Carlo Cattaneo (1801-1869) would have been a remarkable man in any time period. He was interested in everything, and as a man of ideas was involved in the astonishing technological and stimulating political events of the nineteenth century. He encouraged the building of railways as a way to unite the Italian peninsula, and he was involved in connecting Italy to the rest of Europe through the St. Gothard Tunnel. An innovator of gas lighting in his native Milan, the great Lombard thinker was a prolific writer, and kept prodigious notes and copies of his correspondence. His economic and scientific involvement in the latest technology was emblematic of the intellectual strides he made. For example, he logically and rationally argued for racial and religious tolerance of the Jews over one hundred years before the enactment of the infamous Racial Laws in Fascist Italy. Today most know Carlo Cattaneo as the father of Italian federalism. During the Cinque Giornate insurrection in Milan in 1848, Carlo Cattaneo was an integral part of the war committee, and its spokesman. Although he had many liberal ideas about government and the rights of men, Carlo Cattaneo was a reluctant revolutionary, preferring exile in Switzerland over pledging allegiance to the Savoyard monarchy during the Risorgimento. Historians have almost unanimously declared that Carlo Cattaneo was anticlerical and irreligious. This was not true. CARLO CATTANEO: THE RELIGIOSITY OF A RELUCTANT REVOLUTIONARY examines the writings and the correspondence of Carlo Cattaneo, and concludes that the Cattanean opus is replete with Biblical references and allusions, Christian traditions and ideas. Historians have not taken the religiosity found in the writings of Carlo Cattaneo seriously. This thesis does.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History



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Carlo Cattaneo, religiosity, 1848 Revolution, Milano, Risorgimento



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