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COURSE NAME: "Italy from the Risorgimento to the First World War (1815-1918)"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Luca De Caprariis
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 3:00-4:15 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Junior Standing; Corequisite: EN 110
OFFICE HOURS: W: 11:30-12:15; T, Th: 4:15-5::30

This course explores Italian history from the Congress of Vienna to the eve of World War I. Main emphasis will be on the emergence of modern liberalism and nationalism, the construction of the new Kingdom, the crisis of the end of the century, and the age of Giolitti. Although the principal focus will be on political structures, considerable attention will be given to the history of the Italian economy and society, as well as to the history of culture and ideas.

Satisfies "Modern History" core course requirement for History majors.
There will be two class meetings per week. Lectures will be followed by questions and discussion. Students should come to lectures prepared. All assigned readings should be completed before each class meeting.
Students should develop an understanding of the process of Italian Unification and of the forces involved in that process, of the institutional structure of the new Italian Kingdom, of the nature of Italian Liberalism, and of the achievements and limits of the Giolittian Age.
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Modern Italy: A Political HistoryDenis Mack SmithYale University Press978-0472108954  
Italy in the Giolittian Era: Italian Democracy in the Making, 1900-1914William A. SalomoneACLS Humanities E-Book978-1597403870  
Risorgimento: The History of Italy from Napoleon to Nation StateLucy RiallPalgrave Macmillan978-0230216709  
The LeopardGiuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusaany edition000-0000000000  
The Making of ItalyDenis Mack SmithPalgrave Mcmillan978-0333438084  

Midterm ExaminationEssay Exam: students will answer two essay questions.25%
Final ExaminationEssay Exam: students will answer two essay questions.35%
paperAll students will submit a twelve page paper. Topics will be decided in consultation with the instructor35%
in class participation 5%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the cour
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


Attendance is mandatory. You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, which must be documented.

Students should keep their mobile phones turned off during lecture. You may use your laptop to take notes, but you are not allowed to surf the web during class. Should you fail to follow these rules I will ban laptops from class altogether.

As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Schedule of Topics


3   Introduction. Italy in the Age of the French Revolution and Napoleon. Riall: 4-10; Making of Italy: 13-18

5   The Congress of Vienna and the Restoration. I. Northern Italy: The Kingdom of Sardinia and Austrian controlled Lombardy and Venetia.  Riall: 10-15, 53-71; Making of Italy: 18-37.

10  II. Central Italy: Tuscany and the Papal States. Riall: 10-15, 53-71; The Making of Italy: 18-37.

12  III. The Kingdom of Naples.  Riall: 10-15, 53-71; Making of Italy: 18-37.

17  Mazzini, Garibaldi and the First Revolutionaries I. MS: 11-16; Riall 15-20; The Making of Italy: 37-56.

19  Mazzini, Garibaldi and the First Revolutionaries II.. MS: 11-16; Riall 15-20; The Making of Italy: 37-56.

20  The Revolutions of 1848.  Riall: 20-25; Making of Italy: 110-166.

24  Liberalism in Piedmont and the rise of Cavour.   MS: 17-24, Riall: 25-36; The Making of Italy: 166-214.

28  Mazzini, Cavour and the War against Austria.  MS: 17-24, Riall 25-36. The Making of Italy: 214-276.


1   Garibaldi and the Unification of North and South.  MS: 17-24, Riall: 25-36, The Leopard; The Making of Italy:307-335.

3   The New Italian Kingdom. I.  The Political and Constitutional Structure.  MS 27-55; S: 1-12, Riall:147-160, The Leopard.

8   Movie: The Leopard.

10  Movie: The Leopard.

15  II. Economy and Society. MS: 27-55, Riall 37-52, 72-116.

17  Mid-term Exam

22  The First Decade: 1861-1871.  MS: 59-92.

24  The Fall of the "Right;" Depretis and the “Trasformismo”.  MS: 95-120; S: 13-33.

29  Francesco Crispi. MS: 123-170.

31  The Crisis of the End of the Century. MS: 171-188.


5    The First “Take off” of Italian Economy: The Emergence of the “Industrial Triangle.”

7    Giolitti and "Giolittismo". MS: 191-199; S: 102-114.

12   New Forces: Political Catholicism, Socialism, and Nationalism. MS: 200-206; S: 34-10

14   Emigration and the Southern Question. MS: 206-216.

19   The Foreign Policy of the new Kingdom, the Conquest of Libya. MS: 235-249.

21   The Crisis of the Giolittian System. MS: 225-232; 249-254; S: 117-169.

26   Italy and the World War. 1914: Neutrality. MS: 255-260.


3    1915: Italy enters the conflict: The Hope for a Short War. MS: 260-267.

5     The Long War. Conclusions. MS: 271-276.