Orsini, Felice


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Orsini, Felice

(fālē`chā ōrsē`nē), 1819–58, Italian patriot who attempted to assassinate the French emperor Napoleon IIINapoleon III
(Louis Napoleon Bonaparte), 1808–73, emperor of the French (1852–70), son of Louis Bonaparte (see under Bonaparte, family), king of Holland. Early Life
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. He was a follower of MazziniMazzini, Giuseppe
, 1805–72, Italian patriot and revolutionist, an outstanding figure of the Risorgimento. His youth was spent in literary and philosophical studies. He early joined the Carbonari, was imprisoned briefly, and went into exile.
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 in the movement for Italian unification. As a young man he became an active revolutionary in the Papal States and in Tuscany. He was jailed (1855–56) by the Austrians for his activities but escaped. In 1857 he broke with Mazzini, and in 1858 he made an attempt on the life of Napoleon III, whom he held responsible for the failure of the Italian revolutions of 1848–49. Although ably defended by Jules FavreFavre, Jules
, 1809–80, French statesman. At first a partisan of the July Monarchy, he joined the republican opposition to King Louis Philippe. After the February Revolution of 1848 he was one of the leaders of the provisional government.
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, he was executed. His act, designed to arouse world interest in the Italian cause, paradoxically influenced Napoleon's own decision to intervene in favor of Italian unification.

Orsini, Felice

 

Born Dec. 10, 1819, in Meldola; died Mar. 13, 1858, in Paris. Participant in the Italian Risorgimento. Member of the secret patriotic organization Young Italy (Giovine Italia).

In 1844, Orsini was sentenced in Rome to hard labor for life, but he was granted an amnesty and freed in July 1846. In the second half of 1846 and in 1847 he was active in the liberation movement in Florence. During the 1848–49 revolution he served as a volunteer in the war of independence against Austria and took part in the defense of Venice. He was a deputy in the Rome constituent assembly and a commissioner of the Roman republic in Terracina, Ancona, and Ascoli. In the 1850’s he lived abroad. He was involved in the conspiracies of Mazzini. Arrested by the Austrian authorities in 1854, he escaped from prison in 1856. Having chosen a path of individual terror, Orsini on Jan. 14, 1858, in Paris, threw a bomb at the carriage of Napoleon III, who supported the Italian reactionaries. With this act, he hoped to arouse the revolutionary forces of Europe and create conditions favorable to revolution in Italy. He was executed.