“A popular patriot.” How far do you agree with this judgement of Garibaldi’s contribution to Italian Unification?
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an important leader in the process of achieving a unified Italy. He was commander of various armies in Italy and spear headed many of the revolutions of the time. His patriotism and perseverance helped him ultimately achieve the unification of Italy. The many revolutions and patriotic acts made him a popular figure in Italian culture and thus became known as a popular patriot.
Garibaldi, from a young age showed interest in the military lifestyle by joining the merchant navy at the age of fifteen. By taking part in what was the countries commercial shipping fleet he became acquainted with Giuseppe Mazzini, a republican extremist who set the foundation for the unification of Italy through his ideals. Years after Garibaldi joined Mazzini’s “young Italy” movement which was meant to promote unification ideas and revolutionary plans throughout Italy.
After a failed attempted coup, the conspirators which included Garibaldi were sentenced to death. As a result Garibaldi fled Europe and sailed for Rio de Janeiro where he would continue to promote the idea of a unified Italy by joining branch of Young Italy in South America. Garibaldi soon became unsatisfied with continuous planning and the lack of action and so he became involved with different local armed conflicts such as the Uruguayan war against Argentina. Here he gained much needed military experience and raised a legion of deadly guerrilla fighters which played a great role in the Uruguayan victory over Argentina. Due to these events Garibaldi became increasingly popular in Italy, gradually becoming more and more idolized by Italian revolutionaries to the point he was represented as a divine figure.
Garibaldi returned to Italy in 1848, where by now he was extremely popular and offered to aid Charles Albert in his war efforts against Austria, Charles Albert refused however as...