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Fanelli, Giuseppe (1826–1877)

Niall Whelehan

Subject History » Political History
Study of History » Comparative History

Place Southern Europe » Italy

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899

People Bakunin, Mikhael

Key-Topics anarchism, rebellion, revolution, socialism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00543.x


Giuseppe Fanelli was an Italian revolutionary born in Naples. He is best remembered for introducing Mikhail Bakunin's anarchistic ideas to Spain in 1868. His life was one of constant revolutionary agitation that passed through nationalist, republican, and anarchist stages. Fanelli's revolutionary career began with membership of Mazzini's Young Italy and involvement in the 1848 revolutions, when he fought in the Milan insurrection. After the defeat of the 1849 Roman Republic, he became friends with fellow Neapolitan Carlo Pisacane, who proved to be an important influence on Fanelli's ideological development. In 1857 they collaborated on the ill-fated expedition to Sapri. Convinced that a social, as well as national, revolution was necessary to liberate Italy, Pisacane sought to provoke an uprising in the Mezzogiorno by providing a revolutionary “spark” that would ignite popular unrest. Fanelli, Pisacane, and a small group of poorly armed volunteers landed at Sapri, Campania but failed to stir up revolt. Fanelli escaped only with difficulty while Pisacane, along with several of the volunteers, died at the scene. However, this episode did not dampen Fanelli's commitment to revolutionary action: three years later he was again involved in an attempt to stir revolt, this time with Garibaldi and the Thousand in Sicily. In 1863 he fought with nationalist insurgents in Poland against ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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