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Giuseppe Mazzini and the Globalization of Democratic Nationalism, 1830-1920$
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C. A. Bayly and E. F. Biagini

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264317

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264317.001.0001

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Mazzini and Anticlericalism: The English Exile

Mazzini and Anticlericalism: The English Exile

Chapter:
(p.145) 8 Mazzini and Anticlericalism: The English Exile
Source:
Giuseppe Mazzini and the Globalization of Democratic Nationalism, 1830-1920
Author(s):

Eugenio F. Biagini

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264317.003.0009

The Mazzinian movement has often been associated with radical anticlericalism, epitomized by the leader presiding over the republic that replaced papal rule in Rome in 1849. Yet, unlike many of his followers, Mazzini himself was less than an ‘anticlerical’ and in fact favoured a close relationship between politics and religion, provided the latter became the organic expression and spiritual mirror image of a democratic, non-hierarchical society. In contrast to much of the historiographical consensus, which stresses the influence of Saint-Simon, this chapter argues that Mazzini's vision incorporated features from a wider variety of cultural traditions, including Jansenism and Protestantism. In particular, during his long exile in England, the great eclectic became increasingly aware of the affinities between his project and Protestant Nonconformity. While the latter made a number of converts within the Italian émigré community in Britain, it was the less-orthodox views of the ‘Rational Dissenters’ that were most interesting to Mazzini as he tried to define his republican ideal of the relationship between church and state.

Keywords:   Mazzinian movement, radical anticlericalism, Jansenism, Protestantism, Protestant nonconformity, Rational Dissenters, church, state

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