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The Carbonari were groups of secret revolutionary societies founded in early 19th century Italy, and instrumental in organising revolution in Italy in 1820 and 1848. Idealistically, they sought the creation of a unified, liberal Italy through spontaneous rebellion by the working class, led by university students and intellectuals. The revolutions were put down by the French under Louis Napoleon III and by the Austrian Hapsburgs, who sought to maintain their significant power in Italy (Venice and Milan were both part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies[?] was ruled by a Hapsburg monarch). The failure of the revolutions showed that unification would not be achieved by idealism but by realpolitik - In 1867 the unification of Italy was completed under Count Camilio di Cavour[?] of Piedmont-Sardinia[?].

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