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Cattaneo, Carlo (1801–1869)

Carlo Cattaneo, a disciple of Gian Domenico Romagnosi (1761–1835), graduated in both Roman and canon laws from the University of Pavia in 1824. Coming from a middle-class family, he was a federalist, a republican, and a liberal. On several occasions, his intransigence caused him to resign from public and private positions, to abandon professorial chairs, and to engage in personal conflict. Yet this same harsh character earned him the reputation of being the critical conscience of Italy's Risorgimento, or Italian unification.

Positivist in education and background, Cattaneo transfused this philosophical vision into his numerous writings, drawing inspiration from a firm belief in technical and scientific progress as a means of moral and material improvement in a whole population. His interests ranged from customs duties, agricultural ...

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