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World War I (JulyAug 1914)
Italy and WW1
In August 1914, the major powers of Europe went to war in 2 blocs:
Allies Central Powers
Russia Ottoman empire (Turkey, Iraq, Egypt)
Italy declared her neutrality despite being an ally of the central powers.
Political reactions to Italy's neutrality
Socialists (because they're Futurists wanted war as they saw it as
internationalists) socially cleansing
Some liberals are keen (particularly those Some Liberalsparticularly led by Salandra
who were supporters of Giolitti he was keen
on the idea of maintaining neutrality
Nationalists war makes people patriotic,
of war is won you win more land etc.
However, in 1915 the Italian government (now led by Salandra) declared war on the side with
Why did the Italian Government Join the Allied Powers?
The Treaty of London offers Italy:
So that Italia Irredenta would finally be returned to Italy and Risorgimento would
finally be achieved.
It was hard for the Central powers to match this as the land they wanted was owned by
Was going to war with the Allies a good idea?
Get a lot of land Open to revenge of central powers
Would unify Italy War tearing up political groups because
Salandra went to war without consulting
Glory of winning Extreme groups may seem more attractive if
was is unsuccessful like communism/fascism
Neutrality don't gain or lose anything, but do gain trade from other countries in the war
who aren' t trading with each other. Italy did very well for the first year when they were
Impacts of WWI
Human cost 650,000 dead and 1 million wounded
War was "Extremely devisive" (P. Morgan), "As a result of (the war), Italy suffered 25
years of revolution and tyranny. (D. Mack Smith)
Financial cost 148 billion lira (twice the sum of all government expenditure between
1861 and 1913). As a result of this, the government borrows 69 billion lira from loans
from USA and UK, taxes increase and they print more money. This all caused
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INFLATION. This destroyed savings, with the middle class worst affected by this.
Unemployment increases to 2 million by 1918 because of a drop in industrial
Buying power of wages decreased by 25%
Wave of strikes membership of trade union strikes rises to 2 million. Led to the
"Bienno Rosso" when there's a wave of left wing strikes from 1919 to 1920.…read more