Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-jqctd Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-03-04T19:40:29.573Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

4 - English republicans, Liberal Italy and the monarchical turn, 1860–1872

from PART II - VICTORIAN MAZZINIANS AND THE ‘MAKING OF ITALIANS’, 1861–1890

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2014

Get access

Summary

‘Signor Mazzini is to the thinking few just what General Garibaldi is to the unthinking many.’

Dazzled by the dramatic sequence of military events in the 1860s, which were dominated by the charismatic figure of Garibaldi and by the ‘Machiavellian’ diplomacy of Cavour, historians have overwhelmingly interpreted British responses to Italian unification through the prism of public enthusiasm for the victorious, moderate, monarchical solution, totally obscuring the disappointment of the Victorian philo-Italian ‘losers’ who resented the political side-lining of Mazzini. By modifying some of the underlying assumptions of ‘official’ interpretations, this chapter does two things: it highlights the reactions of Victorian republicans to the achievement of Italian unity under the aegis of a Piedmontese monarch and it focuses on the activities which they supported in liberal Italy.

While John A. Davis has provided a convincing interpretation of the part played by Trevelyan in posthumously inflating the collective memory of Garibaldi's popularity in Britain, it would be unfair to burden Trevelyan with the entire responsibility for the later whiggish reading of ‘Britain's Risorgimento’. In fact, as mid-Victorian Britain has been variously described in the historiography as an ‘age of equipoise’, a period of ‘retrenchment and reform’, and an era when the ‘discourse of popular constitutionalism’ prevailed over that of radicalism, it is not surprising that the disappointment of Victorian republicans with Italy's monarchical turn was given short shrift. Yet Duncan Bell has highlighted the need to balance ‘the view of the mid-Victorian era as an age of equipoise’ with the ‘recognition of the existence of a widespread anxiety over Britain's place in the world’.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2014

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×