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Camillo Benso

Italian statesman

Died when: 50 years 300 days (609 months)
Star Sign: Leo


Camillo Benso

Camillo Paolo Filippo Giulio Benso, Count of Cavour, Isolabella and Leri (Italian pronunciation: [ka'millo 'b?nso 'konte di ka'vur], 10 August 1810 – 6 June 1861), generally known as Cavour (/k?'v??r/ k?-VOOR, Italian: [ka'vur]), was an Italian politician, businessman, economist and noble, and a leading figure in the movement towards Italian unification.

He was one of the leaders of the Historical Right and prime minister of the Kingdom of Piedmont–Sardinia, a position he maintained (except for a six-month resignation) throughout the Second Italian War of Independence and Giuseppe Garibaldi's campaigns to unite Italy.

After the declaration of a united Kingdom of Italy, Cavour took office as the first prime minister of Italy; he died after only three months in office and did not live to see the Roman Question solved through the complete unification of the country after the Capture of Rome in 1870.

Cavour put forth several economic reforms in his native region of Piedmont, at that time part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, in his earlier years and founded the political newspaper Il Risorgimento.

After being elected to the Chamber of Deputies, he quickly rose in rank through the Piedmontese government, coming to dominate the Chamber of Deputies through a union of centre-left and centre-right politicians.

After a large rail system expansion program, Cavour became prime minister in 1852.As prime minister, Cavour successfully negotiated Piedmont's way through the Crimean War, the Second Italian War of Independence, and Garibaldi's Expedition of the Thousand, managing to maneuver Piedmont diplomatically to become a new great power in Europe, controlling a nearly united Italy that was five times as large as Piedmont had been before he came to power.

Cavour was a Freemason of the Italian Symbolic Rite.English historian Denis Mack Smith says Cavour was the most successful parliamentarian in Italian history, but he was not especially democratic.

Cavour was often dictatorial, ignored his ministerial colleagues and parliament, and interfered in parliamentary elections.He also practiced trasformismo and other policies which were carried over into post-Risorgimento Italy.

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