Giovanni Lanza

Giovanni Lanza

Prime Minister
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Giovanni Lanza

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Domenico Giovanni Giuseppe Maria Lanza (February 15, 1810 – March 9, 1885) was an Italian politician and the tenth Prime Minister from 1869 to 1873.

Lanza was born in the Piedmontese city of Casale Monferrato. He studied medicine at Turin, capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia, then returned to Casale where he divided his energies between practising medicine and developing his 33 hectare estate in nearby Roncaglia. He studied and wrote on agriculture developments in both the practical and social aspects. Lanza was among the first in Monferrato to introduce modern equipment (iron ploughs, seed drills, etc.), and also involved himself in the agricultural education of poor children, hoping to achieve at once “the betterment of our agriculture and the moral and intellectual betterment of our agricultural workers.”

He was also an active member of the Associazione Agraria Subalpina of Turin and became its secretary. The association was concerned for reform in the political and economic spheres, as well as in that of agriculture, and its identification with the cause of liberal nationalism—with the Risorgimento—was underlined at the September 1847 agrarian congress in Casale, when Lanza raised the cry of “Viva l’Italia libera ed indipendente!” Later he commented on that event: “I did not join the association purely to improve the cultivation of cabbages.”

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