Silvio Spaventa (Bomba 1822, Rome 1893), was the younger brother of the philosopher Bertrando Spaventa and uncle and tutor of Benedetto Croce. Prominent figure of the Italian Risorgimento, he gave an effective contribution to the Unification of Italy and was an important statesman of the post-unification governments. He had a philosophical-idealist cultural background, but his main interests were law and state administration. In these subjects he expressed principles that reflected the Hegel’s conception of the state, and were also related to Anglo-Saxon forms of government.
The life of Silvio Spaventa was busy and, in part, similar to other conspirators of Risorgimento who fought against more or less illuminated monarchies. His liberalism, however, was markedly conservative. In fact, he belonged to the Historical Right and sometimes had authoritarian attitudes.
Spaventa’s memorial in the Verano cemetery in Rome and his statue placed in front of the Ministry of Finance prove the importance of this character for the Italian history.