Italian Nationalism and Unification

Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian nationalist who played a large role in the nationalist movement in Italy. In 1852, Mazzini published some of his work that focused on nationalism and the need for a unified democratic state of Italy. Mazzini mentioned in his writing that the people from the revolution in Vienna were fighting for something more than just material possessions; they were fighting for their nation.[i] The revolution in Vienna was in context with Mazzini trying to propose a unified state. He was looking to unify the people of Italy to rid their beloved nation of those who occupied it, the Austrians, and create a democratic state for Italy to be run. By ridding the state of Italy of the Austrians, Italy could be free to run themselves and prosper on their own.

In the documents of Italian unification, the Program of Count Cavour 1846 provides a point towards Mazzini’s thinking that opposes it even though it was before him. It states that “Nationalism has become general; it grows daily; and it has already grown strong enough to keep all parts of Italy united despite the differences that distinguish them”. [ii] If nationalism is growing every day then would it be easier for Mazzini to achieve his goal of a unified democratic state of Italy? If this concept grows then it will reach numerous people every day which will contribute to the nationalist movement started by Mazzini.

[i] Giuseppe Mazzin: On Nationality, 1852

[ii] Documents of Italian Unification, 1846-61