Sensibilities of the Risorgimento
Roberto Romani, Teramo & Princeton
A purely political framework does not capture the complexity of the culture behind Italians’ struggle for liberty and independence during the Risorgimento (1815-1861). Roberto Romani identifies the sensibilities associated with each of the two main political programmes, Mazzini’s republicanism and moderatism, which in fact were comprehensive projects for a political, moral, and religious resurgence. The moderates’ espousal of reason entailed an ideal personality expressed by private virtue, self-possession, and a public morality informed by Catholicism, while Mazzini’s advocacy of passions led to ‘enthusiasm’ and a total commitment to the cause. Romani demonstrates that the patriots’ moral quest rested on a thick cultural bedrock, dating back to Stoicism and the Catholic Aufklärung, and passing through Rousseau and the Revolution.