Key Topic 1 - The Liberal State, c.1911-18 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Key Topic 1 - The Liberal State, c.1911-18 Deck (101):

Explain the Italian unification process, 1859-70.

- Risorgimento starts in 1859 as Napoleon III lets Piedmont wage war with Italy. PM Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, pioneers defeating the overlords of his area.
- 1860 - Kingdom of Two Sicilies attained by Giuseppe Garibaldi and his 1000-strong Garibaldi Brigade.
1861 - Elaborate Turin ceremony and inauguration of KVE III
1866 - Venetia attained after Austro-Prussian War.
1871 - Army annexes Rome when Napoleon III is distracted by Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71.


Explain what could be found within the Statuto Albertino.

The Statuto Albertino, or Constitution of Piedmont of 1848, was the constitution of Liberal Italy. He guaranteed the liberal privileges of access to free press, free assembly and free speech, yet had the detrimental effect of rendering the regime more susceptible to criticism.


What were the duties of the King?

He held executive powers to appoint and dismiss ministers and select senators. He was also the face of the regime abroad and in times of crisis.


What were the duties of the PM?

Chosen by the King, he relied upon the support of him and parliament. He was the head of daily administrative affairs.


How was parliament composed?

Upper House (Senato) and Lower House (Camera dei Depitati)


What were the powers of the parliamentary upper house?

Senators were chosen by the King for life. Held less power than the CdD.


What were the powers of the parliamentary lower house?

MPs voted in every 5 years by enfranchised population. Government ministers were taken from the CdD. Held more power than the Senato.


What were the main political factions of Liberal Italy?

Socialists, nationalists, Catholics, liberals, radicals and republicans.



PSI established by Filippo Turati (reformist republican) in 1895.

Aims: 8hr working day, women's rights, universal male suffrage.

Extent of popularity:
250,000 members of national socialist federations in 1902.
13% of votes went from % in 1900 to 25% in 1913.

Reasons for growth:
Industrialisation (Milan x2 between 1880-1914) as people from different groups communicated in urban hotspots to become more politically educated.
Poor targeted with public lectures and free school books. Sig. as so oppressed by Liberal State.
Avanti! unified and popularised the party due to Mussolini's journalistic flare.
Effective party structure: membership rules, party cards, congresses and local networks.

But divided between maximalists and reformists.



People, especially the urban lower-middle classes, felt disillusioned with democracy so they gave support to the ANI after 1910.
It was elitist, anti-parliamentary and anti-socialist; seeking expansionism and authoritarianism.

Popularised by effective, harsh response to strife and by Camicie Azzurre (Blue Shirts)



1870 - Pope Pius IX locks himself in Vatican in protest to Roman Question.
1886 - He formally bans Catholic participation in elections.
1892 - Pope Pius X orders an alliance with Liberals if they respect Catholic rights/uphold Catholic principles for 1913 election. Due to feared socialism.
1919 - PPI set up, causes tension as it goes against Giolitti's parallel lines idea.



Wanted parliamentary, constitutional democracy and the rule of law. Yet struggled to keep this up as people's opinions were usually repressed as the party went more RW in the face of crisis.
Poor approach: applied uniform to an unequal nation. Therefore appealed to a limited MC interest group and not to the majority. Was weak in the face of franchise extension as a result.



May 1890 - new party programme at Felice Cavallotti's congress:
POLITICAL CHANGES: convene parliament as 50 deputies requested it; decentralisation; reduce power of King so he couldn't declare war or conclude any treaties; pay deputies.

SOCIAL CHANGES: free education at primary school; actual liberal rights, tighter rules on child/female labour; better pensions.

ECONOMIC CHANGES: don't allow state intervention in the economy.

1900 - 7.1% of votes.

1890s peak with northern industrial base, perception of threat thus created.



Italian Republican Party was founded in 1895 and shared the views of radicals whilst being more hesitant to compromise with Liberals and more focused upon anti-monarchism.

1900 - 6.2% of votes.
Northern intellectual and professional support, esp. in 1890s.


What were political problems facing the Liberal State?

Limited francise, trasformismo and anarchism.


How did franchise change from 1861-1912 and why was this significant?

Whether you had access to suffrage depended on property ownership and qualifications.

1860s - 500,000/32 million can vote; 2%.
1882 - 3 million can vote: 25%.
1912 - 8 million can vote. No women.

People now had a means of expressing their aversion to the LS clearly, after it had alienated them for 50 years. Liberals struggle due to limited support base.


Define Trasformismo.

Political manoeuvring; where political power depended not on public support, but the ability to win over the conditional support of other politicians through concessions. Governments were corruptly set up and subject to collapse.

These concessions could benefit the politician or the local area, not the whole country. Depended on a greater degree of campanilismo which was born from Liberal ignorance of the masses and a cause for disunion.

Democracy was an illusion. Created support for PSI (real democracy) or nat. groups (alternative).


How many coalitions were there 1870-1915?



Which was the longest lasting coalition of Liberal Italy?

Agostino Depretis - 1881-87 - 6 years.


Define anarchism.

The act of overthrowing the state and replacing it with a self-governing order of no bureaucratic rules.


Which 3 men developed Italian anarchism?

Mikhail Bakunin
Giuseppe Fanelli
Errico Malatesta


What events highlighted an anarchist threat?

Failed insurrections in Florence (1869) and Bologna (1874) and a failed national insurrection (1877).

29th July 1898 - King Umberto I is killed by Gaetano Bresci to avenge deaths of 100 protestors in Milan in May.


What were the anarchist trade unions?

Unione Sindacale Italiana in 1912, with 800,000 members by 1919.
Unione Anarchica Italiana - 20,000 members in 1919. Began factory occupation at Biennio Rosso.


How did Italy compare to Britain industrially in 1896?

had industrial revolution 1897-1913, average wage p/a was £8 and 60% of jobs depend on agriculture.

BRITAIN - had industrial revolution 1750-1850, average wage p/a was £31, 10% jobs are agricultural.


What was the industrial situation in NW Italy, and why was it so successful?

Focused on textiles and engineering.
More powerful due to industrial tradition, accessible markets, hydroelectric power and good transport links.


What was the industrial situation in North-central Italy?

Chemicals were produced.


What population growth was seen in Sesto San Giovanni between 1800-1911?

Grew from 5,000 to 14,000.


What was the industrial situation in Sesto San Giovanni, SE?

Milanese commune of Lombardy which produced lots of steel/heavy machinery. Home to Gruppo Campari beverages co. from 1860 - extends to represent 50 brands in 190 countries.


What were the strengths of north Italian industry?

1901-11 - 2 million more workers.
Industrialists could succeed due to access to state subsidies, technological advancements, plus improved agricultural production/state arbitration to create a strong workforce.


What were the weaknesses of north Italian industry?

Limited and localised, mainly around industrial triangle of Genoa, Turin and Milan. 55% of 1911 profits.
Italy too weak to produce its own goods so had to rely upon trade.
Workforce was large but unskilled.
Sesto San Giovanni was an exception, as most places lacked communication/transport links and access to reliable energy sources: all needed to produce effectively.


What percentage of industrial income did the south account for in 1911?



What industrialisation could be seen in the south of Italy?

Pockets in Naples, Veneto and Tuscany; sulphur mining in Sicily.


Who was Francesco Saveiro Nitti and what did he believe?

A liberal economist who believed that the economic development of southern Italy had been stunted by unification and so there was need for intervention.


What did Nitti do?

1900 - ended internal tariffs and the establishment of a single Italian market that encouraged free trade.

1904 - Law on Basilicata - Arranged hydro-forestal reconstruction in Basilicata, and the establishment of public work schemes (aqueducts, farm houses, drains, etc.), using tax incentives and loans to encourage private participation.

1906 - Law on Calibria - same as above.

1910 - Law to Extend and Consolidate State Forestry.

1911 - Law for the Reclamation of Mountain Basins.


Why didn't Nitti's measures succeed?

Northern initiatives were supported more than southern ones as it was in the interests of politicians to prioritise the former.

Maffeo Pantaleoni - 1910 - South pays 32% to receive 27% of income whilst North pays 40% of tax to receive 48% of income.


Why was agricultural development seen in the north of Italy, 1890-1910?

Mechanisation extends crop variety and increases rate of production. More goods means more sales and more profits, so further investment can be made. Could use them to fund land drainage and irrigation, which made ore land available to use.


What was the situation in the Po Valley?

Po Valley was a commercialised agricultural region in the Province of Mantua. It had a humid subtropical climate and irrigation/hydroelectric power from the River Po.


What were problems with northern Italian agriculture?

Capitalist farming emerged as there was less of a demand for staff due to the mechanisation and expansion of farms. Labourers employed on short-term contracts and were subject to redundancy. This created greater social division, political tension and national instability.


What were the positives of the agricultural industry of the south?

It produced some luxury products which were popular for exportation: wine, oil and citrus fruits.


What were problems with the southern Italian agricultural industry?

Extensive deforestation meant there was poor soil quality and soil erosion.
Non-mechanised so thus inefficient compared to the north and the rest of Europe.
Natural disasters -
Mt Vesuvius (1906)
Messina EQ and tsunami (Dec 1918) - the most destructive EQ to ever hit Europe.


To what extent was emigration a problem in Liberal Italy?

Throughout the 1890s, the population declined by 200,000 per year. Most went to the USA, and so there were 5 million Italians in the USA by 1915.


Why was emigration significant?

It damaged Italian industry because Italy lost all of her skilled workers.

It was also damaging to national pride and meant that Italy didn't seem to be worthy of desired 'great power' status: things must have been bad if people were willing to risk their lives moving abroad in search of better prospects.


To what extent did rural-to-urban migration occur and why was this significant?

In Milan, the population grew by 257,000 between 1880-1910.

It was significant because it allowed people from across the country to mix, share views and become more politically educated.


What is thought to have caused the North-South divide?

Political negligence - No PM visited the south until 32 years after unification.

Nitti argued that the economic system was poorly structured and so unification had stunted development.

Geography: subject to natural disasters and low soil fertility due to erosion after deforestation.

Mistreatment by North: received 48% of wealth from contributing 40% of taxes, whilst the south paid 32% to receive 27% of wealth.


What were prevalent issues in the south?

DISEASE - Cholera in Naples (1910-11) killed c. 25,000; high infant mortality rate which saw u5s accounting for 40% of deaths.

LOW WAGES - Earned 50% of northern wages.

EMIGRATION - 26.8% of Sicilian population lost between 1901-1913.

LACKED EDUCATION - Too few schools, as there were 26 per 1,000 kids in Piedmont yet 6 per 1,000 kids in Sicily. The average illiteracy rate in the south was 5x that of Piedmont.


How did the Liberal State respond to La Questione Meridionale?

Free malaria treatment.
Lower food taxes.

Sickness, accident and pension schemes.

Maximum working hours and established public holidays.

Central government to control education.


Were the measures of the Liberal State to overcome La Questione Meridionale effective?

To some extent, as between 1861-1914 -
Life expectancy grew from 30 to meet the European average of 47.
Mortality rates fell by 12.3%
Infant mortality rates fell from 223 per 1,000 to 138 per 1,000.

National illiteracy also fell by 31.4% between 1871-1911.

However, not all benefitted from these measures. Many still couldn't go to school due to a need to assist their parents at home with work.


Why did Italy want 'Great Power' status?

It might achieve a sense of Risorgimento and she would benefit economically.


What happened in Tunisia in 1881?

The LS wanted to achieve influence in Tunisia yet failed because French troops were stronger so able to do it first.


What happened at the Battle of Adwa on 1st March 1896?

Humiliating defeat: 5,000 Italians die at the hands of Emperor Menelik's Ethiopian army.

Led to Abyssinian independence, 10 million lire of reparations, Crispi's resignation and many years without colonial ambition.


Where did Italian nationalists fail to increase influence through trade connections?

Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.


When was an alliance with Austria-Hungary and Germany made and why?

1882 - Alliance with Austria and Germany, for protection after France's annexation of Tunisia.

1907 and 1912 - The alliance is renewed.


Why did Italy appear a weak partner within her alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary?

She responded to improved Anglo-Russian relations in the early 20th century by refusing to enter prospective war.

1900-02 - secret agreements with France outline unwillingness to engage in future conflict against France.

1909 - KVE II meets Tsar Nicholas II in Racconigi to outline how Russia and Italy were to work together to prevent Austria from trying to further increase her influence in the Balkans.


What did Austria-Hungary due to render the alliance effectively useless?

1908 - annexes Bosnia-Herzegovina to increase her influence in the Balkans without having previously informed her alliance partners.


Give a brief biography of Giovanni Giolitti

He was an Italian Liberal politician who entered the Camera dei Depitati in 1882 and who wanted to establish a modern, industrial and successful Italy that would be united by shared Liberal ideology. He served 5 terms as PM.

He was a master of Trasformismo as he was able to effectively use patronage, manipulation and compromise to gain support. He kept the weaknesses of his peers on file to manipulate them effectively.

However, he was still different to other politicians, even though he used Trasformismo so extensively, because he was determined to reduce socio-economic inequality in Italy.


What did historian Marco Cappucini say about Giolitti?

His role within Italian politics was so dominant that he could be seen as a parliamentary dictator.


How did Italians respond to the ineffectiveness of Giolitti's attempts to overcome poverty in Italy?

Trade unionism.


What trade unions existed in Liberal Italy?

Federterra (from 1901) - 240,000 peasants.

All socialist trade unions amalgamated in 1906.

1910 - 374 Catholic trade unions represent 104,600 workers.


What happened in 1901?

There were extensive striking efforts which brought down Giuseppe Saracco's government in February 1911.

There were 43,000 strikers within 410 strikes in 1900 yet 420,00 strikers in 1,671 strikes in 1901.

Significant strikes were in Emilia and Lombardy.


How did Giolitti respond to the strikes of 1901?

Put simply, ineffectively. He did try to limit the workers' anger by reducing force used against them, incorporating moderate socialists and Catholics into his government, and increasing welfare provision/bringing about economic reforms.

Yet in not reforming the elitist police, he left his government susceptible to repression charges. Furthermore, although he brought about economic reforms, productivity was always more important than workers' desires so he lost WC support.

The elites were also annoyed because it seemed he wasn't strong enough to respond to radicals with force.


How significant were socialists within Liberal Italy?

1892 - PSI set up by Filippo Turati.

1902 - 250,000 national socialist federation members.

1913 - 25% of votes and 79 CdD seats.

Came with increased industrialisation and because the PSI targeted the masses. It offered lectures and school books in the places where the poor congregated, but also pleased the MCs with 'Avanti!' after 1896.


Why would it be hard to incorporate the PSI into the Liberal government?

The party was divided into maximalists and reformists who varied considerably in their ideology.


Why does historian Martin Clark believe that the PSI was limited in the extent to which it was absorbed by Giolittian Trasformismo tactics?

The PSI disliked how Liberals tended to kill rioting workers.

Inter-party divides within the PSI between maximalists/reformists and members/syndicalists.

Division in opinion between PSI members (compromising urban intellectuals) and their supporters (working classes(. It was commonly seen amongst working class Italians that liberalism was corrupt, capitalist and not relevant to their interests.

Even though reformists appreciated reforms, it was seen they were half-hearted: not done out of concern for the good of the WCs but to attain support.


What reforms did Giolitti bring about to please the socialists?

1898 - compulsory accident insurance at work and non-compulsory national insurance for the sick and elderly [progressive; 12 years before Britain!]

1901 - no work for under 12s

1902 - 11 hour working day for women

1906 - arbitration courts set up to enforce non-intervention policy of state towards industrial disputes

1910 - national maternity fund


Why did Giolitti want less compromise with the RC Church than he did with socialists and nationalists?

He wanted a secular government. In 1904, he famously said that the Church and the state were "two parallel lines which should never meet".


Why did Giolitti nevertheless want good relations with the Church?

Voting potential: could influence Catholics.

Lateran Question was a significant obstacle to national stability

Could act as a counterweight to socialism.


How did Catholics compromise with the Liberal State?

1909 - Pope Pius X lifts Pope Leo XIII's 1886 ban on Catholic participation in elections. Leads to 17 Catholic deputies in CdD and loads more in local elections.

1913 - Gave Liberals the organised Catholic vote if they agreed to uphold a number of Catholic principles. Reflected fear of socialism: which Pope Leo XIII had regarded os a sect "that threatens civil society with destruction".


How did Giolitti please Catholics?

1904 - dropped the divorce bill.

Allowed Catholic influence of education.

Allowed Catholic coalitions in Turin, Bologna, Florence and Venice.


Why was the alliance of the Catholics and the Liberal State limited?

1909 - Popolari set up. Goes against Giolitti's 1904 statement.

Lateran Question not overcome until 1929.


Explain the ideology of the ANI.

Set up in 1910 by Enrico Corradini with extensive support by 1914.

Wanted to overcome Italian weakness and increase her power through irredentism, colonisation, public sector strike bans, militarisation and the state's protection from international economic threats.

Liberalism was seen as an incarnation of all that was weak and corrupt about Italy because it promoted selfish individualism.


When did the Libyan (Italo-Turkish) War take place?

29th September 1911 - 8th October 1912


What were the motivations behind the Libyan invasion in 1911-12?

Italy wanted a North-African territory, especially after the Agadir Crisis of 1911. It was feared, after the Franco-Italian Convention of 1902 (Italy to help France to attain Morrocco if France would help Italy to access Libya) that France might betray Italy and go for Libya.

Would please Catholics: Banco di Roma was associated with Pope Pius X and the Catholic press, and it had a branch in Tripoli from 1907, so Libyan invasion was in the economic interests of the Church.

Nationalists might actually accept Liberalism because they notoriously desired colonisation, rejecting Liberalism partially on the grounds of a lack of colonial ambition.

Could overcome emigration crisis: achieving a propaganda feat whereby it seemed that the government was providing that which emigrants sought as they moved abroad.

Bissolati (reformist PSI) saw the benefit of territory for peasants.


What happened at the Libyan War?

29th September 1911 - 8th October 1912

Initial success: most ports and coastal towns under the control of the Italian navy within 3 weeks. Yet there was need for war against both the Senussi Order AND the Ottoman Empire because the Arabic population didn't accept the Italians as Liberators.

May 1912 - Italy takes over 13 Turkish territories in the Aegean Sea.

8th October 1912 - Ottoman Empire surrenders with the outbreak of the First Balkan War. Leads to Treaty of Lausanne. Yet 50,00 soldiers forced to remain to deal with Senussi Order.


What was the impact of the Libyan War?

Caused 3,500 Italian deaths and cost 1300 million lire. ANI blamed this on Liberal weakness and lacked patriotism. Took credit for encouraging the war themselves.

International image didn't improve and Italy became a common feature of European satirical publications. E.g. Punch Magazine (UK) on 4th October 1911, presenting 'The Shocker Shocked" to demonstrate Italian greed.

Socialists divided so people who had supported the war were removed in 1911. In 1912, Mussolini's Avanti! exposes the corrupt Liberal murders of Italian and Libyan workers.

Catholic and nationalist alliance to deal with socialists.

Didn't fulfil aims: couldn't offer any more crops than what Italy already produced, and people didn't want to move to Libya because it didn't offer the same opportunities as the USA.

Greater weakness of Italian economy due to greater job pressure (50,000 Italian Ottoman Empire citizens forced back to Italy) and loss of trade links with Ottoman Empire countries/


What came with the franchise extension of 1912?

Extended to all literate men aged 21+ and all other men aged 30+. Came about largely as a result of the war.

Increase from 3 million to 8.5 million voters; now 70% illiterate. Shifted majority support away from Liberals as they had alienated the politically unrepresented before this point.


Why was growing instability seen, 1912-14?

People felt alienated with the Italian political system as it suited the elites only.

PSI/ANI grow: RC Church becomes critical of the state's inability to respond to poverty.


What happened in the election of May 1913?

Liberal seats fall from 370 to 318, so they had to join a coalition with the Catholic Electoral Union. Need for Catholic concessions sabotaged the state's relations with radicals, republicans and socialists.


What happened in February 1914?

Ettore Sacchi and Luigi Credaro, Italian radicals, resign from Giolitti's coalition due to too many Catholic concessions.


When did Giolitti's government formally collapse and why was this significant?

21st March 1914.

Catholics felt betrayed because they'd hoped that Liberals and Catholics were to set up a stable conservative coalition.

Formal parties began to emerge; the faction system (upon which Trasformismo had thrived!) came to an end.


What did historian Martin Clark say of the Italian governments which followed 1913?

They were generally nationalist, Catholic, or both; and this reflected the more aggressive and conservative attitudes that thrived in Germany in the lead up to WWI.


When did WWI begin and how did Italy respond?

WWI begins on 28th July 1914. Declared neutrality.

Didn't need to because Austria-Hungary hadn't forewarned Italy that she was to send an ultimatum to Serbia after Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed.

Led to the intervention crisis!


Who was Antonio Salandra and why was he an interventionist?

Italian PM (1914-16)

He wanted to achieve a more authoritarian war in Italy, and he also wanted to bring concessions to the nation: irredente lands, patriotism and national unity. If the Allies were to lose without Italy, the Central Powers probably wouldn't be very agreeable towards Italy, having betrayed them in not supporting them at war.


Who was for war entry?

Benito Mussolini

Big crowds of rallying nationalists: a small but loud minority.


Who was against war entry?

Pope Benedict XV

The PSI - "neither support nor sabotage".


When was the Treaty of London signed and what did it signify?

24th April 1915: Italy was to enter war on the side of the Allies and receive a number of irredente lands in return.

Yet newly elected prefects worked out public opinion to find that most Italians had little care for irredentism or war with Austria. Salandra was forced to resign.

Giolitti and 300 deputies publicly condemned it.


What did King Victor Emmanuel III do in May 1915?

He asked Giolitti to become PM yet he refused because the King was committed to the ToL because of the potential political implications of betraying the Allies, meaning that if Giolitti became PM the King would have to abdicate.


When was Salandra reinstated as PM?

16th May 1915


When was Salandra granted emergency powers over Italy?

20th May 1915


When did Italy declare war on Austria-Hungary?

25th May 1915


What were the main issues during military stalemate in the Alps, 1915-16?

Treacherous weather

Just 11 offensives, 4 of which killed 62,000. Advance of just 10 miles.

Low soldier morale, particularly amongst southerners who weren't usually nationalist so saw o reason for war.

Language barrier: few spoke actual Italian.

Disease on the frontline.


When was Luigi Cadorna Chief of Staff of the Italian Army and why did people hate him?

July 1914 to October 1917

Too autocratic.

Decimation tactics: randomly chose people to kill to instil fear in others.

Allowed low rations of 3,000 kcal per day in 1916: leading to 190,000 hunger-related deaths.

Blamed PSI, Catholics and weakness/cowardice of troops for defeat at Caporetto.


When was Armando Diaz Chief of Staff of the Italian Army and why did people like him?

After October 1917

He improved morale through his reforms:

He increased rations and annual leave, set up a family welfare organisation in December 1917 and promised land to peasants.

Managed to reduce casualties by 55.3% (1917-18) through fewer suicide offensives.


When was Strafsexpedition (Battle of Asiago) and what happened?

Austrians launch a battle in the Trentine Salient as they try to establish a path to Verona and Bologna for invasion.

Defeated yet it reduced morale and saw Salandra's resignation, to be replaced with Paulo Boselli. He was a weak 78 y/o Liberal.


What happened at the Battle of Caporetto?

24th October 1917

10,000 deaths; 30,000 wounded; 300,000 POWs. Saw Vittorio Orlando replacing Boselli and Diaz replacing Cadorna.


What happened at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto?

24th October 1918

AH Empire on the point of collapse so an Italian offensive is launched across the Piave to Vittorio Veneto which splits the Austro-Hungarian army in half. They sign an armistice on 4th November 1918.


How did socialists respond to the war?

Seen as defeatist and anti-Italian because they were the only European socialist group to not support their country's war effort.

"neither support nor sabotage".

Increased political polarisation as a significant force with 25% of votes in 1913.


What was the overall impact of WWI?

600,000 dead
950,000 wounded
250,000 permanently crippled
84.9 billion lire debt. Cost so great it exceeded the sum of Italian government spending over previous 50 years.


How weak was the Italian economy before the war?

Ratios compared to Austria-Hungary...

2.6 million tonnes (AH) to 1 million tonnes (Italy)

12 per battalion (AH) to 2 per battalion (Italy)


What economic growth was seen in Italy during WWI?

Fiat becomes the largest truck and lorry manufacturer in Europe: 25,000 in 1918. Employs 24,000 more Italians during war.

Greater weaponry production than Britain: 20,000 machine guns and 7,000 pieces of heavy artillery.

Established aeronautical industry and produced 6,500 planes in 1918.


Who was Alfred Dallolio and how did he contribute towards Italian economic growth during WWI?

Under-secretariat of arms and munitions.

He created a workforce which was 25% women and 75% shirkers. Those seen as fundamental to industry weren't conscripted.

He ensured worker efficiency through strike bans, longer hours, 25% real wage cuts, and military tribunals for misbehaviour.

He offered advanced payments, cheap loans and profitable contracts to businesses to fund industrial growth whilst ensuring the government didn't intervene, where possible.

Yet there was inequality between industries and north-south. 20% growth in north (1911-21) yet simultaneous decline in south.


What happened in Turin in 1917?

Bread riots in August 1917 in response to rations on bread, pasta, sugar and meat. Led to 50 deaths.

Government responded with increased food provision and propaganda.