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 the Years 1815-48? Essay

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Mazzini gave tremendous support to Italian Nationalism and he spent most of his time convincing Italians to support the creation of a democratic, self-governing state of Italy. His complex ideas such as ‘The Brotherhood of people’ meant that he had limited appeal to upper classes, and his radical views also did not appeal to the middle classes and liberals who opposed violence. The revolutions in support for national unity in the years 1848-9 meant that for 18 months the Italian peninsula was in turmoil until the gains won by liberals were reversed and the revolutions that had taken place were suppressed. To a large extent I agree that Mazzini’s limited appeal contributed to slow progress, however I think that there are other over-riding factors such as the influence of the Church and lack of foreign support that would have also contributed. 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. A key point to this reason is that Mazzini’s ideas held no interest to the majority of the Italian population. One of Mazzini’s beliefs was that ‘every man is equal’ and is a reason why he was very unpopular with the middle, upper and aristocratic members of society as they did not wish to lose their power influence or money. This made it difficult for Mazzini to obtain national unification as a majority of powerful and influential people in Italy were against his ideologies; this meant that the progress of national unification was very slow as a large amount of people opposed his views. He also 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 such as that he wanted the people of Italy to rise up from their high-powered oppressors and stressed that they
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