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William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini

Abolition, Democracy, and Radical Reform

Enrico Dal Lago

Publication Year: 2013

William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini, two of the foremost radicals of the nineteenth century, lived during a time of profound economic, social, and political transformation in America and Europe. Both born in 1805, but into dissimilar family backgrounds, the American Garrison and Italian Mazzini led entirely different lives -- one as a citizen of a democratic republic, the other as an exile proscribed by most European monarchies. Using a comparative analysis, however, Enrico Dal Lago suggests that Garrison and Mazzini represent a connection between the egalitarian ideologies of American abolitionism and Italian democratic nationalism.

Focusing on Garrison's and Mazzini's activities and transnational links within their own milieus and in the wider international arena, Dal Lago shows why two nineteenth-century progressives and revolutionaries considered liberation from enslavement and liberation from national oppression as two sides of the same coin. At different points in their lives, both Garrison and Mazzini demonstrated this belief by concurrently supporting the abolition of slavery in the United States and the national revolutions in Italy. The two meetings Garrison and Mazzini had, in 1846 and in 1867, served to reinforce their sense that they somehow worked together toward the achievement of liberty not just in the United States and Italy, but also in the Atlantic and Euro-American world as a whole. In the end, the abolition of American slavery led to Garrison's consecration, while the new Italian kingdom forced Mazzini into exile. Despite these different outcomes, Garrison and Mazzini both attracted legions of devoted followers for personifying the radical causes of the nations to which they belonged.

Published by: Louisiana State University Press

Series: Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War


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pp. 1-5


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p. vii-vii

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pp. vii-xiii

This book is about two prominent nineteenth-century radicals, one American, the other Italian: William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini. Both were born in 1805, but from different family backgrounds—one poor, the other privileged—in different parts of the Euro-American world. They lived entirely different lives, Garrison as a citizen of an American democratic ...

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INTRODUCTION: Garrisonian Abolitionism, Mazzinian Democratic Nationalism, and Transnational Comparisons

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pp. 1-14

Nineteenth-century American abolitionism and Italian democratic nationalism were radical movements put forward by activist minorities who hoped to decisively influence the public opinions of their respective countries. Both movements used the enormous power of the press to reach their aims, but Italian democrats were far more prone than American abolitionists to ...

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1. EARLY ATTEMPTS AT DEMOCRATIZATION: The Making of Two Radical Leaders, 1805–1830

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pp. 15-39

The world in which William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini were born, in 1805, was a world in turmoil: it was an epoch that Robert Palmer appropriately described fifty years ago as the “Age of Democratic Revolution” and that recent scholarship, following Palmer’s lead, has treated fruitfully in comparative perspective. Starting in the late eighteenth century, ...

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2. EXERCISES IN MEDIA PROSELYTISM: Journalism and Revolutionary Apostolate, 1831–1833

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pp. 40-63

The Euro-American world was one marked by movement and fl ux in the early 1830s, when William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini began their revolutions, the former with the publication of his radical abolitionist paper the Liberator and the latter with the foundation of his democratic nationalist association Young Italy. Each of the two at this point was operating ...

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3. WORKING TOWARD GLOBAL MIDDLE-CLASS INCLUSIVENESS: The Fight for Freedom from Local to Federal, 1833–1837

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pp. 64-87

In the mid-1830s, when William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini decided to widen the scope of their revolutions with the foundation of the American Anti-Slavery Society and Young Europe, the Atlantic and Euro- American world underwent a profound change, mainly as a result of the 1833 Emancipation Act, which freed the slaves throughout the colonies of ...

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4. CONFRONTING IDEOLOGICAL INERTIAS: Garrisonians, Mazzinians, and Their Enemies, 1838–1846

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pp. 88-112

In the early to mid 1840s, while in the United States and Italy William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini were being challenged in their ideas and strategies for the fi ght for freedom by other groups of abolitionists and democrats, the Euro-American world of reform was undergoing a crucial phase of high activism and change. This activism led to an immensely ...

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5. BAPTISMS OF FIRE FOR NEW SOCIAL IDEAS: Political Defeat, Radical Intransigence, and Internationalism, 1846–1853

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pp. 113-139

In the late 1840s, the Euro-American world underwent a major, though brief, period of transformation that involved various countries and regions and even produced, in some cases, positive permanent results. In general, throughout the European continent, the biennium 1848–49 saw major revolutions oust established regimes and proclaim the rights of people and ...

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6. ENDORSEMENT AND REFUSAL OF MAINSTREAM RADICALISM: Garrison’s and Mazzini’s Times for Action, 1854–1861

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pp. 140-167

The late 1850s and early 1860s saw William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini confronting the monumental changes brought by the beginning of the American Civil War and the unifi cation of Italy. To understand the signifi cance of these changes, we need to place them in the context of the mid-nineteenth-century world, to which the two phenomena belong—both ...

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7. POLITICAL STALEMATE BETWEEN OPPOSITE EXTREMISMS: Garrison’s Compromise and Mazzini’s Defeat, 1862–1870

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pp. 166-190

In the 1860s, an age of emancipation, the radical seeds that William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini, together with countless others, had sown yielded substantial fruit in terms of developments and measures geared toward release of people and nations from oppression across the Euro-American world. Although 1863, when Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation ...

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CONCLUSION: Different Ends and Parallel Fame of Two Iconic Radicals

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pp. 191-197

In the later years of their lives, Garrison and Mazzini seemed to diverge from their parallel paths as a result of very different historical circumstances. After the 1865 passing of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—which abolished slavery—Garrison abandoned several of his radical activities and, most of all, his primary role as a voice in opposition ...


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pp. 199-229


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pp. 230-256


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pp. 257-269

E-ISBN-13: 9780807152072
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807152065

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War