The reunification of Italy as a single nation was a long slow process taking centuries and several political upheavals to achieve. Italian people were subjected to many influences, some good, many bad, but all contributed to their creative vibrancy. When all hope seemed lost, within a short period of time, the flower of unity, believed to be lost, burst into the open. The kingdom of a united Italy was born and a century later, a republic took its place. The name given to the process was the Risorgimento.
Literally, "risorgimento" means resurrection, a time for renewal, a rebirth. The word is used as a synonym for Italian Renaissance, and for the revolutionary movement in Italy at the time of Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi. It also became the name of the newspaper founded in 1847 by Camillo Benzo Conte di Cavour which served as the voice for the Italian National Movement.
In Italian history, it is a period of cultural nationalism and political activism which led to the unification of Italy. Risorgomento's roots lay in the 18th century culture in the works of Ludivico Antonio Muratori, Italian historian and priest, Vittorio Alfieri, Piedmontese poet whose writings emphasized unification, and Antonio Genovesi, a political philosopher and economist. Each advocated that the separated areas of Italy should become reunited into a single political unit.
Italy had not been a unified political power since the fall of the Roman empire in the 5th century, existing as partitioned powers known as city states controlled by citizens and papal states controlled by the papacy. From the 15th through the 18th centuries, foreign domination by France, Spain, Germany, Austria and the papacy was virtually complete. During the period dominated by Napoleon I, Austria and other foreign powers were temporarily expelled with France, which was in harmony with the Papacy, in control of the entire country.