Chapter

Mazzini’s Internationalism in Context: From the Cosmopolitan Patriotism of the Italian Carbonari to Mazzini’s Europe of the Nations

Maurizio Isabella

in Giuseppe Mazzini and the Globalization of Democratic Nationalism, 1830-1920

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780197264317
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734472 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264317.003.0003

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Mazzini’s Internationalism in Context: From the Cosmopolitan Patriotism of the Italian Carbonari to Mazzini’s Europe of the Nations

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This chapter discusses the relationship between Mazzini's vision of international relations and that of the Carbonari, who represented the previous generation of Italian patriots. It argues that, in spite of Mazzini's contempt for the Carboneria's cosmopolitanism, his ideas were heavily indebted to their views. While rejecting 18th-century notions of cosmopolitanism, the Carbonari believed that the independence of nations represented a step towards the universal expansion of freedom. They advanced a universal idea of civilization, which they identified with constitutionalism and free circulation of ideas and goods. Finally, they advocated the establishment of a new international order, based on the recovery of the balance of power destroyed by the Napoleonic wars, and the introduction of a new international legal system and supranational institutions. Like the Carbonari, Mazzini supported the idea of an international system alternative to the Vienna settlement, their notion of universal civilization, and the right of intervention to defend another country's freedom. However, his internationalism ignored the Carbonari's Kantian concern for international law as it was based on the belief that the establishment of republics would ‘naturally’ result in a peaceful European order.

Keywords: international relations; Italian patriots; cosmopolitanism; independence; freedom; universal civilization; constitutionalism; balance of power; international law

Chapter.  10187 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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