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The Kingdom of Italy
Italy
(Italian: Regno d'Italia) was a state which existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II
King Victor Emmanuel II
of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946—when a constitutional referendum led civil discontent to abandon the monarchy and form the Italian Republic. The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy
Italy
under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state. Italy
Italy
declared war on Austria in alliance with Prussia in 1866 and received the region of Veneto
Veneto
following their victory. Italian troops entered Rome
Rome
in 1870, ending more than one thousand years of Papal temporal power. Italy
Italy
entered into a Triple Alliance with Germany
Germany
and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
in 1882, following strong disagreements with France about the respective colonial expansions. However, even if relations with Berlin
Berlin
became very friendly, the alliance with Vienna
Vienna
remained purely formal as the Italians
Italians
were keen to acquire Trentino
Trentino
and Trieste, corners of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
populated by Italians. So in 1915, Italy
Italy
accepted the British invitation to join the Allied Powers, as the western powers promised territorial compensation (at the expense of Austria-Hungary) for participation that was more generous than Vienna's offer in exchange for Italian neutrality. Victory in the war gave Italy
Italy
a permanent seat in the Council of the League of Nations. "Fascist Italy" is the era of National Fascist Party
National Fascist Party
government from 1922 to 1943 with Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
as head of government. The fascists imposed totalitarian rule and crushed the political and intellectual opposition, while promoting economic modernization, traditional social values and a rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church. According to Payne (1996), "[the] Fascist government passed through several relatively distinct phases". The first phase (1923–1925) was nominally a continuation of the parliamentary system, albeit with a "legally-organized executive dictatorship". Then came the second phase, "the construction of the Fascist dictatorship proper, from 1925 to 1929". The third phase, with less activism, was 1929 to 1934. The fourth phase, 1935–1940, was characterized by an aggressive foreign policy: war against Ethiopia, which was launched from Eritrea
Eritrea
and Italian Somaliland;[3] confrontations with the League of Nations, leading to sanctions; growing economic autarky; and the signing of the Pact of Steel. The war itself (1940–1943) was the fifth phase with its disasters and defeats, while the rump Salò
Salò
Government under German control was the final stage (1943–1945).[4] Italy
Italy
was an important member of the Axis powers
Axis powers
in World War II, until it switched sides to the Allies in September 1943 after ousting Mussolini and shutting down the Fascist Party in areas (south of Rome) controlled by the Allied invaders. The remnant fascist state in northern Italy
Italy
that continued fighting against the Allies was a puppet state of Germany, the Italian Social Republic, still led by Mussolini and his Fascist loyalists. Shortly after the war, civil discontent led to the constitutional referendum of 1946 on whether Italy
Italy
would remain a monarchy or become a republic. Italians
Italians
decided to abandon the monarchy and form the Italian Republic, the present-day Italian state.

Contents

1 Overview

1.1 Territory 1.2 Government 1.3 Monarchs 1.4 Military structure

2 Unification process (1848–1870)

2.1 Unifying multiple bureaucracies 2.2 Culture and society 2.3 Economy 2.4 "Il Mezzogiorno" (Southern Italy)

3 Liberal era of politics (1870–1914)

3.1 Agostino Depretis 3.2 Franncesco Crispi 3.3 Colonialism 3.4 Giovanni Giolitti

4 World War I
World War I
and the failure of the liberal state (1915–1922)

4.1 Prelude to war and internal dilemma 4.2 Italy's war effort 4.3 Italy's territorial settlements and the reaction

5 Fascist regime (1922–1943)

5.1 Mussolini in war and postwar 5.2 March on Rome 5.3 World War II
World War II
and the fall of Fascism

6 Civil war (1943–1945) 7 End of the Kingdom of Italy

7.1 Italian constitutional referendum (1946)

8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading

11.1 Historiography 11.2 Primary sources

12 External links

Overview[edit] Territory[edit]

Map of the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
at its greatest extent in 1943

The Kingdom of Italy
Italy
claimed all of the territory which covers present-day Italy
Italy
and even more. The development of the Kingdom's territory progressed under Italian re-unification
Italian re-unification
until 1870. The state for a long period of time did not include Trieste
Trieste
or Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, which are Italian territories today and only annexed them in 1919. The Triple Entente
Triple Entente
promised to grant to Italy
Italy
– if the state joined the Allies in World War I
World War I
– several territories including former Austrian Littoral, western parts of former Duchy of Carniola, Northern Dalmazia and notably Zara, Sebenico and most of the Dalmatian islands (except Krk
Krk
and Rab), according to the secret London Pact
London Pact
of 1915.[5] After the compromise was nullified under pressure of President Woodrow Wilson with the Treaty of Versailles, Italian claims on Northern Dalmazia were voided. During World War II, the Kingdom gained additional territory: it gained Corsica, Nizza and Savoia from France after its surrender in 1940, territory in Slovenia
Slovenia
and Dalmazia from Yugoslavia after its breakup in 1941 and Monaco
Monaco
in 1942. After World War II, the borders of present-day Italy
Italy
were founded and the Kingdom abandoned its land claims.[6] The Italian Empire
Italian Empire
also gained territory until the end of World War II through colonies, protectorates, military occupations and puppet states. These included Eritrea, Italian Somaliland, Libya, Ethiopia (occupied by Italy
Italy
from 1936 to 1941), Albania, British Somaliland, Greece
Greece
(occupied in World War II), Tunisia, Croatia
Croatia
(Italian and German client state in World War II), Kosovo
Kosovo
(occupied in World War II), Montenegro
Montenegro
(occupied in World War II) and a 46-hectare concession from China
China
in Tientsin (see Italian concession in Tianjin).[7] Government[edit] The Kingdom of Italy
Italy
was theoretically a constitutional monarchy. Executive power belonged to the monarch, as executed through appointed ministers. Two chambers of parliament restricted the monarch's power—an appointive Senate and an elective Chamber of Deputies. The kingdom's constitution was the Statuto Albertino, the former governing document of the Kingdom of Sardinia. In theory, ministers were solely responsible to the king. However, in practice it was impossible for an Italian government to stay in office without the support of Parliament. Members of the Chamber of Deputies were elected by plurality voting system elections in uninominal districts. A candidate needed the support of 50% of those voting and of 25% of all enrolled voters to be elected on the first round of balloting. If not all seats were filled on the first ballot, a runoff was held shortly afterwards for the remaining vacancies. After a brief multinominal experimentation in 1882, proportional representation into large, regional, multi-seat electoral constituencies was introduced after World War I. Socialists became the major party, but they were unable to form a government in a parliament split into three different factions, with Christian populists and classical liberals. Elections took place in 1919, 1921 and 1924: in this last occasion, Mussolini abolished the proportional representation replacing it with a block voting system on national bases, which gave to the Fascist Party the absolute majority of the Chamber seats. Between 1925 and 1943, Italy
Italy
was quasi-de jure Fascist dictatorship, as the constitution formally remained in effect without alteration by the Fascists, though the monarchy also formally accepted Fascist policies and Fascist institutions. Changes in politics occurred, consisting of the establishment of the Grand Council of Fascism
Grand Council of Fascism
as a government body in 1928, which took control of the government system, as well as the Chamber of Deputies being replaced with the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations as of 1939. Monarchs[edit] The monarchs of the House of Savoy
Savoy
who led Italy
Italy
were:

Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
(1861–1878) – former King of Sardinia
King of Sardinia
and first king of united Italy Umberto I (1878–1900) – approved the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, assassinated in 1900 by the anarchist Gaetano Bresci Victor Emmanuel III
Victor Emmanuel III
(1900–1946) – King of Italy
Italy
during the First World War and during the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini Umberto II
Umberto II
(1946) – the last King of Italy
Italy
who was pressured to call a referendum on whether Italy
Italy
would retain the monarchy, but Italians voted to become a republic instead of a constitutional monarchy

Military structure[edit]

King of Italy
Italy
– supreme commander of the Italian Royal Army, Navy and later Air Force from 1861 to 1938 and 1943 to 1946 First Marshal of the Empire
First Marshal of the Empire
– supreme commander of the Italian Royal Army, Air Force, Navy and the Voluntary Militia for National Security from 1938 to 1943 during the Fascist era, held by both Victor Emmanuel III and Benito Mussolini Regio Esercito (Royal Army) Regia Marina
Regia Marina
(Royal Navy) Regia Aeronautica
Regia Aeronautica
(Royal Air Force) Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale (Voluntary Militia for National Security also known as the "Blackshirts") – militia loyal to Mussolini during the Fascist era, abolished in 1943

Unification process (1848–1870)[edit] Main article: Italian Unification

Italian unification
Italian unification
process between 1815 and 1870

The creation of the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
was the result of concerted efforts of Italian nationalists and monarchists loyal to the House of Savoy
Savoy
to establish a united kingdom encompassing the entire Italian Peninsula. After the Revolutions of 1848, the apparent leader of the Italian unification movement was Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi, renowned for his extremely loyal followers.[8] Garibaldi led the Italian republican drive for unification in Southern Italy, but the Northern Italy
Northern Italy
monarchy of the House of Savoy
Savoy
in the Kingdom of Sardinia, a state with an important Italian population, whose government was led by Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, also had ambitions of establishing a united Italian state. Though the Kingdom had no physical connection to Rome
Rome
(seen by all as the natural capital of Italy, but still capital of the Papal States), the Kingdom had successfully challenged Austria in the Second Italian War of Independence, liberating Lombardy-Venetia from Austrian rule. The Kingdom also had established important alliances which helped it improve the possibility of Italian unification, such as with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and France
France
in the Crimean War. Sardinia was dependent on French protection and in 1860 Sardinia was forced to cede territory to France
France
to maintain relations, including Garibaldi's birthplace, Nizza.

Count Camillo Benso of Cavour, the first Prime Minister of the unified Italy

Cavour moved to challenge republican unification efforts by Garibaldi by organizing popular revolts in the Papal States
Papal States
and used these revolts as a pretext to invade the country, even though the invasion angered the Roman Catholics, whom he told that the invasion was an effort to protect the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
from the anti-clerical secularist nationalist republicans of Garibaldi. Only a small portion of the Papal States
Papal States
around Rome
Rome
remained in the control of Pope
Pope
Pius IX.[9] Despite their differences, Cavour agreed to include Garibaldi's Southern Italy
Southern Italy
allowing it to join the union with the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1860. Subsequently, the Parliament declared the creation of the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
on 18 February 1861 (officially proclaiming it on 17 March 1861)[10] composed of both Northern Italy
Northern Italy
and Southern Italy. King Victor Emmanuel II
King Victor Emmanuel II
of Savoy
Savoy
was then declared King of Italy, though he did not renumber himself with the assumption of the new title. This title had been out of use since the abdication of Napoleon I of France
France
on 6 April 1814.

Victor Emmanuel II, the first King of the united Italy

Following the unification of most of Italy, tensions between the royalists and republicans erupted. In April 1861, Garibaldi entered the Italian parliament and challenged Cavour's leadership of the government, accusing him of dividing Italy
Italy
and spoke of the threat of civil war between the Kingdom in the North and Garibaldi's forces in the South. On 6 June 1861, the Kingdom's strongman Cavour died. During the ensuing political instability, Garibaldi and the republicans became increasingly revolutionary in tone. Garibaldi's arrest in 1862 set off worldwide controversy.[11]

Giuseppe Garibaldi, major military leader during the Italian unification

In 1866, Otto von Bismarck, Minister President of Prussia, offered Victor Emmanuel II
Victor Emmanuel II
an alliance with the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
in the Austro-Prussian War. In exchange, Prussia would allow Italy
Italy
to annex Austrian-controlled Veneto. King Emmanuel agreed to the alliance and the Third Italian War of Independence
Third Italian War of Independence
began. Italy
Italy
fared poorly in the war with a badly-organized military against Austria, but Prussia's victory allowed Italy
Italy
to annex Veneto. At this point, one major obstacle to Italian unity remained: Rome. In 1870, Prussia went to war with France, igniting the Franco-Prussian War. To keep the large Prussian Army
Prussian Army
at bay, France
France
abandoned its positions in Rome
Rome
– which protected the remnants of the Papal States and Pius IX – in order to fight the Prussians. Italy
Italy
benefited from Prussia's victory against France
France
by being able to take over the Papal States from French authority. Rome
Rome
was captured by the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
after several battles and guerilla-like warfare by Papal Zouaves and official troops of the Holy See
Holy See
against the Italian invaders. Italian unification
Italian unification
was completed and shortly afterward Italy's capital was moved to Rome. Economic conditions in the united Italy were poor.[12] There were no industry or transportation facilities, extreme poverty (especially in the "Mezzogiorno"), high illiteracy and only a small percent of wealthy Italians
Italians
had the right to vote. The unification movement had largely been dependent on the support of foreign powers and remained so afterwards. Following the capture of Rome
Rome
in 1870 from French forces of Napoleon III, Papal troops and Zouaves, relations between Italy
Italy
and the Vatican remained sour for the next sixty years with the Popes declaring themselves to be prisoners in the Vatican. The Roman Catholic Church frequently protested the actions of the secular and anticlerical-influenced Italian governments, refused to meet with envoys from the King and urged Roman Catholics not to vote in Italian elections.[13] It would not be until 1929 that positive relations would be restored between the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
and the Vatican after the signing of the Lateran Pacts. Unifying multiple bureaucracies[edit] A major challenge for the prime ministers of the new Kingdom of Italy was integrating the political and administrative systems of the seven different major components into a unified set of policies. The different regions were proud of their own historic patterns and could not easily be fitted into the Sardinian model. Cavour started the planning, but died before it was fully developed—indeed, the challenges of administration the various bureaucracies are thought to have hastened his death. The easiest challenge was to harmonize the administrative bureaucracies of Italy's regions. They practically all followed the Napoleonic precedent, so harmonization was straightforward. The second challenge was to develop a parliamentary system. Cavour and most liberals up and down the peninsula highly admired the British system, so it became the model for Italy
Italy
to this day. Harmonizing the Army and Navy were much more complex, chiefly because the systems of recruiting soldiers and selecting and promoting officers were so different and needed to be grandfathered in over decades. The disorganization helps explain why the Italian naval record in the 1866 war was so abysmal. The military system was slowly integrated over several decades. The multiple educational system likewise proved complicated for there were few common elements. Shortly before his death, Cavour appointed Francisco De Sanctus as minister of education. De Sanctus was an eminent scholar from the University of Naples
Naples
who proved an able and patient administrator. The addition of Veneto
Veneto
in 1866 and Rome
Rome
in 1870 further complicated the challenges of bureaucratic coordination.[14] Culture and society[edit] Italian society after unification and throughout most of the Liberal Period was sharply divided along class, linguistic, regional and social lines.[15] The North-South divide is still present to this day. On 20 September 1870, the military forces of the King of Italy overthrew what little was left of the Papal States, capturing in particular the city of Rome. The following year, the capital was moved from Florence
Florence
to Rome. For the next 59 years after 1870, the Church denied the legitimacy of the Italian King's dominion in Rome, which it claimed rightfully belonged to the Papal States. In 1929, the dispute was settled by the Lateran Treaty, in which the King recognized Vatican City
Vatican City
as an independent state and paid a large sum of money to compensate the Church for the loss of the Papal States. Liberal governments generally followed a policy of limiting the role of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
and its clergy as the state confiscated church lands.[16] Similar policies were supported by such anticlerical and secular movements as republicanism, socialism, anarchism,[17] Freemasonry,[18] Lazzarettism[19] and Protestantism. Common cultural traits in Italy
Italy
in this time were social conservative in nature, including a strong belief in the family as an institution and patriarchal values. In other areas, Italian culture was divided: aristocrats and upper middle class families in Italy
Italy
at this time were highly traditional in nature and they emphasized honor above all, with challenges to honor ending in duels. After unification, a number of descendents of former royal nobility became residents of Italy, comprising 7,400 noble families. Many wealthy landowners maintained a feudal-like tight control over "their" peasants. Italian society in this period remained highly divided along regional and local sub-societies which often had historical rivalries with each other.[20] In 1860, Italy
Italy
lacked a single national language: toscano (Tuscan), which is what we now know as Italian, was only used as a literary language and in Tuscany, while outside other languages were dominant. Even the kingdom's first king, Victor Emmanuel II, was known to speak almost entirely in Piedmontese[citation needed] and French, even to his cabinet ministers. Illiteracy was high, with the 1871 census indicating that 61.9 % of Italian men were illiterate and 75.7 % of Italian women were illiterate. This illiteracy rate was far higher than that of western European countries in the same time period and also no national popular press was possible due to the multiplicity of regional languages.[21] Italy
Italy
had very few public schools upon unification, so the Italian government in the Liberal Period attempted to increase literacy by establishing state-funded schools to teach the official Italian language.[22] Living standards were low during the Liberal Period, especially in southern Italy, due to various diseases such as malaria and epidemics that occurred during the period. As a whole, there was initially a high death rate in 1871 at 30 people dying per 1,000 people, though this reduced to 24.2 per 1,000 by the 1890s. In addition, the mortality rate of children dying in their first year after birth in 1871 was 22.7 percent while the number of children dying before reaching their fifth birthday was very high at 50 percent. The mortality rate of children dying in their first year after birth decreased to an average of 17.6 percent in the time period of 1891 to 1900.[23] Economy[edit] In terms of the entire period, Giovanni Federico has argued that Italy was not economically backward, for there was substantial development at various times between 1860 and 1940. Unlike most modern nations that relied on large corporations, industrial growth in Italy
Italy
was a product of the entrepreneurial efforts of small, family-owned firms that succeeded in a local competitive environment.[24] Political unification did not systematically bring economic integration, as Italy
Italy
faced serious economic problems and economic division along political, social and regional lines. In the Liberal Period, Italy
Italy
remained highly economically dependent on foreign trade and the international price of coal and grain.[25] Upon unifying, Italy
Italy
had a predominantly agrarian society as 60% of the active population worked in agriculture. Advances in technology, the sale of vast Church estates, foreign competition along with export opportunities rapidly transformed the agricultural sector in Italy shortly after unification. However, these developments did not benefit all of Italy
Italy
in this period, as southern Italy's agriculture suffered from hot summers and aridity damaged crops while the presence of malaria prevented cultivation of low-lying areas along Italy's Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
coast.[26] The overwhelming attention paid to foreign policy alienated the agricultural community in Italy
Italy
which had been in decline since 1873. Both radical and conservative forces in the Italian parliament demanded that the government investigate how to improve agriculture in Italy. The investigation, which started in 1877 and was released eight years later, showed that agriculture was not improving, that landowners were earning revenue from their lands and contributing almost nothing to the development of the land. Lower class Italians were hurt by the break-up of communal lands to the benefit of landlords. Most of the workers on the agricultural lands were not peasants, but short-term laborers ("braccianti") who at best were employed for one year. Peasants without stable income were forced to live off of meager food supplies, disease was spreading rapidly and plagues were reported, including a major cholera epidemic which killed at least 55,000 people.[27]

A factory machinery exposition in Torino, set in 1898, during the period of early industrialization, National Exhibition of Torino, 1898

The Italian government could not deal with the situation effectively because of overspending that left Italy
Italy
heavily in debt. Italy
Italy
also suffered economically as a consequence of overproduction of grapes by their vineyards. In the 1870s and 1880s, France's vineyard industry was suffering from vine disease caused by insects. Italy
Italy
prospered as the largest exporter of wine in Europe, but following the recovery of France
France
in 1888 Southern Italy
Southern Italy
was overproducing and had to cut back, which caused greater unemployment and bankruptcies.[28] The Italian government invested heavily in developing railways in the 1870s, more than doubling the existing length of railway line between 1870 and 1890.[25] "Il Mezzogiorno" (Southern Italy)[edit] Italy's population remained severely divided between wealthy elites and impoverished workers, especially in the South. An 1881 census found that over 1 million southern day-laborers were chronically under-employed and were very likely to become seasonal emigrants in order to economically sustain themselves.[29] Southern peasants as well as small landowners and tenants often were in a state of conflict and revolt throughout the late 19th century.[30] There were exceptions to the generally poor economic condition of agricultural workers of the South, as some regions near cities such as Naples
Naples
and Palermo
Palermo
as well as along the Tyrrhenian Sea
Tyrrhenian Sea
coast.[29] From the 1870s onward, intellectuals, scholars and politicians examined the economic and social conditions of Southern Italy
Southern Italy
("Il Mezzogiorno"), a movement known as meridionalismo ("Meridionalism"). For example, the 1910 Commission of Inquiry into the South indicated that the Italian government thus far had failed to ameliorate the severe economic differences and the limitation of voting rights only to those with sufficient property allowed rich landowners to exploit the poor.[31] Liberal era of politics (1870–1914)[edit]

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
in Milano was an architectural work created by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877 and named after the first King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II

After unification, Italy's politics favored liberalism:[a] the liberal-conservative right (destra storica or Historical Right) was regionally fragmented[b] and liberal-conservative Prime Minister Marco Minghetti only held on to power by enacting revolutionary and left-leaning policies (such as the nationalization of railways) to appease the opposition. Agostino Depretis[edit] In 1876, Minghetti was ousted and replaced by liberal Agostino Depretis, who began the long Liberal Period. The Liberal Period was marked by corruption, government instability, continued poverty in Southern Italy
Southern Italy
and use of authoritarian measures by the Italian government. Depretis began his term as Prime Minister by initiating an experimental political notion known as trasformismo ("transformism"). The theory of trasformismo was that a cabinet should select a variety of moderates and capable politicians from a non-partisan perspective. In practice, trasformismo was authoritarian and corrupt as Depretis pressured districts to vote for his candidates, if they wished to gain favourable concessions from Depretis when in power. The results of the Italian general election of 1876 resulted in only four representatives from the right being elected, allowing the government to be dominated by Depretis. Despotic and corrupt actions are believed to be the key means in which Depretis managed to keep support in Southern Italy. Depretis put through authoritarian measures, such as banning public meetings, placing "dangerous" individuals in internal exile on remote penal islands across Italy
Italy
and adopting militarist policies. Depretis enacted controversial legislation for the time, such as abolishing arrest for debt, making elementary education free and compulsory while ending compulsory religious teaching in elementary schools.[32]

The Triple Alliance in 1913, shown in red

In 1887, Francesco Crispi
Francesco Crispi
became Prime Minister and began focusing government efforts on foreign policy. Crispi worked to build Italy
Italy
as a great world power through increased military expenditures, advocacy of expansionism[33] and trying to win the favor of Germany. Italy joined the Triple Alliance which included both Germany
Germany
and Austria–Hungary
Austria–Hungary
in 1882 and which remained officially intact until 1915. While helping Italy
Italy
develop strategically, he continued trasformismo and became authoritarian, once suggesting the use of martial law to ban opposition parties.[34] Despite being authoritarian, Crispi put through liberal policies such as the Public Health Act of 1888 and establishing tribunals for redress against abuses by the government.[35] Franncesco Crispi[edit] Francesco Crispi
Francesco Crispi
was Prime Minister for a total of six years, from 1887 until 1891 and again from 1893 until 1896. Historian R.J.B. Bosworth says of his foreign policy:

Crispi pursued policies whose openly aggressive character would not be equaled until the days of the Fascist regime. Crispi increased military expenditure, talked cheerfully of a European conflagration, and alarmed his German or British friends with this suggestions of preventative attacks on his enemies. His policies were ruinous, both for Italy's trade with France, and, more humiliatingly, for colonial ambitions in Eastern Africa. Crispi's lust for territory there was thwarted when on 1 March 1896, the armies of Ethiopian Emperor Menelik routed Italian forces at Adowa...an unparalleled disaster for a modern army. Crispi, whose private life (he was perhaps a trigamist) and personal finances...were objects of perennial scandal, went into dishonorable retirement.[36]

Crispi greatly admired the United Kingdom, but was unable to get British assistance for his aggressive foreign policy and turned instead to Germany.[37] Crispi also enlarged the army and navy and advocated expansionism as he sought Germany's favor by joining the Triple Alliance which included both Germany
Germany
and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
in 1882. It remained officially intact until 1915 and prevented hostilities between Italy
Italy
and Austria, which controlled border regions that Italy
Italy
claimed.

Original Coat of Arms

Colonialism[edit] Main articles: Italian Empire, Italian Eritrea, and Treaty of Addis Ababa

Francesco Crispi
Francesco Crispi
promoted the Italian colonialism in Africa
Africa
in the late 19th century, but the humiliating defeat at Adwa brought about his resignation

In the late 19th and early 20th century, Italy
Italy
emulated the Great Powers in acquiring colonies, especially in the scramble to take control of Africa
Africa
that took place in the 1870s. Italy
Italy
was weak in military and economic resources in comparison with Britain, France
France
and Germany, but it proved difficult due to popular resistance and it was unprofitable due to heavy military costs and the lesser economic value of spheres of influence remaining when Italy
Italy
began to colonize. Britain was eager to block French influence and assisted Italy
Italy
in gaining territory of the Red Sea.[38] A number of colonial projects were undertaken by the government. These were done to gain support of Italian nationalists and imperialists, who wanted to rebuild a Roman Empire. Italy
Italy
had already large settlements in Alexandria, Cairo
Cairo
and Tunis. Italy
Italy
first attempted to gain colonies through negotiations with other world powers to make colonial concessions, but these negotiations failed. Italy
Italy
also sent missionaries to uncolonized lands to investigate the potential for Italian colonization. The most promising and realistic of these were parts of Africa. Italian missionaries had already established a foothold at Massawa
Massawa
(in present-day Eritrea) in the 1830s and had entered deep into the Ethiopian Empire.[39] The beginning of colonialism came in 1885, shortly after the fall of Egyptian rule in Khartoum, when Italy
Italy
landed soldiers at Massawa
Massawa
in East Africa. In 1888, Italy
Italy
annexed Massawa
Massawa
by force, creating the colony of Italian Eritrea. The Eritrean ports of Massawa
Massawa
and Assab handled trade with Italy
Italy
and Ethiopia. The trade was promoted by the low duties paid on Italian trade. Italy
Italy
exported manufactured products and imported coffee, beeswax and hides.[40] In 1895, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
led by Emperor Menelik II abandoned an agreement signed in 1889 to follow Italian foreign policy and Italy
Italy
used this renunciation as a reason to invade Ethiopia.[41] Ethiopia
Ethiopia
gained the help of the Russian Empire, whose own interests in East Africa
Africa
led the government of Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II of Russia
to send large amounts of modern weaponry to the Ethiopians to hold back an Italian invasion. In response, Britain decided to back the Italians
Italians
to challenge Russian influence in Africa
Africa
and declared that all of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
was within the sphere of Italian interest. On the verge of war, Italian militarism and nationalism reached a peak, with Italians
Italians
flocking to the Royal Italian Army, hoping to take part in the upcoming war.[42] The Italian army failed on the battlefield and were overwhelmed by a huge Ethiopian army at the Battle of Adwa. At that point, the Italian invasion force was forced to retreat into Eritrea. The failed Ethiopian campaign was an international embarrassment to Italy, as it was one of the few major military victories scored by the Africans against an imperial power at this time.[43]

Italian mounted infantry in China
China
during the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
in 1900

From 2 November 1899 to 7 September 1901, Italy
Italy
participated as part of the Eight-Nation Alliance
Eight-Nation Alliance
forces during the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
in China. On 7 September 1901, a concession in Tientsin was ceded to the Italy
Italy
by the Qing Dynasty. On 7 June 1902, the concession was taken into Italian possession and administered by an Italian consul. In 1911, Italy
Italy
declared war on the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and invaded Tripolitania, Fezzan
Fezzan
and Cyrenaica. These provinces together formed what became known as Libya. The war ended only one year later, but the occupation resulted in acts of discrimination against Libyans such as the forced deportation of Libyans to the Tremiti Islands
Tremiti Islands
in October 1911. By 1912, one third of these Libyan refugees had died from a lack of food and shelter.[44] The annexation of Libya
Libya
led nationalists to advocate Italian domination of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
by occupying Greece
Greece
and the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
coastal region of Dalmazia.[45]

Italian dirigibles bomb Turkish positions in Libya, as the Italo-Turkish War
Italo-Turkish War
of 1911–1912 was the first in history in which air attacks (carried out here by dirigible airships) determined the outcome.

Giovanni Giolitti[edit]

Giovanni Giolitti
Giovanni Giolitti
was Prime Minister of Italy
Prime Minister of Italy
five times between 1892 and 1921

In 1892, Giovanni Giolitti
Giovanni Giolitti
became Prime Minister of Italy
Prime Minister of Italy
for his first term. Although his first government quickly collapsed one year later, Giolitti returned in 1903 to lead Italy's government during a fragmented period that lasted until 1914. Giolitti had spent his earlier life as a civil servant and then took positions within the cabinets of Crispi. Giolitti was the first long-term Italian Prime Minister in many years because he mastered the political concept of trasformismo by manipulating, coercing and bribing officials to his side. In elections during Giolitti's government voting fraud was common and Giolitti helped improve voting only in well-off, more supportive areas, while attempting to isolate and intimidate poor areas where opposition was strong.[46] Southern Italy
Southern Italy
was in terrible shape prior to and during Giolitti's tenure as Prime Minister: four-fifths of southern Italians
Italians
were illiterate and the dire situation there ranged from problems of large numbers of absentee landlords to rebellion and even starvation.[47] Corruption was such a large problem that Giolitti himself admitted that there were places "where the law does not operate at all".[48] In 1911, Giolitti's government sent forces to occupy Libya. While the success of the Libyan War improved the status of the nationalists, it did not help Giolitti's administration as a whole. The government attempted to discourage criticism by speaking about Italy's strategic achievements and inventiveness of their military in the war: Italy
Italy
was the first country to use the airship for military purposes and undertook aerial bombing on the Ottoman forces.[49] The war radicalized the Italian Socialist
Socialist
Party: anti-war revolutionaries led by future-Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
called for violence to bring down the government. Giolitti returned as Prime Minister only briefly in 1920, but the era of liberalism was effectively over in Italy. The 1913 and 1919 elections saw gains made by Socialist, Catholic and nationalist parties at the expense of the traditionally dominant Liberals and Radicals, who were increasingly fractured and weakened as a result. World War I
World War I
and the failure of the liberal state (1915–1922)[edit] Prelude to war and internal dilemma[edit] In the lead-up to World War I, the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
faced a number of short-term and long-term problems in determining its allies and objectives. Italy's recent success in occupying Libya
Libya
as a result of the Italo-Turkish War
Italo-Turkish War
had sparked tension with its Triple Alliance allies, the German Empire
German Empire
and Austria-Hungary, because both countries had been seeking closer relations with the Ottoman Empire. In Munich, Germans reacted to Italy's aggression by singing anti-Italian songs.[50] Italy's relations with France
France
were also in bad shape: France
France
felt betrayed by Italy's support of Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War, opening the possibility of war erupting between the two countries.[51] Italy's relations with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
had also been impaired by constant Italian demands for more recognition in the international stage following the occupation of Libya
Libya
and its demands that other nations accept its spheres of influence in Eastern Africa
Africa
and the Mediterranean Sea.[52]

Italy
Italy
and its colonial possessions at the time of the outbreak of World War I: the area between British Egypt
Egypt
and the firmly held Italian territories is the region of southern Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica
which was under dispute of ownership between Italy
Italy
and the United Kingdom

In the Mediterranean Sea, Italy's relations with the Kingdom of Greece were aggravated when Italy
Italy
occupied the Greek-populated Dodecanese Islands, including Rhodes, from 1912 to 1914. These islands had been formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire. Italy
Italy
and Greece
Greece
were also in open rivalry over the desire to occupy Albania.[53] King Victor Emmanuel III himself was uneasy about Italy
Italy
pursuing distant colonial adventures and said that Italy
Italy
should prepare to take back Italian-populated land from Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
as the "completion of the Risorgimento".[54] This idea put Italy
Italy
at odds with Austria-Hungary. A major hindrance to Italy's decision on what to do about the war was the political instability throughout Italy
Italy
in 1914. After the formation of the government of Prime Minister Antonio Salandra
Antonio Salandra
in March 1914, the government attempted to win the support of nationalists and moved to the political right.[55] At the same time, the left became more repulsed by the government after the killing of three anti-militarist demonstrators in June.[55] Many elements of the left including syndicalists, republicans and anarchists protested against this and the Italian Socialist
Socialist
Party declared a general strike in Italy.[56] The protests that ensued became known as "Red Week" as leftists rioted and various acts of civil disobedience occurred in major cities and small towns such as seizing railway stations, cutting telephone wires and burning tax-registers.[55] However, only two days later the strike was officially called off, though the civil strife continued. Militarist nationalists and anti-militarist leftists fought on the streets until the Italian Royal Army forcefully restored calm after having used thousands of men to put down the various protesting forces.[55] Following the invasion of Serbia by Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
in 1914, World War I
World War I
broke out. Despite Italy's official alliance to Germany
Germany
and membership in the Triple Alliance, the Kingdom of Italy initially remained neutral, claiming that the Triple Alliance was only for defensive purposes.

Gabriele D'Annunzio, national poet (vate) of Italy
Italy
and a prominent nationalist revolutionary who was a supporter of Italy
Italy
joining action in World War I

In Italy, society was divided over the war: Italian socialists generally opposed the war and supported pacificism, while nationalists militantly supported the war. Long-time nationalists Gabriele D'Annunzio and Luigi Federzoni
Luigi Federzoni
and an obscure Marxist journalist and new convert to nationalist sentiment, future Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, demanded that Italy
Italy
join the war. For nationalists, Italy had to maintain its alliance with the Central Powers
Central Powers
in order to gain colonial territories at the expense of France. For the liberals, the war presented Italy
Italy
a long-awaited opportunity to use an alliance with the Entente to gain certain Italian-populated and other territories from Austria-Hungary, which had long been part of Italian patriotic aims since unification. In 1915, relatives of Italian revolutionary and republican hero Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
died on the battlefield of France, where they had volunteered to fight. Federzoni used the memorial services to declare the importance of Italy
Italy
joining the war and to warn the monarchy of the consequences of continued disunity in Italy
Italy
if it did not:

Italy
Italy
has awaited this since 1866 her truly national war, in order to feel unified at last, renewed by the unanimous action and identical sacrifice of all her sons. Today, while Italy
Italy
still wavers before the necessity imposed by history, the name of Garibaldi, resanctified by blood, rises again to warn her that she will not be able to defeat the revolution save by fighting and winning her national war. — Luigi Federzoni, 1915[57]

Mussolini used his new newspaper Il Popolo d'Italia
Il Popolo d'Italia
and his strong oratorical skills to urge nationalists and patriotic revolutionary leftists to support Italy's entry into the war to gain back Italian populated territories from Austria-Hungary, by saying "enough of Libya, and on to Trento
Trento
and Trieste".[57] Mussolini claimed that it was in the interests of socialists to join the war to tear down the aristocratic Hohenzollern
Hohenzollern
dynasty of Germany
Germany
which he claimed was the enemy of all European workers.[58] Mussolini and other nationalists warned the Italian government that Italy
Italy
must join the war or face revolution and called for violence against pacifists and neutralists.[59] Left-wing nationalism
Left-wing nationalism
also erupted in Southern Italy as socialist and nationalist Giuseppe De Felice Giuffrida
Giuseppe De Felice Giuffrida
saw joining the war as essential to relieving southern Italy
Italy
of the rising cost of bread which had caused riots in the south, and advocated a "war of revolution".[60] With nationalist sentiment firmly on the side of reclaiming Italian territories of Austria-Hungary, Italy
Italy
entered negotiations with the Triple Entente. The negotiations ended successfully in April 1915 when the London Pact
London Pact
was brokered with the Italian government. The pact ensured Italy
Italy
the right to attain all Italian-populated lands it wanted from Austria-Hungary, as well as concessions in the Balkan Peninsula and suitable compensation for any territory gained by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and France
France
from Germany
Germany
in Africa.[5] The proposal fulfilled the desires of Italian nationalists and Italian imperialism and was agreed to. Italy
Italy
joined the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
in its war against Austria-Hungary. The reaction in Italy
Italy
was divided: former Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti was furious over Italy's decision to go to war against its former allies, Germany
Germany
and Austria-Hungary. Giolitti claimed that Italy
Italy
would fail in the war, predicting high numbers of mutinies, Austro-Hungarian occupation of even more Italian territory and that the failure would produce a catastrophic rebellion that would destroy the liberal-democratic monarchy and the liberal-democratic secular institutions of the state.[61] Italy's war effort[edit]

Generalissimo
Generalissimo
Luigi Cadorna, (the man to the left of two officers to whom he is speaking) while visiting British batteries during World War I

The outset of the campaign against Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
looked to initially favor Italy: Austria-Hungary's army was spread to cover its fronts with Serbia and Russia and Italy
Italy
had a numerical superiority against the Austro-Hungarian Army. However, this advantage was never fully utilized because Italian military commander Luigi Cadorna
Luigi Cadorna
insisted on a dangerous frontal assault against Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
in an attempt to occupy the Slovenian plateau and Ljubljana. This assault would put the Italian army not far away from Austria-Hungary's imperial capital, Vienna. After eleven failed offensives with enormous loss of life, the Italian campaign to take Vienna
Vienna
collapsed. Upon entering the war, geography was also a difficulty for Italy
Italy
as its border with Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
was along mountainous terrain. In May 1915, Italian forces at 400,000 men along the border outnumbered the Austrian and Germans almost precisely four to one.[62] However, the Austrian defenses were strong even though they were undermanned and managed to hold off the Italian offensive.[63] The battles with the Austro-Hungarian Army
Austro-Hungarian Army
along the Alpine foothills
Alpine foothills
in the trench warfare there were drawn-out, long engagements with little progress.[64] Italian officers were poorly trained in contrast to the Austro-Hungarian and German armies, Italian artillery was inferior to the Austrian machine guns and the Italian forces had dangerously low supply of ammunition—this shortage would continually hamper attempts to make advances into Austrian territory.[63] This combined with the constant replacement of officers by Cadorna resulted in few officers gaining the experience necessary to lead military missions.[65] In the first year of the war, poor conditions on the battlefield led to outbreaks of cholera causing a significant number of Italian soldiers to die.[66] Despite these serious problems, Cadorna refused to back down the offensive. Naval battles occurred between the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina) and the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Italy's warships were outclassed by the Austro-Hungarian fleet and the situation was made more dire for Italy
Italy
in that both the French Navy
French Navy
and the (British) Royal Navy
Royal Navy
were not sent into the Adriatic Sea. Their respective governments viewed the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
as "far too dangerous to operate in due the concentration of the Austro-Hungarian fleet there".[66] Morale fell among Italian soldiers who lived a tedious life when not on the front lines, as they were forbidden to enter theaters or bars, even when on leave. However, when battles were about to occur alcohol was made freely available to the soldiers in order to reduce tension before the battle. In order to escape the tedium after battles, some groups of soldiers worked to create improvized whorehouses.[67] In order to maintain morale, the Italian army had propaganda lectures of the importance of the war to Italy, especially in order to retrieve Trento
Trento
and Trieste
Trieste
from Austria-Hungary.[67] Some of these lectures were carried out by popular nationalist war proponents such as Gabriele D'Annunzio. D'Annunzio himself would participate in a number of paramilitary raids on Austrian positions along the Adriatic Sea coastline during the war and temporaly lost his sight after an air raid.[68] Prominent pro-war advocate Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
was prevented from giving lecture by the government, most likely because of his revolutionary socialist past.[67] The Italian government became increasingly aggravated in 1915 with the passive nature of the Serbian army, which had not engaged in a serious offensive against Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
for months.[69] The Italian government blamed Serbian military inactiveness for allowing the Austro-Hungarians to muster their armies against Italy.[70] Cadorna suspected that Serbia was attempting to negotiate an end to fighting with Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
and addressed this to foreign minister Sidney Sonnino, who himself bitterly claimed that Serbia was an unreliable ally.[70] Relations between Italy
Italy
and Serbia became so cold that the other Allied nations were forced to abandon the idea of forming a united Balkan front against Austria-Hungary.[70] In negotiations, Sonnino remained prepared to allow Bosnia to join Serbia, but refused to discuss the fate of Dalmazia, which was claimed both by Italy
Italy
and by Pan-Slavists in Serbia.[70] As Serbia fell to the Austro-Hungarian and German forces in 1915, Cadorna proposed sending 60,000 men to land in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
to help the Serbs now in exile in Greece
Greece
and the Principality of Albania
Albania
to fight off the opposing forces, but the Italian government's bitterness to Serbia resulted in the proposal being rejected.[70] After 1916, the situation for Italy
Italy
grew steadily worse when the Austro-Hungarian Army
Austro-Hungarian Army
managed to push the Italian Army back into Italy as far as Verona
Verona
and Padova in their Strafexpedition. At the same time, Italy
Italy
faced a shortage of warships, increased attacks by submarines, soaring freight charges threatening the ability to supply food to soldiers, lack of raw materials and equipment and Italians faced high taxes to pay for the war.[71] Austro-Hungarian and German forces had gone deep into Northern Italian territory. Finally in November 1916, Cadorna ended offensive operations and began a defensive approach. In 1917, France, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the United States offered to send troops to Italy
Italy
to help it fend off the offensive of the Central Powers, but the Italian government refused as Sonnino did not want Italy
Italy
to be seen as a client state of the Allies and preferred isolation as the more brave alternative.[72] Italy
Italy
also wanted to keep Greece
Greece
out of the war as the Italian government feared that should Greece
Greece
join the war on the side of the Allies, it would intend to annex Albania, which Italy
Italy
claimed.[73] Fortunately for Italy, the Venizelist pro-war advocates in Greece
Greece
failed to succeed in pressuring Constantine I of Greece
Greece
to bring the country into the conflict and Italian aims on Albania
Albania
remained unthreatened.[73]

Members of the Arditi corps in 1918—more than 650,000 Italian soldiers lost their lives on the battlefields of World War I

The Russian Empire
Russian Empire
collapsed in a 1917 Russian Revolution, eventually resulting in the rise of the communist Bolshevik
Bolshevik
regime of Vladimir Lenin. The resulting marginalization of the Eastern Front allowed for more Austro-Hungarian and German forces to arrive on the front against Italy. Internal dissent against the war grew with increasingly poor economic and social conditions in Italy
Italy
due to the strain of the war. Much of the profit of the war was being made in the cities, while rural areas were losing income.[74] The number of men available for agricultural work had fallen from 4.8 million to 2.2 million, though through the help of women agricultural production managed to be maintained at 90% of its pre-war total during the war.[75] Many pacifist and internationalist Italian socialists turned to Bolshevism and advocated negotiations with the workers of Germany
Germany
and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
to help end the war and bring about Bolshevik revolutions.[75] Avanti!, the newspaper of the Italian Socialist Party, declared: "Let the bourgeoisie fight its own war".[76] Leftist women in Northern Italian cities led protests demanding action against the high cost of living and demanding an end to the war.[77] In Milan in May 1917, communist revolutionaries organized and engaged in rioting, calling for an end to the war and managed to close down factories and stop public transportation.[78] The Italian Army was forced to enter Milan
Milan
with tanks and machine guns to face communists and anarchists who fought violently until 23 May, when the Army gained control of the city with almost 50 people killed (three of which were Italian soldiers) and over 800 people arrested.[78] After the Battle of Caporetto
Battle of Caporetto
in 1917, Italian forces were forced far back into Italian territory and the humiliation led to the arrival of Vittorio Emanuele Orlando
Vittorio Emanuele Orlando
as Prime Minister, who managed to solve some of Italy's wartime problems. Orlando abandoned the previous isolationist approach to the war and increased coordination with the Allies and the use of the convoy system to fend off submarine attack, allowed Italy
Italy
to be able to end food shortages from February 1918 onward and Italy
Italy
received more raw materials from the Allies.[79] 1918 also saw the beginning of official repression of enemy aliens and Italian socialists were increasingly repressed by the Italian government. The Italian government was infuriated with the Fourteen Points of Woodrow Wilson, the President of the United States, as the advocation of national self-determination meant that Italy
Italy
would not gain Dalmazia as had been promised in the Treaty of London.[80] In the Parliament of Italy, nationalists condemned Wilson's fourteen points as betraying the Treaty of London, while socialists claimed that Wilson's points were valid and claimed the Treaty of London was an offense to the rights of Slavs, Greeks
Greeks
and Albanians.[80] Negotiations between Italy
Italy
and the Allies, particularly the new Yugoslav delegation (replacing the Serbian delegation), agreed to a trade off between Italy
Italy
and the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which was that Dalmazia, despite being claimed by Italy, would be accepted as Yugoslav, while Istria, claimed by Yugoslavia, would be accepted as Italian.[81]

Italian propaganda dropped over Vienna
Vienna
by Gabriele D'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio
in 1918

At the Battle of the Piave River, the Italian Army managed to hold off the Austro-Hungarian and German armies. The opposing armies repeatedly failed afterwards in major battles such as Battle of Asiago
Battle of Asiago
and the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. The Italian Army crushed the Austrian Army in the latter battle. Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
ended the fighting against Italy with the armistice on 4 November 1918 which ended World War I
World War I
on this front (one week before the widely understood 11 November armistice on the Western front).

Map of the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, in which the Italian Army decisively defeated the Austro-Hungarian offensive

During the war, the Italian Royal Army increased in size from 15,000 men in 1914 to 160,000 men in 1918, with 5 million recruits in total entering service during the war.[65] This came at a terrible cost: by the end of the war, Italy
Italy
had lost 700,000 soldiers and had a budget deficit of twelve billion lira. Italian society was divided between the majority pacifists who opposed Italian involvement in the war and the minority of pro-war nationalists who had condemned the Italian government for not having immediately gone to war with Austria-Hungary in 1914. Italy's territorial settlements and the reaction[edit] Main articles: Treaty of Versailles, Treaty of Saint-Germain, Treaty of Trianon, and Treaty of Lausanne

Italian Prime Minister
Italian Prime Minister
Vittorio Emanuele Orlando
Vittorio Emanuele Orlando
(2nd from left) at the World War I
World War I
peace negotiations in Versailles with David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau
Georges Clemenceau
and Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
(from left)

As the war came to an end, Italian Prime Minister
Italian Prime Minister
Vittorio Emanuele Orlando met with British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of France
France
Georges Clemenceau
Georges Clemenceau
and United States
United States
President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
in Versailles to discuss how the borders of Europe should be redefined to help avoid a future European war. The talks provided little territorial gain to Italy
Italy
because during the peace talks Wilson promised freedom to all European nationalities to form their own nation states. As a result, the Treaty of Versailles did not assign Dalmazia and Albania
Albania
to Italy
Italy
as had been promised in the Treaty of London. Furthermore, the British and French decided to divide the German overseas colonies into mandates of their own, with Italy
Italy
receiving none of them. Italy
Italy
also gained no territory from the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, despite a proposal being issued to Italy
Italy
by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and France
France
during the war, only to see these nations carve up the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
between themselves (also exploting the forces of the Arab Revolt). Despite this, Orlando agreed to sign the Treaty of Versailles, which caused uproar against his government. Civil unrest erupted in Italy
Italy
between nationalists who supported the war effort and opposed the "mutilated victory" (as nationalists referred to it) and leftists who were opposed to the war.

Residents of Fiume
Fiume
cheering D'Annunzio and his Legionari in September 1919, when Fiume
Fiume
had 22,488 (62% of the population) Italians
Italians
in a total population of 35,839 inhabitants

Furious over the peace settlement, the Italian nationalist poet Gabriele D'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio
led disaffected war veterans and nationalists to form the Free State of Fiume
Fiume
in September 1919. His popularity among nationalists led him to be called Il Duce
Duce
("The Leader") and he used blackshirted paramilitary in his assault on Fiume. The leadership title of Duce
Duce
and the blackshirt paramilitary uniform would later be adopted by the Fascist movement of Benito Mussolini. The demand for the Italian annexation of Fiume
Fiume
spread to all sides of the political spectrum, including Mussolini's Fascists.[82] D'Annunzio's stirring speeches drew Croat nationalists to his side and also kept contact with the Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army
and Egyptian nationalists.[83] Italy
Italy
annexed territories that included not only ethnically-mixed places, but also exclusively ethnic Slovene and Croat places, especially within the former Austrian Littoral
Austrian Littoral
and the former Duchy of Carniola. They included one-third of the entire territory inhabited by Slovenes
Slovenes
at the time and one-quarter of the entire Slovene population,[84] who was during the 20 years long period of Italian Fascism
Fascism
(1922–1943) subjected to forced Italianization
Italianization
alongside 25,000 ethnic Germans. According to author Paul N. Hehn, "the treaty left half a million Slavs inside Italy, while only a few hundred Italians
Italians
in the fledgling Yugoslav (i.e. Kingdom of Serbs, Croats
Croats
and Slovenes
Slovenes
renamed Yugoslavia in 1929) state".[85] Fascist regime (1922–1943)[edit]

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Mussolini in war and postwar[edit] Main articles: Kingdom of Italy
Italy
under Fascism
Fascism
(1922–1943) and Fascist and anti-Fascist violence in Italy
Italy
(1919–1926) In 1914, Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
was forced out of the Italian Socialist Party after calling for Italian intervention against Austria-Hungary. Prior to World War I, Mussolini had opposed military conscription, protested against Italy's occupation of Libya
Libya
and was the editor of the Socialist
Socialist
Party's official newspaper, Avanti!, but over time he simply called for revolution without mentioning class struggle.[86] Mussolini's nationalism enabled him to raise funds from Ansaldo (an armaments firm) and other companies to create his own newspaper, Il Popolo d'Italia, to convince socialists and revolutionaries to support the war.[87] The Allied Powers, eager to draw Italy
Italy
to the war, helped finance the newspaper.[88] This publication became the official newspaper of the Fascist movement. During the war, Mussolini served in the Army and was wounded once.

Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
(second from left) and his Fascist Blackshirts
Blackshirts
in 1920

Following the end of the war and the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
in 1919, Mussolini created the Fasci di Combattimento
Fasci di Combattimento
or Combat League. It was originally dominated by patriotic socialist and syndicalist veterans who opposed the pacifist policies of the Italian Socialist
Socialist
Party. The Fascists initially had a platform far more inclined to the left, promising social revolution, proportional representation, women's suffrage (partly realized in 1925) and dividing private property held by estates.[89][90] On 15 April 1919, the Fascists made their debut in political violence, when a group of members from the Fasci di Combattimento
Fasci di Combattimento
attacked the offices of Avanti!. Recognizing the failures of the Fascists' initial revolutionary and left-leaning policy, Mussolini moved the organization away from the left and turned the revolutionary movement into an electoral movement in 1921 named the Partito Nazionale Fascista (National Fascist Party). The party echoed the nationalist themes of D'Annunzio and rejected parliamentary democracy while still operating within it in order to destroy it. Mussolini changed his original revolutionary policies, such as moving away from anti-clericalism to supporting the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
and abandoned his public opposition to the monarchy.[91] Support for the Fascists began to grow in 1921 and pro-Fascist army officers began taking arms and vehicles from the army to use in counter-revolutionary attacks on socialists.[92] In 1920, Giolitti had come back as Prime Minister in an attempt to solve the deadlock. One year later, Giolitti's government had already become unstable and a growing socialist opposition further endangered his government. Giolitti believed that the Fascists could be toned down and used to protect the state from the socialists. He decided to include Fascists on his electoral list for the 1921 elections.[91] In the elections, the Fascists did not make large gains, but Giolitti's government failed to gather a large enough coalition to govern and offered the Fascists placements in his government. The Fascists rejected Giolitti's offers and joined with socialists in bringing down his government.[93] A number of descendants of those who had served Garibaldi's revolutionaries during unification were won over to Mussolini's nationalist revolutionary ideals.[94] His advocacy of corporatism and futurism had attracted advocates of the "third way",[95] but most importantly he had won over politicians like Facta and Giolitti who did not condemn him for his Blackshirts' mistreatment of socialists.[96] March on Rome[edit] In October 1922, Mussolini took advantage of a general strike by workers and announced his demands to the government to give the Fascist Party political power or face a coup. With no immediate response, a small number of Fascists began a long trek across Italy
Italy
to Rome
Rome
which was known as the "March on Rome", claiming to Italians
Italians
that Fascists were intending to restore law and order. Mussolini himself did not participate until the very end of the march, with D'Annunzio being hailed as leader of the march until it was learned that he had been pushed out of a window and severely wounded in a failed assassination attempt, depriving him of the possibility of leading an actual coup d'état orchestrated by an organization founded by himself. Under the leadership of Mussolini, the Fascists demanded Prime Minister Luigi Facta's resignation and that Mussolini be named Prime Minister. Although the Italian Army was far better armed than the Fascist paramilitaries, the Italian government under King Vittorio Emmanuele III faced a political crisis. The King was forced to decide which of the two rival movements in Italy
Italy
would form the new government: Mussolini's Fascists or the anti-royalist Italian Socialist
Socialist
Party, ultimately deciding to endorse the Fascists.[97][98]

Mussolini was initially a highly popular leader in Italy
Italy
until Italy's military failures in World War II

On 28 October 1922, the King invited Mussolini to become Prime Minister, allowing Mussolini and the Fascist Party to pursue their political ambitions as long as they supported the monarchy and its interests. At 39, Mussolini was young compared to other Italian and European leaders. His supporters named him "Il Duce" ("The Leader"). A personality cult was developed that portrayed him as the nation's saviour which was aided by the personal popularity he held with Italians
Italians
already, which would remain strong until Italy
Italy
faced continuous military defeats in World War II. Upon taking power, Mussolini formed a legislative coalition with nationalists, liberals and populists. However, goodwill by the Fascists towards parliamentary democracy faded quickly: Mussolini's coalition passed the electoral Acerbo Law
Acerbo Law
of 1923, which gave two-thirds of the seats in parliament to the party or coalition that achieved 25% of the vote. The Fascist Party used violence and intimidation to achieve the 25% threshold in the 1924 election and became the ruling political party of Italy. Following the election, Socialist
Socialist
deputy Giacomo Matteotti
Giacomo Matteotti
was assassinated after calling for an annulment of the elections because of the irregularities. Following the assassination, the Socialists walked out of parliament, allowing Mussolini to pass more authoritarian laws. In 1925, Mussolini accepted responsibility for the Fascist violence in 1924 and promised that dissenters would be dealt with harshly. Before the speech, Blackshirts
Blackshirts
smashed opposition presses and beat up several of Mussolini's opponents. This event is considered the onset of undisguised Fascist dictatorship in Italy, though it would be 1928 before the Fascist Party was formally declared the only legal party in the country. Over the next four years, Mussolini eliminated nearly all checks and balances on his power. In 1926, Mussolini passed a law that declared he was responsible only to the King and made him the sole person able to determine Parliament's agenda. Local autonomy was swept away and appointed podestas replaced communal mayors and councils. Soon after all other parties were banned in 1928, parliamentary elections were replaced by plebiscites in which the Grand Council nominated a single list of candidates. Mussolini wielding enormous political powers as the effective ruler of Italy. The King was a figurehead and handled ceremonial roles, though he retained the power to dismiss the Prime Minister on the advice of the Grand Council—which is what happened in 1943. World War II
World War II
and the fall of Fascism[edit]

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Main article: Military history of Italy
Italy
during World War II When Germany
Germany
invaded Poland on 1 September 1939 beginning World War II, Mussolini publicly declared on 24 September 1939 that Italy
Italy
had the choice of entering the war or to remain neutral which would cause the country to lose its national dignity. Nevertheless, despite his aggressive posture, Mussolini kept Italy
Italy
out of the conflict for several months. Mussolini told his son in law Count Ciano that he was personally jealous over Hitler's accomplishments and hoped that Hitler's prowess would be slowed down by Allied counterattack.[99] Mussolini went so far as to lessen Germany's successes in Europe
Europe
by giving advanced notice to Belgium
Belgium
and the Netherlands
Netherlands
of an imminent German invasion, of which Germany
Germany
had informed Italy.[99] In drawing out war plans, Mussolini and the Fascist regime decided that Italy
Italy
would aim to annex large portions of Africa
Africa
and the Middle East to be included in its colonial empire. Hesitance remained from the King and military commander Pietro Badoglio
Pietro Badoglio
who warned Mussolini that Italy
Italy
had too few tanks, armoured vehicles and aircraft available to be able to carry out a long-term war and Badoglio told Mussolini "It is suicide" for Italy
Italy
to get involved in the European conflict.[100] Mussolini and the Fascist regime took the advice to a degree and waited as France
France
was invaded by Germany
Germany
before deciding to get involved. As France
France
collapsed under the German Blitzkrieg, Italy
Italy
declared war on France
France
and Britain on 10 June 1940, fulfilling its obligations of the Pact of Steel. Italy
Italy
hoped to quickly conquer Savoia, Nizza, Corsica and the African colonies of Tunisia
Tunisia
and Algeria
Algeria
from the French, but this was quickly stopped when Germany
Germany
signed an armistice with the French commander Philippe Petain
Philippe Petain
who established Vichy France
France
which retained control over these territories. This decision by Germany angered the Fascist regime.[101] The one Italian strength that concerned the Allies was the Italian Royal Navy
Royal Navy
(Regia Marina), the fourth-largest navy in the world at the time. In November 1940, the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
launched a surprise air attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto which crippled Italy's major warships. Although the Italian fleet did not inflict serious damage as was feared, it did keep significant British Commonwealth naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea. This fleet needed to fight the Italian fleet to keep British Commonwealth forces in Egypt
Egypt
and the Middle East from being cut off from Britain. In 1941 on the Italian-controlled island of Kastelorizo, off of the coast of Turkey, Italian forces succeeded in repelling British and Australian forces attempting to occupy the island during Operation Abstention. In December 1941, a covert attack by Italian forces took place in Alexandria, Egypt, in which Italian divers attached explosives to British warships resulting in two British battleships being sunk. This was known as the Raid on Alexandria. In 1942, the Italian navy inflicted a serious blow to a British convoy fleet attempting to reach Malta
Malta
during Operation Harpoon, sinking multiple British vessels. Over time, the Allied navies inflicted serious damage to the Italian fleet, and ruined Italy's one advantage to Germany. Continuing indications of Italy's subordinate nature to Germany
Germany
arose during the Greco-Italian War, which was disastrous for the poorly-armed Italian Army. Mussolini had intended the war with Greece to prove to Germany
Germany
that Italy
Italy
was no minor power in the alliance, but a capable empire which could hold its own weight. Mussolini boasted to his government that he would even resign from being Italian if anyone found fighting the Greeks
Greeks
to be difficult.[102] Within days of invading Greece, the Greek army pushed the Italian army back into Albania
Albania
and humiliatingly put Italy
Italy
on the defensive.[103] Hitler and the German government were frustrated with Italy's failing campaigns, but so was Mussolini. Mussolini in private angrily accused Italians
Italians
on the battlefield of becoming "overcome with a crisis of artistic sentimentalism and throwing in the towel".[104] To gain back ground in Greece, Germany
Germany
reluctantly began a Balkans Campaign alongside Italy
Italy
which resulted also in the destruction of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
in 1941 and the ceding of Dalmazia to Italy. Mussolini and Hitler compensated Croatian nationalists by endorsing the creation of the Independent State of Croatia
Croatia
under the extreme nationalist Ustaše. In order to receive the support of Italy, the Ustaše
Ustaše
agreed to concede the main central portion of Dalmazia as well as various Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
islands to Italy, as Dalmazia held a significant number of Italians. The ceding of the Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea
islands was considered by the Independent State of Croatia
Croatia
to be a minimal loss, as in exchange for those cessions they were allowed to annex all of modern-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, which led to the persecution of the Serb population there. Officially, the Independent State of Croatia
Croatia
was a kingdom and an Italian protectorate, ruled by Italian House of Savoy
Savoy
member Tomislav II of Croatia, but he never personally set foot on Croatian soil and the government was run by Ante Pavelić, the leader of the Ustaše. However, Italy
Italy
did hold military control across all of Croatia's coast, which combined with Italian control of Albania
Albania
and Montenegro
Montenegro
gave Italy
Italy
complete control of the Adriatic Sea, thus completing a key part of the Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum
policy of the Fascists. The Ustaše
Ustaše
movement proved valuable to Italy
Italy
and Germany
Germany
as a means to counter Royalist
Royalist
Chetnik guerrillas (although they did work with them because they did not really like the Ustaše
Ustaše
movement whom they left up to the Germans) and the communist Yugoslav Partisans under Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
who opposed the occupation of Yugoslavia. Under Italian army commander Mario Roatta's watch, the violence against the Slovene civil population in the Province of Ljubljana easily matched that of the Germans[105] with summary executions, hostage-taking and hostage killing, reprisals, internments to Rab
Rab
and Gonars concentration camps and the burning of houses and whole villages. Roatta issued additional special instructions stating that the repression orders must be "carried out most energetically and without any false compassion".[106] According to historians James Walston[107] and Carlo Spartaco Capogeco,[108] the annual mortality rate in the Italian concentration camps was higher than the average mortality rate in Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald
Buchenwald
(which was 15%), at least 18%. On 5 August 1943, Monsignor Joze Srebnic, Bishop of Veglia
Veglia
( Krk
Krk
island), reported to Pope
Pope
Pius XII
Pius XII
that "witnesses, who took part in the burials, state unequivocally that the number of the dead totals at least 3,500".[108] After the war, Yugoslavia, Greece and Ethiopia
Ethiopia
requested the extradition of 1,200 Italian war criminals for trial, but they never saw anything like the Nuremberg trials because the British government with the beginning of the Cold War
Cold War
saw in Pietro Badoglio
Pietro Badoglio
a guarantee of an anti-communist post-war Italy.[109] The repression of memory led to historical revisionism in Italy
Italy
about the country's actions during the war. In 1963, anthology "Notte sul'Europa", a photograph of an internee from Rab
Rab
concentration camp, was included while claiming to be a photograph of an internee from a German Nazi camp when in fact the internee was a Slovene Janez Mihelčič, born 1885 in Babna Gorica and died at Rab
Rab
in 1943.[110] In 2003, the Italian media published Silvio Berlusconi's statement that Mussolini merely "used to send people on vacation".[111]

An Italian "AB 41" armored car in Egypt

In 1940, Italy
Italy
invaded Egypt
Egypt
and was soon driven far back into Libya by British Commonwealth forces. The German army sent a detachment to join the Italian army in Libya
Libya
to save the colony from the British advance. German army units in the Afrika Korps
Afrika Korps
under General Erwin Rommel were the mainstay in the campaign to push the British out of Libya
Libya
and into central Egypt
Egypt
in 1941 to 1942. The victories in Egypt were almost entirely credited to Rommel's strategic brilliance. The Italian forces received little media attention in North Africa
Africa
because of their dependence on the superior weaponry and experience of Rommel's forces. For a time in 1942, Italy
Italy
from an official standpoint controlled large amounts of territory along the Mediterranean Sea. With the collapse of Vichy France, Italy
Italy
gained control of Corsica, Nizza, Savoia and other portions of southwestern France. Italy
Italy
also oversaw a military occupation over significant sections of southern France, but despite the official territorial achievements, the so-called "Italian Empire" was a paper tiger by 1942: it was faltering as its economy failed to adapt to the conditions of war and Italian cities were being bombed by the Allies. Also despite Rommel's advances in 1941 and early 1942, the campaign in Northern Africa
Africa
began to collapse in late 1942. Complete collapse came in 1943 when German and Italian forces fled Northern Africa
Africa
to Sicilia. By 1943, Italy
Italy
was failing on every front, by January of the year, half of the Italian forces serving on the Eastern Front had been destroyed,[112] the African campaign had collapsed, the Balkans remained unstable and demoralised Italians
Italians
wanted an end to the war.[113] King Victor Emmanuel III
Victor Emmanuel III
urged Count Ciano to overstep Mussolini to try to begin talks with the Allies.[112] In mid-1943, the Allies commenced an invasion of Sicily
Sicily
in an effort to knock Italy
Italy
out of the war and establish a foothold in Europe. Allied troops landed in Sicily
Sicily
with little initial opposition from Italian forces. The situation changed as the Allies ran into German forces, who held out for some time before Sicily
Sicily
was taken over by the Allies. The invasion made Mussolini dependent on the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) to protect his regime. The Allies steadily advanced through Italy
Italy
with little opposition from demoralized Italian soldiers, while facing serious opposition from German forces. Civil war (1943–1945)[edit]

Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
poster reading: " Germany
Germany
is truly your friend"

By 1943, Mussolini had lost the support of the Italian population for having led a disastrous war effort. To the world, Mussolini was viewed as a "sawdust caesar" for having led his country to war with ill-equipped and poorly trained armed forces which failed in battle. The embarrassment of Mussolini to Italy
Italy
led King Victor Emmanuel III and even members of the Fascist Party to desire Mussolini's removal. The first stage of his ousting took place when Fascist Party's Grand Council under the direction of Fascist member Dino Grandi
Dino Grandi
voted to remove Mussolini as the party's leader. Days later on 26 July 1943, Emmanuel III officially removed Mussolini from the post of Prime Minister and replaced him with Marshal Pietro Badoglio. Upon removal, Mussolini was immediately arrested. When the radio brought the unexpected news, Italians
Italians
assumed the war was practically over. The Fascist organizations that had for two decades pledged their loyalty to Il Duce
Duce
were silent—no effort was made by any of them to protest. The new Badoglio government stripped away the final elements of Fascist government by banning the Fascist Party. The Fascists had never controlled the army, but they did have a separately armed militia, which was merged into the army. The main Fascist organs including the Grand Council, the Special
Special
Tribunal for the Defense of the State and the Chambers were all disbanded. All local Fascist formations clubs and meetings were shut down. Slowly, the most outspoken Fascists were purged from office.[114] Italy
Italy
then signed an armistice with the Allied armed forces and the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
joined the Allies in their war against Germany. The new Royalist
Royalist
government of Victor Emmanuel III
Victor Emmanuel III
and Marshal Badoglio raised an Italian Co-belligerent Army, an Italian Co-belligerent Navy and an Italian Co-belligerent Air Force. The Badoglio government attempted to establish a non-partisan administration and a number of political parties were allowed to exist again after years of ban under Fascism. These ranged from liberal to communist parties which all were part of the government.[115] Italians
Italians
celebrated the fall of Mussolini and as more Italian territory was taken by the Allies, the Allies were welcomed as liberators by Italians
Italians
who opposed the German occupation. However, Mussolini's reign in Italy
Italy
was not over, as a German commando unit led by Otto Skorzeny
Otto Skorzeny
rescued Mussolini from the mountain hotel where he was being held under arrest. Hitler instructed Mussolini to establish the Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
in German-held northern Italy. The Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
was a German puppet state. The Fascist state's armed forces were a combination of Mussolini loyalist Fascists and German armed forces. However Mussolini had little power, Hitler and the German armed forces led the campaign against the Allies and saw little interest in preserving Italy
Italy
as more than a buffer zone against an Allied invasion of Germany.[116] Life for Italians
Italians
under German occupation was hard, especially in Rome. Rome's citizens by 1943 had grown tired of the war and upon Italy
Italy
signing an armistice with the Allies on 8 September 1943, Rome's citizens took to the streets chanting "Viva la pace!" ("Long live the peace!), but within hours German forces raided the city and attacked anti-Fascists, royalists and Jews.[117] Roman citizens were harassed by German soldiers to provide them food and fuel and German authorities would arrest all opposition and many were sent into forced labor.[118] Rome's citizens upon being liberated reported that during the first week of German occupation of Rome, crimes against Italian citizens took place as German soldiers looted stores and robbed Roman citizens at gunpoint.[118] Martial law was imposed on Rome
Rome
by German authorities requiring all citizens to obey a curfew forbidding people to be out on the street after 9 p.m.[118] During winter of 1943, Rome's citizens were denied access to sufficient food, firewood and coal which was taken by German authorities to be given to German soldiers housed in occupied hotels.[118] These actions left Rome's citizens to live in the harsh cold and on the verge of starvation.[119] German authorities began arresting able-bodied Roman men to be conscripted into forced labour.[120] On 4 June 1944, the German occupation of Rome
Rome
came to an end as German forces retreated as the Allies advanced. Mussolini was captured on 27 April 1945 by Communist
Communist
Italian partisans near the Swiss border as he tried to escape Italy. On the next day, he was executed for high treason as sentenced in absentia by a tribunal of the National Liberation Committee. Afterwards, the bodies of Mussolini, his mistress and about fifteen other Fascists were taken to Milano, where they were displayed to the public. Days later on 2 May 1945, the German forces in Italy
Italy
surrendered. The government of Badoglio remained in being for some nine months. On 9 June 1944, he was replaced as Prime Minister by the 70-year-old anti-fascist leader Ivanoe Bonomi. In June 1945, Bonomi was in turn replaced by Ferruccio Parri, who in turn gave way to Alcide de Gasperi on 4 December 1945. It was de Gasperi who supervised the transition to a Republic following the abdication of Vittorio Emanuele III on 9 May 1946. He briefly became acting Head of State as well as Prime Minister on 18 June 1946, but ceded the former role to Provisional President Enrico de Nicola
Enrico de Nicola
ten days later. End of the Kingdom of Italy[edit] Italian constitutional referendum (1946)[edit]

Umberto II, the last King of Italy

Main article: Italian constitutional referendum, 1946 Much like Japan
Japan
and Germany, the aftermath of World War II
World War II
left Italy with a destroyed economy, a divided society and anger against the monarchy for its endorsement of the Fascist regime for the previous twenty years. Anger flourished as well over Italy's embarrassment of being occupied by the Germans and then by the Allies.

1946 referendum results map

Even prior to the rise of the Fascists, the monarchy was seen to have performed poorly, with society extremely divided between the wealthy North and poor South. World War I
World War I
resulted in Italy
Italy
making few gains and was seen as what fostered the rise of Fascism. These frustrations compacted into a revival of the Italian republican movement.[121] Following Victor Emmanuel III's abdication as King in 1946, his son and new King Umberto II
Umberto II
was forced to call a referendum to decide whether Italy
Italy
should remain a monarchy or become a republic. On 2 June 1946, the republican side won 54% of the vote and Italy
Italy
officially became a republic. The table of results shows some relevant differences in the different parts of Italy. The peninsula seemed to be drastically cut in two areas: the North for the republic (with 66.2%), the South for the monarchy (with 63.8%), as if they were two different, respectively homogeneous countries. Some monarchist groups claimed that there was manipulation by northern republicans, socialists and communists. Others argued that Italy
Italy
was still too chaotic in 1946 to have an accurate referendum. Regardless, to prevent civil war Umberto II
Umberto II
was deposed and a new republic was born with bitter resentment by the new government against the House of Savoy. All male members of the Savoy family were barred from entering Italy
Italy
in 1948, which was only repealed in 2002. See also[edit]

Italy
Italy
portal Fascism
Fascism
portal

25 Luglio Birth of the Italian Republic History of the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
(1861–1946) Italian Fascism Italian unification King of Italy List of Prime Ministers of Italy Military history of Italy
Italy
during World War II

Notes[edit]

^ In 1848, Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour
Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour
had formed a parliamentarty group in the Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
Parliament named the Partito Liberale Italiano (Italian Liberal Party). From 1860, with the Unification of Italy
Italy
substantially realized and the death of Cavour himself in 1861, the Liberal Party was split in at least two major factions or new parties later known as the Destra Storica on the right-wing, who substantially assembled the Count of Cavour's followers and political heirs; and the Sinistra Storica on the left-wing, who mostly reunited the followers and sympathizers of Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
and other former Mazzinians. Both the Historical Right (Destra Storica) and the Historical Left (Sinistra Storica) were composed of royalist liberals, while radicals organized themselves into the Radical Party and republicans into the Italian Republican Party. ^ The liberal-conservative Historical Right was dominated from 1860 to 1876 (also after it was no more at the govern) by a leadership of elected Representatives from Emilia Romagna
Emilia Romagna
(1860–1864) and Tuscany (1864–1876), known as the "Consorteria", with the support of the Lombard and Southern Italian representatives. The majority of the Piemontese liberal-conservative representatives, but not all of them, organized themselves as the all-Piemontese and more right-wing party's minority: the "Associazione Liberale Permanente" (Permanent Liberal Association), whom sometimes voted with the Historical Left and whose leading Representative was Quintino Sella. The party's majority was also weakened by the substantial differences between the effective liberal-conservative (Toscano and Emiliano) leadership and Lombards on one side and the quietly conservative Southern and "Transigent Roman Catholic" components on the other side. (Indro Montanelli, Storia d'Italia, volume 32).

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

Ashley, Susan A. Making Liberalism
Liberalism
Work: The Italian Experience, 1860–1914 (2003) excerpt and text search Baran'ski, Zygmunt G. & Rebecca J. West (2001). The Cambridge companion to modern Italian culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-55034-3. Barclay, Glen St. J. 1973. The Rise and Fall of the New Roman Empire. London: Sidgwick & Jackson. Bosworth, Richard J. B. 1983. Italy
Italy
and the Approach of the First World War. London: The Macmillan Bosworth, Richard J. B. 2007. Mussolini's Italy: Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 1915–1945 excerpt and text search Clark, Martin. 1996. Modern Italy: 1871–1995. (2nd ed. Longman) Coppa, Frank J. (1970). "Economic and Ethical Liberalism
Liberalism
in Conflict: The extraordinary liberalism of Giovanni Giolitti", Journal of Modern History (1970) 42#2 pp 191–215 JSTOR 1905941 Coppa, Frank J. (1971) Planning, Protectionism, and Politics in Liberal Italy: Economics and Politics in the Giolittian Age online edition Davis, John A., ed. 2000, Italy
Italy
in the Nineteenth Century: 1796–1900 Oxford University Press. online edition de Grazia, Victoria. 1981. The Culture of Consent: Mass Organizations of Leisure in Fascist Italy. de Grazia, Victoria. 1993. How Fascism
Fascism
Ruled Women: Italy, 1922–1945 excerpt and text search De Grand, Alexander J. (2001). The hunchback's tailor: Giovanni Giolitti and liberal Italy
Italy
from the challenge of mass politics to the rise of fascism, 1882–1922, Greenwood. online edition; excerpt and text search Duggan, Christopher (2008). The Force of Destiny: A History of Italy Since 1796, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, text search Gentile, Emilio. 2003. The Struggle For Modernity: Nationalism, Futurism
Futurism
and Fascism. Westport, CT: Praeger. Gilmour, David. 2011. The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, Its Regions, and Their Peoples excerpt and text search Hughes, Robert. 2011. Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History Kertzer, David I. (2014). The Pope
Pope
and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism
Fascism
in Europe. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198716167.  Killinger, Charles L. (2002). The history of Italy, Westport (CT): Greenwood Press, text search Pauley, Bruce F. 2003. Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini: Totalitarianism in the Twentieth Century. Wheeling: Harlan Davidson Pollard, John F. 1985. The Vatican and Italian Fascism, 1929–32. Cambridge, USA: Cambridge University Press. Salomone, A. William. 1945. Italy
Italy
in the Giolittian Era: Italian Democracy in the Making, 1900–1914 Sarti, Roland (2004). Italy: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present, New York: Facts on File
File
text search Sarti, Roland. 1974. The Ax Within: Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism
in Action. New York: New Viewpoints. Seton-Watson, Christopher (1967). Italy
Italy
from Liberalism
Liberalism
to Fascism, 1870–1925, New York: Taylor & Francis, text search Smith, Dennis Mack. 1997. Modern Italy; A Political History. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. Thayer, John A. 1964. Italy
Italy
and the Great War. Madison and Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin Press.

Historiography[edit]

Albanese, Giulia. "Reconsidering the March on Rome," European History Quarterly (2012) 42#3 pp 403–421. Keserich, Charles. "The Fiftieth Year of the" March on Rome": Recent Interpretations of Fascism." History Teacher (1972) 6#1 pp: 135-142 JSTOR 492632.

Primary sources[edit]

Mussolini, Benito. 1935. Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions. Rome: Ardita Publishers.

External links[edit]

Axis History Factbook– Italy Mussolini's War Statement – Declaration of War against USA, 11 December 1941 Declaration of War on France
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