Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II (1820-78). King of Sardinia-Piedmont and first king of Italy. He succeeded to the Sardinian throne on the abdication of his father (1849): In 1852 he entrusted the government to his minister Count Cavour (1810-61), who succeeded in creating ‘a new unified Italian kingdom. Victor Emmanuel became king of Italy in 1861 and was successful in maintaining and strengthening the unity of the new state, establishing Rome as its capital in 1870.