An activist, a journalist and a politician, Giuseppe Mazzini led the Italian revolutionary movement. Nicknamed “the soul of Italy”, his contribution in the unification of Italy cannot be ignored. Mazzini was an important influence in the shaping of the Italian constitution as well. A believer in the power of revolutionary groups, he created and supported such groups that fought for the unification of the country. Even though Mazzini never thought his efforts made much of an impact, he did help in identifying the concept of a unified Europe.
The Life of Mazzini
Mazzini was born in 1805 in Genoa. Mazzini was a very good student and started university at the tender age of 14. He graduated as a lawyer in 1826. After graduating, Mazzini worked to help the poor and also tried his hand at journalism. He was always interested in politics.
Wanting to unify Italy and do something for the betterment of the society, Mazzini joined a secret organisation called Carbonaro in 1827. However, his hope of unification of Italy was shattered when this organisation was broken up.
Mazzini started believing in the power of revolutionary groups and even spent 6 months in jail in Savona for his association with such activities. He worked towards achieving liberty for Italy. He got out of prison after accepting exile in Marseille, France.
During this phase, he wrote numerous articles that argued for a unified Italy. It was then that he founded “La Giovane Italia” or “Young Italy”. This political society worked towards freedom and liberty. Their aim was to unify the country. They wanted a single republic that was free from all external control. This movement garnered a lot of public attention; though, their attempts were thwarted.
After moving to Switzerland, Mazzini founded other political groups like Young Europe, Young Germany and Young Poland. Even though his efforts were not showing any concrete change, he continued to work for his nation. The establishment of Young Europe is proof of Mazzini’s vision of a unified European Union.
Mazzini was able to return to Italy in 1849 after Rome and Tuscany had been declared Republics. However, this happiness was short lived as the Pope asked for military intervention from Catholic and French forces. He was sent back to exile. In 1872, Mazzini died and was buried in Genoa, his hometown.
The Beliefs of Mazzini
Mazzini believed in a republic. He wanted nothing but liberty and freedom for Italy. He strongly believed in the presence of a higher power and therefore, he was unable to concur with Karl Marx and his ideology of Communism and Marxism.
Mazzini was the leader of the Italian movement for unity called “Risorgimento”. He believed in one free and independent republic nation.
He fought for women’s rights. He was of the belief that a nation can be truly democratic only when men and women are treated with equality.
He wrote books like ‘Warfare against the Man” and “On Nationality” to communicate his ideology across the masses.
The End of An Era
With Mazzini’s death, a new socio-political school of thought was established. It was called Mazzinianism. Some people were of the view that Mazzini achieved nothing substantial in his lifetime. While diplomats like Metternich say that Mazzini brought in a storm by being the most influential revolutionary in Europe at that time. His desire for Italy’s unity lived on in the hearts of Italians like Benito Mussolini.