Press, Politics and the Public Sphere in Europe and North America, 1760-1820

By Hannah Barker; Simon Burrows | Go to book overview

9
Italy, 1760–1815
Maurizio Isabella

Until the 1760s, the map of Italian political journalism, reflecting the complex political conditions of a peninsula divided into a mosaic of absolute states and ancient republics, still presented features which had been established very much earlier. 1 While Mantua, Bologna, Rimini, Modena, Parma, Florence, Venice and Foligno could boast the existence of newspapers whose circulation extended well beyond the limits of state boundaries, the capitals of absolute states like Milan, Naples and Rome only had their official publications, dry bulletins listing official events, decrees and news from foreign courts intended only for a small circle of civil servants. The success of gazettes printed in peripheral cities–the foundation of which, in some cases, dated backto the previous century–depended on the fact that their location enabled them both to collect information more quickly from across the borders and to escape the control of central governments. For this reason they enjoyed a broader readership and a wider circulation. Venice and Genoa were the two most important centres for the collection of international political news. News was collected by specialised agencies from diplomats resident in the cities where they operated, or brought from abroad, although the channels for the further transmission of international news and the networks established across the peninsula are still largely unknown. 2

During the period between 1760 and 1790, the political press in the Italian peninsula underwent dramatic changes. The number of gazettes grew steadily, and their geographical distribution changed quite dramatically, as the centres of political journalism moved from outlying areas to the capital cities of the states where reforms were more vigorously implemented and in which a high degree of cultural tolerance was permitted. 3 Milan, the capital of Habsburg Lombardy, Venice and Florence became the three most important centres of information. In Milan there were no fewer than five gazettes published in Italian. The most important were the Gazzetta enciclopedica, started in 1780 and edited by the famous intellectual Francesco Soave, and the Giornale enciclopedico di Milano, which first appeared in 1782. Both newspapers coupled political information with

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Press, Politics and the Public Sphere in Europe and North America, 1760-1820
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Notes on the Contributors vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes *
  • 1 - The Cosmopolitan Press, 1759–1815 23
  • Notes *
  • 2 - The Netherlands, 1750–1813 48
  • Notes *
  • 3 - Germany, 1760–1815 69
  • Notes *
  • 4 - England, 1760–1815 93
  • Notes *
  • 5 - Ireland, 1760–1820s 113
  • Notes *
  • 6 - America, 1750–1820 140
  • Notes *
  • 7 - France, 1750–89 159
  • Notes *
  • 8 - The French Revolutionary Press 182
  • Notes *
  • 9 - Italy, 1760–1815 201
  • Notes *
  • 10 - Russia, 1790–1830 224
  • Notes 242
  • Index 248
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