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Mazzini, Giuseppe (1805–72)


Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


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patriotic propagandist and republican revolutionary, active in italian unification . His thinking developed during that relatively innocent period in the history of European liberalism when, from 1815 to 1848, metternich's attacks both on that movement and on nationalism misled many into believing that the liaison between the two tendencies was much more than a temporary marriage of convenience. Born in Genoa, Mazzini trained as a lawyer and soon participated in the secret society of the carbonari , which strove to free Italy from its internal divisions and from Austrian domination. In 1830 the government of piedmont-sardinia arrested him for subversion. Though acquitted, he went as an exile to France. There he founded Young Italy, an organization aimed at creating a united republic. In 1837, after a series of failed risings, he moved to London. During the 1840s Mazzini began the essays, addressed to the workers of Italy and eventually collected as The Duties of Man (1860), for which he is best remembered. These writings dwelt on the interlocking responsibilities owed to family, nation, and humanity. They also betrayed a naive faith in the nation-state's capacities to nurture a combination of individual freedom and international concord – a persistent delusion among many Europeans even down to the epoch of the paris peace settlement of 1919. Mazzini's most dramatic ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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