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Status-Seeking and Nation-Building: The “Piedmont Principle” Revisited
2020, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

with Nicholas Sambanis and William C. Wohlforth

The pursuit of status on the international stage through participation in the Crimean War was critical to Italy’s drive toward unification. Piedmont’s Prime Minster Count Camillo di Cavour’s entry into the wartime alliance with France and Great Britain was a major component in his nation-building project, which Italy’s enhanced status after the war brought to fruition. Primary sources highlight the nexus between status competition at the international level and domestic political outcomes. Similar processes can explain the success and failure of other nation-building enterprises.


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The War of Crimea,1853-1856

The first war ever photographed! Here, an English camp,1854 ca.

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Unification of Italy,1859-61

The iconic encounter at Teano between Garibaldi and the King, 1860

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