How Far Do You Agree That the Limited Appeal of Mazzini’s Ideas Was the Main Reason for the Slow Progress of National Unity in Italy in the Years 1815-48? Essay

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The unification of Italy is one of the most important events to occur in the 19th Century; however there was a long process to achieve this. In 1815, Italy had just come out of Napoleon’s rule; it compromised of 9 separate states all ruled differently with different dialects. Some of the states were ruled by different countries and another was ruled by the pope. These areas had never been united politically and for many, language divided them. However there was a call for unification guided by liberal constitution although it was a slow progress through many years. It could be argued that Mazzini’s ideas were the main reason for the slow progress of national unity in Italy in the years 1815-48. By 1848 Italy was still not unified although many had tried to achieve this such as Mazzini, a dedicated revolutionary. He wanted a strong central government and believed this could be achieved through a series of revolutions. Although he wanted a democratic unified government, many of his ideas were very radical and idealistic. Mazzini’s ideas were clearly portrayed in the motto of the Roman Republic,”Dio et il popolo” (God and the People) and that Italy should be unified ‘from below’. He wanted the people of Italy to rise up from their high-powered oppressors and stressed that they should be unified by their ‘own efforts’ for fear that one domination would be replaced by another outside influence, Mazzini’s key idea of Nationalism would mean a ‘violent insurrection’ was needed. Some Liberals opposed this idea of violence and instead wanted to work with rulers to gain Constitutions instead. Therefore he had limited appeal and lacked progress and so is a reason for the slow progress of the unification of Italy. Another key point to this reason is that Mazzini’s ideas held no interest to the majority of the Italian population. During the first half of the 19th century, only

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