Risorgimento - the Rise of Italian Nationalism

Risorgimento - resurgement in English, or rise. The expression describes a movement aiming at establishing an Italian nation-state, a state regarded modern, just and strong enough to defend itself, while the Italian states of the post-Vienna Congress period were regarded as backward, weak, injust, foreign-dominated.
The Carbonari, a secret society established in Murat's Kingdom of Naples, which identified with political liberalism and fought the Ancien Regime in the 1820es and 1830es. Blamed for rebellions and subversive activities, they were persecuted, their leaders arrested. The Carbonari be regarded a predecessor of the Risorgimento.
The intellectual father of Italian nationalism is Giuseppe Mazzini, the founder of Young Italy (1831). He was a gifted orator and inspired many, such as Garibaldi.
In 1848 patriots took over government in many Italian cities; one of them being Milan. The Milanese hoped for military assistance from the League of Italian States (Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia, Tuscany, Papal State, Kingdom of Two Sicilies). Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia complied (First War of Italian Unification, 1848-1849); the pope originally ordered his forces to come to the aid of the Milanese, but then had a change of heart and changed his orders. Disappointed patriots in Rome now revolted themselves; the pope had to flee. In 1849 Austrian forces prevailed; the revolutionary governments were toppled, the Ancien Regime restored.

The years 1848-1849 saw the failure of Mazzini's dream of a unified Republic of Italy, and the rise of Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia as the new protagonist of Italian unification, as a monarchy. Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, prime minister of Savoy-Piemont-Sardinia, introduced a modern liberal constitution in his country and pursued a policy of achieving Italian unification by diplomatic means, as an enlargement of Piemont-Sardinia (1859-1861; see under Unification of Italy).

Cronologia, Italian language site on Italian and World History
History of Italy : Foreign Domination and Unification, from Wikipedia
Timetable of 1848 Revolution in Italy, from Modern Italy at Dickinson College
The Risorgimento and 1848, from Modern Italy at Dickinson College
The 1848 Revolutions and the Roman Republic, from The Anthony P. Campanella Collection of Giuseppe Garibaldi, online exhibition (1997), illustrated
Les revolucions municipals de 1830 a Italia, from La Pagina de la Historia, in Catalan
DOCUMENTS Giuseppe Mazzini, An essay on the duties of man, addressed to workingmen, 1844, from Hanover Historical Text Program
Giuseppe Mazzini, Instructions to Young Italy, from Modern Italy at Dickinson College, bilingual Engl./Italian
Giuseppe Mazzini, On Nationality, 1852, from Modern History Sourcebook
TEXTES sur les unites allemande et italienne (1840es), from cliotexte
REFERENCE History Book Reviews : Pre-Unification Italy, -1859

Article Italy, in : Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Macropaedia, Vol.22 pp.165-247, KMLA Lib.Sign. R 032 B862n v.22
Christopher Duggan, A Concise History of Italy, Cambridge Concise Histories, 1994
Luciano Cafagna, The Industrial Revolution in Italy 1830-1914, in : Carlo M. Cipolla (ed.), The Fontana Economic History of Europe, Vol.4 : The Emergence of Industrial Societies [G]
Giuseppe Garibaldi, My Life, translated by Stephen Parkin, London : Hesperus (1932) 2004, KMLA Lib.Sign. 945.08092 G 232m

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on March 15th 2006

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