Mazzini on Social Change

Writing in 1852, Mazzini served as a national figure, advocating for the nationalism of Italian democracy. He saw Europe not as a unified whole, but a fractured state full of violence and crises. For Mazzini, they key to peace was unity. In his eyes, Europe was taking two two forms: social and nationalities. “I say, which all have agreed to call social, because, generally speaking, every great revolution is so far social, that it cannot be accomplished either in the religious, political, or any other sphere, without affecting social relations […]” Mazzini notes that no tangible change can be made in society without, first, a social change.… Read the rest here

Cat massacres and witch trials: reading between the lines

After reading Darton’s “Workers Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Severin”and Kilvelson’s “Through the Prism of Witchcraft: Gender and Social Change in Seventeenth-Century Muscovy,” I was struck by the common thread between the two: that the phenomena they examine are not taken at face value, but are rather viewed as expressions of social angst.

For the journeymen of the Parisian print shop discussed by Darnton, this angst was directed at their master and his wife.… Read the rest here