As the chief moving spirit behind the Italian nationalism was Mazzini, it shall be desirable to know about his ideas on nationalism in some details. Mazzini considered the progress of humanity as the ultimate objective. He held that the individuals could not hope to fulfill their duty of forwarding the progress of humanity in isolation because the ultimate end of that progress was not revealed to man who could not even know its immediate objective unless he discovered the points on which his private conscience was in agreement with the accepted beliefs of humanity.

He argued that such a process could only be carried out in an association, which might take three forms-the family, the nation and humanity. While the first was too small to provide an adequate field for human endeavors, and the third too vast to be embraced effectively, the nation gave–or ought to give-a common agreement to which appeal could easily be made, since between fellow nations there could exist an intimate communion feeling and thought. Mazzi argued that the path to individual freedom led through cooperation on a national basis. He was the first Italian to emphasize that the unity of Italy was practicable and inspired others with the same faith.