Political, Social And Economic Crisis In Italy 1918 22

Notes on the political, social and economic problems in Italyfor Edexcel AS History Modern, Italy and Fascism 1919-25

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Nature of the Social, Political and Economic
crisis facing Italian government 191822
Post war Italyproblems
a) THE ADVANCE OF SOCIALISM
i. Growth of unions 191920 wave of strikes in industry, agriculture
ii. Factory occupationsAugustSept 1920 over 300 factories occupied
iii. Land occupations191920 returning exsoldiers occupied unoccupied
land, and some landlord's land. Government legalised these occupations.
iv. Socialist power in the agricultural economy In EmiliaRomagna,
powerful socialist agricultural union (Federterra), labour exchanges and
Chambers of labour developed. 1920 wave of strikes forced employers to
improve workers' terms
v. PSI success in local elections November 1920 PSI won control of 2162
of 8059 communes and 25 out of 69 provinces
vi. Successful Russian Revolution1917 Soviet Revolution helped inspire
many socialists. 1919 strikes in solidarity with Soviet Russia.
b) THE FASCIST REACTION
i. Growth of Fascism Founded in Milan, March 1919. Cities taken over by
Fascists October 1922. March on Rome, October 1922.
ii. Civil war: Socialists v Fascists 191922 violent clashes between Fascists
and Socialists: over 2000 killed
c) TERRITORIAL PROBLEMS
i. "Mutilated victory"Italy failed to gain Dalmatia and Fiume. No colonies in
Africa, middle East and Dalmatia.
ii. Fiume Nationalist D'Annunzio seized control 1919
d) ECONOMIC PROBLEMS
i. Rising unemploymentfrom 1920 as 2.5 million soldiers demobilized, and
industry hit by post war recession
ii. National debtin 1918 was 85 billion lire (1914 was 16 billion)
iii. Wartime inflation continued
Price index
1913 100
1918 413
1919 591
e) GENERAL SITUATION
i. Great hopes and fears
ii. Disillusionment and hostility towards war profiteers
iii. Flu epidemic, killed nearly as many as the war
f) GOVERNMENT
i. Weak liberal governments continued in RomeFailure of PSI and PPI to
cooperate meant return to trasformismostyle politics
ii. Prime ministers 191829went through 6 see later
Government reaction to the problems
PROBLEM GOVERNMENT REACTION
Modest gains at Versailles Walked out of Treaty negotiations
D'Annunzio seizure of Fiume Did nothing
Food riots Set up commission and authorized price
cuts
Land occupations Legalised them
Factory occupations Promised reforms
1

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Powerful labour exchanges Officially recognized and given state
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