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Balbo, Cesare(chā`zärā bäl`bō), 1789–1853, Italian premier, historian, and author. He held various posts during the Napoleonic occupation of Italy and became involved in the liberal revolution of 1821 in Piedmont. One of the leading advocates of Italian unity and revival, he joined with Count Cavour in founding (1847) the review the Risorgimento. King Charles Albert of Sardinia made (1848) him premier of his first constitutional cabinet, but Balbo resigned after three months. His works include Sommario della storia d'Italia (1846), Le Speranze d'Italia (1844), and a life of Dante (2 vol., 1839; tr. 1852).
Born Nov. 27,1789, in Turin; died there, June 3,1853. Count; Italian statesman, historian, and writer.
Like V. Gioberti and M. d’Azeglio, Balbo was an ideologist of the moderate liberal currents in the Italian national liberation and unification movement. In his work The Hopes of Italy (1844), Balbo rejected revolutionary methods of struggle and argued for the unification of Italy “from above” by means of the creation of a federation of Italian rulers headed by the monarch of the Savoy dynasty. Balbo saw the exploitation of contradictions among the great powers as the only way to liberate Italian territories from the Austrian yoke. He believed that Austria would voluntarily renounce the regions of Lombardy and Venetia if the Western powers supported Austrian claims in the Balkans. Between March and July 1848, Balbo was the head of the first constitutional cabinet in Piedmont.