Giuseppe Montanelli


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Montanelli, Giuseppe

 

Born Jan 21, 1813, in Fucecchio; died there June 17, 1862. Political figure in the democratic wing of the Risorgimento.

In 1840, Montanelli became a professor of civil law at the University of Pisa. At the time of the Revolution of 1848–49 he fought in the Austro-Italian War. He was elected a deputy to the Constituent Assembly of Tuscany in the autumn of 1848. In Tuscany he called for the convocation of an Italian Constituent Assembly (a step advocated earlier by Mazzini) to spearhead the struggle for the expulsion of the Austrians from Italy and prepare for the unification of the country. As head of the government of revolutionary Tuscany between Oct. 27, 1848, and February 1849 he continued to support this position. After the flight of Grand Duke Leopold II, Montanelli, having been elected to the Tuscan triumvirate (the provisional government), worked in vain for the proclamation of a Tuscan republic and for its unification with the republic of Rome. He spent the 1850’s in exile in Paris.

Reviewing the lessons of 1848–49 in works written during his exile, Montanelli concluded that in the future it would be necessary to impart a social character to the Italian revolution, and he described a Utopian socialist society based chiefly on Proudhon’s ideas. When the Revolution of 1859–60 broke out he returned to Tuscany and participated as a volunteer in the war against Austria. As a deputy in the Constitutent Assembly of Tuscany he voted for the overthrow of the grand duke but against union (without special guarantees) with the Kingdom of Sardinia. In 1861 he became a deputy in the Italian Parliament.