Italian nationalism


Italian nationalism
The green-white-red tricolour flag of Italy, it has been an Italian symbol since the creation of the Transpadane Republic in 1796 and has been a prominent Italian nationalist symbol.

Italian nationalism (Italian: nazionalismo italiano) refers to the nationalism of Italians or of Italian culture.[1] It claims that Italians are the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic descendants of the ancient Romans who inhabited the Italian Peninsula for centuries.[2] The origins of Italian nationalism have been traced to the Renaissance.[3] Italian nationalism first arose as a potent political force in the 1830s in the Italian peninsula under the leadership of Giuseppe Mazzini.[4] It served as a cause for Risorgimento in the 1860s to 1870s. Italian nationalism became strong again in World War I with Italian irredentist claims to territories held by Austria-Hungary, and during the era of Italian Fascism.

Contents

History

Renaissance to 19th century

The cover page of The Prince (1532) by Niccolò Machiavelli. In The Prince, Machiavelli advocated the liberation of Italy from its occupation by "Barbarians" (foreign powers).

The origins of Italian nationalism have been traced to the Renaissance where Italy led a European revival of classical Greco-Roman style of culture, philosophy, and art.[5] Renaissance-era diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli in his work The Prince (1532) appealed to Italian patriotism urging Italians "to seize Italy and free her from the Barbarians", the "Barbarians" he referred to were foreign powers occupying the Italian Peninsula.[6]

1830s to 1848

The initial important figure in the development of Italian nationalism was Giuseppe Mazzini who became a nationalist in the 1820s.[7] In his political career, Mazzini held as objectives the freeing of Italy from Austrian occupation, indirect control by Austria, princely despotism, aristocratic privilege, and clerical authority.[8] Mazzini was captivated by ancient Rome that he considered the "temple of humanity" and sought to establish a united Italy as a "Third Rome" that emphasized Roman spiritual values that Italian nationalists claimed were preserved by the Catholic Church.[9] Mazzini and Italian nationalists in general promoted the concept of Romanità (the Roman ideal) that claimed that Roman culture made invaluable contributions to both Italian and Western civilization.[10] Since the 1820s, Mazzini supported a revolution to create of an ideal Italian utopian republic based in Rome.[11] Mazzini formed revolutionary patriotic Young Italy society in 1832.[12] Upon Young Italy breaking apart in the 1830s, Mazzini reconstituted it in 1839 with the intention to gain the support of workers' groups.[13] However, at the time Mazzini was hostile to socialism due to his belief that all classes needed to be united in the cause of creating a united Italy rather than divided against each other.[14]

Vincenzo Gioberti in 1843 in his book On the Civil and Moral Primacy of the Italians, advocated a federal state of Italy led by the Pope.[15]

Camillo Benso, the future Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sardinia and afterwards the Kingdom of Italy, worked as an editor for the nationalist Italian newspaper Il Risorgimento in the 1840s.[16]

Economic nationalism influenced businessmen and government authorities to promote a united Italy.[17] Prior to unification, tariff walls held between the Italian states and disorganized railway system prevented economic development of Italy.[18] Prior to the revolutions of 1848, Carlo Cattaneo advocated an economic federation of Italy.[19]

Revolutions of 1848 to Risorgimento (1859 to 1870)

Amid unrest in Europe in 1848, Italian nationalism arose with Italians demanding Italian unification. Italian nationalists Mazzini and Gioberti promoted the Romanità (Roman ideal) that attracted students to join battalions to fight for Italian unity.[20] Supporters of Italian nationalism ranged from across the political spectrum, it appealed to both conservatives and liberals.[21] The Revolutions of 1848 resulted in a major development of Italian nationalist culture. Liberalization of press laws in Piedmont allowed nationalist activity to flourish.[22]

Following the Revolutions of 1848 and the liberalization of press laws, the Italian nationalist organization called the Italian National Society was created in 1857 by Daniele Manin and Giorgio Pallevicino.[23] The National Society was created to promote and spread nationalism to political moderates in Piedmont and raised money, held public meetings, and produced newspapers.[24] The National Society helped to establish a base for Italian nationalism amongst the educated middle class.[25] By 1860, the National Society influenced dominant liberal circles in Italy and won over middle class support for the union of Piedmont and Lombardy.[26]

1870 to 1922

After the unification of Italy was completed in 1870, the Italian government faced domestic political paralysis and internal tensions, resulting in it resorting to embarking on a colonial policy to divert the Italian public's attention from internal issues.[1] Italy managed to colonize the East African coast of Eritrea and Somalia but failed to conquer Ethiopia with 15,000 Italians dying in the war and being forced to retreat.[1] Next Italy waged war with the Turkey from 1911-1912 and gained Libya and the Dodecanese Islands from Turkey.[1] However these attempts to gain popular support from the public failed, and rebellions and violent protests became so intense that many observers believed that the young Kingdom of Italy would not survive.[1]

Tired of the internal conflicts in Italy, a movement of bourgeois intellectuals led by Gabriele D'Annunzio, Gaetano Mosca, and Vilfredo Pareto declared war on the parliamentary system, and their position gained respect among Italians.[1] D'Annunzio called upon young Italians to seek fulfillment in violent action and put an end to the politically maneuvering parliamentary government.[1] The Italian Nationalist Association was founded in 1910 by the jingoist nationalist Enrico Corradini who emphasized the need for martial heroism, of total sacrifice of individualism and equality to one's nation, the need of discipline and obedience in society, the grandeur and power of ancient Rome, and the need for people to live dangerously.[1] Corradini's ANI's extremist appeals were enthusiastically supported by many Italians.[1]

Italian propaganda dropped over Vienna by Gabriele D'Annunzio in 1918.

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Italy initially maintained neutrality, despite its official alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary since 1882 on the grounds that Germany and Austria-Hungary were waging an aggressive war that it refused to take part in.[1] In 1915 Italy entered the war on the side of the British and the French against Austria-Hungary and Germany.[1] Italy's demands in the Paris peace settlement were not fully achieved, Italy did attain Trentino, Trieste, the Istrian peninsula, and South Tyrol from Austria-Hungary, though other territories previously promised to Italy were not given to it.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Motyl 2001, pp. 248.
  2. ^ Aaron Gillette. Racial theories in fascist Italy. 2nd edition. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 17.
  3. ^ Trafford R. Cole. Italian Genealogical Records: How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical & Other Records in Family History Research. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Ancestry Incorporated, 1995. Pp. 15.
  4. ^ J. P. T. Bury. The new Cambridge modern history: The zenith of European power 1830-70. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1964. Pp. 224.
  5. ^ Trafford R. Cole. Italian Genealogical Records: How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical & Other Records in Family History Research. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Ancestry Incorporated, 1995. Pp. 15.
  6. ^ Mikael Hörnqvist. Machiavelli and Empire. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. 259.
  7. ^ Vincent P. Pecora. Nations and identities: classic readings. Oxford, England, UK; Malden, Massachusetts, USA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc, 2001. Pp. 156.
  8. ^ John Gooch. The Unification of Italy. Taylor & Francis e-library, 2001. Pp. 5.
  9. ^ Aaron Gillette. Racial theories in fascist Italy. 2nd edition. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 17.
  10. ^ Aaron Gillette. Racial theories in fascist Italy. 2nd edition. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2003. Pp. 17.
  11. ^ Vincent P. Pecora. Nations and identities: classic readings. Oxford, England, UK; Malden, Massachusetts, USA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc, 2001. Pp. 156.
  12. ^ John Gooch. The Unification of Italy. Taylor & Francis e-library, 2001. Pp. 5.
  13. ^ John Gooch. The Unification of Italy. Taylor & Francis e-library, 2001. Pp. 5.
  14. ^ John Gooch. The Unification of Italy. Taylor & Francis e-library, 2001. Pp. 6.
  15. ^ Jonathan Sperber. The European revolutions, 1848-1851. Second Edition. Cambridge, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Pp. 97.
  16. ^ Lucy Riall. The Italian Risorgimento: State, society and national unification. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 1994. Pp. 69.
  17. ^ John Gooch. The Unification of Italy. Taylor & Francis e-library, 2001. Pp. 6.
  18. ^ John Gooch. The Unification of Italy. Taylor & Francis e-library, 2001. Pp. 6.
  19. ^ Lucy Riall. The Italian Risorgimento: State, society and national unification. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 1994. Pp. 69.
  20. ^ J. P. T. Bury. The new Cambridge modern history: The zenith of European power 1830-70. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1964. Pp. 226.
  21. ^ J. P. T. Bury. The new Cambridge modern history: The zenith of European power 1830-70. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1964. Pp. 226.
  22. ^ Lucy Riall. The Italian Risorgimento: State, society and national unification. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 1994. Pp. 69.
  23. ^ Lucy Riall. The Italian Risorgimento: State, society and national unification. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 1994. Pp. 69.
  24. ^ Lucy Riall. The Italian Risorgimento: State, society and national unification. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 1994. Pp. 69.
  25. ^ Lucy Riall. The Italian Risorgimento: State, society and national unification. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 1994. Pp. 69.
  26. ^ Lucy Riall. The Italian Risorgimento: State, society and national unification. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 1994. Pp. 70.

Bibliography


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