Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807 - 1882) MP

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Birthplace: Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Death: Died in Italy
Occupation: Italian revolutionary, Liberator and Unifier of Italy
Managed by: Yigal Burstein / יגאל בורשטיין
Last Updated:

About Giuseppe Garibaldi

Giuseppe Garibaldi, in English (July 4, 1807 – June 2, 1882) was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and afterward returned to Italy as a commander in the conflicts of the Risorgimento. He has been dubbed the "Hero of the Two Worlds" in tribute to his military expeditions in both South America and Europe. He is considered an Italian national hero.

Early years

Giuseppe Garibaldi was born on July 4, 1807 in Nice (Italian: Nizza), which at the time was the capital of the French department of Alpes-Maritimes, before it was returned to the House of Savoy, the rulers of the Kingdom of Sardinia, in 1814 following Napoleon's defeat. In 1860, however, the Savoys returned the city to France (an action Garibaldi opposed), to get French aid in Italy's unification wars. Garibaldi's family's involvement in coastal trade drew him to a life at sea. He participated actively in the community of the Nizzardo Italians and was certified in 1832 as a merchant marine captain. An influential day in Garibaldi's life came in April 1833, in Taganrog, Russia where he moored for ten days with the schooner Clorinda and a shipment of oranges. In a seaport inn, he met Giovanni Battista Cuneo from Oneglia, a political immigrant from Italy and member of the secret movement La Giovine Italia ("Young Italy"), founded by Giuseppe Mazzini, an impassioned proponent of Italian unification as a liberal republic through political and social reforms. Garibaldi joined the society, and took an oath dedicating his life to the struggle to liberate his homeland from Austrian dominance.

In Geneva in November 1833, Garibaldi met Giuseppe Mazzini, starting a relationship that later became troublesome. He joined the Carbonari revolutionary association, and in February 1834 participated in a failed Mazzinian insurrection in Piedmont. A Genoese court sentenced him to death in absentia, and he fled to Marseilles.

South American adventures

Garibaldi first sailed to Tunisia, before eventually finding his way to Brazil. There he took up the cause of independence of the Republic of Rio Grande do Sul (the former Brazilian province of São Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul), joining the gaucho rebels known as the farrapos (tatters) against the newly independent Brazilian nation (see War of Tatters). During this war he met a woman, Ana Ribeiro da Silva (best known as "Anita"), when the Tatters Army tried to proclaim another republic in the Brazilian province of Santa Catarina. In October 1839, Anita joined Garibaldi on his ship, the Rio Pardo. A month later, she fought at her lover's side at the battles of Imbituba and Laguna. Garibaldi and Anita memorialized in Praça Garibaldi, Azenha, Porto Alegre, Brazil

In 1841, the couple moved to Montevideo, Uruguay, where Garibaldi worked as a trader and schoolmaster, and married there the following year. They had four children, Menotti (born 1840), Rosita (born 1843), Teresita (born 1845), and Ricciotti (born 1847). A skilled horsewoman, Anita is said to have taught Giuseppe about the gaucho culture of southern Brazil and Uruguay. Around this time, he adopted his trademark clothing, the red shirt, cloak (poncho), and sombrero (hat) used by the gauchos.

In 1842, Garibaldi took command of the Uruguayan fleet and raised an "Italian Legion" for the Uruguayan Civil War. He aligned with the liberal coalition of Uruguayan Colorados of Fructuoso Rivera and Argentine Unitarios (with substantive support of France and United Kingdom) against the conservative forces of former Uruguayan president Manuel Oribe's Blancos and Argentine Federales under the rule of Buenos Aires caudillo Juan Manuel de Rosas. The Legion adopted a black flag that represented Italy in mourning, with a volcano at the center that symbolized the dormant power in their homeland. Though there is no contemporary mention of them, popular history asserts that it was in Uruguay that the legion first wore the red shirts, said to have been obtained from a factory in Montevideo that had intended to export them to the slaughterhouses of Argentina. It became the symbol of Garibaldi and his followers. Between 1842 and 1848, Garibaldi defended Montevideo against forces led by Oribe. In 1845, he managed to occupy Colonia del Sacramento and Isla Martín García, and led the controversial sack of Gualeguaychú. Adopting skillful guerrilla tactics, he achieved two celebrated victories in the battles of Cerro and San Antonio del Santo in 1846.

The fate of his homeland, however, continued to concern Garibaldi. The election of Pope Pius IX in 1846 caused a sensation among Italian patriots, both at home and in exile. In 1847, Garibaldi offered the apostolic nuncio at Rio de Janeiro, Bedini, the service of his Italian Legion for the liberation of the peninsula. News of the outbreak of revolution in Palermo in January 1848 and revolutionary agitation elsewhere in Italy encouraged Garibaldi to lead some 60 members of his legion home.

Return to Italy and second exile

Garibaldi returned to Italy amongst the turmoil of the revolutions of 1848, and offered his services to Charles Albert of Sardinia. The monarch displayed some liberal inclinations, but treated Garibaldi with coolness and distrust. Rebuffed by the Piedmontese, he and his followers crossed into Lombardy where they offered assistance to the provisional government of Milan, which had rebelled against the Austrian occupation. In the course of the following, unsuccessful First Italian War of Independence, he led his legion to two minor victories at Luino and Morazzone.

After the crushing Piedmontese defeat at Novara (March 23, 1849), Garibaldi moved to Rome to support the Republic recently proclaimed in the Papal States. On April 30, 1849 the Republican army, under Garibaldi's command, defeated a numerically far superior French army. Subsequently, French reinforcements arrived, and the siege of Rome began on June 1. Despite the resistance of the Republican army, the French prevailed on June 29. On June 30 the Roman Assembly met and debated three options: surrender, continue fighting in the streets, or retreat from Rome to continue resistance from the Apennine mountains. Garibaldi made a speech favoring the third option and then said: Dovunque saremo, colà sarà Roma. (Wherever we may be, there will be Rome).

A truce was negotiated on July 1, and on July 2 Garibaldi withdrew from Rome with 4,000 troops. The French Army entered Rome on July 3 and reestablished the Holy See's temporal power. Garibaldi and his forces, hunted by Austrian, French, Spanish, and Neapolitan troops, fled to the north with the intention to reach Venice, where the Venetians were still resisting the Austrian siege. After an epic march, Garibaldi took momentary refuge in San Marino, with only 250 men still following him. Anita, who was carrying their fifth child, died near Comacchio during the retreat.

America and the Pacific

Garibaldi eventually managed to reach Portovenere, near La Spezia, but the Piedmontese government forced him to emigrate again.

He went to Tangier, where he stayed with Francesco Carpanetto, a wealthy Italian merchant. Carpanetto suggested that he and some of his associates would finance the purchase of a merchant ship, which Garibaldi would command. Garibaldi agreed, feeling that his political goals were for the moment unreachable, and he could at least earn his own living.

The ship was to be purchased in the United States, so Garibaldi went to New York, arriving on 30 July 1850. There he stayed with various Italian friends, including some exiled revolutionaries. However, funds for the purchase of a ship were lacking.

The inventor Antonio Meucci employed Garibaldi in his candle factory on Staten Island.[5] The cottage on Staten Island where he stayed is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is preserved as the Garibaldi Memorial.

Garibaldi was not satisfied with this. In April 1851 he left New York with his friend Carpanetto for Central America, where Carpanetto was establishing business operations. They went first to Nicaragua, and then to other parts of the region. Garibaldi accompanied Carpanetto as a companion, not a business partner, and used the name "Giuseppe Pane."

Carponetto went on to Lima, Peru, where a ship-load of his goods was due, arriving late in 1851 with Garibaldi. En route, Garibaldi called on Andean revolutionary heroine Manuela Sáenz.

At Lima, Garibaldi was generally welcomed. A local Italian merchant, Pietro Denegri, gave him command of his ship Carmen for a trading voyage across the Pacific. Garibaldi took the Carmen to the Chincha Islands for a load of guano. Then on 10 January 1852, he sailed from Peru for Canton, China, arriving in April.

After side trips to Amoy and Manila, Garibaldi brought the Carmen back to Peru via the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, passing clear around the south coast of Australia. He visited Three Hummocks Island in Bass Strait.

Garibaldi then took the Carmen on a second voyage: to the United States via Cape Horn with copper from Chile, and also wool. Garibaldi arrived in Boston, and went on to New York. There he received a hostile letter from Denegri, and resigned his command.

Another Italian, Captain Figari, had just come to the U.S. to buy a ship. He hired Garibaldi to take his ship to Europe. Figari and Garibaldi bought the Commonwealth in Baltimore, and Garibaldi left New York for the last time in November 1853. He sailed the Commonwealth to London and then to Newcastle on the River Tyne for coal.

Tyneside

Commonwealth arrived on March 21, 1854. Garibaldi, already a popular figure on Tyneside, was welcomed enthusiastically by local workingmen, although the Newcastle Courant reported that he refused an invitation to dine with dignitaries in the city. He stayed in South Shields on Tyneside for over a month, departing at the end of April 1854. During his stay, he was presented with an inscribed sword, which his grandson later carried as a volunteer in British service in the Boer War. He then sailed to Genoa, where his five years of exile ended on 10 May 1854.

Second Italian War of Independence

Garibaldi returned again to Italy in 1854. Using a legacy from the death of his brother, he bought half of the Italian island of Caprera (north of Sardinia), devoting himself to agriculture. In 1859, the Second Italian War of Independence (also known as the Austro-Sardinian War) broke out in the midst of internal plots at the Sardinian government. Garibaldi was appointed major general, and formed a volunteer unit named the Hunters of the Alps (Cacciatori delle Alpi). Thenceforth, Garibaldi abandoned Mazzini's republican ideal of the liberation of Italy, assuming that only the Piedmontese monarchy could effectively achieve it. With his volunteers, he won victories over the Austrians at Varese, Como, and other places.

Garibaldi was however very displeased as his home city of Nice (Nizza in Italian) was surrendered to the French, in return for crucial military assistance. In April 1860, as deputy for Nice in the Piedmontese parliament at Turin, he vehemently attacked Cavour for ceding Nice and the County of Nice (Nizzardo) to Louis Napoleon, Emperor of France. In the following years Garibaldi (with other passionate Nizzardo Italians) promoted the Irredentism of his Nizza, even with riots (in 1872).

On January 24, 1860, Garibaldi married an 18-year-old Lombard noblewoman, Giuseppina Raimondi. Immediately after the wedding ceremony, however, she informed him that she was pregnant with another man's child and Garibaldi left her the same day.

Campaign of 1860.

The Expedition of the Thousand (Italian Spedizione dei Mille) was a military campaign led by the revolutionary general Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1860. A force of volunteers defeated the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, leading to its dissolution and annexation by the Kingdom of Sardinia, an important step in the creation of a newly unified Kingdom of Italy.

Final struggle with Austria, and other adventures

Garibaldi took up arms again in 1866, this time with the full support of the Italian government. The Austro-Prussian War had broken out, and Italy had allied with Prussia against Austria-Hungary in the hope of taking Venetia from Austrian rule (Third Italian War of Independence). Garibaldi gathered again his Hunters of the Alps, now some 40,000 strong, and led them into the Trentino. He defeated the Austrians at Bezzecca (thus securing the only Italian victory in that war) and made for Trento.

The Italian regular forces were defeated at Lissa on the sea, and made little progress on land after the disaster of Custoza. An armistice was signed, by which Austria ceded Venetia to Italy, but this result was largely due to Prussia's successes on the northern front. Garibaldi's advance through Trentino was for nought and he was ordered to stop his advance to Trento. Garibaldi answered with a short telegram from the main square of Bezzecca with the famous motto: Obbedisco! ("I obey!") .

After the war, Garibaldi led a political party that agitated for the capture of Rome, the peninsula's ancient capital. In 1867, he again marched on the city, but the Papal army, supported by a French auxiliary force, proved a match for his badly armed volunteers. He was shot and wounded in the leg in the Battle of Mentana, and had to withdraw out of the Papal territory. The Italian government again imprisoned and held him for some time, after which he again returned to Caprera.

When the Franco-Prussian War broke out in July 1870, Italian public opinion heavily favored the Prussians, and many Italians attempted to sign up as volunteers at the Prussian embassy in Florence. After the French garrison was recalled from Rome, the Italian Army captured the Papal States without Garibaldi's assistance.

Death

Despite being elected again to the Italian parliament, Garibaldi spent much of his late years in Caprera. He however supported an ambitious project of land reclamation in the marshy areas of southern Lazio.

In 1879 he founded the "League of Democracy," which advocated universal suffrage, abolition of ecclesiastical property, emancipation of women, and maintenance of a standing army. Ill and confined to a bed by arthritis, he made trips to Calabria and Sicily. In 1880 he married Francesca Armosino, with whom he had previously had three children.

On his deathbed, Garibaldi asked that his bed be moved to where he could gaze at the emerald and sapphire sea. Upon his death on June 2, 1882 at the age of almost 75, his wishes for a simple funeral and cremation were not respected. He is buried on his farm on the island of Caprera alongside his last wife and some of his children.

Legacy

Garibaldi's popularity, his skill at rousing the common people, and his military exploits are all credited with making the unification of Italy possible. He also served as a global exemplar of mid-19th century revolutionary nationalism and liberalism. But following the liberation of southern Italy from the Neapolitan monarchy, Garibaldi chose to sacrifice his liberal republican principles for the sake of unification.

Garibaldi subscribed to the anti-clericalism common among Latin liberals, and did much to circumscribe the temporal power of the Papacy. His personal religious convictions are unclear to historians—in 1882 he wrote "Man created God, not God created Man," yet in his autobiography he is quoted as saying "I am a Christian, and I speak to Christians - I am a true Christian, and I speak to true Christians. I love and venerate the religion of Christ, because Christ came into the world to deliver humanity from slavery..." and "you have the duty to educate the people- educate the people- educate them to be Christians- educate them to be Italians... Viva Italia! Viva Christianity!"[citation needed] Garibaldi Monument in Taganrog, Russia.

An active Freemason, Garibaldi had little use for rituals, but thought of masonry as a network to unite progressive men as brothers both within nations and as members of a global community. He eventually was elected Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy.[18]

Giuseppe Garibaldi died at Caprera in 1882, where he was interred. Five ships of the Italian Navy have been named after him, among which a World War II cruiser and the former flagship, the aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Statues of his likeness, as well as the handshake of Teano, stand in many Italian squares, and in other countries around the world. On the top of the Janiculum hill in Rome, there is a statue of Garibaldi on horse-back. His face was originally turned in the direction of the Vatican (an allusion[citation needed] to his ambition to conquer the Papal States), but after the Lateran Treaty in 1929 the orientation of the statue was changed upon request of the Vatican. A bust of Giuseppe Garibaldi is prominently placed outside the entrance to the old Supreme Court Chamber in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC, a gift from members of the Italian Society of Washington. Many theatres in Sicily take their name from him and are named Garibaldi Theatre.

In a recent book review in The New Yorker (July 9 & 16, 2007) of a Garibaldi biography, Tim Parks cites the eminent English historian, A.J.P. Taylor, as saying, "Garibaldi is the only wholly admirable figure in modern history."

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Giuseppe Garibaldi's Timeline

1807
July 4, 1807
Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
1840
September 16, 1840
Age 33
Mostardas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
1842
March 26, 1842
Age 34
Montevideo, Uruguay
1843
1843
Age 35
Uruguay
1845
March 22, 1845
Age 37
Uruguay
1846
February 24, 1846
Age 38
Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay
1860
January 16, 1860
Age 52
Fino Mornasco, Como, Lombardia, Italy
January 24, 1860
Age 52
Lombardy, Italy
January 24, 1860
Age 52
Lombardy, Italy
1867
February 16, 1867
Age 59
Italy