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Title: Viva l'Italia, viva la Repubblica : popular political engagement and participation in Tuscany during the Italian Risorgimento, c. 1830-1861
Author: Kehoe, Ben
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 5367
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores popular politics and political participation in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany during the Italian Risorgimento. There are two broad strands to this research. On the one hand, this project examines the processes of politicisation which enabled broad cross-sections of Tuscany's labouring classes, both in the cities and in the countryside, to access political knowledge and develop an awareness of new political discourses. On the other hand, this research also explores the uses which 'popular groups' made of this new political knowledge, and the ways in which 'ordinary Tuscans' constructed and expressed political opinions. For Florence and other Tuscan cities, this project examines the role of the Tuscan democratic movement, along with the politicising impact of urban military mobilisation, and uses police records to explore the ways in which the artisan and working classes of Florence engaged with new political language and ideas. For the Tuscan countryside, this research turns to the years 1859-60, focusing on the impact of the popularly-oriented propaganda campaign of Bettino Ricasoli, and using transcribed compilations of oral popular songs to examine the ways Tuscan sharecroppers sought to come to terms with national politics and construct their own representations of the events of 1859-60. The thesis argues that the Risorgimento in Tuscany ought to be seen as a mass movement in which popular groups - in both the cities and the countryside - actively engaged with the ideas of Italian patriots, while at the same time drawing upon established channels of oral communication to construct and shape their own understandings of the Risorgimento.
Supervisor: Hopkin, David ; Broers, Michael Sponsor: Wolfson Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available