From <i>Campanilismo</i> to Nationhood

Jeff Mielke

in Living on the Edge in Leonardo's Florence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780520241343
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930995 | DOI:
From Campanilismo to Nationhood

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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Nations are strange and capricious historical formations. Out of myriads of tribes and peoples, only a few survive into the modern world, with its urban culture, its mass education, and its diverse social structure. Most of the tribes and people fall victim to larger or more determined peoples, and see their languages wither, their customs reduced to museum exhibits, and their folklore cherished by antiquarians and ethnographers. This illustrates the problematic nature of the process of nationhood which involves as many failures as successes. Italy's route to nationhood was as tortured and as vicissitudinous as that of any European state. This chapter discusses the experiences of Italy in its route to nationhood and achievement of a national identity. It discusses the problems that plagued the establishment and sustenance of the Italian nation-state since its foundation. These dilemmas include those historical forces that continue to slow down the process of unification: campanilismo; class conflict, divisions between town and country; and tensions between secular and ecclesiastical structures.

Keywords: nationhood; Italy; national identity; unification; campanilismo; class conflict

Chapter.  7220 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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