From 1848 until the Unification of Italy, a series of political trials followed one another in Naples which unravelled the thread of a vast and ramified revolutionary conspiratorial network. The climax of the series was the trial in 1855 of Nicola Mignogna and his closest collaborator, Antonietta De Pace, together with 12 other persons. Its interest lay both in the personalities of those arrested -above all, for the first time a woman was accused of conspiring against the state - and in the fact that as it developed, several of the most notable European daily newspapers became interested, including The Ems, the Morning Post, the Journal des Débats, and Le Constitutionnel. Indeed, after Gladstone’s denunciation in 1851 of the inhuman conditions under which political prisoners of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies were being held, a movement of public opinion developed in Europe - and especially in England - which was extremely critical of the Bourbon government. The terrible conditions of the political prisoners were often depicted by the above-mentioned English newspapers, which described with a wealth of detail the humiliating tribulations regularly inflicted on those shut up in the horrible Neapolitan dungeons, among whom were many soldiers and a few clerics. Precisely because of these strong external pressures, the accused were spared the serious penalties, including capital punishment, envisaged for their crimes. The pressures of foreign newspapers ensured that, despite the Procurator General having requested the death penalty for four of the accused (including Mignogna), the sentence was surprisingly mild: he was condemned to exile from the kingdom, and De Pace was acquitted for lack of evidence.
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|Titolo:||The influence of the "constitutional" European public opinion on the political trials in Kingdom of Naples (1855-1861)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2005|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|