Download Debating Divorce in Italy: Marriage and the Making of Modern by M. Seymour PDF

By M. Seymour

The preferred referendum of 1974 which affirmed Italy's recently-won divorce legislation is largely considered as a turning aspect in smooth Italian historical past, however the lengthy tale in the back of that fight has remained mostly unexpected. utilizing the debates over divorce as a lens, this booklet is a learn of the hunt to modernize Italy, Italians, and Italian marriage. even if the 1974 referendum settled Italy's 'divorce question,' the  matters on the center of that question - really the connection among person rights, the nation, and faith - stay significant to fashionable politics.

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Extra resources for Debating Divorce in Italy: Marriage and the Making of Modern Italians, 1860-1974 (Italian & Italian American Studies)

Sample text

Apart from Morelli’s significance as the first person to introduce the discussion of divorce into parliament, he also deserves attention for his unusual political character. On the one hand he represented a Risorgimento radicalism that owed a great deal to Mazzini, but which in UNMAKING MARRIAGE? 37 many ways appeared old-fashioned and idealistic by 1878. 5 Yet on the other hand, the single driving force behind his whole political career was a mystical feminism, inspired by Mazzini. Morelli’s proposals for divorce represented a confluence of these two currents, since it was an issue that Morelli saw as a double crusade: one for individual liberty, involving the complete rejection of all clerical impediments to the ideal state, and a second, entirely dedicated to the liberation of Italian women from the injustices of the civil code.

Naclerio briefly addressed the problem of the fate of children after a divorce, the question generally considered the most difficult aspect of the entire issue. As Coscioni had done in 1864, Naclerio declared that the root of the problem for children was not divorce itself, but marital discord. 49 The conclusion to Naclerio’s work broadens the focus and becomes rather patriotic. As he had suggested at the outset, he viewed divorce as an element in a battle against the pernicious effects of Catholicism’s grip upon the newly woven national fabric.

Catholic dogma aside, it remains unclear whether there is anything natural, in a biological sense, about a couple remaining together monogamously for their entire lives. That custom had been imposed by the Council of Trent, and by 1860 it had been accepted for so long that it was easy for rhetoric to make it seem natural. Nor did those in favor of divorce argue that it was an undesirable custom. They merely claimed that in some cases the enforcement of the ideal of indissoluble marriage was cruel.

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