Traditions of Armed Volunteering and Radical Politics in Southern Europe: A Biographical Approach to Garibaldinism

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Historiography rarely concerns itself with investigating the capacity that war volunteering has to endure and persist across time; that is, not only the continuation of memories passed down from one generation of fighters to another, but also its ability to reactivate itself as soon as a new movement of volunteers begins. Between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there were successive generations of volunteers who, as well as wearing the Garibaldian red shirt and aligning themselves with that tradition, were also political activists belonging to extreme left-wing organizations. In these cases, it was not only that Garibaldinism was considered to be an important part of the political horizon, but also – and this is what will be explored in this article – that there was a tradition of war volunteering that was passed down through generations and that was clearly linked to the Garibaldian red-shirt tradition. The article will follow Amilcare Cipriani’s biography. A young Garibaldi volunteer, he soon moved towards internationalism (he was one of the defenders of the Paris commune) and lived a good part of his life moving continuously between Europe and Northern Africa. At the end of the century, in 1897, he was amongst the principle actors in a Garibaldian campaign that would pave the way for the next steps in the red-shirt volunteering tradition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean History Quarterly
Volume49
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)50-72
Number of pages23
ISSN0265-6914
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 225668890