Italy in 1896 and weaknesses of Liberal Italy - Coggle Diagram
Italy in 1896 and weaknesses of Liberal Italy
Before, the country was a collection of small, often quarelling states. States were often hostile to the idea of unification and economically underdeveloped.
Central states dominated by Papal states, where Pope was religious and political ruler.
: Born when after 1815 Italy experienced a literary and cultural revivial, calling for a new sense of Italian patriotism through unification.
In 1861, Italy became a constitutional monarchy (monarch head of state and PM head of government).
In 1870, Rome (Last independent territory) fell.
Most of the fighting was done by foreign powers: most fighting done by french to expel austrians, and in 1866 it was prussian troops who were victorious against austrians
There was no desire for unification: it wasn't the original intention. e.g. Cavour (piedmontese PM didnt want to include the south). unification wasn't a popular uprising, and was dominated by elites.
Fascism arguably caused by problems caused by unification. e.g. lack of italian identity, creators of unification not interested in the south (N v S divide), big debts from unification. reliance on f.p leads to an inferiority complex and a desire to show italy as a great power
After Risorgimento, only 2% possessed the vote, and the new state was dominated by representatives of wealthy and middle class (liberal oligarchy).
Lack of Italian identity
: Little sense of national identity and people didn't have loyalties to Italian nation. Only 2% spoke Italian.
Hostility of Catholic Church
: Church bitter over loss of Papal states. Pope refused to recognise Italian states and in 1874 instructed Catholics to boycott all elections. Priests also helped stir up unrest in peasantry.
: Predominantly an agricultural country: 68% of pop. dependent on land.
Economic weakness meant government received little taxes, so had little money for armed forces and schools.
North vs South Divide
: North: Industrialised; wide scale migration to growing towns. The illiteracy levels in the north were 68% and most peasants/labourers lived in poverty. South: Very little industry; dominated by large, inefficient noble-owned estates. 0.01% owned 50% of land; frequent unrest
Industry underdeveloped due to little natural resources. Some development in iron, steel and shipbuilding but largely for military/railways, and concentrated in north.
Italy united economically by the new gov abolishing internal tariffs and establishing a single Italian market, but this harmed the south as they couldn't compete with North
New state inherited debt from wars; taxes to pay these debts landed mostly on poor.
Communications poor: 90% of south didn't have railways.
Weaknesses to political system
No clearly defined partys
: members of parliament clustered around prominent politicians forming factions: trasformismo. Alliances were fragile: Italy had 29 governments in 52 years.
Bribery and inefficieny common in party. Discredited gov in eyes of publiv.
Banca Romana Crisis
: Country was in depression. Bank lent out 60 million lire to leading politcians, interest free, i.e Crispi received 55,000 Lire.
A lot considering average income was under 2000 lire: lowered liberal reputation even more.
Protests and public unrest
: Depression led to unrest. Strikes occured wanting higher wages and lower rents.
In Jan 1894 the gov ordered arrest of workers' leaders. Sicily placed under military rule and 40k troops sent to restore order. Opposition political groups banned and newspapers censored to stop Italy revolting.
Battle of Adowa 1896
:Crispi invaded Adowa to become a great power. Major defeat by Abysinnians. Italy suffered 15k casualties: humiliating defeat.