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Risorgimento in ExileItalian Émigrés and the Liberal International in the Post-Napoleonic Era$
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Maurizio Isabella

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570676.001.0001

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English Institutions and Italian Freedom

English Institutions and Italian Freedom

(p.111) 6 English Institutions and Italian Freedom
Risorgimento in Exile

Maurizio Isabella (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the impact that English politics and institutions had on Risorgimento liberalism. It argues that the exiles' observations can be seen as the foundation of Risorgimento Anglophilia. Italian historiography has traditionally viewed Risorgimento Anglophilia as evidence of the backward nature of Italian moderate liberalism. The writings on England of Giuseppe Pecchio, Pellegrino Rossi, and Ugo Foscolo and other exiles, however, demonstrate that it was thoroughly conversant with French Anglophilia, and that exile liberalism was in fact more progressive than its French equivalent, as it continued to support the revolutionary idea of popular sovereignty while praising the role of an aristocracy devoted to the public good. At the same time, when assessing the possibility of transferring foreign constitutions to Italy, the exiles almost invariably advocated the integration of the most advanced French and English political models with local institutions, and the adoption of reforms inspired by 18th-century Italian philosophers and constitutionalists like Filangieri or Pagano.

Keywords:   Italian Anglophobilia, European Anglophilia, Risorgimento constitutionalism, Irish question, moderate liberalism, Giuseppe Pecchio, Pellegrino Rossi, Ugo Foscolo

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