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Many biographies of Cavour strangely finish in a question: how would Italian history have been different if malaria had not cut short Cavour’s life but a few months after setting up the first national parliament? There is general historical agreement in the European dimension of Cavour’s work in the forming of an Italian national identity, and within a European framework the stature of the statesman grows enormously when compared to the modest dimensions of Kingdom of Sardinia. The European stature of Cavour is half an answer to the question as to what Italy might have become if he had not died at the age of fifty, in that Cavour was more modern than the state that he succeeded in forming. The two European connotations of Cavour’s thinking that this article goes into are the freedom of exchange and confessional pluralism.