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Religion and the Formation of the Italian Working Class

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Abstract

The role which Catholicism played in the formation of the working class in Italy was profoundly different from that which it played in the US, whereas it presents many similarities with situations elswhere in Europe. Despite those similarities, however, the role which it played in Italy was predominantly determined by a number of factors peculiar to that country. The first was the nature of the working class itself: given the pattern of economic development in post-Unification Italy, the working class was essentially heterogeneous, consisting not only of an urban, industrial proletariat, not to mention a large residual artisan class, but a rural, agrarian proletariat of landless labourers, as well as various strata of peasant farmers. Indeed, it might make more sense to talk about the formation of the Italian working classes.

Keywords

Trade Union Religious Observance Trade Union Movement American Exceptionalism Landless Labourer 
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Notes

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    As quoted in G.B Guerri, Gli italiani sotto la chiesa: Da San Pietro a Mussolini (Milan, 1992), 320 (unless otherwise stated, all translations are by the author).Google Scholar
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

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