Garibaldi, Giuseppe (1807-1882)
Garibaldi, Giuseppe (1807-1882) The foremost military figure and popular hero of the age of Italian unification known as the Risorgimento with Cavour and Mazzini he is deemed one of the makers of Modern Italy. Cavour is considered the "brain of unification," Mazzini the "soul," and Garibaldi the "sword." For his battles on behalf of freedom in Latin America, Italy, and later France, he has been dubbed the "Hero of Two Worlds." Born in Nice, when the city was controlled by France, to Domenico Garibaldi and Rosa Raimondi, his family was involved in the coastal trade. A sailor in the Mediterranean Sea, he was certified a merchant captain in 1832. During a journey to Taganrog in the Black Sea, he was initiated into the Italian national movement by a fellow Ligurian, Giovanni Battista Cuneo. In 1833 he ventured to Marseilles where he met Mazzini and enrolled in his Giovane Italia or Young Italy. Mazzini had a profound impact on Garibaldi, who would always acknowledge this patriot as "the master." In February 1834 he participated in an abortive Mazzinian insurrection in Piedmont, was sentenced to death in absentia by a Genoese court, and fled to Marseilles. The exile sailed first to Tunisia eventually finding his way to Brazil, where he encountered Anna Maria Ribeiro da Silva, "Anita," a woman of Portuguese and Indian descent, who became his lover, companion in arms, and wife. With other Italian exiles and republicans he fought on behalf of the separatists of the Rio Grande do Sul and the Uruguayans who opposed the Argentinean dictator Jan Manuel do Rosas. Calling on the Italians of Montevideo, Garibaldi formed the Italian Legion in 1843, whose black flag represented Italy in mourning while the volcano at its center symbolized the dormant power in their homeland. It was in Uruguay that the legion first sported the red shirts, obtained from a factory in Montevideo which had intended to export them to the slaughter houses of Argentina....
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