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Role of Women in Italian Risorgimento
In the 19 century, Italy underwent a historical transition, through a revolution that was inspired by nationalism. The available literature has documented the selfless efforts of key male leaders that led to the reunification of the Italian states. …
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Women during the Italian Risorgimento
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Download file to see previous pages However, as Schwegman suggests in the book titled, Amazons for Garibaldi: women warriors and the making of the hero of two worlds, the role of the women in the uprisings are rarely recognized (417). To demystify this perception, Scwegman offers us classical examples on how women participated in the war, starting with the Garibaldi’s first wife Anita and others who joined the Red Shirts (432). The women offered themselves to serve the Italians, despite many hurdles such as lack of support from the male populations. This paper examines ways in which the women population contributed to the Risorgimento, either by participating in the armed struggle or through indirect means. Before going into the main subject area, it will be pivotal to revisit some background information. Background Italian reunification, otherwise known as the Risorgimento, describes the period when the Italian embraced a sense of nationhood. The events that took place during the Risorgimento are inspired the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, which resulted to the colonization of some of the Italian provinces. While reunification took place in 1870, before then, most of the states were under either the Austrian or French rule. The first attempt to re-unify the states came in 1848, but it failed while second attempt took place in 1859. The Italian leaders relied heavily on the help of Napoleon III to drive out the Austrians in exchange of Nice and Savoy. The war between Piedmont and Austria broke out in 1859. The re-unification of Italy was impeded by many factors, including dominance of the Austrian forces, which ruled Lombardy and Venetia states. On the other hand, the French forces controlled the Southern Italian Kingdoms, and to defeat this powerful army, the Italian forces had to amass substantial foreign aid. Some of the key leaders who played an important role during the reunification include Victor Emmanuel, Cavour, Mazzini and Garibaldi. In addition, the Italians had to seize the moment after the French forces were withdrawn during the Prussian war. In May 1860, a small army led by Garibaldi led a revolution, which led to the capture of the island of Sicily. The role of Garibaldi in the re-unification efforts through his small army of Red Shirts is highly recognized. The army, which was mainly composed of volunteers from Romagna, Lombardy, and Venetia, set sail in May 1960 for Sicily. After arrival of the Red Shirts, the army registered huge success within the first two months, although they were ill equipped. The re-unification for Italy would not recomplete without the re-capturing of the province of Venetia, which happened 1866 and thereafter the Papal States. This was made successful through the help of the Cavour, who encouraged riots and uprisings, thus giving the troops an opportunity to capture the Papal States. By the end of 1960, most of the states had been captured except Rome and Venetia, which at the time were heavily guarded by the French troops. The opportunity to recapture, these remaining areas presented itself in 1870 after the Franco-Prussian war broke out. In 1871, Rome became part of the large Italy and was made the capital city. The role of women in the army The role of women in Risorgimento is well captured in the documentary titled, three women of the Risorgimento, which was created and directed by Alessandra Ciotti. One of the figures that are highlighted in this moving documentary includes Antonietta De Pace, who is recognized as a founder of the Female Poetical Committee of Napoli. The organization helped the Garibaldi’s army in the mobilization of resources and actual execution of the military campaigners against the Austrians. Other key figures whose efforts are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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