Source A and D agree that Piedmont was economically strong and agree with the statement that Piedmont was a major and important European power by 1859; as by the 1850’s were an important period of political and economic development and change in Piedmont as it gained a reputation of a modernised state. However it could be argued that Piedmont wasn’t a major European power by 1859 as Source B and C disagree with the statement as they believe that Piedmont wasn’t military and politically strong enough as they didn’t have any foreign alliances to be able to gain support and provoke a war with Austria.
One side of the argument is that Piedmont was independent and politically efficient as Piedmont was chosen as a leading role in political unity rather than any other states in Italy, which shows that Piedmont was considered a major power at the time as they all relied on Piedmont’s political and social development after 1848.
Source D agree that Piedmont was an independent region ‘ Piedmont’s experiment in free government based on the Statuto was crucial to the Italian state’ this shows that Piedmont was strong enough politically and could be possibly a major European power as it was the only state that retained the Statuto while liberal constitutions across the penisola were repressed. ‘Capacity for self-government’ this also shows that Piedmont was politically stable which ally control.
However it could be argued that Piedmont wasn’t politically strong to be considered a major power by 1859 as Piedmont did not have any foreign alliances such as France and Britain which was a major issue as Piedmont wasn’t strong enough to dominate the north of Italy at the expense of Austria without any foreign support. Source C supports the fact that Piedmont was politically weak ‘ I did not disguise from him that our object was to free Italy from foreign rule’ this shows that they did not have a strong alliance as Cavour might have thought they had with Britain.
In contrast with source B ‘I believe Britain and France will support Piedmont in a war to advance Italy’s cause’ this shows that Piedmont was weak and vulnerable politically as they did not have such strong alliances after all. ‘We did not obtained any money or land’ this shows that Piedmont was not taken into consideration and seriously by other foreign powers, which supports the fact that Piedmont wasn’t a major European power by 1859.
We must take into account the provenance of Source C as it was written in 1856 by Cavour ‘speech in the House of Lords’ this shows that Cavour was emotionally involved and, as it was a speech his purpose was to convince people that he was successful even though he did not succeed and made any alliances this low the reliability of the source. Another argument is that Piedmont was economically efficient as Piedmont was the first Italian region with a partly industrialised economy and further enhanced the reputation as a modernised state.
Source A shows that Piedmont had high economy standards and shows that Piedmont had developed into a major European power as it shows the modernisation achieved in Piedmont between 1848 and 1859. ‘Value of imports raised up from 130 million lire in 1848 to 320 million lire in 1859’. This shows the big improvements that Piedmont had over the years, which must take into account as it shows that Piedmont is an independent strong state and should be taken into consideration.
Likewise Source D supports Source A ‘Domestic policies were directed towards strengthening Piedmont’s economic, business, and financial life’ this shows that Piedmont was well industrialised and economically strong. We must take into account the provenance of the sources, Source D was written in 1970, by Edgar Holt ‘ a modern historian comments on the advances made within Piedmont from 1848 to 1859’ this shows that the author was well informed of historical context and he must have considered other researches, which is more reliable.
Source A was published and from ‘a compilation from various contemporary sources’ this means that this Source have been compared and viewed from more than one person which have more opinions; which it has high validity and reliability, however we could say that the Source must have been selected on purpose to make Piedmont look powerful and a great power. The last argument is that Piedmont did not have such a strong military base to have developed to a foreign European power as Cavour understood that Piedmont could not dominate the north of Italy at the expense of Austria without military support from foreign powers.
Source C ‘ It is inconceivable, as Cavour claimed, that I should have recommended to him such a suicidal act as going to war with Austria’ this shows that Piedmontese army were not strong enough to think that they could possibly defeat Austria as they also did not have any strong alliance with any foreign power, which suggest that Piedmont did not develop into a major European power. In contrast Source D discredits Source C ‘ a well-trained army of 60,000 men which faced the Austrians alone until the French arrived’ this shows that Piedmont did have a strong army and gain an alliance with France at end.
Furthermore we must consider the provenance of the sources; Source C was written in 1862 by ‘Lord Clarendon, speech in the House of Lords’ this means that as he was a politician and there at the time, he has the knowledge to inform the reader of the reality of the event that did occur as he is also in a situation of responsibility. However we could argue that he was emotionally involved as this speech was written in 1862 which lacks the reliability of the source; it also shows that he must have selected the words carefully to justify and defend himself.
In contrast with Source D which is more balanced as it does not have motive to defend himself and therefore more reliable. Overall having analysed the sources, Piedmont was an independent state and had grown politically and economically, as both sources A and D suggest that Piedmont did develop into a major power by 1859 as Italy has grown Politically as it was the only state that retained the Statuto, also the grown of Piedmont economic system made them growing into a major power as they got noticed.
Their economy also increased rapidly by 1849 and became a more modern state. This sources also are supported by the fact that Italy was unified under Piedmontese leadership. However we could argue that Piedmont did not develop into a major power by 1849 as Source C and A cannot agree on how strong the Piedmontese army was as source C is trying to justify himself and is emotionally involved, and Source A has more knowledge about events that happened during that time as the source was written in 1970 and has historical context.
Source A and D are the most useful sources about finding out about Piedmont as both sources had different other sources to come into a conclusion about Piedmont’s economy and state, which both sources agree with each content, they also both highlight the fact that Piedmont had developed into a major power politically and economically by 1859.