The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Rattazzi, Urbano

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Edition of 1920. See also Urbano Rattazzi on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

RATTAZZI, rạt-tät'sē, Urbano, Italian statesman: b. Alessandria, 29 June 1808; d. Frosinone, 5 June 1873. He studied law at Turin and, after practising with marked success at the capital and at Casale, was elected a member of the Sardinian Parliament from his native town in 1848. He allied himself with the Liberal party and attained such speedy recognition that in August he was made Minister of Public Instruction. He left office after a few days, but in December of the same year assumed the portfolio of the Interior under Gioberti, exchanging it later for that of Justice. On the fall of the Gioberti ministry, Rattazzi was entrusted with the formation of a new cabinet (February 1849) but the disaster of Novara in the following month robbed him of power. From Democrat he now turned Moderate Liberal and formed the party of the left centre whose coalition with the right centre under Cavour (q.v.), the so-called “connubio” brought about the fall of the d'Azeglio Cabinet in November 1852 and the organization of a new ministry by Cavour. Rattazzi gave up the presidency of the Chamber to become in 1853 Minister of Justice, and later, of the Interior, and in the second capacity precipitated a bitter struggle with the Clerical party by the introduction of a law providing for the partial secularization of church property and restricting the influence of the religious associations. He left the cabinet in 1858 but in July of the following year, after Villafranca, succeeded Cavour as head of the cabinet, only to give place to his predecessor within six months. His opposition to the cession of Savoy and Nice to France led to his retirement in 1860, but changing his views on this policy he became president of the lower chamber in the first Italian Parliament and in March 1862 succeeded Ricosoli in the government, retaining for himself the portfolios of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior. His course in checking the patriotic agitation against the Austrians in Lombardy and the papal rule in Rome brought him great unpopularity and in December 1862 he retired from office. Once more he succeeded Ricosoli, as Premier, in 1867, but again had to yield to the storm of popular anger aroused by his hostile attitude toward Garibaldi (q.v.) and he resigned in October of the same year.