Giuseppe Mazzini

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Genoa, Italy
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Genoa, Italy

Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian leader and activist who worked hard to bring all of Italy together. Mazzini gave his life to help make Italy free, independent, a republic, and one country. This was a dream he had for his country. Mazzini is thought of as one of the “patron saints” of the Italian Risorgimento, along with Giuseppe Garibaldi, Camillo Benso di Cavour, and Victor Emmanuel II. Since Mazzini’s name came up in political circles, his revolutionary activities have been a problem for the government. In 1831, he was forced to leave Italy because of this. But Mazzini wasn’t one to give up easily, so he started to find followers and plan uprisings against the rulers of the different Italian states. His new group, Young Italy, brought together Italian political refugees from all over the world. Mazzini, unlike other revolutionaries and activists, did not just want Italy to be one country. He wanted to end Austria’s rule over Italy and the Pope’s power over everyday life. He also wanted Italy to be one country, with republicanism, democracy, and the freedom of all people who were being oppressed. He thought that neither the pope nor the king had the power to open the way to the future. He thought that God and his people were the only ones who could do that. He wanted to get rid of Italy’s different rulers and turn it into a democratic, unitary republic with Rome as its capital.

Early years and childhood

Giuseppe Mazzini was born in Genoa, which was part of the French Empire, to Giacomo Mazzini and Maria Drago. His father was a college professor who followed the Jacobin philosophy to the letter. On the other hand, his mother was known far and wide for her beauty and her strong faith.

Mazzini had been interested in politics and writing since he was a child. He was a good student and could learn things quickly, which is why he went to college when he was only 14.

In 1826, Mazzini got his law degree. He began his work life as a “poor man’s lawyer.” Mazzini seemed to be a lawyer, but he was also interested in writing and theater to the point that he wanted to be a historical novelist and playwright.

Mazzini wrote his first essay, which was called “Dell’amor patrio di Dante” (On Dante’s Patriotic Love). This fulfilled a long-held wish. Only in 1837 did the same thing come out.

The next year, Mazzini moved to Tuscany, where he joined the secret group Carbonari, which had political goals. But he was arrested for his part and put to work at Savona. Mazzini came up with the idea for a new patriotic movement while he was in prison. This movement was meant to replace the Carbonari.

From 1828 to 1829, Mazzini worked with a newspaper in Genoa called “L’indicatore Genovese.” But the Piedmontese government shut it down. Later, he became one of the most important writers for “L’Indicatore Livornese,” which was published by F.D. Guerrazzi in Livorno and also went out of business.

Mazzini was released from prison in 1831, but he had to live in a small village. Mazzini did not agree to the condition, so he chose to live in exile and went to Geneva, Switzerland.

Unsuccessful Attempt

Mazzini moved to Marseille in 1831 and lived in the apartment of a beautiful Modenese widow named Giuditta Bellerio Sidoli. Mazzini’s popularity among other Italians who were living in exile there grew steadily.

He started a group called “La Giovane Italia,” which means “Young Italy,” with the help of Sidoli. The group’s goal was to bring Italy together as one country. Mazzini thought that a group like this would help unite Italy by turning it into a revolutionary movement that spread across Europe.

Young Italy’s motto was “God and the People,” and its main idea was that different states and kingdoms should join together to form a single republic. He was sure that it was the only real way for Italy to be free, independent, and free of outside control.

As more and more military officers joined Young Italy, its motto and principles were well received in cities like Tuscany, Abruzzi, Sicily, Piedmont, and Liguria. By 1833, there were a total of 60,000 followers, who were split into several groups.

Mazzini’s first attempt to start a revolution was ready to go once he had enough support. It spread to the cities of Chambéry, Alessandria, Turin, and Genoa. But the Savoy government found out about the plan before it could happen and arrested a number of revolutionaries. The activists were dealt with in a very harsh way.

Even though it failed, Mazzini planned another uprising the next year. This time, a group of Italians living in Switzerland was to go to Piedmont and spread the revolution there. But the troops brought in from Piedmont were easily defeated the second time.

Not the one who should be shut up and put back. Even though Italy lost, Mazzini and a few other refugees from Italy, Poland, and Germany started a new group called Young Europe.

He thought that because the French Revolution in 1789 introduced the idea of individual freedom, Young Europe would focus on and work for national freedom. He wanted to get rid of the European settlement of 1815, which made it hard for smaller countries to form.

Mazzini wanted the whole continent to be one country, but for that to happen, each country had to be made first. Even though he had the right idea and goal, his organization didn’t have enough money or help.

The government didn’t like how radical he was, so on May 28, 1834, they arrested him and sent him away from Switzerland. He moved to Paris but was put back in jail there.

Mazzini was only let out of jail if he agreed to move to England. So, in 1837, Mazzini and a few Italian friends moved to London, where the economy was pretty bad.

In London for years

Mazzini spent his first few years in London reviving the Giovine Italia and putting out the Apostolato popolare. He gave up after a string of losses made him feel very down about himself.

Mazzini started several groups like Young Europe with the help of his mother. These groups included Young Germany, Young Poland, Young Switzerland, and so on. He even helped start an Italian school for poor people.

Mazzini’s dream of a united continent with independent nations was sparked by the new hope he had found. For the same reason, he wrote letters to his friends in Europe and South America and tried to get back together with them. Even a group of young Turkish students and army cadets looked up to him.

Mazzini started another riot in Bologna in 1843, but it ended the same way as the others. But Mazzini’s work didn’t go to waste because British liberals liked him and helped him after they found out that information about the riot had been leaked to the governments of Austria and Naples by British government officials.

When Mazzini moved his base back to London, he sent a long “open letter” to Pope Pius IX. But that person did not answer Mazzini’s letter. Mazzini started the People’s International League around this time.

Protests in 1848 and 1849

Mazzini moved back to Paris in 1848, where he started a new political group called “Associazione Nazionale Italiana.”

On April 7, 1848, Mazzini made his way to Milan. The state’s condition was very important because the people had risen up against the Austrian garrison and set up a temporary government. The Piedmontese king Charles Albert started the First Italian War for Independence, but it was a complete failure.

While this was going on, Mazzini joined Garibaldi and moved to Switzerland. Rome became a Republic on February 9, 1849, and Pope Pius had to leave. On the same day that Mazzini got to the city, he was chosen to be a member of the “triumvirate” of the new republic.

As a leader, Mazzini did a great job of running things and making decisions about social reforms. But when the French troops sent by the Pope made it clear that the Republican troops led by Garibaldi had no chance of winning, Mazzini left for Marseille. From there, he moved back to Switzerland.

A Years After

Mazzini did not make much progress during the 1850s. Instead, it seemed like nothing he did help. So, Mazzini spent most of his life running away from the Swiss police.
Mazzini started a new group in London in July 1850 called Amici di Italia, which means “Friends of Italy.” He did this to bring attention to the cause of Italian freedom.

After this, in 1852 and 1853, he started two more riots in Mantua and Milan. But neither of the riots worked out, and the image of the Mazzini organization will never be the same. Mazzini was upset that the plan didn’t work, so he decided not to join the alliance between Savoy and Austria for the Crimean War.

In Carrara, between 1853 and 1854, he set up Felice Orsini’s expeditions. Two years later, Mazzini went back to Genoa to organize a series of rebellions, but none of them turned out well.
Mazzini was being watched by the police, but he was able to get away from them. But because of a court order, he was automatically sentenced to death.

Mazzini started another magazine in London in 1858. It was called “Thought and Action” (Pensiero e azione). Also, he signed a document with 151 other Republicans against Piedmont’s alliance with the King of France. This led to the Second War of Italian Independence and the taking over of Lombardy.

Mazzini helped Garibaldi in his failed attempt to free Rome in 1862. In the meantime, France gave up on Venetia, which it had won in the Austro-German War, and gave it to the Kingdom of Italy, which was ruled by the Savoy monarchy.

Mazzini turned down an offer to join the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1867.
In 1870, he tried to free Sicily but was caught and put in jail in Gaeta. He was released soon after and went back to London.

Works of note

Mazzini started the group Young Italy, whose goal was to help Italy become one country. The organization was based on the idea that several states and kingdoms should join together to form a single republic.

During his life, Mazzini wrote a lot of journals and newspapers that talked about his ideas and goals. Some of them are Apostolato popolare and Pensiero e azione.

Personal History and Legacies

Mazzini met Giuditta Bellerio Sidoli in 1831 during his stay at Marseille. She had lost her husband, and Mazzini fell for her. In 1840, Sidoli gave up on Mazzini because she was tired of his troubled life. She went back to Italy to be with her children. Mazzini was living in London at the time.

In 1872, Mazzini died in the city of Pisa. People say that pleurisy killed him. His funeral was held in Genoa, and more than 100,000 people came to see him off.

Mazzini was known as a great hero in his country when he was younger. But he soon lost his good name because many of his own people called him an enemy of the state. Twenty years after he died, historians thought that 1849 was his best year. But the modern way of thinking is different. Historians of today think Mazzini’s plans were very important because they called for a Free and United Italy.

The College of Europe named the 1973–1974 school year after Giuseppe Mazzini to honor him.

Estimated Net worth

Giuseppe is on the list of the most popular and wealthiest politicians. Based on what we found on Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Giuseppe Mazzini has a net worth of about $1.5 million.


He was one of the first people to support the idea of a United States of Europe. For him, the unification of Italy was the first step toward the unification of Europe as a whole.
Giuseppe Garibaldi and Giuseppe Mazzini’s writings had a big impact on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who was a leader of the movement for Indian independence.

He started the group Young Italy, which worked to bring Italy together as one country. “God and the People” was the motto of the group. Its main idea was to make a single republic out of several states and kingdoms.

Except for Giuseppe Garibaldi, no other leader of the Italian Risorgimento was as well known around the world.
By the 1840s, he was known as the leader of the Italian nationalist revolutionary movement. He dreamed of a new Italy that would lead other slaves to freedom and liberty and be a “third” Rome that would replace ancient Rome and the papal Rome.