The Italian Almanac


Giuseppe Mazzini

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Giuseppe Mazzini
(1805 - 1872)

Patriot and republican, born in Genoa, NW Italy. He was trained as a lawyer, and became an ardent liberal. He was one of the leaders of the Italian Risorgimento. He was committed to the cause of Italian independence and unity and was forced into exile in 1831 for his revolutionary activities. He was the founder of Giovine Italia (Young Italy), an association which attracted many Italian supporters. His revolutionary vision extended beyond the limited objective of Italian national unity. His primary goals were the end of Austrian hegemony in Italy and of the temporal power of the Pope, Italian unity, republicanism, democracy, and the liberation of all oppressed peoples.

The revolutions of 1848-1849 ended the revolutionary phase of the Risorgimento and marked the beginning of a realignment of political forces in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. While Mazzini continued to be held in high esteem, respect, and even affection, Italian nationalists began to turn to the monarchical leadership. In 1861 the Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed at Turin. Mazzini never accepted monarchical united Italy and continued to fight for a democratic republic until his death in 1872.