Carbonari

Carbonari (kärbōnäˈrē) [key] [Ital., = charcoal burners], members of a secret society that flourished in Italy, Spain, and France early in the 19th cent. Possibly derived from Freemasonry, the society originated in the kingdom of Naples in the reign of Murat (1808–15) and drew its members from all stations of life, particularly from the army. It was closely organized, with a ritual, a symbolic language, and a hierarchy. Beyond advocacy of political freedom its aims were vague. The Carbonari were partially responsible for uprisings in Spain (1820), Naples (1820), and Piedmont (1821). After 1830 the Italian Carbonari gradually were absorbed by the Risorgimento movement; elsewhere they disappeared.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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