The Revolutions Of Italy: The Age Of Nationalism In Italy

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In modern society, nationalism can be defined as extreme patriotic ideals combined with a strong belief in the importance of a single nation over all others. The origin of nationalism came from many the desire for independence by many European nations in the 19th century. Nationalism came from the idea that each people --- or nation --- had its own specific identity, and thus had the right to have an independent political state with certain liberties. Nationalism had been a powerful force in Europe since the French Revolution in 1789, and it especially began to grow from 1848 to 1914, a time period known as the Age of Nationalism. During the Age of Nationalism, many nations desired to created independent states which were to be inhabited by …show more content…
By 1914, the nationalistic ideology became very popular throughout all of Europe. These strong feelings of nationalism helped unify Italy into a single nation in 1870. Ever since the Congress of Vienna divided Italy and placed it under the control of the Austrian Empire and the Habsburgs, secret groups of revolutionaries, who were inspired by nationalistic ideals, began to form in Italy. Giuseppe Mazzini lead a “Young Italy” movement, which promoted Italian unity and independence. Mazzini called for end of foreign rule and unification of Italy based on common language and culture. Although the revolts under Mazzini were put down by the Austrian powers occupying Italy, the strong feelings of nationalism which inspired the revolts never went away. These strong nationalistic ideals inspired Giuseppe Garibaldi and his “Red Shirts” to invade Southern Italy. This invasion began the fighting which lead to Italian unity and independence. The Red Shirts gained control of Sicily in 1860 and helped merge Southern Italy with the North. This victory over Austria helped promote feelings of nationalism in central and south Italy, eventually leading to the Italian …show more content…
Before 1848, nationalism appealed primarily to liberals in search of political reform, national independence, and greater liberties for all groups of people. Nationalism, however, has turned into a conservative ideology that is used to justify exclusionary policies against minorities and immigrants. In the New York Times article “Italy’s Populists Turn Up Heat as Anti-Migrant Anger Boils,” author Jason Horowitz writes about the shooting death of six African immigrants by a far-right extremist in central Italy. At the time of his arrest, the shooter had an Italian flag wrapped around his body, which represents his extreme nationalist ideals. The shooter’s strong feelings of nationalism caused his extreme hatred for people of other nationalities, which was his reason for shooting the African immigrants. Immigration is currently a very controversial issue in Italy. In Italy, growing economic discontent goes hand and hand with wariness over immigrants in Italy. Some Italians believe that immigration brings crime and violence to Italy, while others believe immigrants are taking economic opportunities away from Italians. The shooter, Luca Traini, ran for Italian elections the year prior as a representative of the Northern League political party. One of the main goals of Northern League party is to attract Italian voters with strong nationalistic and anti-immigrant beliefs. The leader of the Northern League, Matteo Salvini, not only

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