The Republic (Part I)


Italy receieves over 2 billion dollars in aid from the US

1943 - 1948

King Victor Emmanuel III and his government flee Rome to escape the nazis


considered an act of cowardice

The Resistance

1943 - 1945

First partisan groups appear


soon drawn into the sphere of organized politics, with the Communist party claiming the largest following

Mussolini installed as head of the puppet government, The Republic of Salo


the second and last incarnation of the Fascist Italian state

Liberation of Rome


Salerno Turning Point


Communist party secretary Palmiro Togliatti joins the government of the King in a broad anti-fascist alliance

pay settlements and introduction of the scala mobile

1945 - 1946

garunteed minimum wages in industry and concessions for holidays and Christmas bonus; scala mobile protected workers income against inflation and remained in place until 1985; despite these reforms Italian workers remained among the most underpaid in Europe


1945 - 1948

marked a triumph of continuity; the symbols and rhetoric may have changed but the old government personnel and institutions remained the same

Number of partisans reach a quarter of a million


End of World War II


partisans poised to assume the control of the government in Rome; desired to purge the government of fascists, adopt a constitution for post-war Italy, and deal with issues such as inflation and unemployment

Elections of 2 June


Christian Democrats gain 207 of the 556 delegates

Italy becomes a republic


Victor Emmanuel III abdicates the throne


abdicated to his son Umberto II, hoping to strengthen the support for the monarchy

Italian General Election of 1948


resulted in the overwhelming victory of the Christian Democrats; only time in the history of the Republic when a single party secured the absolute majority

The Constitution comes into force


contained many inconsistencies

Christian Democrats pass 3 laws to break up great estates


estates in much of southern Italy and parts of the centre and north too

Government inquiry reveals Italian poverty

1951 - 1952

close to a million families never ate meat of sugar, and almost a quarter of the total population was designated 'poor'

Amintore Fanfani targets the South as the principal target for expansion


the consolidation of the state helped the growth of the Christian Democrats and freed them of their dependence on the Church; mirrored the expansion of the fascist party

Krushchev reveals Staliist purges of the 1930s


reduces Communist revolutionary threat against the Christian Democrats

Italy becomes a founding member of the EEC


largely due to the strong support of Italian integration from founding member of the Christian Democrats, Alcide De Gaspari

Italian exports soar

1958 - 1963

increase on average of 14.4 % per annum, doubles in EEC countries

Pope Pius XII is succeeded by John XXIII


marked the start of a profound reappraisal of the Church's role in society; orthodoxies became outdated and were challenged

Indistry boom

1958 - 1963

investments in manufacturing rise by an average of 14% a year; scooter industry appears from nowhere

Release of Fellini's La Dolce Vita


comments on the newfound glamour of 1950s Italy, built upon the poverty of the previous era

Second Vatican Council introduces new liberalism


ideal backdrop for negotiations with the Socialists

Companies such as IRI and ENI start losing money

1963 - 1969

Socialists enter government


hope for major reforms in areas such as housing and education that would reduce the gap between North and South was not achieved as expected

Piano Solo


an envisaged plot for an Italian coup in 1964, planned by then director of the military police, Giovanni De Lorenzo

55% of Italian families now own refrigerators


in 1958 it was only 13%

First explosion of protest and unrest

1967 - 1968

occurred amongst university students with anger directed at the educational system, but was also an expression of more fundamental grievances and Marxist thought; disruption of lectures, sit-ins, and clashes with the police

Workforce of northern Italy erupts into militancy

1968 - 1969

after years of inaction, huge waves of strikes, factory occupations, and demonstrations sweep through the country culminating in the Hot Autumn of 1969

Revolts of 1968-1973

1968 - 1973

series of protest movements similar to those in Paris and Washington instigated by many causes such as a fashion for Marxism, rejection of authority, and anger over the Vietnam War; however, militant opposition to the state continued in Italy after it abated elsewehere

Industrial wages double

1969 - 1973

Divorce is legalized


culmination of a four year campaign by the League for the Institution for Divorce; example of women active in the protest movements and the Italian feminist movement; Christian Democrats fail to have the law repealed