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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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Assessing English Commercial Society

Assessing English Commercial Society

(p.151) 7 Assessing English Commercial Society
Risorgimento in Exile

Maurizio Isabella (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In the early 19th century there was no dispute about the commercial and industrial superiority of England over the rest of the world. However, the desirability of following the example of England was a much disputed issue among continental observers. The exiles acted as cultural mediators between Italian and foreign economists, and between different traditions of economic thought. The majority of them, and in particular Giovanni Arrivabene and Giuseppe Pecchio, while aware of the drawbacks of mechanisation, came to admire English commercial society and to advocate a similar path of development for Italy. However they did so with different intellectual tools and with different views as to how Italy should imitate England. Arrivabene enthusiastically espoused British political economy and did much to disseminate it on the continent. Pecchio however sought to reconcile the Italian 18th-century tradition of public happiness and public economy, based on the idea of the greatest happiness possible shared by the greatest number possible, with the achievements of contemporary English commercial society. In fact, it was this latter stance that came to dominate in the Risorgimento.

Keywords:   Risorgimento political economy, English commercial society, poverty, Italian primacy in economics, Giuseppe Pecchio, Giovanni Arrivabene

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