Emma Mana

"Formare una democrazia illuminata e pensante". Il discorso agli elettori dell'estrema sinistra (1875-1900)

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The essay starts from the gradual achievement of the habit of speeches meant for the electors and grasps its progressive variations according to the different political cultures. The attention is focused on the political democratic family with a particular interest in the seventies and eighties of the 19th century, that is the period preceding the establishment of definite party identities. The ways of relating to the electors and the speech habits are analysed as evidences of the idea of popular sovereignty, of representation and of political mandate practice. A closer analysis of the messages points out the aspiration towards the establishment of a "great democratic party" operating in the country and in Parliament with the mottoes "freedom, change, progress"; a party carrying on a project of political as well as social reform. It is an aspiration tightly linked to the outlining of the relationship between past and present and to the judgement about the results of the Italian Risorgimento process and the features of present day Italy. A particular attention is given to the vocabulary in terms of origin, innovations, adaptations and semantic sliding. Finally the communicative strategies of the candidates are taken into account, stressing the differences due to the different school curricula and professional situations of extreme left members themselves.

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