1st Edition

At the Roots of Italian Identity 'Race' and 'Nation' in the Italian Risorgimento, 1796-1870

By Edoardo Marcello Barsotti Copyright 2021
    262 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the relationship between the ideas of nation and race among the nationalist intelligentsia of the Italian Risorgimento and argues that ideas of race played a considerable role in defining Italian national identity.

    The author argues that the racialization of the Italians dates back to the early Napoleonic age and that naturalistic racialism—or race-thinking based on the taxonomies of the natural history of man—emerged well before the traditionally presumed date of the late 1860s and the advent of positivist anthropology.

    The book draws upon a wide number of sources including the work of Vincenzo Cuoco, Giuseppe Micali, Adriano Balbi, Alessanro Manzoni, Giandomenico Romagnosi, Cesare Balbo, Vincenzo Gioberti, and Carlo Cattaneo. Themes explored include links to antiquity on the Italian peninsula, archaeology, and race-thinking.




    1. Prologue: The ‘Primacy of the Nation.’ Vincenzo Cuoco and the Quest for Italian Identity
    2. A Plural Italy? Archaeology, Linguistics, and Racial Types in the Restoration Age
    3. The ‘Lombard Question’: Catholic Liberal Intelligentsia and the Racialization of the Romano-Germanic Encounter
    4. On the Complexities of the Ethnogenesis: Giandomenico Romagnosi and Carlo Cattaneo on National ‘Stocks’ and Racial ‘Types’
    5. Reconsidering Primacy and National Genealogies: ‘Nation’ and ‘Race’ in the Debate among Moderates, 1843-1846
    6. Epilogue and Conclusions: the ‘Science of Nations’




    Edoardo Marcello Barsotti is a historian of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century nationalism in Europe and the Americas. After the completion of his MA at the University of Pisa, Italy, he received his PhD in modern history at Fordham University, New York. He currently works as a teaching associate at the Università di Genova, Italy.