No. LIII (2022)

The Second Eastern Crisis (1875–1878): Echoes, Volunteers and Italian Interests

Published 29.12.2022


  • Eastern Crisis (1875–1878),
  • Giuseppe Garibaldi,
  • volunteers,
  • insurrection

How to Cite

Guida, F. (2022). The Second Eastern Crisis (1875–1878): Echoes, Volunteers and Italian Interests. Balcanica - Annual of the Institute for Balkan Studies, (LIII), 63–77.


The actions of Balkan insurgents during Eastern Crisis of 1875–1878 were closely followed by Giuseppe Garibaldi and his supporters as well as by the Italian politicians and writers that were a part Mazzini’s school of thought. Garibaldi actively sustained the insurgents and his red shirts went to fight in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first year of the Crisis. When the uprising evolved into a war of Serbia and Montenegro against the Ottomans the involvement of red shirts as well as the one of volunteers in general was con- siderable reduced, with the exception of the Russian contingent under the commandment of the Russian general Mikhail Chernyaev. However, the interest for the ongoing devel- opments in the Bosnia and Herzegovina only changed the form, since Italian politicians and journalists made several projects trying to mobilize Italian general public to support South Slav cause. The Venetian writer Marco Antonio Canini even imagined a confederal solution for the nations in the Danube basin thus trying to overcome the conflicts between the nascent nationalisms that could dispute among them the territorial heritage of the Austria-Hungary after its projected demise. None of the projects were put in practice, but they remain as testimony of Italian interest and involvement into the Great Eastern Crisis and its consequences


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