The Italian Almanac


Giuseppe Garibaldi

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Giuseppe Garibaldi

Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-82)

Italian patriot, born in Nice. In 1834 he joined Mazzini's ‘Young Italy’ movement, and was condemned to death for participating in the attempt to seize Genoa, but escaped to South America. Returning to Europe, in 1849 he joined the revolutionary government of Rome, but was again forced to leave Italy. After working in New York, he returned to Italy in 1854 and took up the life of a farmer on the island of Caprera. With the outbreak in 1859 of Italy's war of liberation, he returned to action; with his ‘thousand’ volunteers he sailed from Genoa (May 1860) and arrived in Sicily, where he assisted Mazzinian rebels to free Sicily from Neapolitan control. Crossing with his army to the mainland, he swiftly overran much of South Italy, and drove King Francis of Naples from his capital in September 1860. Thereafter he allowed the conquest of South Italy to be completed by the Sardinians under Victor Emmanuel II. With the Kingdom of Italy a reality, and refusing all personal reward, he retired into private life on Caprera.