Italy Recent History 3

Through the achievement of Cavour, whose sudden death in June 1861 meant a heavy loss for the country, Italy – unlike Germany – de facto became a parliamentary state with limited rights of the monarch and the responsibility of the ministers before the bicameral parliament. Because of the extreme census suffrage and the development of a clientelist dignitaries, the formation of modern parties came late.

The unification of 1859/60 did not yet encompass the whole nation. The annexation of Veneto succeeded by participating in the German War in 1866 on the side of Prussia, although the battle of Custoza and the sea battle of Lissa were won by Austria; Napoleon III brokered the assignment (Peace of Vienna, October 3, 1866). The solution of the Roman question was more difficult. Two failures of Garibaldi (Aspromonte 1862, Mentana 1867) showed that this problem, which is linked to major European politics, could not be solved in one stroke. The transfer of the capital from Turin to more centrally located Florence, which was agreed with France in the September Convention in 1864 and implemented in 1865, aimed to secure the rest of the Papal States even without French military protection. The withdrawal of the French troops who had returned from Rome in 1867 after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870/71 allowed the city to be captured (September 20, 1870). The remaining church state was annexed and Rome was declared the capital in 1871. Pius IX rejected the enactment of the Guarantee Act of 1871 . away. He and his successors declared themselves “prisoners in the Vatican” and the encyclical “Non expedit” (1874) forbade Italian Catholics from participating in national elections. For more articles about Italy and Europe, please follow Internetsailors.

The liberal unitary state (1870–1914)

The initially insoluble conflict with the church burdened the young unified state internally through the alienation of broad Catholic strata, externally through the efforts of the Vatican to restore the papal state. In economic terms, average incomes stagnated in 1860-80, and mass emigration of the landless began in the south. Apart from a few industrial centers, almost without exception, in the north, Italy remained an agricultural country until the turn of the century. With unpopular tax pressure, the moderate “right”, which was still influenced by Cavour, succeeded in consolidating state finances, but in 1876, on the initiative of the Chamber, it was replaced by the moderately liberal-anti-clerical “left” (strong among the notables of the South). She made it under Prime Minister A. Depretis removed the meal tax (which made bread more expensive), introduced compulsory schooling for free and in a first electoral reform in 1882 increased the proportion of eligible voters from 2.2% to 6.9% (less in the south). Depretis’ tactics of governing independently of political camps by fulfilling the concerns of local clients significantly delayed the formation and streamlined organization of parties. In an alliance of northern industry, which is strongly linked to the state, and southern large agrarians, Italy switched to a protectionist foreign trade policy in 1887 and initiated a ten-year trade war with France.

The union with Austria-Hungary and the German Empire in the Triple Alliance in 1882 was directed against France (after the French occupation of Tunis in 1881); for its claims to Trento and Trieste, Italy achieved an imprecise compensation claim in 1887 in the case of Austrian acquisitions on the Balkan Peninsula; the still Francophile republican irredenta was temporarily suppressed. An Italian colonial policy began with the occupation of ports in Eritrea and the formation of the Protectorate of Italian Somaliland; since 1887 the new Prime Minister F. Crispi operated the conquest of all of Ethiopia, but it failed in 1896 with the devastating defeat of Adua, which forced him to resign; However, it was considered a forerunner of a radical nationalist movement that emerged after 1900 (partly merged into the Associazione Nazionale Italiana, founded in 1910). Internally, after social unrest (e.g. in Sicily in 1892/93 by the Fasci Siciliani), he also suppressed the opposition of the emerging socialist-Marxist (founding of the Partito Socialista Italiano; PSI, 1892) and Catholic (self-help movement since the social encyclical »Rerum Novarum «Pope Leo XIII. Of 1891) labor movement.

This authoritarian course met with growing resistance (general strike in Milan in 1898) and, after the assassination of King Umberto I (1900), led under the new King Victor Emanuel III. (1900–46) and the left-liberal G. Giolitti (since 1903 Prime Minister several times) to a policy of internal reforms, beginning with a successful budget restructuring despite tax cuts, which was favored by general economic growth and especially by the beginning of high industrialization in northern Italy.

Italy Recent History 3