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Born Mar. 7, 1811, in Milan; died July 2, 1876, in Rome. Italian revolutionary democrat and writer.
Ferrari lived in France intermittently from 1838 to 1859. His articles between 1845 and 1848, published in French journals, were sharply critical of the neo-Guelfic positions of the Italian liberals—namely, their advocacy of an alliance between the national liberation movement and the Catholic Church and the establishment of a federation of Italian states to be headed by the pope. Ferrari advocated revolution as the means to Italian redemption; however, on the assumption that a united Italy was still in the distant future, he called for local revolutions and the proclamation of a republic in each of the various states, to be followed by the establishment of a federation of Italian states.
After the defeat of the Revolution of 1848–49, Ferrari joined the Italian democrats’ polemical discussions and advanced his idea of an Italian national revolution. He held that the revolution must be social as well as political and that it must have the means to carry out a progressive agrarian law and liberate the Italian people from oppression in any form. Ferrari called for revolution in the name of socialism—which he interpreted, however, in the spirit of the social utopias of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1851, Ferrari tried to organize the left democrats into a party with a more radical orientation than the national committee of G. Mazzini.