Giuseppe Fanelli was born in Naples on October 13, 1827.
At the age of 18, he enrolled in Giovine Italia which was created by Mazzini whom he befriended and whose slogan was “Dio e Popolo” (God and the People).
In 1868, Bakounine sent him to Spain to engage in a propaganda campaign and to support the workers’ movements that were at that time just in their infancy.
Giuseppe Fanelli was born in Naples on October 13, 1827. His father, from a rich family from Martina Franca (Pouilles), had taken on important positions in society.
Giuseppe grew up surrounded by an intellectually rich atmosphere.He began the study of architecture, but he abandoned this academic pursuit. At the age of 18, he enrolled in Giovine Italia which was created by Mazzini whom he befriended and whose slogan was “Dio e Popolo” (God and the People).
He was 19 years old in 1848 at the time of the War of Independence. He signed up as a volunteer in Milan, where the population rose up in insurrection for five days. They chased the Austrian troops of Field Marshall Radetsky out of the city. He fought in the Tyrol and eventually took refuge in the Canton of Tessin after the Armistice of Salasco, over the course of which the Empire of Austria regained its borders and put an end to the first war of independence.Freshly returned from London, Mazzini founded the Roman Republic, based upon a triumvirate with Aurelio Saffi and Carlo Armellini.
Garibaldi fully sided with the Roman Republic. He ended his exile in Switzerland and came to Rome. Fanelli did the same.In 1849, Garibaldi and his Red Shirts had to contend with a siege from the French.
Defeated at first, Ferdinand de Lesseps tried to negotiate, but his minister Alexis de Tocqueville refused. The French sent reinforcements, the troops of Oudinot, and they forced Garibaldi to fold in July 1849.With the fall of the Republic, Fanelli took refuge in Corsica and then in Malta.
Once he was back in Naples in 1857, he formed a group of Republican and Democratic Patriots. He joined in the armed insurrection led by Carlo Pisacane and Giovanni Nicottera.The objective was to overthrow Ferdinand the 2nd, but the rebels suffered a heavy defeat at Sapri and Pisacane was killed.
Fanelli was forced to flee to Smirna at first, and then once again to Malta and finally to London.In 1860, he set out alongside Garibaldi on the Expedition known as “Dei Mille.” At Calatafimi, he fought valiantly and earned the nickname, the “Hero of Calatafimi.” He became a Colonel. He returned for a time to Martina Franca in the Pouilles where his family owned land. In 1863, he left to fight in Poland before coming back to Naples where he met Bakounine. He was elected Deputy in 1865 and he remained in this post until 1874.He began to frequent libertarian political groups in the years 1866 and 1867.In 1868, Bakounine sent him to Spain to engage in a propaganda campaign and to support the workers’ movements that were at that time just in their infancy. He did a remarkable job there, creating typographers’ and workers’ groups. In competition with Marxist movements, the anarchist movement was developing in Catalonia among textile workers and in Andalusia among the landless peasants. In four years, the anarchist movement would establish itself in Spain.He participated in the Rimini Conference in 1872 and the International Congress of Saint-Imier.