibaldi in the conquest of Sicily and Naples; he then led his Piedmontese army into papal territory to link up with Garibaldi in the face of an excommunication by Pius IX.

      Following Cavour's death in 1861, Victor Emmanuel played a more direct role in government and despite setbacks achieved two notable triumphs: the acquisition of Venetia through war on the side of Bismarck's Prussia in 1866, and of Rome after the withdrawal of the French garrison in 1870. The occupation of Rome as the national capital so antagonized Pius IX that he refused all overtures toward reconciliation, and no meeting ever took place between the two sovereigns; nevertheless, on Victor Emmanuel's death in 1878 Pius permitted his burial in the Pantheon.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Victor Emmanuel I. — Victor Emmanuel I., König von Sardinien, geb. 1759, regierte 1802 bis 1821, wo er zu Gunsten seines Bruders Karl Felix resignirte, st. 1824; s. Sardinien …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Victor Emmanuel II. — Victor Emmanuel II., geb. 14. März 1820, vermählt 1842 mit der (1855 gestorbenen) Erzherzogin Adelheid, einer Tochter des Erzherzogs Rainer, aus welcher Ehe 5 Kinder leben, König seit 23. März 1849; s. Sardinien …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Victor Emmanuel II — 1820 78; king of Sardinia (1849 61) & 1st king of Italy (1861 78) …   English World dictionary

  • Victor-Emmanuel — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Prénom composé des rois : Victor Emmanuel Ier, roi de Sardaigne de 1802 à 1821 ; Victor Emmanuel II, roi de Savoie de 1849 à 1861, puis d Italie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Victor Emmanuel II — Vittorio Emanuele II (1820–1878)    Born in Turin on 19 March 1820, this last king of Sardinia and first king of a united Italy grew up in Tuscany and Piedmont. He was the son of Charles Albert and Maria Teresa of Tuscany. As a young man, he… …   Historical Dictionary of modern Italy

  • Victor Emmanuel II — (1820–1878)    The King of Piedmont Sardinia (1849–1861) and Italy (1861–1878), Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy assumed the throne of Piedmont after the Austrians defeated his father Charles Albert at the Battle of Novara in March 1849 and forced him …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • Victor Emmanuel — Vic′tor Emman′uel [[t]ˈvɪk tər[/t]] n. 1) big Victor Emmanuel II, 1820–78, king of Sardinia 1849–78; first king of Italy 1861–78 2) big Victor Emmanuel III, 1869–1947, king of Italy 1900–46 …   From formal English to slang

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