Life In Liberal Italy 1870 1922

Life in Italy just before the fascists took over... basic knowledge for Edexcel AS History Modern, Italy and Fascism 1919-25

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Anonymous
  • Created on: 17-10-07 17:56
Preview of Life In Liberal Italy 1870 1922

First 521 words of the document:

Liberal Italy (18701922)
The unification of Italy ("Risorgimento").
Italy was only unified in 1870 after decades of warfare between rival Italian states and
foreign nations. It was finally unified with the conquest of the Papal States by Italian forces
(led by the King of Piedmont). It was initiated by Garribaldi. This was the first time that
modern Italy had been a single political entity since the Roman empire the 5th century.
Long term weaknesses of the Pre war Italian liberal state
Most Italians felt loyalty to their region rather than the new Italian state
Italian patriotism "love of a single town, not of a country" Blanchi
This was worsened because each region had its own language, "Italian" was Tuscan
and was only spoken by a minority
Lack of modern communications rail, road, telegraph systemssome areas were very
Resentment over the loss of regional customs, taxes, currencies etc.
Unhappy over the loss of the papal states
Pope ruled as an independent territorial ruler before
Also viewed the liberal state as being anticlerical, eg civil marriages
This threatened to divide loyalties of the Italian people and might also encourage
foreign intervention to "save" the pope
Papacy refused to accept existence of the Italian state until 1929
Lack of modern transport
High illiteracy rates (70%)
Agriculture dominates the economyrelatively unproductive/old fashioned
A limited degree of industrialization
Most of the agriculture in the South was run by large estates by latifundia
South considerably less well off than the North. Malaria accounted for 2030% deaths
Because of the influence of Piedmont, North Little political influence. South resented
was more politically dominant domination from the North
Concentration of the aristocracy, professional Largely a region of rural peasantry
people and skilled artisans
Reasonable living standards Widespread poverty and low living standards
Considerable industrial development Little industrial development
Nearly 1750 km railways Barely 100km railways
Agriculturegood soil, favourable climate meant Agriculturehot climate, erosion, poor soil
higher production levels meant low production levels
Improving education standards but still 70% Low education levels with less than 18% of
population still illiterate children attending primary school. Over 87%
illiteracy rate
Law and order largely maintained Banditry and lawlessness. Activity of the Mafia
Giovanni Giolitti
Dominated politics during 190014. Created a new approach called "Giolittionism". He felt
The liberals have been too geared to the needs of the wealthy, and have not met the
needs of the poor
Government needs to work for the benefit of the poor, working with other groups
including moderate socialists
His intention was to take the sting out of working class discontent and prevent
His policies on the following were:
1. Social reform
Worker's rights are improved such as a day off every week, outlawing the

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Cuts taxes on basic foods
Antimalarial drugs made available for free
Government expenditure increases by 50% on public schemes e.g. improving roads,
water supplies
2. Labour disputes
Policy of "neutrality" instead of using police/army to suppress the workers, the
government stayed neutral and encouraged "arbitration" try to negotiate.
3. Working with other groups "Trasformismo"
Moderate socialists and catholics brought into a coalition government
Liberalism by 1914
Trasformismo failed.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Workers' welfare improved Employees granted one day off per week and the
employment of children under 12 was outlawed income per head (taking into account
inflation) was 1900 lire in 1895 and 2500 lire in 1915
Expenditure on public works increased by 1907, the state was spending over
50% more than it had done in 1900 to improve roads, farming and the quality of drinking
in the south. National income increased from 61 billion lire in 1895 to 92 billion lire in
1915.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all resources »