Jason P. McCauley World Civilization II

Paper # 2 April 5, 1999

Guiseppe Mazzini, Faith in Democratic Nationalism

Before the nineteenth century, Italy was basically controlled by outside forces consisting of other powerful European nations, such as the French. At the beginning of nineteenth century however, there was a great philosophical change going on in the Italian territories that was heavily pushing Italian Nationalism. This movement was sometimes referred to as the Risorgimento. This cultural and political period of Italian history helped fortify the countrymen\'s nationalism and strove for a unified Italy. Under this movement called the Risorgimento, there were also different views among the leading nationalistic advocates. One such advocate that related more to the radical side of the debate was Guiseppe Mazzini. His thoughts and writings pushed strong nationalism in Italy, as well as the idea that a unified Italy, along with a unified Europe, would provide the world with huge moral improvements and would also greatly help the progress of Humanity. His main point being that only revolution and war supported by direct public action would lead to the true unification of the Italian state. With these strong beliefs, Mazzini and other advocates of this cause provided the basic structuring of the revolutions in 1848, and also later revolutions.

Guiseppe Mazzini was born in Genoa, Italy on June 22, 1805. At the time when Mazzini was attending the University of Genoa, he was arrested for his democratic actions and was therefore exiled. As a result, Mazzini started up the Society of Young Italy, who\'s main aim was the establishment of a free and unified Italian State. After plans for a national uprising were discovered, many of the leaders of Young Italy were either executed or exiled. Mazzini was condemned to death but managed to proceed in his democratic works. His ideas continued through his writings as he was forced to seek refuge in London, although he did return to Italy for the revolutions in 1848 and 1849 against the French. He did live to see the unification of Italy, although it was far from what he had envisioned in his works. Mazzini then returned to Italy once more and died on March 10, 1872.

During his childhood, Mazzini\'s parents instilled many thoughts and beliefs pertaining to the idea of a free and democratic government in Italy. For the rest of his life, he then pursued his ultimate dream of a unified Italian state through his political teachings and writings. One major notion that fueled this life long quest was Mazzini\'s great interest in moral improvement and the progress of humanity not only in Italy, but also throughout the world. Certain evil governments(840) which extend beyond their natural boundaries through conquest have slowed the progress of humanity by dividing countries and also trying to incorporate other nations into their own. Doing this will slow down or stop the ability for one country to assimilate its entire people into one nationalistic culture. This culture can solidify a country by the instilling its nation\'s historical traditions, a common language, and also the idea of all people striving towards the same goals for the good of the country and humanity. As a result of these ideas, no man can really be a part of humanity without a country to love and fight for and without countrymen to love and support him back. As Mazzini states, Our country is our home, the home God has given us, placing therein a numerous family which we love and are loved by ... In laboring according to true principles for our country we are laboring for Humanity;(841), where if we fight for our country and our principles, we can only be doing good things for Humanity as a whole.

Another idea that Mazzini stresses heavily is the basis of a country\'s laws and how they should be obtained and directed. He states, There is no true country without a uniform law.(841), meaning that if the laws you abide by are not regulating everyone in that nation the same way, because of class systems or just abuse of power by the hierarchy, you are not truly a part of a nation where the ground you live on should give you basic unbreakable rights and privileges. The country you reside in should be considered your temple,