Page 21 - Montana Freemason Feb 13
P. 21

Montana Freemason  February 2013                        Volume 86 Number 1

  On November 7, 1860 Garibaldi rode with King            A personal assessment is highly illustrious:
Victor Emmanuel II in the royal carriage during         (1,2) primarily a nationalist, his objective was
the triumphal entry into Naples. Relinquishing his      liberation of the people and not personal power or
dictatorship, he was the first to hail him as King of   political aggrandizement. Eminently a successful
United Italy. Garibaldi’s request to remain as viceroy  propagandist he knew better than Cavour or Mazzini
was denied due to jealousy of the regular army, his     how to reach the masses with the great message of
advanced ideas of social reform and his greater         patriotism, and used his great military and political
popularity with the king. Refusing all honors he        gifts for liberal or nationalist causes. His advanced
retired to his island home of Caprera.                  views made him a recognized champion of labor
                                                        and woman’s emancipation; a believer in racial
  A command of a Union army corps was offered to         equality and abolishment of capital punishment;
Garibaldi by Lincoln but was refused as he felt there   an internationalist advocating a United States of
had not been enough of a sweeping demand for the        Europe and later in life a pacifist in spirit. Politically
abolition of slavery plus the fact that he wished for   his forthright innocence colored his politics. He
supreme command of the federal
forces.                                                                      believed in temporary dictatorship
                                                                             because of his impatience with
  Again in 1862 Garibaldi was                                                parliamentary procedure, its
allowed to raise a volunteer army                                            corruption and inefficiency, and was
to invade Austrian Trentino, but                                             virtually always in opposition to the
instead led it against the papal                                             government he helped create while
states governed by the French.                                               serving in the Italian parliament.
Not wanting to jeopardize their                                              Garibaldi was considered bitterly
relationships with the French,                                               anti-clerical. His viewpoint was
the king ordered government                                                  that the Roman Catholic church
troops to stop Garibaldi. The                                                with its temporal power over the
battle of Aspromonte ensued                                                  papal states blocked the way of
with Garibaldi badly wounded                                                 reunification of all Italy. Count
and captured in defeat. His speedy                                           Charles Arrivavene attributed
release demonstrated the king’s                                              the endorsing “judgement of
complicity in the affair. War with                                            nine-tenths of the Italians” (3) to
Austria in 1866 gave Garibaldi                                               Garibaldi when that general spoke
another independent command                                                  in Naples: “but before fighting
of volunteers in Tirol ending in the annexation of                           against this external enemy, you
Venetia. Secretly subsidized by Victor Emmanual,        have internal enemies to beat down: and I will tell you
Garibaldi led his volunteers against the French papal   that the chief of them is the Pope. If I have acquired
states’ forces only to be deserted by the government    any merit with you it is that of telling you the truth
and subsequently defeated at Mentana November 3,        frankly and without a veil. In using that privilege, I
1867. Again briefly arrested by the Italian government  tell you that your chief enemy is the Pope”. (3)
he was released to Caprera.                               The “paisanos” of Rome endorsed these sentiments
                                                        against Pius in a plebiscite when they voted 133,681
  He was not a participant when in 1870 the armies of   to 1,507 for the freedom of Italy. (4)
Victor Emmanuel II made the final encounter against       The teachings of the mason Mazzini early in his life
the papal states and entered Rome. The Franco-          furnished Garibaldi an excellent background in the
Prussian war of 1870-71 was the scene of his last       doctrine of freemasonry. (5,6) In 1844 he became
campaign and in which he distinguished himself in       a member of Friends of the Country Lodge # 471 of
the French cause.                                       Stapleton, New York. Upon returning to Italy he

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