Ricasoli, Bettino, Barone (bĕt-tēˈnō bärôˈnā rēkäzôˈlē) [key], 1809–80, Italian political leader. An active propagandist for Italian unity, he became (1859) head of the provisional government of Tuscany after the flight of Grand Duke Leopold II. As a result of his skillful policy the annexation of Tuscany to the kingdom of Sardinia, which had taken the lead in the unification movement, was overwhelmingly voted in the plebiscite of 1860. Ricasoli succeeded Camillo Benso di Cavour as premier (1861–62) of the now unified kingdom of Italy. He was again premier in 1866–67.
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