The Rise of Fascism in Italy | Part 1: The Liberal State

The Rise of Fascism in Italy | Part 1: The Liberal State


this is Italy in 1859, this is Italy in
1861 Rome was taken from the Pope in 1870
because of such a quick unification Italians felt more loyal to their
individual provinces rather than the nation as a whole
one of the biggest divisions in Italy was the north/south divide under Frensesco Nitti, the north were ballin’ hard we’re talking about car industry steel
and iron production increasing significantly and the industrial
triangle the richest and most industrialised area in Italy meanwhile
the South was much more poor and agricultural based he was elected as
prime minister for the fourth time on the 30th of March 1911 he had beef with
three major groups: the church, the Socialists and the nationalists. The
church disliked the government as a state took power away from the Pope and
in 1870 Rome had been finessed leaving just the Vatican City under the Pope’s direct control
the opposition of the church to recognise the nation of Italy was known
as the Roman question. The Socialists pose a threat to the success of the liberal
union so Giolitti offered many concessions and absorbed the key socialist leaders
into his squad. The PSI Italian Socialist Party had gained a lot of support since
is founding in 1892 by Filippo Turati. The Nationalists were not as easy to tame as
socialists they wanted Italy to be seen by the world as a great power and hated the
weakness of liberal government the Nationalists also wanted to expand
Italy’s empire and reform the irradenta they formed under a legitimate political
party in 1910 called the ANI making them pose an even bigger threat to Giolitti and his liberal Union. Instead of signing with a particular ideology or group Giolitti used
and mastered the art of trasformismo which was to form coalitions with different
parties and opposite ends of the political spectrum bringing them
together into a centrist Union he would give parties what they wanted in order
to keep them happy but the very next day would straight up Logan Paul savage them
by giving in to a party that had completely opposite goals. In an effort to appease
and nationalists and the desire to expand Italy’s empire Giolitti went BEAST MODE and
invaded Ottoman owned Libya on the 29th of September 1911 Italy seized moved to the
ports and naval towns just 3 weeks into the campaign. However
following the success Italy have got caught lurking as they became stuck in
battle with both sides suffering casualties as progress began to halt
Giolitti decided to invade them occupy 13 Ottoman owned islands in the Aegean Sea game from a great strategic advantage
and great propaganda. with the Balkan Wars kicking off. The Ottomans chose to surrender
Libya to Italy. peace was declared on the 18th of October 1912
3,500 Italians had died in the war was redemption for unfortunate events in
Ethiopia and Giolitti expected to return to Italy as a top dog alpha male
unfortunately for him this is not the case as the ANI took most of the credit
for the victory and said Giolitt only went to war because of their influence
the war had destroyed his relationship with the Socialists as he had violated
them by declaring war and sending a young lower class men to their deaths. By
sending these young mostly illiterate men to fight in Libya it was hard for Giolitti
to deny them the vote so in 1912 Giolitti made it so the restrictions on who
could vote were much more lenient saying that any male over the age of 30 or he
who had served in the military had the right to vote previously only 25% of men had
this privilege Giolitti thought that this would make him popular to the lower class but he
was wrong. In the 1913 elections the liberal Union lost supported to the PSI and ANI
they still managed to stay in power but it was clear that those who had gained
the ability to vote through Giolitti’s reforms had used her their new found power to vote for
parties who were stronger and had policies that matched their voters
desires such as the appeal of the PSI
to the lower-class workers. As politics became more radical and opposition to his
style of government grew Giolitti’s trasformismo have become ineffective the PSI had become stronger by kicking
out leaders who were weak and cooperative with the liberal government because of the rise
of radicalism it was too difficult for Giolitti to force cooperation so on the 21st
of March 1914 he resigned and appointed Salandra as his successor
although Giolitti’s influence would remain for some time his reforms which tried to
absorb the lower-class away from socialism and into the liberal Union
would lead to protests from the public although these protests did little to
influence the government, what followed after three of them were shot by
authorities would be known as red week. red week took place in Romagna and
marche in June 1914 and involved a week of radical violence and vandalism. although
it was planned by the psi to be peaceful striking it quickly became more
aggressive and uncivilised as they lost control
many workers would be killed by authorities putting down the rioters the
unrest ended when trade unions finally agreed to call off the striking however
Salandra’s biggest crisis would come July 28th as Austria-Hungary declared
war on Serbia, leading to World War one Italy signed the Triple Alliance with
Germany and austria-hungary in 1882 however they did not have to get
involved as austria-hungary had not consulted with them before declaring war on Serbia Italy took advantage of his loophole and
declared neutrality this declaration through Italy into chaos politics were
split between interventionists and those who wanted to
remain neutral. Although it was a heated topic in Italy with no final decision
being made the dynamic duo Salandra and Sonnio
began secret talks with both the Central Powers and entente as to who would give
them more if Italy was a join on their side
Austria held ends its be greatly desired such as South Tyrol and the entente
promised that Italy would receive these if they won the war. Convincing the king
that civil war would break out if he did not make a decision soon the Treaty of
London was signed in April 26th 1915 between the Italians and entente powers
and on May 25th Italy declared war on austria-hungary many Italians felt
betrayed by this decision as salandra had not consulted with the army parliament or
people before joining the war. The southern front became known as the white war due to how
freezing fighting conditions were in the Alps Salandra hoped that the war would open a
new front in which the entente would be able to quickly break through and win
the war, however shortly after the declaration of war alike the west and
east the southern front became locked in trench warfare. the majority of the five
million conscripts were lower-class peasants making communication between
the northern generals and southern fighters hard due to how different
dialects were across Italy. during supreme commander Luigi Cadorna’s
leadership of the military, morale was often low and many lives would be lost in
seemingly pointless battles. After a string of defeats and opposition to his
leadership Salandra resigns allowing Boselli to
take command as Prime Minister. after the Strafexpedition, it had become
obvious to the Italian population of a War was not going to be quick fight as
Salandra had promised. but the most devastating defeat came at the Battle of
Caporetto lasting from the 24th of October 1917 to the 29th November it was
also known as a twelfth battle of the Isonzo which had been an ongoing
conflict at the Isonzo River since the start of a war. The battle was
seen as the most devastating defeat the Italian Army had ever suffered and led
to the forced resignation of Luigi Cadorna who wasreplaced by the much more
lenient and tactical leader Armando Diaz. Ten thousand troops were killed
600,000 lost contact in the humiliating and chaotic retreat and 265,000
troops were taken prisoner. Italian prisoners of war were forgotten by the
government leaving a hundred thousand of the 600,000 to starve to death in the camps.
Unlike the other entente powers, Italy didn’t supply food parcels and by the
end of the war the Liberal government had made an enemy with the veterans they had abandoned After the humiliating defeat at Caporetto, Borselli rage quits allowing Orlando to
take control as prime minister who worked with Diaz to raise morale in the army Orlando promises land reforms and workers rights to keep the Italians
fighting he also establishes an organization to
look out for the soldiers families while they were always fighting. The Battle of
Caporetto led to those who opposed the war to be dealt with more severely
Mussolini saw those who opposed to war as just as much of a threat as the Central
Powers were. they were blamed for the low morale of the Italian troops.
Mussolini had started 1914 strongly against Italy’s intervention in the war along with the socialists and Catholics however he began to show
support considering it to be the only way to spark a revolution in Italy
and end the Liberal government he was even arrested during a pro war
protest he was excluded from the psi and socialist groups while these
interventionist beliefs in retaliation he began to publish Il Popolo
D’Italia in November 1915 a pro war newspaper that was continued to run into
the twenty fourth of July in 1943 the threat of opposition to the war was
shown in 1917 when 50 workers were killed in riots during the insurrection
for peace and bread in Turin politicians quickly gave into the
protest by giving the lower class more rations an increase in the pro-war
propaganda this event was used by the
interventionist to show how those against the war were harming the war
effort. By 1918 Italy’s economy had become a lot more adapted from War thatnks to the
work of Alfredo Dallolio Italy had been able to produce more arms and
ammunition by making contracts with companies and taking out foreign loans
his work expanded the economy of the north and arms production companies
prospered however as the industrialists got richer real wages of the workers
fell all the money dedicated by the government to the arms meant that the
agricultural economy of the south was neglected. Because of the improved
economy, Orlando felt comfortable to exact vengeance for Caporetto with entente support in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto after the Spring Offensive
Orlando thought the war may soon be over and Italy need to gain land for power at the
Peace Conference the Germans leaving the southern front
made it vulnerable to an offensive with the boys backing them, the Italian Army
charged into austria-hungary occupied Vinetto across the Piave River and regained land lost in the battle of Caporetto, the battle was seen as Italy’s greatest achievement in WW1 and was used in
propaganda to show the power of the Italian Army it was hoped this battle would bring
Italy a lot of power and respect at the Peace Conference but it did little to
further their position. The war ended on the 11th of November 1918. 650,000 soldiers had been killed and the wars legacy would live on for
many years. those who opposed and rebelled against it would not be forgotten

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