Sicily and the Unification of Italy: Liberal Policy and Local Power, 1859-1866

Hardcover | January 1, 1998

byLucy Riall

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This is the first in-depth analysis of the impact of Italian unification on the hitherto isolated communities of rural Sicily. Traditional explanations of Sicily's instability depict a society trapped by a feudal past. Lucy Riall finds instead that many areas of the island were experiencing aperiod of rapid modernization, as local government increased their organizational efforts. Beginning with the period prior to the revolution of 1860, Dr Riall shows why successive attempts at political reform failed, and analyses the effects of this failure. She describes the bitter and violentconflict between rival elites and the mounting tide of peasant unrest which together threatened the status quo within the isolated communities of the Sicilian interior. Through an examination of the problems of local government - tax collection, conscription, the organization of policing - and ofattempts to suppress peasant disturbances and control crime, she shows that the modernization of the Sicilian countryside both undermined the control of the central government and made the countryside itself more unstable.

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This is the first in-depth analysis of the impact of Italian unification on the hitherto isolated communities of rural Sicily. Traditional explanations of Sicily's instability depict a society trapped by a feudal past. Lucy Riall finds instead that many areas of the island were experiencing aperiod of rapid modernization, as local gove...

Lucy Riall is at Birkbeck College, University of London.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.75 inPublished:January 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198206801

ISBN - 13:9780198206804

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`useful and interesting monography'John M Roberts, History, January 2000