Why was Italy politically unstable in the late nineteenth century?
- Politics were monopolised by a small, powerful elite elected by a small percentage of the population
- In Parliament, parties were weak and ineffective
- Large political coalitions were formed, in a system of Transformismo
- The Liberals (most often in power) did not develop a structured party, but were instead a series of personal groupings with no links to political constituencies
- Some radicals wanted reform of the monarchy, and their demands and views weren’t met by the Republican Party or any other group
- The North-South divide and generally limited industry and agriculture caused a gulf in political opinion and ideas
How many men could vote in Italy before 1912?
Only 2 million men could vote in Italy before 1912
Who was Prime Minister of Italy 5 times between 1892 and 1922?
Giovanni Giolitti was Prime Minister 5 times between 1982 and 1922
What year was the railway system nationalised?
The railway system was nationalised in 1905
Which kind of thinkers attacked the inefficiency and poor leadership of the Liberals, and demanded stronger government?
Gabriele D’Annunzio, Marinetti and Croce attacked the corruption and drift of Liberal Society and began to suggest simpler, more extreme models of political action
What year was the Socialist Party founded?
The Socialist Party was founded in 1892
How many seats in Parliament did the Socialist Party have by 1900?
The Socialist Party had 32 seats in Parliament by 1900
What did the Papacy do in fear of the growing support for Socialism?
The Papacy, in response to the growing support for Socialism, relaxed its ban on Catholic involvement in politics. In 1909, 17 Catholic deputies were elected to the Chamber
What was the Pope’s argument against the state?
The Papacy felt Rome had been illegally taken from the Church
Why was there dissatisfaction with the Liberals? (from nationalists….)
There was dissatisfaction at the Liberals inability to build an Empire, particularly from Nationalists, who saw a growth in their party membership
What was Italia irredenta?
Italia irredenta means ‘unredeemed Italy’, and was favoured by Nationalists who believed Italy ought to have more of an empire, in Austro-Hungarian territories like Trentino and Trieste
What territorial gains did Italy make in 1911? (L, D,R)
Nationalists were jubilant at the gain of Libya, Rhodes and the Dodecanese in 1911
Why was there wide-spread rioting and large-scale strikes in 1914, called ‘Red Week’?
There was wide-spread rioting and large-scale strikes in 1914, called ‘Red Week’ against:
- Heavy taxation to support the was in Libya, Rhodes and the Dodecanese
- Giolitti’s aim to absorb the working class into the Liberal system
What effect did Red Week, 1914. (working class riots and strikes) have on the middle and upper classes in Italy?
Red Week, 1914, the striking and rioting of workers in response to Giolitti’s reforms and heavy taxation was fear - it highlighted the problems of unification, ie. inequality between North and South
How did newspapers portray the Liberal government after Red Week, 1914?
Newspapers claimed the government was weak, ineffective and unable to deal with the riots and strikes
What did Nationalists and anti-Socialists want from the government?
Nationalists wanted a more aggressive foreign policy and more military spending, whilst anti-Socialists demanded action to curb the power of the trade unions - they saw the Liberal State as weak
How did universal male suffrage in Italy, 1912, change Italian politics?
Many more workers could vote, and wanted strong policies and their needs met - rise of Socialism
Which Alliance was Italy in, in the years preceding WWI?
Italy sided with Germany in the Austria-Hungary Alliance in the years preceding the war
What side did Italy join WWI on in 1915?
Italy joined the Triple-Entente with Britain, France and Russia in 1915, on the basis that they were promised territories such as Istria, Dalmatia and Tyrol
What Treaty did Italy sign to join the Triple-Entente with France, Russia and Britain?
Italy signed the Treaty of London in 1915 to join the Triple-Entene
What did the Treaty of London promise in return for Italian involvement in the Triple-Entente?
The Treaty of London promised Italy territories of Istria, Dalmatia and Tyrol
What was Italian opinion to joining WWI?
Italian opinion was deeply divided when it came to joining WWI - Giolitti and many Liberals opposed it, whilst Nationalists, radicals and republicans encouraged involvement
How did the Battle of Caporetto, 1917, go for Italy?
The Battle of Caporetto was a humiliating defeat and disaster for Italy
Where was there victory in 1918?
In 1918, the Italians were victorious at Vittorio Veneto
How many Italian casualties were there in WWI?
There were 1.5 million casualties in WWI
What were the consequences of WWI for Italy?
- Humiliation and shame following defeat at Caporetto
- 1.5 million casualties
- Enormous debt following borrowing to fund war
- Inflation and high prices, destroy savings of middle classes
- Poor workers discontent grows, along with it support for the Socialists
- Bitter returning soldiers
- ‘Mutilated victory’ after Italy is not granted all she is promised
- Reinforces idea of weak Liberal government
What was the Fiume Crisis, 1919?
The Fiume Crisis, 1919, was the seizure of Fiume in 1919 by Gabriele D’Annunzio and 2000 followers, who occupied Fiume for over a year
How did the Italian public react to the seizure of Fiume, 1919?
There was great public support for the seizure of Fiueme in 1919
Why did the Government not deal with the incident?
The government was scared to give orders to the military to end the seizure in case they refused, and because the cause was so popular with the Italian people - showing their weakness
How was the Seizure eventually ended?
The Seizure of Fiume 1919 was ended by a compromise with Yugoslavia and Italian military action
What was the effect of the Occupation of Fiume, 1919?
D’Annunzio greatly damaged the Liberal government with his seizure of Fiume - public opinion again saw the Liberals as cowardly and unpatriotic
What did the Liberals introduce in 1919 to try and limit the threat of extremist parties?
The Liberals introduced proportional representation in 1919 to try and reduce the threat of extremist parties
When was the Popular Party (Popolari) founded?
The Popular Party or Poplari was founded in 1919, further challenging the Liberal system
What happened in the 1919 and the 1921 Elections for the Liberals?
The 1919 and 1921 Elections were a disaster for the Liberals and increased political instability - the Socialists and the Popolari became the main parties in the Chamber, and fiercely opposed each other
What was the political situation after the 1919 elections?
Chaos - Liberals tried to form coalitions, but noone could agree, causing great instability
What did Giolitti do after the 1921 elections to try and gain a majority?
After the 1921 elections, Giolitti tried to make an electoral pact with the Fascists, led by Mussolini, but the pact had little effect on results
What effect did the weak, transformismo system of government have on the economy?
The constantly changing governments failed to get to grips with Italy’s economic problems - as military orders decreased post-WWI, large industrial firms went bankrupt
What the major economic difficulties after WWI?
- The rapid demobilisation of over 4 million troops resulted in unemployment figure of 2 million
- Post-war inflation hit, and the lira lost half it’s value
- Rising prices
- Inflation wipes out the savings of the middle classes
- Strikes in the North
- 1920 occupation of factories by workers
- Land on large estates forcibly occupied by returning soldiers
- Bad harvests of 1919 and 1920 lead to rise in Socialist support
How was Italian Society between 1919 and 1921?
Strikes, violence and food riots gave the impression of a society on the edge - land was occupied by soldiers, farms by farm workers and factories by workers, support for Socialism was growing which terrified middle classes
What was much of the violence of the 1919-21 period?
Much violence between 1919 and 1921 was street fighting between Mussolini’s fascists and Communists
How did Fascism gain power with the middle classes?
With the government apparently unable to deal with the threat of Communism, the middle classes began to look to the right - Fascism - to save them
What was Mussolini’s view on the Treaty of Versailles and Occupation of Fiume, 1919?
Mussolini felt the shame and humiliation of Versailles, and was inspired by D’Annunzio’s use of force in the seizure of Fiume
What were the early Fascist ideas, as put forward by Mussolini?
- Abolishing the monarchy
- Confiscating wealth of Church
- Increasing peasant ownership
- Increasing tax on rich
….. very Socialist really
Who supported early Fascism?
- Ex-sevice men
- Middle classes
What did Fascism seem to offer?
- Nationalist pride
- Answer to threat of Communism
Who were the squadristi?
The squadristi were gangs of violent Fascist youths who violently attacked Socialist Labour Leagues and striking workers
Who did the squadristi have the support of?
Large landowners and farmers supported the squadristi, and saw them as protecting their property
What were the local leaders of the Squadristi called?
The local leaders of the Squadristi were the Ras, who were very powerful and had a large following, and often they were more right wing and vicious than Mussolini
What incident highlights the influence of the Ras?
In 1921, Mussolini signed the Pact of Pacification in 1921 with the Socialists, but was pressured to drop it by the Ras
How had Fascism changed by 1921?
Fascism had become more conservative by 1921, opposing Communism and Socialism appealing to middle classes
How did Fascism appeal to the Church and Catholics?
Fascism promoted family values and opposed divorce
How did Giolitti help make the Fascist party more respectable in 1921?
Giolitti included Fascist candidates in his list of government in 1921, making the Fascist party more respectable
What year was the Fascist Party established on a national level?
The Fascist Party was established on an official, national level in 1921
How many members did the Fascist Party have by 1922?
The Fascist Party had 300,000 members by 1922
What policies did the Fascist Party promote?
- Family values
- Stressed the Cult of Personality
- Strong, decisive leadership
How did Fascist violence change in 1922?
Fascist violence increased in 1922
What were Fascists set on in 1922?
Fascists were set on gaining control of towns and villages (hence increasing violence)
What did leading Ras leader Balbo do in 1922?
Balbo used 50,000 unemployed followers to occupy Ferrara and forced the council to set up schemes to give them work
What did Farinacci do in Cremona in 1922?
In Cremona in 1922, Farinacci launched an attack on non-fascists in the town
What role did the squadristi play?
In some areas, the Squadristi were in control, particularly in the North
Who called a strike in 1922?
Socialist trade unions formed an Alliance of Labour, which struck against the growing threat of Fascism
How were those who struck with the Alliance of Labour in 1922 treated by Fascists?
Those who struck in the Alliance of Labour in 1922 were treated violently by Fascist mobs
How did Prime Minister Facta handle the Fascist threat?
Prime Minister Facta did nothing to deal or negotiate with Mussolini or to end the violence
What did Facta’s failure to act encourage Mussolini to do?
Facta’s failure to deal with Mussolini led Mussolini to announce his intention to March on Rome in 1922
What did Mussolini promise the King and the army?
Mussolini assured the King and the army that he didn’t want to change their roles
What did Prime Minister Facta eventually decide to do about the threatened March on Rome?
Prime Minister Facta decided to resist the March in 1922 - he strengthened the Rome garrison and asked the King to declare martial law
What did King Victor Emmanuel do when asked to declare martial law?
King Victor Emmanuel refused to declare martial law
What did Prime Minister Facta do after King Emmanuel refused to declare martial law?
Prime Minister Facta resigned after the King refused to grant martial law to deal with the threat of the March on Rome
What did the King have to do following Prime Minister Facta’s resignation?
King Victor Emmanuel offered Mussolini the role of Prime Minister in 1922 following Facta’s resignation
When did Victor Emmanuel formally ask Mussolini to form a government?
Victor Emmanuel formally asked Mussolini to form government in 1922
What did fascists do after Mussolini was formally asked to form government?
A parade of 70,000 Fascists marched through Rome after Mussolini was asked to form government
Why did the political system break down and allow Mussolini to come to power?
- The weakness of the Liberal State were worsened by the extension of the Franchise and the growth of new parties
- The transformismo system could not cope with these changes
- WWI had massive impacts on Italy:
- Unemployment, inflation, humiliation, debt, increasing violence, growing threat of Communism
- Prime Ministers including Giolitti, Facta, and Salandra failed to effectively deal with Mussolini or stand up to him
- Many influential Italians failed to realise the significance of Mussolini and the uprising, seeing it merely as a development of transformismo