Italy on the eve of WW1

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  • Created by: Victoria
  • Created on: 09-11-12 14:03

Evidence of considerable unity:

  • Urbanisation and literacy, ‘Italian’ the official lingua franca
  • Patriotic propaganda in schools
  • National economy linked by roads and railways
  • Institutions had grown, Catholic Action, trade unions, newspapers expanded
  • State had existed for 50 years, people getting used to it
  • Liberals held the state together  
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Evidence of little unity:

  • No overriding Liberal hegemony
  • No agreement on basic ideological, educational or social aims
  • Most people still spoke dialect
  • Nearly 40% of adults were still illiterate
  • Popular press barely existed
  • No broadcasting despite wireless being invented in 1896
  • Social and economic gap between North and South was large
  • Chasm between town and country
  • Italy still run by a small elite
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Socialist views:

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    • Socialists condemned Giolitti regime as a guise for Capitalist exploitation of the workers
    • Hours were long and wages were low
    • Benefits were few and far between
    • State willing to use army to quell industrial disputes
    • State wasted money on foreign adventures
    • Poverty was widespread
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Nationalist views:

o   Lacked will to make Italy a major international force, lacked real strength of conviction
o   Emigration rife
o   Worsened the struggle between classes
o   Failed to crush socialism
o   Liberalism never instilled a ‘national spirit’
o   Politicians only concerned with own career and private interests

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