The Webster 1913 definition of "Carbonarism" depends entirely on who the "Carbonari" were, but Webster 1913 doesn't mention the Carbonari at all: Hence this brief and shoddily researched exposition.

The Carbonari as an organization were a secret society active in Italy and later in France, around the end of the 18th century and the first few decades of the 19th century. Like the Illuminati, Freemasons, etc., they claimed to be centuries older. They were Catholic (they venerated St. Theobald as their patron), but anti-clerical.

"Carbonari" means "charcoal burners" in Italian; in France they were known as Charbonnerie, which means the same but in French. Like the Freemasons, the name was metaphorical, and much of their "secret" jargon was drawn from that metaphor.

In addition to oblique jargon, they had the usual secrecy and fearsome oaths, and an initiation which the Catholic Encyclopedia describes as "blasphemous" without giving any juicy details. They allowed Freemasons to join as "masters" without passing through the >= 6-month "apprenticeship" period required of others.

The stated goal of the Carbonari was influenced by the French Revolution: They wanted to establish either republics or constitutional monarchies in France, the kingdom of Naples, and wherever else they were active. Italy was badly fragmented at that time, and so around 1815 the Carbonari were also involved with the early stages of Italian irredentism, in connection with Napoleon's stooge King Ferdinand I of Naples. Along the way, Naples did briefly gain a constitution, but Austria and other European nations ganged up on them and it didn't last. By the end of the 1820s they'd mostly been folded into other irredentist groups, most notably Giuseppe Mazzini's Young Italy movement.

The French Charbonnerie participated in a revolution in France in 1830, and then began to wane; they were last heard from in 1841.


Information from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
http://newadvent.org/cathen/
http://newadvent.org/cathen/03330c.htm

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