crisis of liberal italy and rise of mussolini / collapse of liberal italy / mussolini and the establishment of fascist italy


problems faced by Italy


Economically unstable (see below)
Weakness of the political system
Lack of Italian identity
apathy or opposition to unification
language barriers
no nationalism - loyalty to family or immediate locality
North/South divide
the clear economic and cultural divide in Italy lead to mass unrest within the South and large disparities economically. This meant the country became v hard to govern as one, and the South became a large problem for the Liberals.
Organised opposition/subversives
Such as anarchists, Socialists, Radicals, Republicans and Catholic Church. - all opposed Liberal government/policies
Church was extremely powerful - large practicing population - had lots of political influence. Was opposed to Liberals and unification.

Sonnino's restructuring of public finance

1894 - 1896

no public deficit, allowing state investment (in 1899 there was a surplus)
strengthened power of Bank of Italy
helped create confidence in Italian economy

Giolitti reforms - national insurance


national insurance fund set up for industrial workers, 1898

Giolitti as PM - transformismo


Giolitti reforms - 11 working day


Giolitti reforms - forbade child employment


forbade child employment (under age of 12)

Supreme Council of Labour


Supreme Council of Labour, 1902 (1st formal attempt to absorb labour movement into Liberal political system)

Giolitti reforms - rest day


rest day made compulsory each week, 1907

Giolitti reforms - maternity fund


maternity fund set up - 10 lire from state and 30 lire from employer/worker contribution per birth, 1910

Italy defeats Turkey and gains Libya as 'colony'


Mussolini emerges as major leader of Radical socialists


Suffrage for majority of men


all men over 30 and ex/soldiers over 21

suffrage went from 3 million to 8 million

Red Week


communist week of riots etc

Italy enters WWI

May 1914

joins allies against austria-hungary and germany

World War One

August 1914

Italy initially remains neutral

Mussolini expelled from Sociaist prayer

November 1914

for nationalistic tendencies - he wanted to join WWI

Treaty of London

April 1915

allies promise italy major gains if they join the war

defeated at battle of Caporetto

October 1917

Italy wins battle of Vittorio Venetto

October 1918

Mussolini appointed Prime Minister

October 1922

rule by decree

November 1922

Mussolini given right to rule by decree for 12 months by parliament

Fascist Grand Council created

December 1922