Giuseppe Mazzini

On this date in 1805, Giuseppe Mazzini was born in Italy. The Italian patriot was educated at Genoa University and practiced law before becoming a revolutionary. He founded a group to free Italy from Austrian dominance and the temporal power of the Pope in 1828, joined the Carbonari in 1830, and was expelled from Italy under sentence of death if he returned. He was expelled from Switzerland in 1838, where he had continued his work, founding "Young Italy." When the Pope fled Rome in 1848, Mazzini returned to become one of the leaders of the brief republic. A constitution was adopted shortly before the new republic fell to occupation in 1849, led by French soldiers fighting at the behest of the Pope. Mazzini settled in England where he was welcomed, and where he wrote and published his ideas of a "third Rome." Although a strong deist, Mazzini rejected Christianity and believed in Thomas Paine's "religion of humanity." He died in Italy in 1872.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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