September 20 - 1870 - The Capture of Rome Unifies Italy
The unification of Italy, better known as the Risorgimento, was culminated when troops loyal to King Victor Emmanuel II entered the city of Rome. This meant that the Papal States, areas directly controlled by the Pope, ceased to exist, and the entire Italian Peninsula except for Vatican City itself was one nation. The actual fall of the Papal States was seen as inevitable, despite opposition to unification by Pope Pius IX. Italian troops were even hoping for a surrender of the city, rather than an actual engagement. The actual people did want to join a unified Italy, while the Pope said he was then a prisoner in the Vatican.