The essay shows the first outcomes of a research which has focused on Sicilian periodicals reporting the debate on civil and political liberties during the short constitutional chapter of 1820-1821. In this framework, the idea of a ‘Sicilian nation’ and, consequently, the separatist solution related, frequently prevailed over the unitary one, ending up with characterizing, mainly during the first fifty years of the nineteenth century, the whole historical context of the Island. Along with the decree of 26 July 1820 which abolished the institute of the royal revisers, allowing the constitutional government to assert that ‘ogni individuo è libero di scrivere, stampare e pubblicare le sue idee’, that contingency practically set the whole matter related to the freedom of the press, and gave a new start to Sicilian journalism, which knew a huge increase in published periodicals. After the events of 1821, Sicilian journalism would mark time. What came after was a more rigorous control along with a deeper severity for political dissidents. Informers were granted cash prizes while perquisitions became more and more arbitrary; periodicals, for some time, didn’t deal with politics anymore, but with legal and innocuous items.
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