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Giuseppe Montanelli

Giuseppe Montanelli (1813-1862), Italian statesman and author, was born at Fucecchio in Tuscany, and in 1840 was appointed law professor at Pisa.

He contributed to the Antologia, a celebrated Florentine review, and in 1847 founded a newspaper called L'Italia, the programme of which was "Reform and Nationality." In 1848 Montanelli served with the Tuscan student volunteers at the battle of Curtatone[?], where he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Austrians.

On being liberated he returned to Tuscany, and the grand duke Leopold II, knowing that he was popular with the masses, sent him to Leghorn to quell the disturbances. In October, Leopold, much against his inclinations, asked him to form a ministry. He accepted, and on January 10, 1849, induced the grand duke to establish a national constituent assembly. But Leopold, alarmed at the turn affairs were taking, fled from Florence, and Montanelli, Guerrazzi and Mazzini were elected "triumvirs" of Tuscany. Like Mazzini, Montanelli advocated the union of Tuscany with Rome. But after the restoration of the grand duke, Montanelli, who was in Paris, was tried and condemned by default; he remained some years in France, where he became a partizan of Napoleon III. On the formation of the kingdom of Italy he returned to Tuscany and was elected member of parliament. He was an enthusiastic, but a fickle and ambitious demagogue, and he achieved a better reputation as a writer.

His most important literary work is his Memorie sui l'Italia e specialmente sulla Toscana dat 1814 at 1850, in 2 vols. (Turin, 1853); he also wrote Il Partito nazionale italiano (Turin, 1856), L'Impero, il papato, e la democrazia in Italia (Florence, 1859): and Dell' ordinamento nazionale in Italia (Florence, 1862). His dramatic poem La Tentazione and his tragedy Camma achieved some success in their day. See Assunta Marradi, G. Toscanelli e la Toscana dell' 1855 dei 1862 (Rome, 1909).


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