John A. Davis

The Economic History of the Mezzogiorno from the 18th Century to Unification

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Rosario Villari, Mezzogiorno, Peasantry, Questione meridionale, Economic history.

Rosario Villari’s contributions to the economic history of the pre-Unification Mezzogiorno have over time been eclipsed by the author’s longer-running fascination with the seventeenth century and by the success of his later textbooks. However, the essays on the economic and social history of the final century of the Regno borbonico written in the 1950s and early 1960s were major contributions to the post-war renaissance in the historical writing on the pre-Unification south. Villari’s approaches and findings have stood the test of time, while his formulation of the origins of the questione meridionale remain highly relevant to current debates on the south in the century before Unification.

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