Italy: Political Instability 1896-1912

Italian Unification and First Italian Parliament in 1861


Transformismo (Liberal Government by Consensus and Coalition)

Crispi (PM in the 1890's)

Loss of the Battle of Adowa (1896)

The End of the Century Crisis (Culminating in 1898)

Giolitti (PM up to WWI)


  • Created by: Catherine
  • Created on: 07-04-09 13:59

Italian Unification

Was a War Hero from Sicily. He helped to make the Piedmontese king the ruler of all the States of Italy (of which there were 14). The unification in 1870 created a nation of 38 Million people and 12 States (two states went to Austria).

The First Italian Parliament was formed. Italy was from then on called the Kingdom of Italy.

Proper Unification of Italy when it was recognised by other countries and by all the member states.

Although they had the country they did not have the nation. Italy had been formed by an intellectual elite ignoring the masses opinions.

As D'Azeglio said:
'We have made Italy - Now we must make Italians.'

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Obstacles Facing Risorgimento 1

Economic and Social Divisions:
Big divides between North and South, Rich and Poor, Industrial and Agricultural. Only heightened by the fact only 2.5% of Italians could speak Italian. There was no feeling of Common History.

Low Levels of Literacy:
More than 38% of Italians were illiterate in 1914 (over 70% in the South), despite Primary education being made compulsory in 1877. Only 5% of the Adult male population had the vote in 1885, In Britain 60% did.

Vatican Hostility:
The Church had lost land, power and money. £20 Million of land had been repossesed from the church by the state. In 1874 the pope banned Catholics from being politicians, this was not changed until 1904 when it was relaxed.

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Obstacles Facing Risorgimento 2

Widespread Lack of Faith in Politicians:
Liberals swept away regional laws and with them customs, they also imposed some laws on certain areas for example Naples was given conscription. People were mistrustful of the new currency - the Lire. People hadn't played a part in the unification and didn't feel they wanted it.

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The use of compromise, bribes and deals by the Liberal party to keep power and to stop the parties on the far right and left gaining power.

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