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DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


This name (Italian for “charcoal-burners”) was assumed by a number of secret political societies that existed chiefly in Italy and France during the early nineteenth century. Inspired by the ideals of 1789, they drew support from all ranks of society, but most notably from soldiers. The Carbonari first emerged around 1808 in Naples, where they opposed occupation by the French forces under murat (see also napoleonic wars ). Organized in the manner of freemasonry , they borrowed from the vocabulary and practices of charcoal-burners to devise their own elaborate internal codes of conduct. Nationalist, anticlerical, and liberal in outlook, they favored representative government, yet beyond that their ideas were vague. They were, however, prepared to use force to achieve their ends and partook in the 1820–1 revolutions in Spain, Naples, and Piedmont. Repeatedly banned by the Austrians and the papacy, they lost support to mazzini's Young Italy movement. However, the Carbonari did spread to France where they campaigned for a constitutional monarch and participated in the revolution of 1830 (see july monarchy ; revolutions of 1830–2). ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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