GIUSEPPE GARIBALDI (1807-1882): The Italian Hero, who gave our Pub its name
Giuseppe Garibaldi, made possible the unity of Italy as a single nation. The career of this great Italian soldier and patriot is more illustrious than any fiction writer could have contrived. For more detail on his life, read what Harpers Weekly has to say a week after his death on the 2nd of June 1882.
Brief biography: Early in his life, Garibaldi joined the Sardinian navy, and later his political beliefs in a republic led to his involvement in an unsuccessful anti-monarchist plot. He fled to South America, which was where he first learned guerrilla warfare tactics. Garibaldi fought in a rebellion in Brazil, and later in a civil war in Uruguay, where he earned fame for his heroism.
Returning to Europe, he fought for Sardinia against Austria, and after Sardinia’s defeat, he fought for the short-lived Roman Republic which was squashed by French intervention on behalf of the Pope. Refused asylum by the King of Sardinia, Garibaldi went to the United States.
In 1860, Garibaldi began the military campaign that would ensure his lasting fame, and which would also mark the beginning of a unified Italy. With one thousand volunteers, his “Red Shirts,” Garibaldi landed in Sicily and led the rebellion against the King of the Two Sicilies. He then went on to capture the southern mainland, and despite the people’s support for him to become their head of state, he turned the south of Italy over to King Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia.
Over the years, Garibaldi had come to see the Sardinian monarchy as the most practical hope for the unification of Italy’s various regions into a single country, and it was his conquests that brought about the 1861 proclamation of Victor Emmanuel as king of a united Italy. Garibaldi went on to fight in several more wars, twice trying to capture Rome. He remained a popular hero up until the time of his death, and ever since then he has been perhaps the most revered of all Italian patriots.