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1 - Mazzini amongst Chartists and early co-operators, 1837–1848

from PART I - VICTORIAN RADICALS AND THE ‘MAKING OF ITALY’ 1837–1860

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2014

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Summary

‘The organisation of the working classes is making gigantic leaps: especially in the North of England where men are recruited in their scores.’

In approaching the origins of the long connection between Victorian radicals and Risorgimento democrats this book draws upon the ideological and political debates which took shape in provincial, industrial England as Mazzini's doctrine was being refined and disseminated in his country of exile. In general historians analysing the circulation of ideas which helped to define the concept of European democracy have focused on the role played by continental émigrés concentrated in mid-Victorian London. It was here that the People's International League, the first English association which showed an interest in foreign affairs, was established in 1847, at Mazzini's suggestion. Studies on the London exiles include works by Iowerth Prothero, Maurizio Isabella and Salvo Mastellone; the latter, in particular, focused upon the London reception of Mazzini's ‘Thoughts upon democracy’, published in John Sanders's People's Journal between August 1846 and June 1847. Studies on the establishment of early Chartist internationalism similarly concentrated on London, deemed to be until 1848 the exclusive hub for the propagation of European ideas. By analysing provincial sources, the ‘exceptionality’ of the capital implicit in the London-centred approach is here put into question.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2014

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