Friday, March 28, 2008

Giuseppe Garibaldi

Giuseppe Garibaldi

Giuseppe Garibaldi

Garibaldi's popularity, his skill at rousing the masses, and his military exploits are all credited with making the unification of Italy possible. He also served as a global example of mid-19th century revolutionary nationalism and liberalism. But following the liberation of southern Italy from the Neapolitan monarchy, Garibaldi chose to sacrifice his liberal republican principles for the sake of unification. (Burton, Jean, Garibaldi: Knight of Liberty, 1945)

Giuseppe Garibaldi was born in Nice, France, on July 4, 1807. His father raised and educated him to be a priest. However, his heart was with the sea and he wanted to be a merchant. In 1833 he joined the navy of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont. In Geneva in November 1833, Garibaldi met Giuseppe Mazzini, a strong believer of Italian unification. He joined the Young Italy movement and the Carbonari revolutionary association. Garibaldi participated in a failed republican uprising in Piedmont in February 1834. He was sentenced to death in Genoa but escaped to France later that year, then later traveled to Tunisia. After Tunisia, Garibaldi left for Brazil and fought for its independence from Portugal. During this war he met Anita Ribeiro. In October 1839, Anita left her husband, Manuel Duarte Aguiar, to join Garibaldi on his ship, the Rio Pardo. In 1847 he offered his services to Pope Pius IX but was refused. (Burton, Jean, Garibaldi: Knight of Liberty, 1945)

In 1848 he Lead eighty of his legionaries back to Italy where he vainly offered to fight for the King of Piedmont. He was in command of a volunteer unit at Milan against the Austrians, and survived two brisk engagements at Luino and Morrazzone. His exploits against the Austrians in Milan and against the French forces supporting Rome and the Papal States made him a national hero. Overpowered at last in Rome, Garibaldi and his men had to retreat through central Italy in 1849. Anita, his wife and companion-in-arms, died during this retreat. Disbanding his men, Garibaldi again escaped abroad, where he lived successively in North Africa, the United States, and Peru. He did not return to Italy until 1854. In 1858 he went to Turin to meet Count Cavour, the Piedmonts Prime Minister, who wanted him to organize a corps of volunteers, in anticipation of another war against Austria. In 1859 he helped Piedmont in a new war against Austria, leading a volunteer Alpine force that captured Varese and Como. (Garibaldi: Great Lives Observed, by Dennis Mack Smith, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey, 1969.)

In May 1860, Garibaldi set out on the greatest venture of his life, the conquest of Sicily and Naples. This time he had no governmental support, but Premier Cavour and King Victor Emmanuel II did not attempt to stop him. They actually offered their support in his quest, but only if he proved successful. Sailing from near Genoa on May 6 with 1,000 Red Shirts, Garibaldi reached Marsala, Sicily, on May 11 and proclaimed himself dictator in the name of Victor Emmanuel. At the Battle of Calatafimi on May 30, 1860 his guerrilla force defeated the regular army of the king of Naples. Garibaldi crossed the Strait of Messina on August 18 and in a rapid march reached Naples on September 7. On October 3 he fought another battle on the Volturno River, which was the biggest battle him and his men had ever undertaken, and won. He handed Sicily and Naples over to Victor Emmanuel when the two met near the Volturno on October 26. (Campanella, Anthony P. Garibaldi's Memoirs, South Carolina, 1981)

For many years Garibaldi lived the life of a farmer on Caprera. In 1870 he offered his services to the French government and fought with his two sons in the Franco-Prussian War. Rome was annexed to Italy in October 1870, and Garibaldi was elected a member of the Italian parliament in 1874. In his last years he sympathized with the developing socialist movement in Italy and other countries. Giuseppe Garibaldi died on the Italian island of Caprera in 1882, where he was burried. Five ships of the Italian Navy have been named after him, among which a World War II cruiser and the current flagship, the aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi. Garibaldi's autobiography, Autobiography of Giuseppe Garibaldi, was published in 1887.

Giuseppe Garibaldi did so much in the fight to end the papal rule in Italy. In 1860, General Garibaldi landed in Sicily with his famous 1,000 volunteers determined to march on Rome and liberate the City. After a big battle on the Volturno River, he held plebiscites in Sicily and Naples, and then gave the whole of southern Italy to Cavour, proclaiming Victor Emmanuel as King of a united nation. He returned to the island of Caprera, which then remained his permanent home. In 1862, he made another attempt to liberate Rome without success. In 1867, he led another attempt to liberate Rome also without success. “Garibaldi was like a caged lion on the island of Caprera and longed day and night to liberate his land from the roaring lion in the Vatican.” Pope Pius IX was feeling more and more secure with the French garrison securing the City and Garibaldi a prisoner on the island of Caprera. In July 1870, he actually had himself declared infallible. “Then, like lightning, disaster struck. France and Prussia went to war and the French garrison had to be withdrawn. The Italians rushed into the City and the fall of the Papacy was complete.” (Parris, John The Lion of Caprera: A biography of Giuseppe Garibaldi, London, 1962.)

Without Garibaldi's support, the unification of Italy could not have taken place when it did. A gifted leader and man of the people, he knew far better than Cavour or Mazzini how to stir the masses, and he repeatedly hastened the pace of events. Disappointed in later life with politics, he declared himself a socialist. He was known as Italy's most brilliant soldier of the Risorgimento (the Italian Unification), and one of the greatest guerrilla fighters of all time.

by a13stephen at aol dot com



blogger templates 3 columns | Make Money Online