Cover Cavour and Bismarck
series "Intersezioni"
pp. 216, Brossura, 978-88-15-14657-1
publication year 2011


Cavour and Bismarck

Liberalism, Caesarism, and Two Leaders

Camillo Cavour and Otto von Bismarck helped build the Italian and German national states and represent two major models of political leadership. Implementing political guidance reflecting a liberal parliamentary approach, within a lively and tough political context laden with conflict, Cavour was an indomitable leader in Parliament and a stout defender of Parliament. Thus emerged the "Cavour model" which German liberals found so appealing. But German unity undertook a different path thanks to Bismarck, who embodied the principle of monarchic authority and was willing to use democracy in a more ruthless manner. In constant tension and conflict with Parliament, Bismarck could bring into play a formidable military tool: the Prussian army. Against the backdrop of events in Italy in 1859-61 and in Germany in 1866-67, this book chronicles Cavour's and Bismarck's decision-making processes, their styles of government, and their relationship (which remains timely) with both Liberalism and Caesarism.

Gian Enrico Rusconi is professor emeritus at the University of Turin.