What was the ‘Risorgimento’?
The word means ‘resurgence’ but that will not mean much to students. It was a nineteenth century movement designed to unite Italy, which had not been united since the Roman Empire; even then solidarity had not been achieved.
The origins of the idea came from ‘enlightenment ideas’ stirring in the eighteenth century, especially in the final years, with Bonaparte as the inspiration. The movement got itself together after the Congress of Vienna 1814/15. It is strange to relate that it commenced with insurrections – not one would have thought the best way to unite a country – but small rebellions in the 1820s and actual revolutions of 1848 paved the way, helped by violent anti-Austrian feelings and the fiery and compelling speeches of Mazzini, and the more moderate Gioberti. (more…)