Young Italy (historical)

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For the former social-democratic faction within Forza Italia led by Stefania Craxi, see Young Italy (faction).
Giovine Italia
Banner of Giovine Italia.png
Formation July 1831
Type Conspiratorial organization
Purpose Italian unification
Key people
Giuseppe Mazzini

Young Italy (Italian: La Giovine Italia) was a political movement founded in 1831 by Giuseppe Mazzini. The goal of this movement was to create a united Italian republic through promoting a general insurrection in the Italian reactionary states and in the lands occupied by the Austrian Empire. Mazzini's belief was that a popular uprising would create a unified Italy.[1]

The Giovine Italia was founded in Marseille in July 1831. Its members adopted nicknames taken from figures of the Italian Middle Ages. In 1833 many of the members who were plotting a revolt in Savoy and Piedmont were arrested and executed by the Sardinian police. After another failed Mazzinian revolt in Piedmont and Savoy of the February 1834, the movement disappeared for some time, reappearing in 1838 in England. Further insurrections in Sicily, Abruzzi, Tuscany, Lombardy-Venetia, Romagna (1841 and 1845), Bologna (1843) failed. Also short-lived was the Roman Republic of 1848–49, which was crushed by a French Army called in to help by Pope Pius IX (initially hailed by Mazzini as the most likely paladin of a liberal unification of Italy).

In the meantime La Giovine Italia had become part of the movement Giovine Europa (created in 1835), a more internationally oriented association, together with similar movements such as Junges Deutschland, Młoda Polska, Young Turks and Giovine Svizzera. It also inspired Mlada Bosna, early-20th century Serbian revolutionary movement in occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mazzini's movement was basically evicted after a last failed revolt against Austria in Milan in 1853, crushing hopes of a democratic Italy in favor of the reactionary Piedmontese monarchy, who achieved the national unification some years later. A known follower was Giuseppe Garibaldi.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hunt, Lynn, Thomas R. Martin, and Barbara H. Rosenwein. The Making of the West, Volume C Since 1740: Peoples and Cultures. Boston: Bedford/Saint Martin's, 2008.
  2. ^ Totten, Michael. "The Role of the Young Italy Movement in the Unification of Italy". Retrieved 9 February 2014. 

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