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Books by the same Author: 


London: Humphrey M. ilford 
Oxford University Press 





Professor of Economic History 
Emeritus in Princeton University 




/ 3 '- 

8 * 

To the Princeton men whom I ham taught. 

In memory of friendships never forgotten 

and greatly prized. 



THIS booJ^ makes no claim to scholarship, for I have 
relied entirely on the researches of other men as con 
tained in their writings, and on a considerable kjiowl- 
edge of Italy and the Italians acquired during many visits to 
the peninsula. 

I should like to express my appreciation of the admirable 
works from which I have freely drawn for facts, but espe 
cially of those of Bolton King, G. M. Trevelyan, and Luigi 
Villari, and my gratitude to my wife for her invaluable sug 
gestions and criticisms. 

I have used the usual English equivalents for Italian nouns, 
only employing the Italian when the use of English would be 
pedantic, as, for example, fascism o and fascist a instead of 
their atrocious English translations. 

I have for the same reason called the Austrian-Hungarian 
Empire, Austria; the Kingdom of Sardinia, Piedmont; and 
the president of the council of ministers, the premier or prime 

G. B. McC. 



After the Congress of Vienna 

Mazzini, Gioberti, and Pius IX 



The Triumph of Absolutism 


Solf erino and After 




The Government of the Right 




The Coming of War 

The World War 

After the War 






6 4 










CHAPTER XX Fascismo at Work 

CHAPTER XXI The Vatican Accord 











A \7~THEN the Congress o Vienna adjourned on June 9, 
\/L/ 1815, its members congratulated themselves that 

* * under the leadership of the exceedingly able and 
astute Metternich they had turned the hands of the clock 
back a quarter of a century and had made the world forever 
safe for absolutism. Metternich and his associates redrew the 
map of Continental Europe with an entire disregard of the 
wishes of the millions of people involved, treating them and 
their fields and cities as mere chattels in a game of bargain 
ing played by the four great victorious powers, Austria, Great 
Britain, Russia, and Prussia. 

Of the various parts of the Napoleonic Empire, France 
received the fairest treatment and Italy the worst. France was 
represented at the Congress by Talleyrand, who with extra 
ordinary skill, by playing the great powers against each other, 
succeeded in obtaining for his country substantially the same 
boundaries she had had before the revolution. Even after the 
Hundred Days he was able to preserve those boundaries 
almost intact, compromising with the wrath of the victors 
by agreeing to 700,000,000 francs indemnity and a five-year 
military occupation of France, at French expense. 

Italy on the other hand fared almost as badly as was pos 
sible. The kingdom of Northern Italy was divided into the 
states as "they had existed before the French invasion, but 
merely as a convenience in playing the game of bargain and 
sale. Victor Emanuel was restored to the throne of Sardinia 
and as a reward for his consistent reactionist!! and subser 
vience to the ideals of the Holy Alliance, was given the former 
republic of Genoa, despite the violent protest of the Genoese, 


who asked that as a matter of ordinary justice they be re 
stored to the independence of which France had deprived 
them. He also received Nice, which was as much French as 
it was Piedmontese, and Savoy, which was altogether French 
in language and sympathy. 

Lombardy and Venetia, including the Trentino, Triestino, 
Istria, and Dalmatia, were given to Austria in return for the 
withdrawal of her claims on Belgium. Ferdinand III of 
Habsburg-Lorraine was restored to the throne of Tuscany as 
grand duke, while Francis IV, son of Hercules III whom the 
French had deprived of the duchy of Modena, the Stati Estensi, 
received his father's patrimony. The little duchy of Lucca 
was given to Maria Louisa, ex-queen of Etruria and daughter 
of the Bourbon Charles IV of Spain. The duchy of Parma, 
including the territories of Piacenza and Guastalla, were 
given to Napoleon's widow, Marie Louise, for life, with the 
proviso that at her death her son, the little King of Rome, 
should not succeed to the throne, but that the duchy should 
go to the ex-queen of Etruria or in the event of her death to 
her son, while at the same time Lucca should go to Tuscany. 
The pope received back the former States of the Church, 
while Ferdinand of Bourbon, who had been kept upon the 
throne of Sicily by the British, received Murat's kingdom of 
Naples and assumed the title of Ferdinand I, King of the 
Two Sicilies, frhe plucky little mountain oligarchic republic 
of San Marino, which had been spared by Napoleon, was 
ignored by the Congress of Vienna, and has with Andorra 
come down to us today as one of the two last survivals in 
Europe of the Middle Ages. From his point of view Metter- 
nich had every reason to be satisfied with the outcome of the 
Congress of Vienna, for Italy had become in truth "a mere 
geographical expression,"? 

The great peninsula which bore the name was divided 
into a number of States all ruled by princes in whose reac- 
tionism and absolutism Metternich had full confidence. 


Austria had become the great dominant power, for not only 
did she directly own Lombardy and Venetia but with the 
exception of the duchy of Lucca and the States of the Church, 
every Italian government was linked to her by a close per 
sonal tie. Ferdinand III, grand duke of Tuscany, was the 
Austrian emperor's brother; Francis IV, duke of Modena, 
was his first cousin; Marie Louise, duchess of Parma, was his 
daughter; Maria Carolina, wife of Ferdinand of Naples, was 
his aunt; and Maria Theresa, wife of Victor Emanuel of Pied 
mont, was his cousin. 

At Rome the power of Austria was greater than that of any 
other state, for besides being the "favorite daughter of the 
Church" the possession of a veto in papal elections, a veto she 
never hesitated to use, made it certain that no pope would 
ever ascend the throne of St. Peter who was inimical to Aus 
trian interests. In Lucca, Maria Louisa relied on Austria to 
carry out the terms of the treaty of Vienna and give her or 
her son Parma on the death of the other Marie Louise. Need 
less to say the influence of Austria in Lucca was supreme. The 
only Italian state where Austria was not dominant was Pied 
mont. While Victor Emanuel was known to possess a very 
vigorous hatred for Austria he was so intensely reactionary 
that Metternich had no fear that he would give trouble and, 
besides, his queen was an Austrian archduchess. 

Yet, able man though he was, Metternich could not realize 
the impossibility of bringing back to the world an era that 
had passed forever. He utterly failed to understand that the 
French Revolution had destroyed the old world that had 
gone before and had ushered in the new, and that it had con 
ferred upon mankind as its most important heritage the 
spirit of modern nationality. The efforts which Metternich 
made in his own selfish interests to disregard the national 
spirit of the states of Europe only served, first to kindle, and 
then to fan into a world-wide conflagration the very forces 
he had tried to curb. 


As the modern spirit of nationality was evoked by the op 
pression of Napoleon it was proclaimed and enthroned by 
the oppression of Metternich. By it and because of it Conti 
nental Europe has been entirely transformed. It called into 
being the German Empire, modern Italy and modern Greece. 
It drove the Turk almost out of Europe, created the Balkan 
States, Ireland, Poland, the Baltic States, Czecho-Slovakia and 
Yugoslavia. This spirit of nationality in its modern phase, 
while a direct result of the revolutionary and Napoleonic 
wars, is the outcome of a gradual evolution which has been 
going on since man has existed and the end of which is not 
yet. Beginning with the family and ending with the great 
nations of today is a continuous process of growth and devel 
opment, which has influenced all economic life as it has 

The families of prehistoric times, grouped in little villages, 
became towns through mere increase of population, and the 
towns in due course became cities. Until well on toward our 
own day the city-state was the only political organization the 
world knew and city economy was its only scheme of govern 
ment. Gradually the cities grew by the absorption of adjoin 
ing territory, or were themselves absorbed by the surrounding 
lands belonging to some powerful lord of the soil. And so 
came into being the territorial states, small at first, but soon 
increasing in size by marriage, by inheritance, or by conquest. 

Eventually the old city economy broke down. It had served 
its purpose and with more or less success had met the not 
over-exacting requirements of its time. But when ambitions 
became wider, when the point of view became more ex 
tended, and population greatly increased, new methods of 
economic administration were required to carry forward 
human development, and the territorial states came into 

From the close of the fifteenth century until the French 
Revolution the territorial states of Europe busied themselves 


with the progress of civilization, seeking the same goal of 
self -sufficiency as had the city-states that had gone before. 
But the new units of economic and political organization 
were larger and more diversified than their predecessors. The 
territorial states, containing as they did all sorts and condi 
tions of men, dwellers in the towns and on the fields, manu 
facturers, traders, and tillers of the soil, necessarily developed 
a larger policy and one which could further industrial 
development more rapidly than any that had preceded it. 
Each territorial state was ruled by a prince (in a few cases 
by an oligarchy) who concentrated in his hands the sov 
ereign power. The loyalty of all classes was to the sovereign 
himself. He was to them in some instances the actual 
owner, in all cases "the great and good friend" whom they 
followed in war and reverenced in peace. Loyalty to the soil, 
to the race, to what we call the nation was unknown. Loyalty 
to the king was everything. 

Some of the territorial rulers were wise and strove to make 
their states strong and self-contained within and powerful 
and respected abroad. Some of these rulers were foolish and, 
regarding their states as nothing but their personal property, 
ruled them with an ignorance and caprice that could only 
end in ruin. All, however, continued the old selfishness in 
policy, and strove to acquire wealth and power at the expense 
of the other countries. 

As time went on many of these territorial states had grown 
large enough to include almost all the people of some given 
nationality in the modern sense. In many cases the conditions 
prerequisite to nationality were in being, waiting to be called 
into action. 

England had more rapidly approached the condition of a 
nation than any other state and yet even England lacked 
something in her development to make her the British nation 
of today. 


Long before the French Revolution conditions were ripe 
for the touch of the enchanter's wand. The giants of national 
ity lay sleeping, waiting to be awakened into active life. The 
world was becoming too large, population was too great to be 
satisfied with the crude and loose organization of the terri 
torial state, whose people were bound together by nothing 
but a common service to a common sovereign. No matter 
how great a noble might be, no matter how humble was the 
peasant, noble and peasant alike were nothing more than the 
creatures of the king, with no more interest in the body politic 
than that w r hich came from devotion to the person of the 
sovereign and dependence upon him for political existence. 
Before 1789 patriotism existed which was just as pure, just as 
noble, just as unselfish as that which followed, but the ideal 
of the eighteenth century patriot was very different from that 
of his nineteenth century prototype. The ante-revolutionary 
patriot served not his country, but his sovereign. The doc 
trine of the divine right of kings was generally accepted, so 
that the king as the God-appointed ruler was regarded as the 
ultimate object of all loyalty and service. The king was in 
himself the state so that the emigres of the French Revolution 
sincerely believed that in fighting against the armies of the 
republic they were fighting for France, for they were fighting 
to restore the king. 

The French Revolution marks the birth of the modern 
world as we know it. It marks the beginning of our world, 
the world in which we live. The ragged army with which 
Dumouriez and Kellerman won Valmy called into being 
the modern spirit of nationality. Frenchmen suddenly awoke 
to a realization that there was a France which was not the 
appanage of the crown, which was not the property of the 
Bourbon lilies but which was the birthright of her sons, the 
heritage and possession of all Frenchmen, to be fought for, to 
be died for, and to be lived for. The men of the revolution 
believed it to be their mission to force upon Europe their own 


doctrines and ideals, just as later Napoleon believed it to be his 
mission to force his rule upon the world. And the countries 
of Europe, realizing that if they were to live free from France 
they must fight each for itself as an independent unit, sprang 
to the fray with the already laid fires of nationality bursting 
into flames, kindled by the spark of French world ambition. 

The doctrine of the revolution that the people have the 
right to rule themselves did away forever with the doctrine 
of the divine right of kings. The moment that the state was 
regarded as no longer the property of the monarch, the crown 
became the creature of the people. The moment that it was 
conceded that the people might rule themselves in their own 
way, the spirit of nationality became more self-assertive. 
Masses of men having the same interests, the same hopes, the 
same ideals, naturally tended to separate from those who dif 
fered from them, while groups of men with like interests 
strove to join themselves together. 

This national movement began as soon as Europe had been 
freed from Napoleon. Reactionary princes and ministers for 
years failed to recognize the new force, but it was ever pres 
ent and ever growing in importance and in power. 

In no country in Europe was the call of nationality felt 
more strongly than in Italy. Descended from the same Latin 
stock, practising the same religion, possessing a common lit 
erary language, inhabiting a peninsula surrounded by the 
Alps and the sea, the Italians would seem to have been pre 
destined to form one great nationality. 

Through the centuries, after the fall of the Roman Empire, 
the presence of the barbarian had been bitterly resented. 
Local jealousies and antagonisms, the ignorance of the 
peasantry, the inertia of the educated and upper classes had 
permitted the outlander to rule die people of Italy with com 
parative ^ease. 

It required the stimulus of the new spirit of nationality 
which the French Revolution had called into being to rouse 


the Italians from their lethargy, to develop the leaders of the 
cause, to unite the people in the supreme struggle for 

It is a curious fact that of all the great men whom Italy has 
produced until the dawn of our own day, but one had the 
vision to dream of an Italian nation. Neither Dante nor 
Petrarch, for all their genius and their imagination, ever but 
vaguely suggested the possibility of Italian unity. Machiavelli 
stands alone as its forerunner, for he advocated the union of 
all Italians into one great state, and believed that his hero 
and ideal prince, Cesare Borgia, had the ability and strength 
to bring that state into being. What Cesare Borgia might 
have accomplished, had he lived, is problematical, for while 
his ability was great, the idea of Italian unity was so foreign 
to the thought of the time as to have made it almost impos 
sible of realization. 

It was not until the very eve of the nineteenth century that 
Italian unity was brought into the domain of practical poli 
tics. After the fall of the Venetian republic, while the democ 
racy was struggling for life under the death sentence of 
Bonaparte, those two great patriots and statesmen, Vincenzo 
Dandolo and Tomaso Gallino, strove desperately to bring 
about a union of the Italian states into one great Italian 
republic. But regionalism was too strong, and the petty am 
bitions and jealousies of the politicians in the mushroom 
republics that Bonaparte had created, prevented them from 
even obtaining a respectful hearing. The idea of Italian unity 
in no way appealed to Bonaparte, who was unwilling to have 
a single great Italian nation as his neighbor. His purposes 
were better served by dividing the peninsula into three states, 
all under his control, than they would have been with a single 
nation at his door, influenced by a common spirit of 
nationhood. 1 

1 Venice and Bonaparte, by George B. McClellan. Princeton, 1931. 


It is true that later Napoleon experienced a change o 
heart, but in view of the circumstances under which the 
change occurred the sincerity of his conversion may well be 

While at Elba he received an invitation from a group of 
fourteen of his former officers and supporters, meeting at 
Turin and headed by Pellegrino Rossi, to take over the gov 
ernment of Italy with the understanding that he should 
refrain from all foreign conquests. As the members of the 
group were acting entirely on their own responsibility, with 
no apparent outside support, it is doubtful if the former em 
peror took their invitation very seriously. It gave him, how 
ever, an opportunity to appeal to the Italian people, and to 
make a bid for their support, which in the event of the fail 
ure of his designs on France might advantageously be 
followed up. 

Although the invitation was dispatched May 19, 1814, 
Napoleon did not answer it until the following October, 
when he replied in a letter worded in the best style of a 
Napoleonic proclamation and evidently intended to fire the 
hearts of the Italians. "I shall make of the people of Italy a 
single nation," he said. "I shall impress on them unity of man 
ners and customs at present lacking, and this will be the most 
difficult enterprise which I have ever undertaken within 
twenty years Italy will have thirty million inhabitants. Then 
she will be the most powerful of nations we shall abstain 
from wars of conquest, but I shall have a brave and powerful 
army. I shall write upon our banners my motto of the iron 
crown, 'woe to him who touches it,' and no one will dare 
do so." 

Four months after sending his answer Napoleon had left 
Elba and embarked on the adventure of the Hundred Days, 
all thoughts of Pellegrino Rossi's invitation forgotten. It will 
always remain one of the "what might have beens" of his 
tory, whether he might not have won had he thrown the dice 


with fortune for the last time, with Italy rather than France 
as the stake. It is interesting to remember that the greatest 
man of his age contemplated a united Italy as a political 

Presumably taking a leaf from the book of the man who 
had made him and whom he had afterwards betrayed, 
Murat, the arch-ingrate, finding himself slipping, and as a 
last desperate effort to save his throne, tried to awaken 
among Italians a desire for unity. But outside of his own 
kingdom he was distrusted and disliked and he was allowed 
to go before the firing-squad unhelped and unmourned. 

It required more than the eloquence of Dandolo and 
Gallino, more than the desperate earnestness of Murat or the 
academic interest of Napoleon, to call into being the spirit of 
Italian nationality. The doctrines of the revolution made 
much progress among the educated Italians, but this was not 
enough. Under Napoleon all parts of Italy were given the 
best governments they had ever had, and while they were 
governments of foreigners, supported, if necessary, by for 
eign bayonets, they were not oppressive and even though the 
conscription was a great hardship, economic conditions were 
far better than under the despots who had gone before. The 
people were sufficiently contented with their lot to make 
diem deaf to the appeal of nationality. It required the oppres 
sion of Austria and the rigor and corruption of the Bour 
bons to bring about a state of mind that would welcome the 
idea of union. 

As the years passed the misrule of the foreigner became ever 
more difficult to bear, until at last the people began to realize 
that the only way by which they could be freed from the 
barbarians was by uniting for their expulsion. At first, union 
was thought of merely as a means to an end, but ere long, 
under the preaching of Mazzini and his followers, the means 
became an end in itself, an end enlarged and glorified into 
the hope of creating the Italian nation. 


The story of modern Italy, beginning with the vox clamatis 
of Mazzini and ending with the accomplishments of Musso 
lini, is the story of a great people whose leaders were grimly 
determined at all costs to free themselves from the barbarian, 
and to achieve and to perfect the Italian nation to which God 
had entitled them. 



THE restored absolutist rulers of Italy, all creatures of 
Metternich, were true to their salt in carrying out in 
varying degrees of intensity the reactionary policy of 
their master. Victor Emanuel of Piedmont celebrated his 
restoration and his fifty-sixth birthday by ordering the army 
to resume the wearing of pigtails, and by restoring to his 
former position every surviying office-holder of the old 
regime. By the edict of May 21, 1814, he put into force all the 
royal ordinances and decrees that had been repealed by the 
French and renewed the disabilities of frotestants and Jews. 

He was kindly, incompetent and ignorant, honestly believ 
ing in the divine right of kings, especially of that of Casa 
Savoja. His one redeeming quality from the Italian point of 
view was an intense hatred of all things Austrian. Ferdi 
nand III of Tuscany and the two Marie Louises of Parma 
and Lucca, respectively, governed patriarchally and fairly 
well. Francis IV of Modena was a man of considerable ability 
who governed his small state harshly but efficiently. Ferdi 
nand I of the Two Sicilies was an ignorant tyrant who gov 
erned his kingdom without regard to honesty, decency or 

The kingdom of Lombardy and Venetia, which included 
one-eighth of the population and one-eighteenth of the ter 
ritory of the Austrian Empire, paid one-quarter of the taxes 
levied in the Habsburg possessions. After all local expendi 
tures had been paid, including the cost of the Austrian army 
of occupation, Lombardy was annually assessed thirty-four 
million lire and Venetia twenty-three million. Under the 
Archduke Renier, as vice-regent for his brother the emperor, 


the exorbitant and oppressive taxes were rigorously collected, 
but it must be conceded that the government was efficient 
and honest. 

In 1846, out of 2,247 townships only 50 were without ele 
mentary schools for boys, while in most of the chief towns 
there were secondary schools. Economic conditions were 
better than in any other part of Italy, except perhaps Pied 
mont, and life was not hard for those who could bring them 
selves to forget that they were Italians. Abject subservience to 
Austrian rule was demanded from all, for as Francis I once 
said, "What is required is obedient subjects, not enlightened 

The States of the Church were ruled by Pius VII, that 
saintly and courageous victim of Napoleon, who returned to 
Rome a broken old man of seventy-three. His prime min 
ister, Cardinal Ercole Consalvi, was one of the best admin 
istrators of his time. A member of a very old Pisan family, he 
had made his career as a civil servant at Rome. He was 
a lawyer who only took minor orders in 1800 on receiving 
the red hat, and had devoted himself chiefly to legal matters 
before attaining the prime ministership. His administration 
was despotic, but efficient, and was the best that Rome had 
had in many generations, or was ever destined to have again. 
He appointed a great number of laymen to important posi 
tions, reformed the finances, reorganized the judiciary, and 
gave the Papal States a really good government, which would 
have been impossible but for the loyal support which he 
received from his friend and patron the Holy Father. 

In 1815 every corner of Italy was ruled despotically at the 
whim of its prince, as his personal possession, without regard 
to the wishes of the people. Political liberty was non-existent, 
the individual was nothing but the chattel of the sovereign. 
When the sovereign was of kindly disposition and of enough 
ability to choose a competent prime minister, as was the case 
in Tuscany, Parma, Lucca, and Rome, the lot of the gov- 


erned was at best tolerable. When on the other hand the sov 
ereign was ignorant or cruel or extravagant, as was the case 
in Modena and Naples, the lot of the governed was hard 
beyond description. 

In every Italian state the sovereign lived in constant fear of 
revolution and by his oppressive efforts to prevent its occur 
rence only succeeded in bringing about what he strove to 
avoid. While the proletariat and the peasantry took but little 
interest in politics, the Italian intellectuals had never for 
gotten their hatred of the barbarian and their longing to be 
rid of him. 

The first concrete expression of discontent, the first con 
crete movement against the oppression of the foreigner, was 
made by the carbonari. The carbonari or "charcoal burners," 
as they called themselves, were members of a secret society 
having for its purpose the expulsion of the barbarian from 
Italy and the acquisition of constitutional governments. 

The society had its origin in Naples in the early days of the 
nineteenth century, and was composed chiefly of intellectuals, 
members of the aristocracy and middle class,, with some 
workingmen and peasants. It modelled itself largely on Ital 
ian Freemasonry, and had a mystical and exaggerated ritual 
that appealed strongly to the South Italian. The flag of the 
society was red, black, and blue, and remained the emblem 
of revolution in Italy until the adoption of the red, white, 
and green in 1831. 

The original purpose of the carbonari was the expulsion 
of the French. During the last years of his reign Murat tried 
unsuccessfully to win carbonari support and having failed 
persecuted them with great vigor. Turning to the Bourbons, 
Ferdinand received their overtures with friendliness, and 
they became his strong supporters and did much to hasten 
the fall of Murat. 

On his restoration Ferdinand with his usual disloyalty 
broke faith with them, organized a reactionary society called 


the calderari, and did all in his power to destroy them. They 
throve on persecution and spread with great rapidity all over 
Italy and even to France, and became for a time the only 
liberal party in the land. While at first limiting their activi 
ties to subterranean agitation, it was not long before they 
changed their propaganda into one of direct and open action. 

The government of Naples was not only arbitrary but it 
was unspeakably corrupt. To meet the demands of an extrava 
gant court and dishonest bureaucracy, taxes were inordi 
nately high and economic conditions inordinately low. Public 
officials were expected to make up by graft for unpaid salar 
ies, while the army whose pay was always in arrears and 
whose discipline was non-existent lived from hand to mouth 
by petty larceny and sometimes, it was hinted, even by high 
way robbery. 

The membership of the carbonari, in the beginning re 
stricted very carefully to those who believed in its ideals, was 
thrown open to anyone who cared to join, and the disaffected 
joined by thousands small proprietors and peasants, civil 
servants, soldiers and priests. 

The militia, which had been organized under Guglielmo 
Pepe to suppress brigandage, was turned by its commander, 
who was a carbonaro, into a supporter of revolution and was 
preparing a coup d'etat when Morelli and Salvati, two young 
cavalry officers, on July 2, 1820, deserted the army with their 
squadron and marched on Naples demanding a constitution. 
The movement grew at once into a revolution. Reinforced by 
Pepe and a part of his militia the insurgent army numbered 
nearly 12,000 men, encamped at Avellino some sixty miles 
from Naples. 

As soon as Ferdinand heard that the insurgents threatened 
his capital he became panic-stricken, for he was not only a 
tyrant and a liar, but also a moral and physical coward. With 
out waiting for Pepe to begin his march on Naples the king, 


on July 5, proclaimed his intention of granting "of his own 
free will" a constitution the details of which he failed to 
specify, while at the same time he secretly dispatched an 
agonized plea to Austria for help. 

The constitution which the revolutionists demanded was 
the Spanish constitution of 1812, a thoroughly unworkable 
and impossible document, that was supposed to be the last 
word in democracy. It was proclaimed with delirious joy, and 
formally approved by the king and his eldest son whom he 
had appointed regent, both of whom solemnly swore to sup 
port and enforce it. 

The revolution in Naples had its repercussion in Sicily 
which, having remained loyal to the Bourbons throughout 
the Napoleonic period, was rewarded by Ferdinand by being 
deprived of the constitution which the British had forced him 
to grant. The Sicilians rose almost to a man demanding the 
Sicilian constitution of 1812, and independence from Naples 
under the same king. 

The revolutionary government in Naples handled the situ 
ation with neither understanding nor tact. They insisted that 
Sicily should take the Spanish constitution, and refused very 
discourteously to accept an offer of an army of 10,000 Sicil 
ians. The uprising for a time got out of hand, and peace and 
the Spanish constitution were imposed only after much un 
necessary bloodshed. 

The news of the uprising seriously disturbed Metternich 
who had convinced himself that revolution in Europe had 
finally been killed. On July 25, 1820, he informed the Ger 
man sovereigns that he would not tolerate revolution in 
Naples and that under a secret treaty between Austria and 
Naples, signed June 12, 1815, he was authorized to use force 
in its suppression. He summoned the sovereigns to a confer 
ence at Laybach to consider the situation and invited King 
Ferdinand to attend. Ferdinand in December 1820 asked par- 


liament for permission to accept the invitation, which parlia 
ment granted, the king once more on the eve of his departure 
swearing fealty to the constitution. 

From Laybach Ferdinand wrote his ministers that the allies 
would not recognize the constitution that force would be 
employed to restore the old order, that Austria had been 
authorized to send an army into Neapolitan territory for the 
purpose, and that he agreed with the program. 

In January the Austrians crossed the Po, moving on Naples. 
The Neapolitan army, consisting of some 20,000 regulars and 
25,000 militia, was divided into two columns, under Generals 
Pepe and Carrascosa; the former was ordered to defend the 
Abruzzi, the latter the line of the Garigliano. 

On March 7, 1831, Pepe, for some unexplained reason, 
crossed the Neapolitan frontier near Rieti, and with 20,000 
men attacked the entire Austrian army of nearly twice his 
strength. After a day's fighting Pepe was routed, and his army 
broke up and went home. 

On March 23 the Austrians entered Naples, the garrison of 
the city declared for Ferdinand, and parliament begged his 
forgiveness. The king returned to his capital, annulled the 
constitution, restored absolutism and began the punishment 
of the constitutionalists who were not fortunate enough to 
have left the kingdom. 

In Milan the increase of carbonari activity caused the Aus 
trian government to arrest and imprison without trial a num 
ber of Italians including the poet Silvio Pellico, who with his 
book Le mie prigioni achieved immortality for himself and 
greatly helped his country. 

In the same year a carbonaro revolt occurred in Turin. 
Victor Emahuel had abdicated, and Charles Albert, the heir 
presumptive and regent in the absence of the new king, 
Charles Felix, granted a constitution. On the return of the 
king the constitution was withdrawn, with Austrian help 


an uprising of the constitutionalists was suppressed near 
Novara, and Charles Albert was banished. 

The French revolution of July 1830 started the cauldron 
of insurrection boiling all over Europe, and nowhere more 
vigorously than in Italy. Charles Felix died April 27, 1831, 
and was succeeded by his distant cousin, Charles Albert, head 
of the Carignano branch of Casa Savoja, who was a curious 
combination of contradictions. At times a bigot and a reac 
tionary in religion and politics, at times a liberal in both, at 
times showing decision and strength of character, at times 
showing pitiable weakness, he was a religious mystic who 
went through life wearing a hair shirt next to his skin for 
the ( mortification of the flesh, and suffered from an over 
sensitive conscience which caused him agonies of fear and of 
regret. He was a harsh, cold, shy man who made few friends 
and never succeeded in winning either the love or the admira 
tion of his people. 

Yet with all his weaknesses and his shortcomings he had 
one redeeming quality, for when once he had plighted his 
word no power on earth could make him break it, and in this 
he differed radically from his fellow Italian sovereigns. 

Shortly after his accession Charles Albert received a letter 
from Giuseppe Mazzini, urging him to lead the movement 
for the union of Italy, which marks the entrance of that 
remarkable man into the politics of his fatherland. 

Mazzini was in the truest sense "the voice of one crying in 
the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his 
paths straight." Born in Genoa in 1805 of middle-class par 
ents, he devoted his life, his eloquence and his great ability 
with complete unselfishness and without hope of reward to 
the cause of Italia Unita. While he realized the necessity of 
driving out the barbarian, the freeing of the peninsula from 
alien rule was for him only the condition precedent to the 
far more vital necessity of the union of all Italians under one 
flag and government. 


Others, like Gioberti, might be quite as sincere in their de 
sire to rid Italy of the Austrian, but for them the form of gov 
ernment to follow was of comparatively slight importance. 

So Gioberti advocated a federation of Italian states under 
the presidency of the pope. For Mazzini, however, there could 
be no compromise with the one overwhelming urge toward 
union in one Italian state. Whatever may have been his eccen 
tricities and mistakes in old age, in his youth and in his 
prime, in season and out of season, despite ill health, poverty 
and banishment, sometimes in Italy, more often a refugee 
abroad, he kept alight the pure flame of union, never hesi 
tating when lesser men faltered, never discouraged, never 
losing heart. Fundamentally a republican, he was neverthe 
less willing to approach the King of Piedmont in behalf of 
his objective. For him the union of Italy so far exceeded in 
importance every other question, that in its attainment every 
and any means were in his opinion legitimate. 

He was undoubtedly a conspirator and a fanatic, who hesi 
tated at nothing, not even .assassination, it has been said, 
in the attainment of his end. He was often unreasoning, 
unreasonably difficult to get on with, and impossible to 
lead. Yet modern Italy owes him a debt, far too great for 
assessment, in that he educated the Italian people into think 
ing of themselves as a nation, and never let their leaders forget 
that nationality was their heaven-sent heritage. 

Disgusted with the cheap claptrap of the carbonari he 
organized among the Italian refugees at Marseilles an asso 
ciation which he called Giovane Italia, or Young Italy, which 
soon spread all over the peninsula and by 1833 numbered over 
60,000 members. The purpose of Giovane Italia was the 
propaganda of the Mazzinian doctrine of unitarianism, as it 
was called one republican Italian nation. The Mazzinian 
theories of government were never tried out practically but 
once, when during the short-lived Roman republic they 
proved to be utterly unworkable. 


Under the auspices of Mazzini and his followers several 
small rebellions broke out in Piedmont, only to be merci 
lessly stamped out by Charles Albert. 

The pathetic little filbustering expedition of the Venetian 
Bandiera brothers, fathered by Mazzini, ended in disaster. 
From the moment the expedition landed on the Calabrian 
coast everything went wrong. The peasants instead of joining 
the Bandieras turned against them. They were captured by 
Neapolitan troops and promptly shot. Mazzini was severely 
criticized for encouraging the expedition which was from the 
start foredoomed to failure. While he tried to shift responsi 
bility, he need not have done so for the Bandieras did not die 
in vain. Their twenty-odd followers were drawn from almost 
every part of Italy, and their little band was the first truly 
Italian expedition to fight and suffer for Italian nationality. 
The fate of the Bandieras and their companions was mourned 
by all Italians, for they were the sons of all Italy. 

In 1843 Vincenzo Gioberti published his book Del frimato 
morale e civile dcgll Italiani which had an immediate and 
far-reaching success. 

Gioberti (1801-1852), who was a Piedmontese priest, had 
been exiled by Charles Albert for sympathy with the Giovane 
Italia movement. When permitted to return he had given 
up his republicanism but remained true to the cause of 

His Del primato was the statement of his creed. He insisted 
that Italy having produced Caesar, Dante, and Napoleon 
was the land from which was destined to come the leaders of 
the world, that Italy was destined to become the world center 
in moral and spiritual things, that the prerequisite of such 
moral and spiritual leadership was national independence, 
freedom from the barbarian. 

Gioberti was, however, far too conservative to be a uni- 
tarian. He proposed to regenerate and free Italy through the 
instrumentality of the King of Piedmont and the pope. Aus- 


tria being expelled, the Italian states were to be organized 
into a loose confederacy under the presidency of the pope, 
and all forces in Italy, even the Jesuits, were to assist. 

Gioberti, who had no illusions as to the political opinions 
of Gregory XVI, called upon the pope to rejoice in the great 
destiny reserved for his successor on the delivery of Italy 
from the barbarian. 

The success of the Primato was due largely to its conserva 
tism. It was catholic; it praised impartially the pope and 
Charles Albert; it did not favor the republic, nor did it pro 
pose to tear down the boundaries of existing states. While the 
Jesuits refused to approve it, the Franciscans and Dominicans 
praised it. Politically it was a safe compromise, for while it 
did not win the support of extremists of either side, of either 
the extreme conservatives like the Jesuits, or the extreme radi 
cals, like the Mazzinians, its strength lay entirely in the center 
between the two. What was needed to make possible the 
Giobertian ideal was a reforming pope, and on June i, 1846, 
Gregory XVI died. 

The conclave met June 14 with Cardinal Lambruschini, 
Gregory's secretary of state, as the Austrian candidate. The 
opponents of Lambruschini combined in support of Cardinal 
Mastai-Ferretti who was elected in haste on June 17, barely 
in time to prevent the interposition of the Austrian veto 
which was being brought from Vienna by Cardinal Gays- 
ruck, archbishop of Milan. 

With great reluctance Cardinal Mastai-Ferretti accepted 
the tiara as Pius IX. 

Born in Sinigaglia in 1792 of an old and noble family, the 
new pope had in his youth hoped to become an officer in the 
army, but because of epilepsy he was refused a commission. 
He then turned his thoughts to religion and took orders, and 
very soon became known for his eloquence and at the early 
age of thirty-eight was made bishop of Spoleto. From there 
he was translated to Imola in 1832 where he acquired a repu- 


tation for fairness and kindness, and absolutely refused to 
have anything to do with the policy of political persecution 
carried on by Lambruschini. He was generally beloved by 
his people for his courtesy and graciousness. He was a hand 
some man of culture, refinement, and pure life. In politics he 
was obviously a liberal and the enthusiasm of the Italians 
over his election was still further increased when it became 
known that Austria had intended to impose her veto against 

Pius IX has been criticised and censured with much injus 
tice for his political course during the years of revolution. 
That he entirely changed his political position and from 
being a liberal became a reactionary is undoubtedly true. 
Yet other statesmen have changed their opinions before his 
time and since, and been given credit for having done so 
honestly. It is as unjust to assume that Pius IX changed with 
out sincerity as it is to assume, as many do, that he never was 
a liberal, but only posed as such, for the purpose of winning 
personal popularity. Whatever may have been his real motive 
in declaring for liberalism (and it is only fair to assume that 
he meant what he said and did), the fact remains that the 
policy of liberalism followed by him in the early years of his 
pontificate gave an impetus to the cause of Italian unity that 
but for him it might never have received, and marked the 
first great step forward in the creation of the Italian nation. 
However he may have changed later, however he may have 
tried to undo the work of his early years, that work remained, 
enduring, as one of the foundation stones of the modern 
Italian state. 

Pius IX began his reign by performing a series of acts which 
created a tremendous sensation, acts which seem ordinary 
enough to us but which, given the time and place of their 
performance, not only required moral courage but also a dis 
tinct liberality on the part of the performer. 


Political offenders, who under the previous regime had 
been imprisoned and banished by the hundred, were amnes 
tied during the early days of the new regime. Scientific con 
gresses that had been viewed with grave suspicion by Gregory 
as savoring of a dangerous liberalism, and therefore banned, 
were invited to meet in Rome. The Papal States were entirely 
without railways, for they had been classed with scientific 
congresses as modernistic and therefore savoring of liberalism 
and dangerous to the existing order. Pius appointed a board 
to study the question of laying out a railway system in his 
kingdom. But more important than any of these rather mild 
suggestions of liberalism was his choice of Cardinal Gizzi as 
secretary of state and of Carboli-Bussi as his private secretary. 
Both these men were and always had been outspoken and 
consistent liberals. It argued well for the future that Pius 
should be willing to have as his closest political associates 
two men of avowed liberalism. To cap the climax of his lib 
eralism, early in 1847 ^ e created the consulta di stato, an 
appointed council with merely advisory powers, which had 
been advocated by Gioberti as the forerunner of a regularly 
constituted constitutional government. 

Liberal Italy went almost mad with enthusiasm for the 
reforming pope. At last the dreams of Gioberti and his disci 
ples seemed possible of realization, and Gioberti in his 
Modern Jesuit said : "Pius has reconciled men to religion by 
proving himself a friend of civilization and begins a new era 
for Italy and the world." 

No pope was ever so popular on so slight foundations. 
Whenever he appeared in public he was surrounded by cheer 
ing crowds who followed his carriage through the streets, 
and night after night Piazza Quirinale was crowded with 
people shouting for the Holy Father to bless them, and 
again and again would he appear upon the palace balcony 
and bless the kneeling thousands. He obviously enjoyed his 
popularity and felt kindly to his people who for the moment 


almost worshiped him. Unfortunately the pope's kindliness 
and lack of force undid most of his early success. 

That he recognized his own limitations appeared obvious 
to Pellegrino Rossi, the French ambassador, who quotes him 
as saying "the people want to make a Napoleon of me, who 
am only a poor priest." 

The civil service and the principal offices in the govern 
ment were filled by men of reactionary tendency who had 
been appointed under Lambruschini, and formed a bureau 
cracy that was firmly determined to block the Holy Father 
in his efforts for reform. Pius was by no means either the 
first or the last well meaning reforming official who has 
found his hands tied by his subordinates. Had Leo XIII been 
faced by a similar problem he would have solved it promptly 
and completely by a general reorganization. But Pius IX was 
no Leo and so, unwilling and unable to turn out the men 
who thwarted him, he tolerated them with disastrous results 
to his policy. 

In his reforming efforts the pope was greatly hampered by 
the Jesuits and the San Fedisti, as the members of the Bande 
della Santa Fede were called. This society, about which there 
has always been considerable mystery, was organized to 
counteract the activities of the carbonari. Ostensibly created to 
protect the Santa Fede or Holy Faith from the assaults of the 
revolutionists, it stood firmly for reaction, and in that cause 
was willing to go to any lengths. It was a secret society and 
exactly who belonged and how great was its strength always 
remained doubtful. It is probable that its numbers and infl 
uence were exaggerated. The public, however, held the 
San Fedisti and the Jesuits responsible for the slowness with 
which Pius acted. 

The leader of the Roman mob that kept pushing Pius for 
ward was a blacksmith named Angelo Brunetti, called Cice- 
ruacchio, for whom the pope seemed to have a real liking 
and regard. It is extraordinary that despite the opposition 


of the civil service, the San Pedisti, and the Jesuits, Ciceruac- 
chio, working with the support of Cardinal Gizzi and 
Carboli-Bussi, was able to accomplish so much. 

Every liberal movement in the peninsula had coupled with 
its demand for representative government its insistence on 
the necessity of a citizen guard. The citizen-soldier was sup 
posed to be inspired by a love of liberty and therefore capable 
of holding his own against any number of regulars, who 
as "mercenaries" were held in contempt by the true "patriot." 
With a citizen-guard, no matter how undisciplined, the cause 
of liberalism was considered safe. It required the lesson of 
bitter experience to shake the faith of the Italian liberal in 
the citizen-soldier. 

The Roman liberals made the usual demands a represen 
tative assembly and of course a citizen-guard. While Pius was 
inclined to grant both demands, the liberalism of his secre 
tary of state did not go quite so far. He finally agreed to the 
creation of provincial councils, with power to elect a council 
of state, and to the organization of a cabinet of ecclesiastics 
to take the place of the very haphazard government that had 
gone before, but flatly refused to approve of the citizen-guard. 
With all those about him opposed to a more liberal form of 
government and to the militia, Pius was perforce content 
with what he could comfortably accomplish. 

The never-discouraged Ciceruacchio working in sympathy 
with the carbonari began to circulate rumors of a conspiracy 
of Austria and the San Fedisti that became so prevalent as 
seriously to alarm the Vatican. Pius became convinced that 
the "favorite daughter of the Church" had evil designs 
against her mother, and determined that his safety lay in a 
citizen-guard. As Cardinal Gizzi still remained obdurate on 
the subject, Pius accepted the resignation of his secretary of 
state, and appointed Cardinal Ferretti, his cousin, who saw 
eye to eye with him. 


The first act of the pope, in accord with his new secretary 
of state, was the organization of a citizen-guard, immediately 
followed by the arrest and imprisonment of such suspected 
San Fedisti as could be found. 

Metternich learned of the new papal policy with serious 
alarm. He had viewed the previous exhibitions of papal lib 
eralism without much interest as being nothing more than 
the eccentricity of a well meaning pontiff who would soon 
see the error of his ways. Even the authorization of the scien 
tific congress and the appointment of the railway commission 
had left him undisturbed. The creation of a council of state 
and the organization of a citizen-guard were entirely differ 
ent matters, and in Metternich's mind savored greatly of 
Jacobinism and revolution. 

Through his ambassador at Rome and the papal nuncio at 
Vienna he first reasoned and warned. Failing to meet with 
a favorable response he next unfolded a sensational story of 
a Protestant conspiracy having for its object the destruction 
of the papacy. When Pius declined to be frightened, he again 
threatened, and again failing to shake the Holy Father, on 
July 17, 1847, h e moved an Austrian force of 1,500 men across 
the frontier from Venetia and occupied the papal city of 
Ferara, which he claimed a treaty right to garrison. 

The effect on the pope of Metternich's display of force was 
not at all what the latter had expected. He announced pub 
licly that his troop movement was for the purpose of protect 
ing the Holy Father against his insubordinate subjects, but 
did not hesitate to convey to the Vatican through diplomatic 
channels a very broad hint that it was a last warning against 
the flirtation between the papacy and democracy, and might 
be followed by the occupation of Romagna and even Rome 

Pius not only refused to accept Metternich's warning, but 
became exceedingly angry and exceedingly alarmed. He saw 
the possibility of Austrian troops in the Holy City, and the 


heavy hand of the Habsburgs limiting his independence and 
his safety. He had not forgotten that he had been elected 
against the wishes of Austria and had all an Italian's dislike 
of the arrogance of the barbarian. 

His secretary of state. Cardinal Ferretti, announced proudly 
"we shall show Europe that we can manage by ourselves." 
But Pius had no illusions on the subject and knew quite well 
that, if it came to war, his thoroughly disorganized little army 
and the civic guard, for all its loud-voiced patriotism, would 
be but a feeble reed to lean upon and would make but a poor 
showing against the Austrian regulars. He therefore appealed 
to his fellow Italian sovereigns, and asked their council and 
their aid in meeting the threat of Austrian invasion. 

Carboli-Bussi, his private secretary, was sent to Turin to 
invoke the aid of Charles Albert and succeeded in arousing 
in that most vacillating of monarchs a momentary sympathy. 
The high-handedness of Metternich in his treatment of the 
Holy Father was felt all over Italy, among liberals at least, 
as a personal insult, and had as its direct result the rapid 
growth of war sentiment against Austria. 

The autumn of 1847 saw Italian public opinion united as 
it had never been before in the belief that the time had come 
to strike if Italy were ever to be free. 


THE year 1848 marked the beginning of the end of what 
Napoleon III very justly called "the odious treaties of 
Vienna." While 1830 and the subsequent years had seen 
a considerable amelioration in some parts of Europe of the 
oppression inaugurated by the Holy Alliance, it was not until 
1848 that the Continent as a whole burst into revolt against 

There was not a continental state where people did not 
demand from their rulers a constitution and representative 
government. Most of them were successful, and while, in 
many, victory was short-lived, in some the year showed an 
apparently permanent change from absolutism to a certain 
degree of liberalism in government. 

In no part of Europe did 1848 mark a more complete and 
fundamental change in human relations than it did in the 
Italian peninsula, for it was the actual beginning of the risor- 
gimento, the resurrection of a great people, inspired by a 
common purpose and a common hope the purpose of driv 
ing out the barbarian and the hope of creating the Italian 

In 1847 Charles Louis who had succeeded his mother, the 
ex-queen of Etruria, on the throne of Lucca, sold his duchy 
to Leopold II, grand duke of Tuscany, who had succeeded 
his father Ferdinand III in 1824, while Leopold divided the 
district of Lussigiana between Parma and Modena, without 
consulting its inhabitants and to their intense indignation. 

As under the treaty of Vienna Lucca would have verted to 
Tuscany on the death of Marie Louise of Parma, Charles 
Louis merely anticipated the inevitable. It was the fact that 

1848 29 

two Italian sovereigns had in the middle of the nineteenth 
century sold their subjects to each other exactly as though 
they had been cattle, that served to bring home to Italians 
the utterly unnatural and inhuman conditions under which 
they were living. 

While united in purpose and hope they were very sharply 
divided as to methods. There were three factions or, rather, 
schools of thought. The republicans led by Mazzini favored, 
in season and out of season, a republic to include all seven 
of the Italian states. They were irreconcilable and uncom 
promising, refusing to yield one jot of their principles. The 
federalists under the influence of Gioberti favored a loose 
confederacy of Italian states under the presidency of the 
pope. When the latter turned to reaction, Gioberti and his 
followers turned to Piedmont. The "Piedmontese" led by 
Cavour favored a North Italian kingdom under the House 
of Savoy and a federation with the pope and the kingdom of 
the Two Sicilies. 

As time passed and both the pope and Ferdinand of Naples 
showed their unwillingness to federate with Piedmont, 
Cavour changed his position and advocated the creation of 
one Italian kingdom to include all seven states under the rule 
of Casa Savoja. While unquestionably "unitarianism" had 
been Cavour's ultimate purpose from the very beginning, he 
had at first concealed his intention for political reasons and 
made the bluff of calling on Pius and Ferdinand to join in 
the expulsion of Austria. 

Although on January 2 and 3 there was rioting in Milan, 
sternly suppressed by Austrian troops, the honor of beginning 
the revolutionary year in Europe belongs to. Sicily. On Jan 
uary 12 a revolt organized by Francesco Crispi, a young 
Sicilian lawyer then practising in Naples, broke out in 
Palermo, and almost overnight Sicily was in flames, every 
town of importance joining in the revolt. 


-While the kingdom of the Two Sicilies was very fertile 
ground for the revolutionary doctrines, in Piedmont, Tus 
cany, and the Papal States the people trusted their rulers, and 
hoped by peaceful means to convert them to granting con 
stitutions. The Neapolitan Bourbons on the other hand had 
given so unspeakably corrupt, cruel, and inefficient govern 
ment that as Settembrini said in July 1847 in his Protest of the 
People of the Two Sicilies, "the only remedy is arms." Fer 
dinand II had proved himself so unmitigated a liar that no 
one either trusted or respected him. It was therefore easy to 
stir up the people in favor of armed resistance to authority. 

While on the mainland revolution made but slight appeal 
to the peasants and was generally frowned upon by the clergy, 
in Sicily it was supported by all classes. The peasants and the 
priests, even the usually reactionary Jesuits, were as enthusi 
astic in opposing the Bourbons as were the aristocracy and the 
townsfolk. All joined in nine days of desperate fighting in 
the streets of Palermo. 

On January 21 de Sauget, the Neapolitan commander, 
asked for an armistice which the revolutionary leaders under 
Ruggiero Settimo refused unless they could be guaranteed the 
Sicilian constitution of 1812. Disregarding the advice of Louis 
Philippe, Ferdinand declined even to consider the granting 
of a constitution of any kind. On January 27 de Sauget with 
drew with his garrison from Palermo and embarked for 
Naples. With the exception of the citadel of Messina, and 
a few other small forts, Sicily was entirely in the hands of 
the revolution which, for the moment at least, had tri 
umphed. The very day that de Sauget sailed for home revo 
lution broke out in the province of Salerno and in Naples 
itself, brought about by the submission to the king of a widely 
circulated petition for a constitution drawn by that great 
patriot and scholar, Pasquale Villari. 

Ferdinand, frightened by the popular uprising and the 
wavering of some of his troops, promptly surrendered and 

1848 3 i 

promised a constitution, which he granted on February 10. 
The effect of Ferdinand's action was felt in every other state 
in Italy. In Piedmont, Charles Albert had long since lived 
down his early liberalism. To preserve his right to the suc 
cession he had given to the members of the Holy Alliance 
in 1822 a promise that he would never swerve from the path 
of absolutism or grant a constitution to his people. This 
promise, acting upon a supersensitive conscience, as well as his 
natural aversion to liberalism kept him true to the faith of 

Fortunately for Italy the Piedmontese with their hard- 
headed intelligence declined to be bound by the conscientious 
scruples of their king. As time passed the demand for a con 
stitution became ever more insistent., The news from Sicily 
and Naples brought matters to a head, and Charles Albert's 
ministers advised him that if he did not yield to the popular 
demand his throne would be in peril. The king found himself 
in a very serious quandary, between breaking his promise and 
losing his throne. Happily a public-spirited archbishop was 
found who absolved him from his promise and on February 
8 he agreed to grant a constitution. 

Once he had made the change and become a constitu 
tional monarch Charles Albert remained loyal to the con 
stitution until the end. 

The statuto promulgated by Charles Albert on March 4, 
1848, and extended to the rest of Italy by Victor Emanuel II, 
remained in force unchanged until our own day and is at 
least the basis of the present fundamental law. Under it all 
executive power was vested in the king, while the legislative 
power was vested collectively in the king and the senate 
and the chamber of deputies. The senate consisted of an un 
limited number of members over forty years of age, appointed 
by the king for life, from twenty-one categories. As one of 
these categories included "those who by service or distin 
guished merit have deserved well of their country" it is 


obvious that almost any Italian over forty years of age might 
be considered eligible. The chamber of deputies was com 
posed of members over thirty years of age "chosen by the 
electoral bodies, conformably to the law," and served for 
five years. Senators and deputies served without pay, enjoyed 
immunity for their utterances and votes in parliament and 
could not be tried for a criminal offense without the consent 
of the chamber to which they belonged. The king's ministers 
were mentioned only indirectly in Article XL VII which gave 
to the chamber of deputies the power of impeachment. The 
king and both chambers might initiate legislation, but money 
bills could originate only in the chamber of deputies. All 
subjects were declared to be equal, individual liberty and the 
inviolability of the domicile were guaranteed subject to due 
process of law, while the press was declared to be free, but 
abuses of its freedom might be punished. 

The office of prime minister and the responsibility of the 
government to parliament were nowhere alluded to and were 
both accepted as a matter of course when the statute was put 
in operation. 

As the first prime minister, or "president of the council of 
ministers" as his official title runs, the king appointed Count 
Cesare Balbo. Balbo (1789-1853) was more distinguished as 
an author of works on history and politics than as a states 
man. Born of a noble Piedmontese family, son of Prospero 
Balbo, sometime minister of the interior, he served in various 
civil capacities under Napoleon between 1808 and 1814. Ex 
iled in 1821 under suspicion of revolutionary sympathy, he 
was later allowed to return to Turin but was for some time 
excluded from office. He became the leader of a group of 
moderate liberals, a devoted adherent of the House of Savoy 
and a vigorous propagandist of the expulsion of Austria 
from the peninsula. He doubted the possibility of a united 
Italy, but strove unceasingly for the aggrandizement of his 
native state. Restored to favor in 1848 he was appointed a 

i8 4 8 33 

member of the commission charged with drafting the elec 
toral law to carry out the terms of the constitution and, after 
the first election held under it, was chosen by the king as 
prime minister to put the statuto into effect. 

In Rome Pius found himself carried on the crest of the 
popular wave far more rapidly than he liked. His liberalism 
was of an extremely moderate sort, and came from his essen 
tially kindly nature, his real love for his fellow man, and his 
sincere desire to improve the physical welfare of his people. 

Had he reigned a century earlier he would have been the 
ideal benevolent despot. It was unfortunate for his fame that 
he lived during a period when no half-measures would suffice. 
What would have contented and rejoiced his people in the 
eighteenth century only infuriated them in the nineteenth. 

By the power of events he was forced much further toward 
liberalism than he intended or desired, and a point was 
finally reached beyond which he would not and could not go. 
Alarmed and disgusted by the very liberalism he had served, 
he abandoned his people and fled. But before his departure 
he did much, perhaps unwittingly, to help the cause of Italia 
Unita in its struggle against absolutism. 

On February 10 the pope delivered an allocution contain 
ing the words "God bless Italy" and the next day in response 
to popular clamor granted a constitution, and a month later 
appointed a cabinet under Cardinal Antonelli, a majority 
of which were laymen. 

The same day that Rome obtained its constitution the Tus 
can "Iron Baron" Ricasoli forced his sovereign Leopold to 
grant one to Tuscany. On February 24 revolution broke out 
in France and on March 13 in Vienna and in Hungary, fol 
lowed the next day by the flight of Metternich. 

Five days later, March 18, and as the result of the events in 
Austria and Hungary, revolution broke out in Milan. The 
five days that followed, known in Italian history as "Le 
Cinque Giornate," saw barricades and desperate fighting in 


almost every street in the city. Field Marshal Radetzky, that 
very able old soldier, who was in command with a garrison 
of 10,000 men, was obliged to withdraw to the citadel. On 
March 22 he found himself in so serious a situation that with 
what was left of the Milan garrison and his officers' families, 
he withdrew to the Quadrilateral, as were called the four 
fortresses of Verona, Legnago, Mantua, and Peschiera, to 
prepare for the struggle with Piedmont that he saw was 

The same day that Radetzky left Milan, the Austrian gar 
rison evacuated Venice, whose people at once proclaimed 
the republic under the presidency of Daniele Manin. 

In less than three months constitutionalism had won every 
state in Italy. It only remained to drive out the barbarian to 
complete the first stage toward Italian nationality. 

From the moment that Piedmont obtained the statuto it 
was evident that her constitutional rulers would sooner or 
later bring her to grips with Austria. When Count Cesare 
Balbo became prime minister, the Austrians declared that his 
appointment meant war. Balbo, who was quite willing to 
fight if necessary, feared a possible republican uprising stimu 
lated by France under Lamartine who having served as a 
diplomat in Naples and Florence between 1823 and 1829 had 
conceived a profound love for Italy. He had been in corre 
spondence with the carbonari and, on becoming a member 
of the revolutionary executive committee in 1848, did not 
hesitate to intrigue in behalf of an Italian republic. 

It was not until Balbo received the news of the Five Days 
and Milan's appeal for help that he finally decided for war, 
and on March 23 Charles Albert issued his declaration. 

On March 25 the king crossed the Austrian frontier at Pavia 
and Buffalora, somewhat east of Novara, at the head of a 
mixed force of 75,000, of whom 45,000 were Piedmontese and 
the rest volunteers from the Papal States, Naples, Tuscany, 
Parma, Modena, and Lombardy. It was in the broadest sense 

i8 4 8 35 

a national Italian army, full of enthusiasm, but, with the ex 
ception of the Piedmontese troops, sadly lacking in discipline. 
Under the impression that Radetzky was demoralized and 
in flight, Charles Albert's first objective was the capture of 
Mantua. As he advanced he changed his plan and, with the 
purpose of cutting Radetzky's line of retreat to Tirol, he 
moved on Pastrengo near Verona. He crossed the Mincio at 
Goito on April 8 and forced the Austrians to retire to a point 
near Verona. Attacking Pastrengo on April 30, the Aus 
trians were driven out and the plain of Rivoli and the neigh 
boring hills occupied, thus entirely blocking the Austrian 
communications with Tirol. On May 6 Radetzky brought 
up his main force and the Italians were driven out from the 
commanding positions they had held. Meanwhile a papal 
army of 25,000 men, under Generals Durando and Ferrari, 
had been ordered north and leaving Bologna April 15 had 
reached the Po two weeks later. Hardly had the expedition 
started when Pius IX was seized with conscientious scruples 
against attacking Austria, and issued an encyclical in which 
he said "we assert clearly and openly that war with Austria 
is far from our thoughts, seeing that we, however unworthy, 
are the vicar of Him who is the author of peace and the 
essence of love." 

The encyclical was an admirable statement of the position 
of the Holy Father as head of the Church, but it emphasized 
the utter incompatibility of the temporal and spiritual powers, 
and permanently sundered the pope from the Italian national 
movement. To Pius's apparent surprise the encyclical was 
received by his subjects with a storm of outraged protest. He 
bowed before it, dismissed Antonelli and appointed the liberal 
layman Mamiani in his place, who ordered the army to go 

On May 2 near Conegliano the papal troops met Marshal 
Nugent at the head of 15,000 Austrian reserves. The marshal 
declined to give battle and avoiding the papal army marched 


on Treviso, where he fell ill and was succeeded by Thurn. 
The latter, having failed to drive Durando out of Vicenza, 
joined Radetzky at Verona. 

On May 15, as the result of a dispute between the king and 
parliament, street fighting broke out in Naples, which was 
suppressed with the usual Bourbon cruelty. On the lyth 
Ferdinand dissolved parliament and recalled his army from 
the front. 

With the arrival of the reserves Radetzky found himself at 
the head of about 45,000 men and determined to take the 
offensive. On May 27 the Italians were defeated at Curta- 
tone and Montanaro, but on the 3oth Peschiera, one of the 
four fortresses of the Quadrilateral, fell to Charles Albert, 
who the same day fought a drawn engagement at Goito. On 
the a8th Radetzky's main army entered Mantua unopposed. 
On June 10 he stormed Vicenza and forced the surrender 
of Durando with 18,000 men. Hearing that Charles Albert 
was inarching on Verona, he sent Culoz ahead to occupy 
the city, and followed with his main force with the purpose 
of joining battle with the Piedmontese king. 

Charles Albert had under him about 75,000 men of whom 
50,000 were Piedmontese regulars, the rest volunteers from 
various parts of Italy, while Radetzky had under him 60,000 

Radetzky divided his army into five corps of which the 
ist, 2nd, and reserves were in position covering Verona, the 
3rd occupied a line between Verona and the Tirolian fron 
tier in the valley of the Adige, while the 4th garrisoned 
Mantua. Of the Piedmontese three brigades were near Gover- 
nolo, having Mantua under observation, with the evident 
intention of besieging that city. The rest of the army occupied 
a line some thirty miles long, between the plateau of Rivoli, 
where Napoleon had won his memorable victory, and the 
village of Custozza. 

i8 4 8 37 

The two armies were maneuvering over the same terrain 
that had been fought over so often, especially in Napoleon's 
first Italian campaign, and was destined to be fought over 
again before Italy won her freedom. 

This cockpit of Italy lies between the Po and Lago di Garda 
at the base of the Brenner Pass, the easiest and the most trav 
elled route between Italy and Tirol. It is a fair, smiling, and 
well watered country beginning in the Lombard plain and 
stretching to the north across a range of hills, mostly low 
though some are steep, to the shores of the lake. It is dotted 
with villages and contains tVo cities, Mantua at the south, on 
the Mincio, near the Po, and Verona at the north, on the 
Adige, almost blocking the Brenner. 

Leaving Haynau's brigade to hold Verona, on July 22 
Radetzky sent the 3rd corps under Thurn up the Adige to 
attack the Italian left under Sonnaz, his intention being to 
bring up his main force the next day to complete the crush 
ing of the enemy. Sonnaz, however, at once fell back on 
Peschiera without waiting to be attacked. Radetzky imme 
diately changed his plan and on the 23rd sent the ist and 2nd 
corps against Sonnaz, with the result that the latter was 
driven out of his position and across the Mincio, while at the 
same time Thurn occupied Rivoli. 

As soon as Charles Albert heard the news of Sonnaz's re 
treat he ordered his right, 25,000 strong, under Bava to move 
forward through Custozza against Radetzky's left, Sonnaz 
to recross the Mincio at Valeggio below the point occupied 
by the Austrians and stand fast. Radetzky sent the 2nd corps 
across the Mincio to further Sonnaz's retreat in the direction 
of Volta, while he posted the 3rd corps to the north near 
Castelnuovo and the rest of his troops on the line between 
Custozza and Sommacampagna with the intention of cross 
ing the Mincio and taking the Italians in the rear. 

Charles Albert assuming that Sonnaz was at Voleggio, 
having heard nothing from him, ordered an advance in three 


columns, one against the Austrian right at Sommacampagna, 
one against the center at Staffalo, and one against the left at 
Custozza, while the reserves were ordered to Villafranca and 
one brigade of cavalry to Verona on the right, and another on 
the left flank of the advance. 

On the 24th the Italians were successful in capturing and 
occupying Custozza and Sommacampagna, and the king 
determined to resume the attack the next day. Radetzky 
realized that in view of the Italian success he must abandon 
his offensive across the Mincio. He turned back and, holding 
the bridges he had captured, he concentrated his army against 
the Italians occupying the Custozza-Sommacampagna 

On the 25th, after very severe fighting, the Austrians drove 
back the Italian right, and finally the left and center were 
obliged to fall back also. On the 26th and 2yth the fighting 
continued, the king stubbornly yielding ground, his army 
finally reaching Goito. 

It was now evident that nothing could save the Piedmontese 
army but retreat. The four days' hard fighting had left it in 
a very desperate condition and it was obvious that it was 
finally beaten. The king asked for an armistice, which Radet 
zky refused. He then fell back on Cremona, the disorder of 
his army increasing as it retreated. Radetzky followed on a 
parallel line some miles to the north, defeating and driving in 
on the main body the Piedmontese right wing at Crema and 
Lodi, and storming the positions outside Milan on August 4, 
entering the city on the 6th. 

The Italians retreated across the Ticino, and concluded an 
armistice with Austria August 9 under the terms of which 
war might be renewed by either side on eight days' notice. 

There was nothing disgraceful about Custozza. The men 
had fought gallantly and stood the hardships of the campaign 
well The army had been outnumbered and outgeneralled,but 
it must be remembered that it was fighting against a really 

1848 39 

great commander. While the war ended disastrously for the 
army of Piedmont it marked a tremendous step forward in 
the cause of Italian nationality, for it was the first time that 
Italians from every part of Italy had served together on a 
large scale in the same army fighting for Italian freedom. 

The immediate effects of Custozza were, however, dis- 
tincdy prejudicial to the Italian cause. 

The news of the defeat of Piedmont gave Pius the oppor 
tunity once more to assert himself. His idea of liberalism was 
very different from that of his people. Had they been content 
with his first reforms it is very possible that he would have 
remained a moderate liberal until the end, but ere long he 
found himself being carried forward at so fast a pace as 
greatly to disturb him. He did not want to break with Aus 
tria, nor to permit a papal army to take the field with Pied 
mont. His liberal prime minister Mamiani was forced upon 
him by the popular will, and the quasi-representative parlia 
ment never won either his liking or his confidence. 

On August 3, before Radetzky had even reoccupied Milan, 
but after the defeat of Charles Albert was certain, the pope 
dismissed Mamiani, and appointed in his place Fabbri, whose 
liberalism was as moderate as his own. On August 26, with 
out consulting his cabinet, Pius prorogued parliament and 
appealed to Piedmont, Naples, and France for help against 
his people. This was more than Fabbri, very moderate liberal 
though he was, could agree to, and on September 14 he re 
signed and was succeeded by Pellegrino Rossi. 

The new prime minister was a moderate conservative, who 
had been a political refugee in France, whence he had returned 
to Rome as French ambassador. He had become a great 
favorite of the pope's and had gradually acquired the posi 
tion of adviser and friend. Resigning his post as French am 
bassador he had devoted himself exclusively to papal affairs 
some time before taking office under the Holy Father. He 
was an able and just man, who, had he been spared, might 


have carried the Vatican safely through the storms that were 

The Roman people were commencing to lose faith in their 
sovereign, to doubt the sincerity of his Italianism and to 
question his every act as savoring of reaction. He was very 
rapidly forfeiting the popularity that his early governmental 
acts had given him. The old days of delirious enthusiasm for 
the Holy Father had gone forever. When he appeared in pub 
lic he was no longer cheered, but received in silence, or with 
hisses. The crowds still filled Piazza Quirinale, not with the 
object of asking the papal blessing, but for the purpose of 
demonstrating against him. Not cast in an heroic mould, 
Pius was beginning to have very serious fears for his personal 

Events now began to move with great rapidity. On Novem 
ber 15 Rossi, the prime minister, was murdered by Luigi 
Brunetti, the eldest son of that Ciceruacchio, the blacksmith 
and mob leader who had been one of Pius's warmest adher 
ents. On November 24 as the pope appeared on the balcony 
of the Quirinal, surrounded by his household, a priest, who 
was standing near him, was killed by a shot fired from the 
crowd and evidently intended for Pius himself. 

The next day, Pius, disguised as an ordinary priest, fled to 
Gaeta and the protection of the king of the Two Sicilies. 

The Holy Father's flight from Rome was the last event 
of importance in 1848, the year of revolution. Much had been 
accomplished, much remained to be done. If the work of 
'48 was subsequently largely nullified, it at least began the 
work of union and gave a forward impulse to the cause which 
all thinking Italians had at heart. 



ON ARRIVING at Gaeta the Holy Father placed him 
self unreservedly in the hands of Cardinal Antonelli, 
who served him as secretary of state for the next 
twenty-seven years. 

Giacomo Antonelli (1806-1876) who was not a priest, 
having only taken minor orders, was one of the last of the 
lay cardinals. He was a man of great personal charm and of 
exceedingly doubtful reputation, who devoted his great abili 
ties, during his entire tenure of office, to fighting the risorgi- 
mento. He has been abused with probably greater violence 
than any of his Italian contemporaries, especially by Protes 
tant historians who are unwilling to concede him any good 
qualities and describe him as that impossible creature "the 
perfect scoundrel." Despite the fact that even Catholic authors 
give him the cold shoulder, it is only fair to assume that his 
ultra-conservatism and his belief in the temporal power of 
the pope were sincere, an* I that whatever may or may not 
have been his moral and financial shortcomings he served 
his master, according to his lights, to the best of his ability. 

In the Imperial City the control of affairs had fallen into 
the hands of the extremists. Antonelli had refused to treat 
with the moderates, or permit the pope to return until all signs 
of liberalism had disappeared; he had also in his master's 
name called upon the Catholic powers to restore the Holy 
Father to his throne as it had been before the beginning of 
the liberal ferment. The moderates, discouraged by Anto- 
nelli's intransigent attitude, generally withdrew from politics, 
many of them leaving Rome. It was the men of the left who 
ordered the election for a constituent assembly, which was 


held despite the pope's advance excommunication of those 
who took part in it. 

Of the deputies elected all but seven, including Garibaldi 
and Mazzini, were subjects of the pope. The assembly met 
February 5, 1849, and four days later decreed the republic and 
abolished the temporal power, guaranteeing the pope in the 
exercise of his spiritual functions. On March 23 the assembly 
elected a triumvirate with supreme executive power, with 
Mazzini at its head. 

The day before the temporal power had been overthrown 
Tuscany had proclaimed itself a republic and Leopold had 
left Florence, to join the Holy Father and Ferdinand a fort 
night later at Gaeta. 

Meanwhile Charles Albert, who had worked himself into 
a condition bordering on enthusiasm for the Italian cause, 
was extremely restive under the memory of his defeat at 
Custozza. He believed that his honor was involved and that 
as long as he had an army in being it was his duty to use it 
in trying to drive out the barbarian; moreover, he received 
the encouragement of both France and Britain. 

Accordingly on March 12, 1849, he denounced the armis 
tice with Austria, supported by the democratic ministry under 
General Chiodo and the very large and noisy war party, 
representing all parts of the kingdom but Savoy. The Savoy 
ards living on the French slope of the Alps were more French 
in race than they were Piedmontese, spoke French and were 
French in sympathy. They certainly took but little interest 
in Italian affairs and never had the slightest desire to aid the 
cause of Italian unity. 

While the king believed that victory was certain and his 
advisers believed that Piedmont had more than an even 
chance, the prospect of defeating Austria was by no means 
hopeless, and the opportunity of success was by far the best 
that had been presented. Both Austria and Hungary were in 
the throes of revolution, and of Radetzky's 75,000 men, a large 


number were required to garrison the fortifications and to 
maintain the siege of Venice. His army was divided into five 
corps, each about the size of the usual division. 

Although Piedmont could probably have obtained no help 
from her allies of the year before, it seemed as though she 
preferred to fight alone, for she gave no notice of her inten 
tion of denouncing the armistice in advance of the accom 
plished fact. The king had under his command some 80,000 
men, exclusive of garrison troops, divided into seven divi 
sions. Of these the 5th and 6th, about 25,000 strong, were 
south of the Po near Pavia, and at Sarzana near the coast. 

As the generals of Custozza were all more or less dis 
credited the government employed as chief of staff to the 
commander-in-chief, who was the king, a soldier of fortune 
of no great reputation rejoicing in the picturesque name of 
Chrzanowski (pronounced Shanofsky). Why he should have 
been chosen has never been explained. He was not well 
known, and proved a lamentable failure. Chrzanowski be 
lieved that Radetzky would either meet him in the neighbor 
hood of Magenta or retire from Milan as he had the year 
before. Radetzky encouraged this latter belief by leaving 
Milan March 17, changing direction two days later, and 
reaching the bridgehead at Pavia late that night. 

The expiration of the armistice, at noon March 20, found the 
2nd, 3rd, and 4th Piedmontese divisions on the line of the 
Ticino ready to cross in pursuit of the Austrians, while the 
ist and the reserves stood in the rear, and the 5th stood ready 
to cross the Po and operate against Radetzky's rear. The plan 
would have been admirable had Radetzky really been in 
retreat; unfortunately for Piedmont, he had succeeded in 
completely deceiving Chrzanowski. 

Immediately after noon of the 20th Radetzky crossed the 
Ticino, destroyed the bridge over the Po at Mezzana Corte, 
and occupied Cava, thus cutting off the Piedmontese on the 
south of die river and preventing them from joining the main 


army. Radetzky by evening had reached Mortara, holding 
the territory from the Ticino to S. Giorgio, and had been 
joined by a brigade he had sent for from Legnago. 

The king meanwhile, believing that Radetzky was in re 
treat, had sent the 3rd and 4th divisions across the Ticino to 
Magenta. So faulty was his information service that it was 
not until evening that he heard that Radetzky had crossed the 
Ticino and that the troops south of the Po had been cut off. 
He at once recalled the 3rd and 4th divisions and determined 
to meet the Austrian at Vigevano some fifteen miles south 
of Magenta, while Durando with the ist and reserve divisions 
was ordered to hold Mortara and protect the right flank. The 
next morning the Austrian right engaged the and Pied- 
montese division south of Vigevano and forced it back until 
the arrival of the 3rd and 4th from Magenta, when the re 
treat was halted. 

At the same time the main Austrian army attacked Mor 
tara, and forced the Piedmontese to retreat on Novara. That 
night the king called back all his troops and concentrated 
during the 22nd at Novara, where he occupied a strong 
position on the high ground to the south of the city, and 
determined to join battle the next day. 

Radetzky in his turn suffered from bad information service. 
He had intended to attack the king in force, in front of 
Novara, when, learning that the Piedmontese were in retreat, 
he sent only the 2nd corps forward, the rest of the army being 
turned to the south to intercept the supposedly retreating 

When at ii o'clock in the morning of the 23rd d'Aspre 
with his 2nd corps approached what he had supposed was 
the Piedmontese rear guard he found himself confronted by 
the entire army. It was a heaven-sent opportunity for Chrza- 
nowski. He had the advantage of a strong position and he 
outnumbered d'Aspre five to one. He should have been able 
to destroy his enemy without difficulty, after which he might 


have turned to the 3rd and 4th corps and destroyed them in 
detail. But the Austrians held firm, and were able to beat 
off the repeated attacks of the Piedmontese. At 4 o'clock the 
3rd corps, which had been recalled, arrived in the nick of 
time to save d'Aspre who was very far spent. At 6 o'clock the 
4th corps arrived, and a little later the reserves. Radetzky 
now ordered a general attack before which the Piedmontese 
retreated in great disorder to Novara. 

That night Charles Albert abdicated, to die some months 
later in a monastery in Portugal, and Victor Emanuel his 
son reigned in his stead. 

Radetzky agreed to an armistice with the new king, by 
which the inevitable surrender of the Piedmontese army and 
the occupation of Turin were avoided. 

Once more the Piedmontese had shown themselves to be 
excellent fighting men, but once more they had been out- 
generalled and out maneuvered. At the beginning of the 
campaign they had had the advantage of superior numbers, 
an advantage they had quickly lost when Radetzky had cut 
off their two divisions south of the Po. At Novara the oppor 
tunity of victory was thrown away through the incompetence 
of their commanding general. 

Radetzky had lived up to his great reputation and in one 
of the shortest campaigns in history which lasted only three 
days had totally defeated the enemy, and ensured Lombardy 
and Venetia to the House of Habsburg. 

The campaign had lasted for so short a time that no oppor 
tunity had been given the Lombards or the Venetians to 
rise against their oppressors. With the exception of the 2nd 
corps which had suffered severely the Austrian army was in 
good condition and perfectly fit for the work required of it, 
the restoration of Italy to autocracy, and Radetzky now had 
ample time in which to carry out the wishes of his imperial 


In Naples Ferdinand immediately on the defeat of Charles 
Albert abandoned liberalism and resumed his autocratic 
methods. The constitution was not annulled or even openly 
repudiated; it was merely ignored, and continued to exist 
as a dead letter until the final expulsion of the Bourbons. 

The Neapolitan king realizing that no foreign state either 
would or could interfere with his conception of government 
not only reverted to absolutism, but seized the opportunity 
of stamping out to the very best of his ability all suggestions 
of liberalism. The methods that he employed, the personal 
spite that he showed, and the cruelty with which he pursued 
those whom he thought opposed to his rule, suggest that if 
not actually insane he was at least a very pronounced victim 
of sadism. 

He had as early as 1837 published a document, which he 
called his "catechism" and which he ordered taught in the 
schools. In it he enunciated the doctrine that "a promise of a 
prince to limit his sovereignty is null and void" and that "a 
prince is not bound to keep his oath to observe a constitution, 
if it is opposed to the general interests of the state." 

Acting on this theory, while not formally abrogating the 
constitution, he proceeded to nullify it in most of its terms. 
The council of state was abolished and the ministers were 
made mere clerks to the throne. 

The king's supporters, realizing that their sovereign's 
actions were creating very great unrest, took advantage of a 
riot which occurred on September 16, 1849, to induce Ferdi 
nand, who required very little inducement, to inaugurate 
what was virtually a reign of terror. Those suspected of lib 
eralism were arrested wholesale, and Settembrini and Poerio, 
two prominent liberals and former ministers, were tried for 
treason and sentenced to life imprisonment. The prisons were 
overcrowded with the king's critics, who were sent to jail 
either with or without trial, and given sentences of ever- 
increasing severity. 


During the winter of 1850 and 1851 William E. Gladstone, 
then an ex-minister of a conservative government, was visit 
ing Italy as a tourist. While in Naples he happened to be 
present at the trial of Poerio. Intensely interested, he ob 
tained permission to visit the prisons where the political 
prisoners were confined, and was so outraged by what he 
saw that he returned to his hotel and wrote an indignant 
letter to the British minister of foreign affairs, Lord Aber 
deen, much to that worthy gentleman's embarrassment. 

Gladstone's letter is one of the severest indictments of a 
government ever written, and one of the most trenchant 
documents that ever came from his most able pen. 

He gives three reasons for addressing Aberdeen. "First, 
that the present practices of the government of Naples in 
reference to real or supposed political offenders, are an outrage 
upon religion, upon civilization, upon humanity, and upon 
decency. Secondly, that these practices are certainly and even 
rapidly doing the work of republicanism in that country; 
a political creed which has little natural or habitual root in 
the character of the people. Thirdly, that as a member of the 
conservative party in one of the great family of European 
nations I am compelled to remember that that party stands 
in virtual and real though perhaps unconscious alliance with 
all the established governments of Europe as such; and that 
according to the measure of its influence they suffer more or 
less of moral detriment from its reverses and derive strength 
and encouragement from its successes. ... It is not mere 
imperfection, not corruption in low practices, not occasional 
severity that I am about to describe; it is incessant, systematic, 
deliberate violation of the law by the power appointed to 
watch over and maintain it. It is such violation of human and 
written law as this, carried on for the purpose of violating 
every other law, written and eternal, temporal and divine; it 
is the wholesale persecution of virtue when united with intel 
ligence, operating upon such a scale that entire classes may 


with truth be said to be its object; . , . it is the awful profa 
nation of public religion, by its notorious alliance in the gov 
erning powers with the violation of every moral law under 
the stimulants of fear and vengeance; it is the perfect pros 
titution of the judicial office which has made it under veils 
only too threadbare and transparent, the degraded recipient 
o the vilest and clumsiest forgeries, got up wilfully and de 
liberately by the immediate advisers of the crown for the 
purpose of destroying the peace, the freedom, and even if not 
by capital sentence the life of men among the most virtuous, 
upright, intelligent, distinguished, and refined of the whole 
community; it is the savage and cowardly system of moral 
as well as in a lower degree of physical torture through 
which the sentences extracted from the debased courts of 
justice are carried into effect, 

"The effect of all this is total inversion of all the moral 
and social ideas. Law instead of being respected is odious. 
Force and not affection is the foundation of government. 
There is no association but a violent antagonism between 
the idea of freedom and that of order. 

"The governing power which teaches of itself that it is the 
image of God upon earth, is clothed in the view of the over 
whelming majority of the thinking public with all the vices 
for its attributes. 

"I have seen and heard the too true expression used, This 
is the negation of God erected into a system of government. 5 " 

The effect of Gladstone's letter, which was published after 
having been sent to Lord Aberdeen, was immediate and far- 
reaching. While Lord Aberdeen objected to the publication 
of the letter, and showed every disposition to forget its receipt, 
Lord Palmerston openly and actively supported the author. In, 
1856 as a protest against the misgovernmcnt of Naples both 
Britain and France withdrew their ministers, and Ferdinand 
three years later so far yielded to the protest as to agree to 
free some sixty political prisoners, with the understanding 


that they should go to the United States. They were put on 
board ship and sent away, but were wrecked off Cornwall and 
received in London with great enthusiasm. 

While Ferdinand was reducing Naples to the peace of 
death, Sicily still maintained her independence, the only 
possession left to the king being the citadel of Messina. Af 
fairs in Naples had caused him to defer action against his 
Sicilian subjects and it was not until he had once more estab 
lished quiet in the capital that he dared to turn his attention 
southward. At the end of August 1848 he reinforced the 
garrison of the citadel of Messina with 10,000 men under 
Filangieri, who was opposed by 6,000 Sicilians. 

Under orders from the king, Filangieri opened a bombard 
ment of the city which forced it to capitulate September 7. 
The bombardment was so merciless and so destructive of life 
and property that it roused the indignation of the world and 
won for its author, Ferdinand, the unenviable nickname of 
King Bomba by which he has ever since been known. Filan 
gieri found the subjection of the rest of Sicily an exceedingly 
difficult task and it was by fighting his way step by step that 
he finally reached Palermo. A six months' armistice imposed 
by the French and English admirals, whose squadrons were 
in Palermo harbor, gave the Palermitans the opportunity of 
organizing resistance, instead of doing which they spent the 
time in useless constitutional discussions. As Bolton King 
has pointed out, "Sicily was the only Italian state that had a 
constitutional past to build on," 1 and the constitution of 1812 
which had been secured under British auspices represented 
for all Sicilians the maximum of political excellence. 

When in 1848 the Sicilians had declared their independence 
they had for a time at least acknowledged the nominal sov 
ereignty of the Neapolitan monarch. As the result of the 
failure of the new government in Naples either to understand 
or cooperate with the Sicilians, the Sicilian parliament on 

1 A History of Italian Unity, by Bolton King, Vol. I, p. 311. 


April 13, 1848, declared its independence o the Bourbons 
and elected Ruggiero Settimo president, pending the choice 
of a king. 

Britain and France had virtually agreed to recognize the 
new government as soon as a king had been elected. The new 
government, however, declined to proceed to the election 
until the constitution had been reformed, and the work of 
reformation dragged on through interminable debates. While 
deputies talked, the creation of an army was ignored, and 
the choice of a king remained in abeyance. There were two 
candidates for the throne, the Duke of Genoa, brother of 
Victor Emanuel, and a minor son of the Grand Duke of 
Tuscany. The dangers of a minor as king were so evident 
as to outweigh the danger of a too close dynastic connection 
with Piedmont. 

The announcement by Palmerston that he would recognize 
Sicilian independence as soon as the Duke of Genoa was 
chosen, and the resulting popular demand for action, forced 
the parliament to close debate and rush through the comple 
tion of the constitution. July 10, 1848, the Duke of Genoa 
was elected king. Unfortunately parliament had wasted too 
much time. The Duke of Genoa delayed his answer, and 
before he could make up his mind the news reached Palermo 
that Messina had fallen, and that Filangieri was fighting his 
way to the capital Torrearsa, who had formed a cabinet, 
feverishly began to prepare for defense, but never succeeded 
in arming more than 7,000 Sicilian troops, under the com 
mand of Mieroslawsky, a Polish adventurer. 

Torrearsa found his task almost impossible. He failed to 
place a loan abroad, and was obliged to make what was vir 
tually a capital levy, to the great indignation of the well-to-do. 
The Duke of Genoa, on finding that Britain would not guar 
antee his throne, declined it with thanks, disorder in the 
city increased and in February 1849 the national guard forced 
the ministry to resign. 


The new ministry, creatures of the national guard and its 
supporters, did what it could to organize defense, and shortly 
after taking office declined to accept an offer from King Fer 
dinand for the recognition of the constitution of 1812. The 
king had made the offer of no avail by reserving the right to 
dissolve parliament, and taking the army entirely out of 
Sicilian control. Knowing their Ferdinand, the ministry 
declined to believe in his good faith. 

As Filangieri approached Palermo he found his difficulties 
constantly increasing. He had been obliged to halt his march 
for the purpose of reducing Catania, which yielded only after 
a stubborn and gallant defense. Had the Sicilians at the capi 
tal shown any unity of purpose, it was well within the 
bounds of possibility that they might have held off the 
Neapolitan army long enough to have forced intervention 
by some of the great powers. Unfortunately they were hope 
lessly divided. The Polish general of the little Sicilian army 
had failed miserably to make any impression against Filan 
gieri, who came constantly nearer to Palermo. The national 
guard was seized with panic, and demanded that the govern 
ment should accept the French admiral's offer of mediation, 
based on a proposal that Sicily should accept Ferdinand's 
proposition of the previous February. 

When the Neapolitan fleet arrived to carry out the terms of 
the surrender the mob seized the city and, the national guard 
making common cause with it, organized an emergency 
defense that kept Filangieri in check for two days of desperate 
fighting. Finally on May n Palermo surrendered and King 
Bomba once more ruled his double kingdom at his own arbi 
trary and cruel will 



THAT Venice resisted Austria longer and more gal 
lantly than any city in Italy was due to the Intrinsic 
worth of her middle class and to the force and courage 
of Daniele Manin. Throughout the eighteenth century, with 
a rapidly degenerating aristocracy, the machinery of the 
Venetian republic was kept in motion by the devoted labor 
of the civil service drawn from the citadinanza or middle 
class, to which also belonged most of the leaders in the pro 
fessions, in banking, and in trade. The short-lived Venetian 
democracy which ruled the state from May 12, 1797, to Jan 
uary 18, 1798, was dominated by two members of the middle 
class, Dandolo and Gallino, and their middle class associates, 
and might have succeeded had Bonaparte acted to it in 
good faith. 1 

The men who followed Manin were the descendants of 
those who had constituted the republican civil service and 
the government of the democracy. What was left of the aris 
tocracy was largely Austrophil and few of them took part in 
the defense of the city, most either going to their villas on 
the mainland or remaining quiescent. 

Manin was himself of the middle class. His father was a 
Paduan Jew, who towards the close of the eighteenth century 
had moved to Venice and been baptized a Christian, the 
brother of the last doge, Ludovico Manin, acting as his god 
father and giving him the family name according to the law 
and custom of the time. Here on May 13, 1804, Daniele Manin 
was born. He took his degree in law at the University 
of Padua, began practice in his native city, and soon became 

1 Sec Venice and Bonaparte, by G, B, McCIellan, Princeton, 1931, 


one of the recognized leaders of its bar and, with Tommaseo, 
the most prominent advocate of Venetian home rule. It is 
probable that had Austria been willing to give her Italian 
subjects real autonomy when it was first asked, it would 
have satisfied their necessities and postponed for a generation 
the realization of Italian unity. 

But Metternich had no intention of yielding an inch in any 
direction away from absolutism. It is true that he created 
"congregations" in the various provinces and cities of Aus 
trian Italy, but these bodies had no real power and were little 
more than debating societies, limited to the discussion of such 
subjects as might be submitted to them by the Austrian 

In 1837 Manin first appeared as a national character when 
he led the revolt of the Italian stockholders of the projected 
railway between Milan and Venice, against the route laid 
down by the Austrian government. The struggle assumed 
a political character, for it was between the Italian stock 
holders on the one hand and the Austrian commissioner on 
the other, and the Italians won and claimed a victory over 
the imperial government. Ten years later, in 1847, Manin, 
who had been unceasing in agitating for home rule and had 
fallen under the grave suspicion of the authorities, persuaded 
the congregation of Venice to petition the governor for 
autonomy, declaring the grievances and hopes of the Italian 
people. The petition was ignored but on January 18, 1848, 
Manin and Tommaseo were arrested for high treason. After 
a trial brilliantly conducted by the prisoners themselves, they 
were acquitted but not released. 

The trial served to make of Manin a popular idol, and to 
fan the flame of Austrophobia in Italy. 

On March 17, 1848, the news reached Venice that revolu 
tion had broken out in Vienna and that Metternich had 
fallen. The Austrian authorities in the city became utterly 
demoralized. Of the 10,000 men in the garrison most were 


either Italians or Dalmatians whose loyalty in face o the 
Venetians could by no means be counted on. There was riot 
ing and street fighting accompanied by the usual looting of 
shops, and early in the day the rioters marched to the prison 
and forced the release of Manin and Tommaseo. 

Manin immediately set about the organization of a civil 
guard and a provisional government, and was so successful 
that when the Austrians evacuated the city on March 26 order 
had been restored and the republic proclaimed with Manin 
as president. 

Manin, who had been a disciple of Mazzini, was at this 
period a republican. He favored the union of all Italy into 
one federal state with a republican form of government, and 
deprecated the idea of union with Piedmont under the House 
of Savoy, but hoped to establish the Italian republic by the 
aid of France. He soon, however, became convinced that 
nothing could be expected from either Lamartine or later 
from Louis Napoleon, except platonic expressions of good 
will, and that there was no prospect of seeing a French army 
fighting in behalf of Italy. 

He realized that it would be hopeless for Venice, even if 
backed whole-heartedly by the mainland cities of Venetia, to 
fight for her liberty against the Habsburgs, and he had no 
illusions that the liberty so easily won by the withdrawal of 
the Austrian troops would or could be preserved except by 
force of arms, after the revolution in Austria had been ended, 
He would have liked fusion of a united Venetia with Lom- 
bardy, to the exclusion of Piedmont, his preference being for 
a federal republic, each state retaining its autonomy, his plan 
being very similar to that of Mazzini. 

Unfortunately Venetia was not united, for the old jealousy 
of the capital still existed and Manin possessed no real 
authority on the mainland. Besides, Lombardy had by an 
overwhelming popular vote declared for fusion with Pied 
mont, and therefore Venetian fusion with Lombardy meant 


fusion with Piedmont as well. Manin fought annexation to 
Piedmont as long as he was able, but public opinion was 
against him and he was obliged to consent to the election 
of an assembly to determine the future of Venice. 

On July 3 the assembly voted by a large majority for an 
nexation to Piedmont; Manin and Tommaseo resigned and 
on August 7 the Piedmontese commissioners took possession 
of the city in the name of Charles Albert. 

Five days after the Piedmontese commissioners had as 
sumed the government the news came that as the result of the 
defeat of Custozza, Piedmont had signed a six weeks' armis 
tice with Austria by the terms of which she agreed to evacuate 
Venetia. Manin very justly claimed that as Venice had been 
abandoned by Piedmont to the mercy of Austria the proposed 
fusion of the two countries was void. Public opinion was 
very much aroused against Charles Albert, and vented itself 
on the persons of his commissioners who were with difficulty 
rescued from a mob intent on lynching them. They at once 
resigned and were thankful to escape unharmed from Vene 
tian territory. 

Manin now resumed the dictatorship which had before 
been camouflaged with the title of president. The assembly 
appointed a triumvirate with dictatorial powers, consisting 
of Manin at its head and with Admiral Graziani and Colonel 
Calvedalis as his colleagues. 

While lie still voiced his hope in the realization of his 
dream of a united Italy, and announced that his dictatorship 
was only temporary, to last no longer than was necessary 
to bring the question of the form of government before a 
congress of the entire peninsula, he realized that his back 
was against the wall and that he was at the head of a forlorn 
hope. Every other state in Italy that had been in revolt 
against Austria, except Piedmont, had been crushed and 
restored to its former owner, and even Piedmont had been 


defeated and was about to be defeated again and to lose her 
king by abdication. 

Mania's appeals to Britain and to France were equally 
unsuccessful Palmerston flatly refused to strike a blow for 
Venice, and while Lamartine and Bastide expressed their 
friendship they did nothing to help; and when Louis Napo 
leon told him plainly that France would not go to war for 
Venice, he knew that unless the Hungarian revolution were 
a success,, Venice could expect no aid from outside of Italy. 
When Piedmont was beaten at Novara, Manin understood 
that the death warrant of Venice had been signed, and pre 
pared his people to die like men. 

After Novara, Radctzlcy was free to concentrate on the 
siege of Venice. During the entire winter the Austrians had 
drawn constantly closer to the shore, and with the exception 
of the bridgehead at Malghcra held all the strategic points 
on the mainland. The city contained some 130,000 inhabi 
tants, and was provisioned to stand a siege of a few months. 
The garrison numbered 20,000 of whom 14,000 were Vene 
tians, the rest being volunteers from northern Italy and, 
Rome, under General Pepe who had resigned from the 
Neapolitan army after his command had been recalled by 
the Neapolitan king. As Manin had seized the arsenal, with 
its large supply of war material, on the departure of the 
Austrian garrison, Pepe's men were fairly well armed and 
equipped. The besieging army was so much larger than the 
Venetian and its artillery so much superior that all that 
Manin could do was to defend himself as long as possible. 

The spirit of the people was excellent; they went about 
their business much as usual, the theaters remained open, and 
the usual church festivals and processions took place as 
though conditions were normal. 

On May 26, after three days of hand-to-hand fighting, 
Malghera fell, and a week later the garrison was obliged to 


blow up the railway bridge. On June 13 the Austrians, who 
had emplaced some large guns, began the bombardment 
of the city and eventually more than two-thirds of Venice 
was under fire. Typhus and cholera appeared, with death 
lists of more' than 4,000. The food and ammunition began to 
give out, and Manin realized that the end could only be a 
matter of days. Nevertheless the people remained cheerful, 
and bore their sufferings heroically, determined to resist as 
long as their dictator desired. 

Manin now approached Austria, asking for autonomy as 
the price of surrender, but received no satisfactory reply and 
was enthusiastically supported by the assembly when he 
dropped negotiations. By August 6, it was evident that to 
avoid surrender at discretion, Austria must be approached 
hat in hand for the best possible terms, .While Tommaseo 
advocated a sortie en masse, Pepe agreed with Manin that it 
would be hopeless and the latter was authorized to make 
what terms he could with Radetzky. Radetzky showed him 
self more reasonable than Manin had expected. He agreed 
that there should be no reprisals and no looting, and that all 
who had taken part in the defense of Venice should be 
amnestied, with the exception of Manin, Pepe, and thirty- 
eight others, who should be permitted to leave Venice un 
molested. On August 24, Venice surrendered, and three days 
later Manin and his friends left Venice on a French ship, 
never to return. 

At Marseilles his wife died, and he reached Paris broken in 
both health and fortune. Here he supported his daughter and 
himself by giving Italian lessons, and became a sincere con 
vert to the union of Italy under the House of Savoy. With 
LaFarina and Pallavicini he founded the National Italian 
Society, having for its object the creation of a Unitarian state 
under Victor Emanuel. On September 22, 1857, he died, 
worn out by the strain of his intensive life. 


While Manin cannot be classed with Cavour and Garibaldi 
as one of the greatest men of the risorgimento, his indirect 
influence to the cause of Italian unity was profound. 

The conduct of the Venetian people during the siege was 
so glorious, and the record of their leader so heroic, that he 
became a legendary figure in Italian history, an example of 
what an Italian can accomplish, despite the limitation of ill 
health and frail physique when inspired by indomitable 
will and unlimited courage and patriotism. Manin was de 
feated, but he had given Austria the most serious check she 
had as yet received from the Italians and by so doing helped 
the risorgimento on its way, and deserving well of his coun 
trymen is justly entitled to his final resting-place in the outer 
wall of San Marco, under St. Mark's lion that he had served 
so well. 

The day after the surrender of Venice the Austrians entered 
Florence, where two months afterwards they replaced Leo 
pold on his throne. A few days later Bologna and Ancona 
capitulated and were occupied by Austrian troops in the 
name of the Holy Father. Brescia, after a gallant defense 
under Giuseppe Martinengo, had already been captured by 
the Austrian General Haynau who, by his atrocities, won for 
himself the name of the Hyena of Brecia. It is a slight con 
solation to remember that some years later, when in London 
he visited Barkley's Brewery, he found that his fame had 
preceded him. The brewery hands seized him and beat him 
with such good will that he was rescued only after much 

Of all the states of Italy that had driven out absolutism the 
only one that still held was Rome. From the moment that he 
reached Gaeta Pius had never ceased to call on the Catholic 
nations to restore him to his temporal power. It was not until 
after the conquest of Sicily that Ferdinand could respond, 
nor until after Novara that Austria could give any effective 
help. The new president of the French republic, Louis Napo- 


leon, owed a great deal of his strength to the support of the 
priests and the faithful of the Catholic Church in France. He 
could not afford to show himself ungrateful for their help, 
especially as he had every intention of relying on that help 
in the future. Remembering that France was the so-called 
"eldest daughter of the Church," he resolved to make use of 
the fact for all it was worth, for the purpose of consolidating 
his position at home. He calmly ignored the contradiction 
of the spectacle of the president of a liberal republic going to 
the rescue of an ex-absolutist monarch who had been defeated 
by a sister liberal republic, and determined to forestall Austria 
in sending an expedition to Rome. Accordingly, General 
Oudinot, duke of Reggio and eldest son of Napoleon Fs 
marshal of the same name, landed at Civitavecchia April 25, 
1849, with a French force of 8,000 men. 

That Rome was able to stand a siege of two months against 
an overwhelmingly superior French army, with her garrison 
deficient in provisions and in war material, badly armed and 
worse equipped, that her people stood the siege with forti 
tude and that her soldiers fought with magnificent gallantry, 
was due entirely to the example, the inspiration, and the 
leadership of one man, Giuseppe Garibaldi. 

This extraordinary man was born at Nice, then a town in 
Napoleon's France, July 4, 1807, of pure Italian stock, his 
father Domenico, the captain of a small coasting vessel, hav 
ing come from Chiavari near Genoa some thirty years earlier. 
At the age of fifteen he went to sea and at twenty-four re 
ceived his captain's certificate, and after his first voyage in 
command met Mazzini at Marseilles and joined "Young 
Italy." Two years later he was involved in one of Mazzini's 
many and futile attempts against Charles Albert, and enlisted 
in the Piedmontese navy for the purpose of inciting rebellion. 
When Mazzini as usual failed, Garibaldi escaped into France 
to be sentenced to death "in contumacio." 


In 1836 he emigrated to Brazil, not to return to Europe 
until 1848. The twelve years he spent in South America were 
occupied as a privateer and filibuster in Rio Grande do Sul 
and Uruguay. Here Garibaldi learned to fight, and learned 
warfare in the rough so effectively as to become the greatest 
guerrilla chieftain the world has probably ever produced 
organized and fought his Italian legion, and met and out of 
hand won his Anita. 

He had always kept in touch with "Young Italy," and that 
shrewd propagandist Mazzini had seen to it that the fame of 
the Italian legion should be spread far and wide. At the begin 
ning of '48 Mazzini called to his friend to return, and in, the 
spring Garibaldi with some of his companions of the legion 
set sail Anita, with the three children, Menotti, Ricciotti, and 
Teresita, preceding him as a matter of precaution. 

He first offered his sword to Charles Albert,, who seemed 
to think that the pardon he had granted the convicted traitor 
was all that he owed and declined the services of the legion 
and its chief. Garibaldi next went to Milan where the revolu 
tionary government accepted him and sent him to the lake 
country to oppose the Austrians. Custozza ended the cam 
paign before he had had much opportunity to distinguish 
himself, not,, however,, before he had shown Italy his ability 
as a guerrilla fighter and several of his subordinates, especially 
Medici, had proved their worth. 

In the autumn of '48 Garibaldi with some seventy com 
panions, about half of whom had fought under him in South 
America, set sail for Sicily still in revolt against Ferdinand. 
At Leghorn, where he touched, he was persuaded to change 
his plan and to move on Naples via Tuscany and the Papal 
States. The moderate Tuscan government allowed him to 
cross its territory, but it was not until he entered Romagna 
that he succeeded in recruiting his legion to a strength of 
five hundred. 


The news that he received from Rome as well as what he 
learned when he made a flying visit there in December, 
determined him to abandon his Neapolitan venture and 
carry his legion to the aid of the Eternal City which he 
entered Apiil 27, 1849. 

Garibaldi was a curious anachronism, a man born five hun 
dred years after his time. He was a knight-errant of the 
Middle Ages projected into the middle of the nineteenth 
century. With little education, with the simplicity and heart 
of a child, with strong likes and dislikes, great prejudices and 
obstinacy, vacillating painfully until he had made up his 
mind and then unable to change, with no knowledge of 
statecraft, with little conception of the art of war, no general 
in the broader sense, and certainly not a statesman, he was 
a strange union, of strength and weakness, of breadth and 
narrowness, of greatness and smallness; he was a great con- 
dottiere of the trecento who under ordinary circumstances 
would never have been heard of. Yet the fates decreed that 
at the middle of the nineteenth century from an extraordi 
nary combination of circumstances the cause of Italia Unita 
needed just such a condottiere, and Garibaldi was ready at 
hand to serve the cause he loved. 

Five days after Garibaldi had reached Rome, Oudinot 
tried to capture the city by surprise. He was driven off with 
considerable loss by Garibaldi, who had been placed in com 
mand of the Trastevere with a force of some 20,000 volun 
teers from all parts of Italy, and retired to Civitavecchia to 
await reinforcements, which he asked from Paris. 

At the beginning of May Garibaldi defeated a Neapolitan 
expedition of 2,000 and forced them to retire. 

Oudinot to gain time sent Ferdinand de Lesseps, then a 
young French diplomat, to negotiate an arrangement with 
Mazzini. De Lesseps acting in good faith drew up a treaty 
with the head of the triumvirate, which on his return to 
Civitavecchia was at once repudiated by Oudinot, who had 


received some 35,000 reinforcements, with which he marched 
on Rome. Garibaldi, whose headquarters were in the Villa 
Savorelli on the Janicolo, now the property of the American 
Academy in Rome, fought against overwhelming odds with 
great skill and gallantry. Finally, after the French had carried 
the walls by storm and entered the city, the revolutionary 
government, realizing their case to be hopeless, agreed to 
surrender and on July 3 the French took possession. 

On June 29 Garibaldi, who was unwilling to lay down his 
arms, with some 2,000 devoted followers left Rome to begin 
one of the most romantic retreats in history. Despite the fact 
that he was hunted by the troops of four different armies 
he succeeded in reaching the tiny republic of San Marino 
with what was left of his followers. Here he made satisfactory 
arrangements for the internment of most of his men, and 
with a handful and the faithful Anita who had joined him 
in Rome he set out for Venice. Near Comacchio all his com 
panions but Anita and one friend fell into the hands of the 
Austrians, who shot the devoted monk, Ugo Bassi, who had 
been chaplain of the legion and a noncombatant, and Cicc- 
ruacchio and his two sons, the youngest being a boy of thir 
teen. On leaving Comacchio Anita died in her husband's 
arms, and the latter with his companion Leggiero made his 
way across the peninsula, passed from house to house and 
from peasant to peasant through the Apennines, like a Scottish 
chieftain of the "'15" or "'45." He finally reached the Mediter 
ranean at Cola Martina near Piombino on September 2, 
1849, and sailed away to safety, 

On April 12, 1850, supported by French bayonets Pius 
returned to Rome, embittered against his people and deter 
mined that henceforth he would rule absolutely, without 
regard to the wishes of those whom he governed. 

With the return of the pope the triumph of absolutism 
seemed complete, for there was only one spot: in Italy where 
the flame of nationalism and liberalism still burned. Pied- 


rnont was still loyal to the spirit of '48 and it was her good 
fortune and the good fortune of Italy that she should have 
produced a man able and willing to keep that flame brightly 
burning. Absolutism triumphed for the moment but the 
Italians of '48 and '49 had learned to know each other and 
trust each other as they never had before, and as the years 
passed under the leadership of Cavour became united in sen 
timent and in hope in the cause of a united state. 

The idea of a federation had been cast aside, for '48 had 
proved the utter untrustworthiness of all the Italian sov 
ereigns but the Piedmontese. The logic of the situation 
pointed to one Italian state under the government of Victor 
Emanuel, and it was to him that after '48 all Italians looked 
for leadership under the guidance of his great prime minister, 
Count Camillo Benso di Cavour. 



THE ten years, which followed the triumph of absolut 
ism in 1849 are known in Italy as "the decade of resis 
tance" (il decennio della resistenza) and were marked 
by the patient, undiscouraged and constant work of Cavour 
to bring about the unification of the peninsula. Every minute 
of the decade was required for the enormous amount of 
preparation needed for the final stroke for freedom and unity. 
Camillo Benso di Cavour was born in Turin August 10, 
1810, the second son of Don Michete, marchesc di Cavour, 
and his wife Adle, daughter of Count Jean de Sellon of 
Geneva. The Cavours were an old and patrician Pietlmontese 
family, the title of marquis dating from 1649, the younger 
sons using the courtesy title of count. The family name was 
originally Benso, the Cavour being acquired from the castle 
of that name, near Pignerolo, held in fief from the Middle 
Ages. Early in life the great Cavour dropped Benso and the 
particle from his name and called himself simply "Count 
Cavour." His name Camillo was derived from Prince Bor- 
ghese who with the Princess Pauline Bonaparte were his 

The family lived in the Palazzo Cavour on via Jena ? now 
via Cavour, in Turin in one great patriarchal community, 
father, mother, children, grandmother, uncles and aunts, 
exactly as is the custom in patrician households in most parts 
of Italy today. The family dined at one long table, the father 
at the head, the grandmother at the foot. Years later, when at 
the height of his fame, Cavour always had his accustomed 
place as a younger son well down the family dinner table, his 
elder brother the marchese sitting of right at the head. 


The language spoken in the family was French, as was 
the case in many Italian patrician families with any pretension 
of education. Piedmontese was used with servants and trades 
men, Italian was unknown, and only acquired by Cavour in 
manhood, as a foreign language. 

As custom reserved high government office and the diplo 
matic service to the eldest sons of the aristocracy, Cavour was 
almost as a matter of course destined for the army, and at 
ten years of age was sent to the military academy of Turin, 
where he remained for six years, graduating at the head of 
his class in 1826 and being commissioned sub-lieutenant of 
engineers. He soon began to express exceedingly liberal sen 
timents which not only caused great scandal in his family, 
but placed him under police suspicion. 

Before going to the military academy his father, who was 
in high favor with Charles Albert, then prince of Carignano, 
had obtained for him the post of page to the heir to the 
throne. The small boy and the prince at once developed an 
intense dislike and suspicion of each other, which continued 
as long as the latter lived. When Charles Albert ascended the 
throne, Cavour, who was at the time virtually under arrest 
because of his liberalism, resigned his commission in the 
army. The next few years were spent in foreign travel and 
in study. He visited Paris and London and in both places 
made many friends among the politically great, who were of 
much service to him in after times. 

On his return to Turin he found that because of the king's 
dislike a public career was closed to him. His father had 
been appointed sindaco, or mayor, of Turin, and was power 
ful enough to ensure his son at least protection, provided the 
latter refrained from all political activity. 

With boundless energy, for want of something else to do 
Cavour in 1835 undertook the management of the family 
estates. Finding them much run down and seeing great possi 
bilities for their development, he became the sole tenant 


of his father and was so successful that by 1848 he had not 
only greatly improved the family fortunes, but had made a 
very comfortable fortune for himself. He was the first Pied- 
montese to introduce modern scientific farming, the first to 
change the medieval methods of agriculture, which had 
obtained, into the modern methods in vogue in England 
and in France. 

Not satisfied with his farming activities he organized a 
steamboat company on Lago Maggiore, and a chemical prod 
ucts company, and was largely instrumental in organizing 
the Bank of Turin and the Bank of Genoa. 

In 1847, encouraged by the liberalism of Pius IX, Cavour 
believed that the time had come to strike for the liberalization 
of the Piedrnontese government and even for a constitution. 
Accordingly he founded a newspaper in Turin which he 
called // Risorgimento, and through its columns began a vig 
orous and fearless battle for the principles he had always 

There can be no question but that the constant hammering 
of // Risorgimcnto did much to drive Charles Albert into 
granting the statute on February 8, 1848, and into declaring 
war against Austria six weeks later. 

Cavour was elected a deputy in the first chamber under the 
constitution. After the dissolution in January 1849 he was 
defeated but was elected to the new parliament in July of 
the same year, after the abdication of Charles Albert, 

In parliament Cavour was a forceful and able, although not 
an eloquent, speaker. During his early days of service he 
devoted himself to questions of agriculture and finance and 
was very soon recognized as the leading authority on both 
subjects. He called himself a moderate conservative and sup 
ported with great enthusiasm the ministry of d'Azeglio, so 
much so that when Santa Rosa, the minister of agriculture, 
industry, and commerce, died in October 1850, the prime 
minister offered him and he accepted the vacant portfolio. 


The following year he also assumed the office of finance 

At the age of forty Cavour had now "arrived" and was 
regarded not only in Piedmont but everywhere else as one 
of the men upon whom Italy must lean in her struggle for 

He was the exact antithesis of his fellow leader of the risor- 
girnento. Garibaldi. Coming from a very old Piedmontese 
family he was essentially an aristocrat and a man of the 
world, a man of great intelligence, ability and political genius, 
a realist and a cynic, willing to be not only disingenuous but 
absolutely unscrupulous in serving his country. He never 
sought popularity and never won it. 

Disliked by Victor Emanuel he was tolerated only because 
the king was wise enough to know that there was no one to 
fill his place. He appreciated Garibaldi's good qualities and 
used him to the full, despite the guerrilla chief's almost insane 
hatred, caused by the cession of Nice to France. The only 
traits that Garibaldi and he had in common were a pro 
found love of Italy and a complete willingness to sacrifice 
self in the cause of national union. 

On his return to Turin after Novara the new king found 
himself faced with exorbitant demands on the part of Aus 
tria and it was not until Massimo d'Azeglio became 
prime minister that any real progress was made with the 

Marchese Massimo Taparelli d'Azeglio (1798-1866) was 
an excellent example of the best in Piedmontese aristocracy. 
He belonged to an old family that viewed with alarm his 
early determination to become an artist. During his father's 
service as minister to the Vatican he studied painting; later 
he married the daughter of Manzoni, the author of / promessi 
sposi, and turned his attention to writing. While he never 
became more than a fairly good amateur in either art or 
literature, he was essentially an artist at heart, and became 


a politician almost under protest. He creditably served in 
the early days of the revolution and won sufficient distinction 
to be twice expelled from Tuscany. His success in politics was 
due not so much to his force or his ability, with both of 
which qualities he was only fairly well endowed, as it was to 
his personality. He was a man of great charm and tact, trans 
parently honest and sincere, a true patriot who was tempera 
mentally unable to compromise with what he deemed the 
wrong. His was by far the most attractive character of the 
risorgimento, but the times required sterner qualities than 
he possessed. 

On assuming the prime ministership d'Azeglio appealed to 
France and Britain asking them to use their good offices to 
mitigate the harshness of the Austrian demands. At last 
Austria agreed to reduce the size of the indemnity that she 
asked from Piedmont, and very reluctantly consented to 
pardon most of the Lombard rebels. It was not until August 
that the terms of the treaty were settled, and then d'Azeglio 
found that there was no prospect of obtaining their ratifica 
tion by parliament. Accordingly parliament was dissolved, 
and a general election ordered. It required all the personal 
influence of Victor Emanuel to secure the election of a major 
ity that unwillingly agreed to ratification, which finally took 
place January 9, 1850. 

Peace having been formally restored, d'Azeglio turned his 
energy to trying to improve relations with the Vatican. Pied- 
moot still had upon her statute books religious laws more 
reactionary than those of almost any other country. Although 
the Vatican had long before consented to the removal of the 
disability of Jews and Protestants in other countries, the sug 
gestion that Piedmont intended to permit non-Catholics to 
vote and to hold office was received at Rome with violent 
protest, and it required much courage on d'Axeglio's part to 
force the necessary legislation through parliament. He next 
enacted laws depriving the clergy of its special privileges, 


again in the teeth o vigorous papal opposition. Nevertheless 
he succeeded in calming Antonelli's wrath to such an extent 
that when he left office, relations with the Vatican were, if 
not actually cordial, at least very much improved. 

Cavour and d'Azeglio never worked together in harmony. 
The subordinate was so much stronger and abler than his 
chief that they were bound to clash. 

In May 1852 Cavour made a statement in the chamber, 
from which it was obvious that he and his cabinet colleague, 
Farini, were negotiating with Rattazzi, the leader of the left, 
with the purpose of swinging the government in that direc 
tion. D'Azeglio, who was a conservative, with a profound 
distrust of extreme liberalism, openly broke with both Cavour 
and Farini, whom he charged with disloyalty to the prime 
minister, and resigned. The king refused to accept his resig 
nation, and accordingly he reconstituted his cabinet without 
either Cavour or Farini. 

Cavour now openly opposed the government, and 
d'Azeglio saw his position becoming daily weaker. By Octo 
ber his majority had vanished and on the 22nd he resigned 
and returned to his studio to paint pictures that no one 
bought and to write novels that no one read. From 1855 to 
1859 he was director of the Turin gallery of art, the four 
happiest years of his life, after which, much against his will, 
he once more found himself in public affairs. 

On leaving the prime ministership d'Azeglio urged the 
king to appoint Cavour in his place. Cavour was the leader 
of the opposition that had brought about the fall of the gov 
ernment, and it was in accordance with the custom prevail 
ing in constitutional states that he should be asked to form 
the new ministry. 

Much as he disliked Cavour, Victor Emanuel was faced 
with the necessity of summoning him. He was by far the most 
important member of the chamber, and the king found none 


of his favorites willing to assume office in the face of Cavour' s 
certain opposition. 

The king's dislike was probably inherited from his father, 
Charles Albert, who considered Cavour a dangerous liberal 
and a great nuisance. This dislike was much accentuated 
some six years later when Cavour did all in his power to 
prevent the scandal of the king's marriage to his mistress 
Rosina, the daughter of a corporal in the army, whom he had 
created Countess of Mirafiori. Although the marriage was 
morganatic, Cavour chiefly objected because it would pre 
vent the strengthening of the dynasty by a marriage with 
the daughter of some reigning house. 

Had Cavour possessed the goodwill of Garibaldi and Victor 
Emanuel his path would have been far smoother. The hatred 
of the former and the dislike of the latter necessitated not 
only constant tact and management, but incessant watchful 
ness. Garibaldi's enmity was so intense that he was willing 
to go to almost any lengths in the effort to destroy the man 
who had 3 as he believed, corruptly sold Nice, his birthplace, 
to France. Fortunately for Italy and for Cavour, the old 
cotidottiere's power for evil was not by any means as great 
as was his intention. By the very exaggeration of his ill will 
he overplayed his hand and, making himself ridiculous, piti 
fully failed in his purpose. 

The king's ill will was an, entirely different matter. Cavour 
had no illusions on the subject and knew quite well that he 
must always think of his sovereign as the leader of the oppo 
sition, always intriguing against him, always using his con 
stitutional immunity from attack to make his prime minister's 
task of government as difficult as possible, never whole 
heartedly supporting Cavour or even tolerating him unless 
the exigencies of the situation made any other course 

It is one of the regrettable incidents of Italian history that 
two men who had so much in common, who strove so earn- 


estly for the same patriotic purpose, should have been sepa 
rated from each other by the barrier of mutual dislike. 

Victor Emanuel before his death had become an almost 
legendary hero to his people, why, it would be difficult to 
understand were it not for one fact: his devotion to the cause 
of Italia Unita. 

Physically he was not of the stuff of which heroes are sup 
posed to be made. Very short, broad and stout, he was of 
surpassing ugliness. His manners were of the worst, his 
morals deplorable. Personally courageous, he was a good 
mountaineer and sportsman and a brave soldier, although a 
very poor general. His conception of the duty of a constitu 
tional king was to keep the letter of the statuto, and to do as 
he pleased with its spirit. With a strong prime minister like 
Cavour this led to no serious results as he feared Cavour 
almost as much as he disliked him, but under Cavour's weak 
successors it often led to grave inconveniences. 

With all his shortcomings and failings, and they were 
many, he stood out above his contemporaries as the only 
Italian sovereign who kept faith with his people and did not 
break his word. After Novara there was no backsliding 
toward absolutism in Piedmont as there was everywhere else 
in Italy. His attitude toward the risorgimento may have been 
influenced by his whole-hearted hatred of Austria and his 
ambition for Casa Savoja, but be that as it may, the fact 
remains that but for his loyalty to the cause Cavour and 
Garibaldi would have worked and fought in vain. When 
others hesitated and fell, he stood firm. He fought the good 
fight and kept the faith, and well deserved the name his 
people gave him, "II re galantuomo" "the king who was a 

With a few short intervals Cavour remained prime min 
ister until his death. He had become indispensable to Pied 
mont and indispensable to Italy. 


Everywhere but in Piedmont the heavy hand of absolutism 
crushed mercilessly every aspiration of the people. In Lom- 
bardy and Venetia the rule of Austria was particularly 
offensive. Taxes were heavier than in any other part of the 
empire and the people were kept in order by flogging, im 
prisonment, and hanging. 

In 1852 an unsuccessful Mazzinian plot in Mantua led to 
the arrest of some two hundred alleged conspirators. Under 
torture, confessions were obtained, which involved the priest 
Tazzoli and four others, who were hanged December 7. The 
next year twenty-four alleged conspirators were hanged and 
Austria seized the property of all Lombards who had emi 
grated for political reasons. As this was in direct violation of 
the peace treaty with Piedmont, Cavour at once withdrew his 
minister from Vienna, which act was followed by the with 
drawal of the Austrian minister from Turin. 

In Rome Antonelli was given a free hand by the pope to 
carry out his policy of repression. In 1853 four out of every 
thousand of the inhabitants were in, prison, including over 
one thousand politicals. In Bologna the Austrians who gar 
risoned the city at the pope's request shot some two hundred 
brigands and peasants during the year. Economically, Anto 
nelli had accomplished considerable improvement. Gas and 
the telegraph had been introduced, the customs* tariff 
reformed, agriculture encouraged, primary education ex 
panded, and the better housing of the poor seriously 

In Naples conditions were unspeakable. Economic condi 
tions were the worst of any state in Italy, crime flourished, 
the camorra was almost officially recognized, poverty and 
misery were everywhere. Ferdinand had become an absolute 
tyrant who governed with neither intelligence nor knowl 
edge. Even the ultra-conservative Jesuits thought that he 
had gone too far. 


In Tuscany Leopold followed in the footsteps of his father 
as a more or less benevolent despot, while in the duchies of 
Parma and Modena absolutism flourished without much 
regard to benevolence. 

With one exception the states of Italy lay crushed under 
the heel of tyranny, almost despairing of better times. Even 
in Piedmont where Victor Emanuel was giving a very fair 
imitation of a constitutional monarch most people were con 
tent to let well enough alone. 

Fortunately for Italy Cavour had long since consecrated 
his genius and his courage to the cause of Italia Unita, and 
flatly refused to leave well enough alone in Piedmont or bad 
enough elsewhere. The cause of Italian unity required some 
thing more than Mazzini's eloquence and futile plottings, 
something more than Garibaldi's heroism. It required at the 
head of the movement a leader who was at the same time a 
great statesman, for the problems to be solved and the issues 
to be met were so complicated and so vital that only great 
statesmanship could successfully deal with them. It was 
Italy's supreme good fortune to have as the leader of the 
risorgirnento the greatest statesman of his age. 

As the first important step in the fulfilment of his ultimate 
hope, Cavour concentrated his efforts on the expulsion of the 
barbarian and the creation of a North Italian state under 
Victor Emanuel. 

Profiting by the lesson of Novara he realized that Piedmont 
alone could not conquer Austria. With the then conditions 
in the other Italian states, no help of importance could be 
expected from them* It was therefore essential to seek help 
outside of Italy. Of the great powers, Austria, Russia, and 
Prussia were obviously for both political and sentimental 
reasons on the side of the Habsburgs. Great Britain, despite 
the liking of the queen and prince regent for Austria, had 
through her foreign office repeatedly expressed her sym 
pathy for the Italian cause. She was, however, unwilling to 


turn from words to deeds, and had assured Cavour that 
under no circumstances could he expect her material sup 
port. The remaining great power was France, and the logic 
of the situation pointed to France as Piedmont's only pos 
sible ally. Accordingly, Cavour concentrated his unflagging 
energy and his great ability to the winning of the friendship 
and the alliance of the emperor of the French. 

Louis Napoleon had ascended the throne of France as 
Napoleon III by the almost unanimous vote of the French 
people, cast December 2, 1852. No ruler of modern times has 
been more unjustly belittled than has Napoleon III. Hugo 
and Thiers, from different motives, did much to injure him, 
while the Prussian guns at Sedan sealed the fate of his repu 
tation. Had he died before 1870 he would have been hailed as 
a great ruler, who had found his country in economic chaos 
and left her restored to economic health, who gave Italy her 
freedom, and was the first sovereign to inaugurate those 
social reforms that have today become a matter of course. The 
world has no mercy for a beaten man, and the sneering 
names given him by the disappointed Hugo of "the nephew 
of his uncle" and "Napoleon the Little'* have stuck. 

All the success that went before Sedan, all the economic 
and political triumphs that restored France to her primacy 
in Europe, were either minimized or ignored in the humilia 
tion of national defeat. 

Napoleon III was not great in the sense in which his uncle 
was; he does not stand out among the few truly great men 
of history, but if merit is measured by the amount: of happi 
ness that a man confers upon his fellow men, then was 
Napoleon III a great Frenchman who deserved well of 

In his youth Napoleon, had been associated with the carbo 
nari, although probably not actually a member. He had 
acquired a great love for Italy and a sincere hope that she 
might some day be united, a love and a hope that he always 


retained. When he attained to power he did not hesitate to 
show his friendly feeling to the Italian cause, a feeling that 
ceased to be platonic as soon as he felt himself in a position 
to act. 

The vacillation in reference to Italy with which he has been 
charged was not due to weakness of character but to chang 
ing political conditions in France. He relied to a very great ex 
tent for support for his throne upon the French conservatives, 
who were Catholic, and upon the Church. As both opposed a 
united Italy he was obliged to follow an exceedingly tor 
tuous course, having for its goal the freeing of Italy without 
alienating Rome. That he finally succeeded is greatly to his 
credit as a statesman. 

Cavour's first approach to Napoleon was upon the outbreak 
of the Crimean War, when in January 1855 he signed a 
treaty of alliance with France and Great Britain against 
Russia. Piedmont sent to the Crimea 17,000 extremely well 
equipped men under La Marmora, whose commissariat and 
medical service were the envy of the other powers. 

The Pieclmontese contingent was given but little oppor 
tunity to distinguish itself until August 16, when in the 
action of Tchernaja it behaved with much gallantry. 

The Crimean War was of great value to Piedmont both 
directly and indirectly. It has been said without much 
exaggeration that "Piedmont's road to Lombardy lay through 
the Crimea." Tchernaja wiped out the disgrace of Novara 
and restored the confidence of the army. The victory over 
Russia gave Piedmont a place at the peace conference equal 
to that of the other powers, and her participation in the war 
had won the goodwill of both France and Great Britain. On 
the other hand Austria's neutrality had outraged Russia, who 
claimed with reason that it was a poor return for the latter's 
help in suppressing the Austrian and Hungarian revolutions 
of '48. 


On January 14, 1858, as the emperor and empress were 
driving to the opera in Paris, three bombs were thrown from 
the crowd, leaving the royal pair untouched but killing or 
wounding over one hundred and fifty. The author of the 
outrage was soon found in Felice Qrsini, a prominent Maz- 
zinian. Orsini took upon himself the entire responsibility 
for the murders and from prison, where he calmly awaited 
the guillotine, wrote two letters to Napoleon urging him to 
free Italy. 

Napoleon, who had behaved with great courage during 
Orsini's attack, was deeply impressed by the letters which 
awoke in him what seemed to be a sincere admiration for the 
character of the author, the memories of his youth and his 
love of Italy. Orsini's arguments apparently convinced him 
that if Italy was ever to be freed the time for action was 
at hand. 

The emperor realized that the admiration of his people 
for him had very well defined limits, and that it was evidently 
cooling. A successful war in a noble cause, especially if the 
noble cause could be made to pay a substantial profit, would 
doubtless warm up the popular enthusiasm so necessary for 
his throne. Accordingly, he invited Cavour to meet him at 
Plombieres where on July 21 and 22, 1858, the two statesmen 
conferred in secret. 

A "gentlemen's agreement" was entered into between the 
two, under the terms of which Napoleon promised to attack 
Austria at a time to be later determined, he to furnish 200,000 
men and Piedmont 100,000. Austria was to be deprived of all 
her Italian possessions, which were to go to Piedmont, which 
was also to receive the duchies and the papal legations and the 
marches, these to constitute the kingdom of Northern Italy. 
Umbria and Tuscany were to be joined in a kingdom of 
Central Italy, the pope being left only the Patrimony of 
St. Peter, to be garrisoned by Napoleon. After the expected 


revolution the Two Sicilies were to be given to Lucien Murat, 
son of the ex-king and Napoleon's cousin. 

In return for all this Victor Ernanuel was to give his daugh 
ter, the sixteen-year-old Princess Clotilde, in marriage to 
Napoleon's cousin, the thirty-seven-year-old and dissipated 
Prince Jerome Napoleon, usually though not affectionately 
called "Plonplon," for whom the emperor undoubtedly in 
tended the new kingdom of Central Italy, and was to cede to 
France the provinces of Savoy and Nice. 

The conference over, Cavour went to Baden Baden whence 
he wrote Victor Emanuel a forty-page letter urging him to 
consent to the proposed agreement, especially to that part of it 
involving the Princess Clotilde. 

Ten days later he returned to Turin and found that the 
king intended to leave the disposal of the Princess Clotilde 
entirely in the hands of that unfortunate child herself. Cavour 
believed the marriage to be of even greater importance than 
the cession of Nice and Savoy. 

Napoleon, who had allowed his heart to dominate his 
head and cause him to make a mesalliance, was exceedingly 
anxious that his cousin, the heir to the throne after the little 
prince imperial, should make a dynastic marriage. An 
alliance with Casa Savoja, next to the House of Wittelsbach 
the oldest ruling family in Europe, could not fail to 
strengthen the position of his throne. An adventurer himself, 
in whose veins flowed only the parvenu blood of the Bona- 
partes, he greatly exaggerated the importance of marrying 
Jerome Napoleon to a princess of a really royal house. He 
convinced Cavour that he was so set upon obtaining the hand 
of Princess Clotilde for Plonplon that were he to be dis 
appointed in his project he would in all likelihood turn his 
back upon Italy and her hopes. 

At all costs therefore Cavour favored the proposed mar 
riage,, and it was to him a serious shock to learn that all his 
well laid plans for the future of his country were to be 


jeopardized by what he considered his king's foolish 

He urged Victor Emanuel to forget his scruples and to 
arrange the marriage without consulting the princess. The 
king, however, refused to be influenced by his prime min 
ister's cynicism, and Clotilde was sent for. When she came 
to the king's study, Cavour rose and bowing low launched 
into an impassioned oration, which he himself concedes 
lasted for nearly an hour. He told her that the fate of her 
country depended upon her decision, that, were she to refuse, 
the cause of United Italy was lost, but that if she accepted 
she could always feel that she had been the chief cause of the 
union of Italy and its freedom from the barbarian. 

The little princess listened patiently to Cavour, and when 
he had finished smiled at him and said very quietly, "I 
accept." Whether it was Cavour's eloquence, whether the 
length of his speech bad enchanted her and destroyed her 
will to resist, or whether as is most likely she had already 
made up her mind, the fact remains that her decision un 
doubtedly brought Napoleon into line for Italy. 

Clotilde was wise beyond her years and had undoubtedly 
carefully thought out the problem that confronted her. She 
reached her decision with a full realization of the great sacri 
fice she was making for her country, and had no illusions, 
even then, of the unhappiness that lay before her. 

With neither beauty nor charm, without any sense of 
humor, or any great brilliancy, with only an honest heart 
and a saintly character as her assets, it was a foregone con 
clusion that she could neither win nor hold the affections 
of the very volatile and dissipated man of the world who 
was her husband. Throughout her married life she suffered 
greatly as the ignored and abandoned wife of a thoroughly 
disreputable roue. Yet she never regretted the course she had 
followed and to the end was satisfied and proud that she 


had been permitted to sacrifice herself in the service of her 

Few of the soldiers who have died for Italy have shown as 
much heroism as did Clotilde, for they have died but once 
and her martyrdom lasted a lifetime. 

Immediately after his return from Plombieres Cavour 
commenced the task of putting the army on a war footing. 
It was evident to all that the feverish activity of the war de 
partment could mean nothing but war with Austria; and 
volunteers began to flock to Turin from all parts of Italy. 

On January i, 1859, Napoleon said to the Austrian ambas 
sador,, "I regret that relations between our two countries are 
not as good as they have been," which was accepted by the 
world as meaning war with Austria. At the opening of the 
Piedmontese parliament a few days later the king said that 
he was greatly moved by "the cry of agony" (il grido di 
dolore) that came to him from all the Italian peoples. A mili 
tary treaty was signed by Prince Jerome and Cavour and the 
outbreak of war seemed only a matter of days when unex 
pectedly Napoleon, influenced by his clerical supporters and 
probably also by Russia, suggested to Cavour that the whole 
matter at issue between Austria and Piedmont be referred for 
settlement to a European congress. When Cavour bitterly 
opposed the suggestion, the emperor withdrew it and sub 
stituted a demand that both Austria and Piedmont should 
disarm. Cavour was almost in despair at seeing his carefully 
laid plans corning to nothing, and in his discouragement was 
even tempted to suicide. 

Fortunately for him and for Italy the fates, in the form of 
Austria, once more played into his hands. He had gone so far 
in acquiescence to the will of the emperor as to have actually 
prepared the order for the demobilization of the reserves, 
when on April 23 he received an ultimatum from Austria 
demanding demobilization within three days. By assuming 
this arrogant attitude Austria became the aggressor and 


placed Piedmont in the eyes of the world on the defensive 
and in the right, and herself in the wrong. Had Cavour been 
in command at the Ball Platz he could not more successfully 
have served the interests of Italy. 

On the 29th Austria declared war, and Napoleon, his hand 
forced by Austria, immediately afterwards followed suit. 
The next day the Austrian army crossed the Ticino. 



ON THE declaration of war the Piedmontese under 
the command of the king, with La Marmora as chief of 
staff, were in position near Alessandria, it having been 
understood that they were to remain there until joined by the 
French, coming into Piedmont over the Mont Cenis Pass and 
by sea to Genoa. 

The Austrians under the command of Marshal Gyulay, 
with General Kuhn as chief of staff, had crossed the frontier 
April 30, and advanced slowly in the direction of their 
enemy. It was fortunate for the allies that the Radetzky of 
'48 was not the Austrian commander, for the obvious thing 
for Gyulay to have done, with his larger army, was to have 
destroyed the Piedmontese before Napoleon had time to 
bring up his support. Instead of doing the obvious he manoeu- 
vered with apparently no distinct purpose in view, and with 
no result except to puzzle greatly the Piedmontese and the 

May 12 Napoleon assurnqd command of the allied army, 
his own forces having safely arrived without a blow being 
struck on either side. The last chance for the Austrians to 
engage the Piedmontese alone was gone. They had deliber 
ately wasted twelve days, during which they outnumbered 
the enemy over two to one. 

The two armies now began to manoeuver for position, rail 
ways being used for the purpose for the first time. On May 
21 occurred the first action of the war when Cialdini at 
tacked and drove back the Austrian right wing at Palestro. 
Meanwhile Garibaldi at the head of a force of volunteers 


was carrying on a successful guerrilla campaign in and around 
Como, usually against greatly superior forces. 

Nine days after his first success Cialdini again attacked 
the Austrian right wing near Palestro and once more drove 
it back, this time as far as Robbio, and was again successful 
the following day. Four days later the main armies met at 
Magenta (June 4), each consisting of about 85,000 men, but 
not more than 35^000 Austrians and io ? ooo allies were 

McMahon was so successful in routing the Austrian right 
wing with a force of French and Piedmontese that Gyulay 
conceded his defeat, and although the greater part of his 
army was intact retreated to Cremona and Piacenza. 

On June 8 the French met and defeated the 8th Austrian 
corps at Malegnano, the Austrians continuing their retreat 
and evacuating all the towns they had held so as to add their 
garrisons to the field army. On June 16 Gyulay was relieved, 
the Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph himself assuming com 
mand of the army with Marshal von Hess as chief of staff. 

It is a curious and picturesque fact that the two battles 
which won Italy for Victor Emanuel were fought near the 
fields which ten years earlier had cost his father Charles 
Albert the throne. Magenta was won close to the field of 
Novara and Solferino near the field of Custozza. 

Instead of again meeting the allies the Austrians continued 
their retreat, reorganizing their forces into two armies, the 
first of three corps under Wimpffen on the left, the second 
of four corps under Schlitz on the right, with in addition one 
corps at Mantua, one on the lower Po, and one in Tirol By 
June 21 the first and second Austrian armies were concen 
trated in a space of about ten miles square on the left bank 
of the Mincio between Peschiera, Villafranca, and Goito, 
headquarters being at VillaEranca, the five principal bridges 
across the Mincio being left standing. The total Austrian 
force numbered about 160,000. The allies who had pursued 


very slowly crossed the Chiera on the morning o the same 
day with a slightly superior force to that of the enemy, while 
Garibaldi with his volunteers took position to the north at 
Salo on Lake Garda. By the evening of the same day the allies 
were concentrated in a position also of about ten miles square, 
some twelve miles distant from the Austrians. 

Francis Joseph determined to attack and on the 23rd 
crossed the Mincio and advanced against the enemy. There 
were actually engaged some 165,000 allies and 155,000 Aus 
trians. The two armies met on the 24th on a front about 
ten miles wide, giving an average of nine men on each side 
to each yard of front. At 2 a.m. the allies advanced in three 
columns, not knowing that the Austrians had crossed the 
Mincio, while the Austrians, who were eating their break 
fasts, were not due to move until 10 o'clock and were caught 
almost unaware. By n o'clock the allies had deployed and 
the engagement began. 

The battle of Solferino really consisted of three almost 
detached actions. On the allied left the Piedmontese en 
gaged the Austrian 8th corps near San Martino, the center, 
consisting of the French ist, 2nd, and guard corps, met the 
Austrian 5th. corps near Solferino, while the right, consisting 
of the French 3rd and 4th corps, met the Austrian pth corps 
at Medole. 

From the beginning of the action it was evident that the 
allies had the advantage over their enemy in generalship. 
The Austrians wasted their strength in disjoined and iso 
lated attacks by the 3rd and 9th corps against the allied right, 
which the latter had no difficulty in resisting. While the 
allied right held the Austrian left, gradually forcing it back to 
Guidizzolo, the center vigorously attacked the Austrian cen 
ter at Solferino, the Piedmontese holding the Austrian 8th 
corps at San Martino, an Austrian counter-attack by way of 
Montechiaio having failed. By half past three in the afternoon 
the Austrian center began to yield, then to break, carrying 


with it the entire army. By evening the Austrians were in full 
retreat on Verona. 

Custozza and Novara had been avenged, for while the 
Austrians had fought stubbornly they had been outgeneralled 
and outmanoeuvered. The casualties on both sides were heavy,, 
the Austrians losing 13,100 killed and wounded, 8,600 prison 
ers and 13 guns, the allies losing 14,420 killed and wounded, 
and 7,000 prisoners. The heaviest losses were sustained by the 
Piedmontese on San Martino from which they finally suc 
ceeded in forcing Benedek to retire after charging five times 
with losses of 216 officers and 4,047 men, and 1,200 taken 

The victorious allies already saw themselves in the pos 
session of Venetia and dictating peace at Vienna. Actually, 
preparations were hurried for the siege of the Quadrilateral 
into which the Austrians had retired. Hopes and prepara 
tions that were alike destined to come to nothing. 

The day after Solferino Napoleon secretly sent orders to 
Persigny his ambassador in London to ask Palmerston, the 
British foreign secretary, to urge Austria to seek a truce. This 
Palmerston promptly declined to do. Napoleon next sent 
General Fleury directly to Francis Joseph, who agreed to ask 
and did ask an armistice which was signed July 8 at Villa- 
franca by representatives of the three sovereigns^ and which 
was to last until August 16. Victor Emanuel, who was not 
taken into Napoleon's confidence until two days before the 
armistice was signed, was persuaded to join his ally by a very 
disingenuous explanation by the latter that the armistice was 
to be purely military and that at its expiration war would 
undoubtedly be resumed. 

After a personal interview between Napoleon and Francis 
Joseph and a further interview between the latter and Prince 
Jerome the preliminary terms of peace were signed by the 
emperor. It was agreed that Lombardy was to be ceded 
to Napoleon, the understanding being that if he so desired 


he might give it to Piedmont. Parma and Piacenza were 
to go to Piedmont, the dukes were to be restored to their 
thrones of Tuscany and Modena, but without the use of 
force. Italy was to become a federation under the honorary 
presidency of the pope, who was to be asked to reform his 
government. Amnesty was to be granted to all revolutionists, 
and a European congress was to be summoned to ratify the 
proposed arrangements. 

Victor Emanuel reluctantly signed the treaty adding, how 
ever, the words: "pour ce qui me concerne," implying that 
he refused to be bound by the clauses referring to the duchies 
and to Italy in general. 

When Cavour in Turin heard of the proposed terms of the 
peace he hurried to the front to protest, only to arrive too late. 
He had a violent scene with Victor Emanuel in which he 
expressed his opinion of his sovereign, in terms more forcible 
than polite, and ended by submitting his resignation which 
was at once accepted. 

From the beginning of the war the king and his military 
advisers had treated Cavour with the greatest discourtesy. 

Although Cavour was minister of war, della Rocca as the 
king's chief of staff absolutely ignored him. Cavour's dis 
patches were left unanswered, della Rocca even refusing to 
give him the numbers of killed and wounded. After Magenta 
Cavour was obliged to telegraph to Napoleon to find out 
whether the battle had been won or lost. The king, influenced 
by his dislike of Cavour, apparently encouraged his chief of 
staff to insult the minister of war. Cavour was convinced that 
had he been consulted in advance the terms of the peace might 
have been more favorable to Piedmont, and while he held 
Napoleon primarily to blame for what he believed to be the 
betrayal of the Italian cause, he greatly blamed the king for 

In fairness to Napoleon it must be said that it is difficult to 
see how he could have acted otherwise. Despite the defeats 


of the campaign the Austrian army was practically intact. 
In Beaedek the war had produced a first-rate general, better 
than any other on either side. There was good reason to 
believe that Prussia was preparing to go to the help of Aus 
tria. In France the war had not been popular, and there was 
a general feeling that the sooner it came to an end the better 
it would be for French interests. The French Catholics had 
never hesitated to show their dislike of a war that they very 
justly believed might injure the interests of the temporal 
power of the pope, and the emperor himself looked askance 
at the possibility of a large and powerful Italian state uader 
Victor Emanuel, contiguous to French territory. Besides, the 
emperor distinctly cooled to the Italian cause when he found 
but little Italian sentiment in favor of placing his two cousins, 
Prince Jerome Napoleon and Lucien Murat, on Italian 
thrones. Influenced by these arguments he made his peace 
with Austria, believing that Italy would be satisfied and that 
he had won the friendship of Francis Joseph, in both of 
which beliefs he was mistaken. Victor Emanuel could have 
done nothing else but sign the treaty,, for it would have been 
madness for him to have continued the war alone, and had 
he done so he might and probably would have been called 
upon to face France also, as Napoleon very broadly hinted. 

Cavour was so enthusiastically wedded to the cause of Ital 
ian unity, to which he had given his whole life, that he 
believed the war, which he had brought about, would realize 
his hopes. When he found his hopes frustrated* his disap 
pointment was heartbreaking and he allowed his sentiment 
to influence his judgment. For once at least the king was 
wiser than Cavour. 

On Cavour's resignation Victor Emanuel had called his 
friend and favorite, Urbane Rattazzi (1810-1873), to form a 
cabinet, Cavour meanwhile remaining in office. 

Under the terms of the protocol of Villafranca Cavour re 
called the Piedmontese commissioners from the duchies, from 


Tuscany and from Romagna, at the same time secretly urging 
them to refuse to resign and to resist by force the return of 
the old sovereigns. 

In Tuscany the grand duke was expelled and a govern 
ment formed with Ubaldino Peruzzi as its nominal head, 
but with Ricasoli in actual control. In the duchies of Modena 
and Parma, Farini was chosen dictator, while Marco Min- 
ghetti was elected dictator in Romagna. When Rattazzi 
finally succeeded in forming his ministry he found a series 
of accomplished facts with no option left him but to follow 
the course laid out for him by his great predecessor. 

In August a customs union and military league were 
formed by Tuscany, Romagna, and the duchies, and General 
Fanti was lent by Piedmont to organize its army. On Novem 
ber 10 the preliminary terms of Villaf ranca were incorporated 
in the treaty of Zurich. Napoleon realized that treaty or no 
treaty the cause of Italian unity had made so much progress 
that it could not be stopped. While at Plombieres Cavour had 
agreed to cede Savoy and Nice in return for Napoleon's help 
in driving the Austrians out of Italy, the emperor had not 
kept his bargain in reference to Venetia. He now renewed his 
demands, offering to agree to the annexation of the central 
Italian league by Piedmont in return for Savoy and Nice. 

Before the negotiations were concluded Rattazzi fell and 
Victor Emanuel as usual most unwillingly sent for Cavour. 
Cavour brought his discussions with Napoleon to a successful 
termination on March 24, 1860, when the cession of Savoy 
and Nice was agreed to, while at the same time Tuscany, the 
duchies, and Romagna were annexed to Piedmont. 

The pope at once excommunicated Victor Emanuel for 
taking over Romagna, while Garibaldi declared his undying 
hatred of Cavour for having "sold" Savoy and Nice to France. 
Garibaldi's heart spoke more truly than his head. His pride 
was touched that Nice, his old home and birthplace, should 
be alienated from Italy and he loudly proclaimed that the 


people of each province had been handed over against their 
will. In the case of Savoy the cession was a simple act of jus 
tice. Its people living on the French side of the Alps spoke 
French, were French in sympathy and point of view, and 
welcomed their transfer with enthusiasm. Nice was a small 
territory whose people had almost as much contact with the 
French as with the Italians and spoke a dialect which was a 
mixture of the two languages. In ten years they were as loyal 
Frenchmen as any in France. 

While Cavour could not do otherwise than bow to Napo 
leon's terms, if he wished to annex central Italy, the price 
he paid was not unreasonable, and secured the friendship of 
the emperor, who was able to prove to his people that the 
war had not been without profit to France. Although Cavour 
never for a moment lost sight of his ultimate goal of a united 
Italy under Victor Emanuel, he realized that any open activ 
ity on his part would be at once resented even by armed 
force, certainly by France and Austria and possibly by Prus 
sia as well. It was therefore necessary for him to play a double 
game, which has been severely criticized by those who have 
not fully understood the obstacles in his path. As he once said 
to d'Azeglio, "If we did for ourselves what we are doing for 
Italy we should be great scoundrels." 

He determined to use Garibaldi and his associates to the 
utmost in stirring up revolution, but to do so in such a way 
as to be able to repudiate them if they failed, and to appro 
priate their achievements if they succeeded. While Garibaldi 
hated and distrusted Cavour he greatly admired and blindly 
trusted Victor Emanuel. Cavour, therefore, controlled the 
obstinate and simple-minded condottiere through the king. 

Ferdinand II of Naples, "King Bomba," had died in May 
1859, thus performing the only really useful and graceful 
act of his life. His successor Francis II, called "Bombino" or 
"little Bomba" after his father, possessed all his father's short 
comings, including the latter s inability to tell the truth or 


keep his word. His wife, Maria, of the Bavarian royal house 
of Wittelsbach, was the direct opposite of her husband. She 
was a right-thinking woman of ability and strength of 
character, who strove constantly to neutralize the evil im 
pulses of the king, and more than once succeeded in making 
him play a fairly manly part. 

In Sicily as well as in Naples conditions in no way im 
proved, and Crispi, that undiscouraged plotter, devoted him 
self to stirring up revolutionary sentiment. He believed that 
what was needed to change sentiment into action was a 
leader, and that the only possible leader was Garibaldi. But 
Garibaldi, disliking Mazzini, distrusted all of the latter's 
friends, and demanded the actual outbreak of revolution in 
Sicily before he would consent to take command. For a time 
he seriously thought of heading an expedition into Nice, but 
soon gave up the project as hopeless. 

At the beginning of April news came of an uprising in 
Sicily under Rosalino Pilo, which, while unsuccessful, so 
aroused Garibaldi that he asked Victor Emanuel to give him 
a brigade and permission to attack Sicily in the name of 
Piedmont. Both brigade and permission were refused by 
Cavour who nevertheless told La Farina that Garibaldi might 
be given the muskets in possession of the National Society, 
which had been organized some time before, and of the 
so-called "Million Rifles Fund" that Garibaldi had himself 
started. In other words, while Cavour was unwilling to sanc 
tion officially any attack on the kingdom of the Two Sicilies 
he was willing to close his eyes and even to give unofficial 
help to what was nothing but an absolutely illegal filibus 
tering expedition that seemed almost hopeless of success. 

For some time Garibaldi hesitated as to whether or not he 
should undertake what must have appeared to even his opti 
mistic nature a forlorn hope. He has been criticized for re 
peatedly changing his mind, yet who can blame him, who 
remembers the desperate adventure that lay before him, and 


that he was not only gambling his own life and good name, 
but also those of his devoted followers ? 

Finally at the end of April he received a telegram, giving 
false news of the success of the revolutionary movement near 
Palermo. This decided him and on May 5, 1860, he sailed 
from Quarto, near Genoa, in command of 1,150 men on two 
small steamers, the Piemonte and Lornbardo, which he had 
stolen with the connivance of the manager of the owner, 

The story of "the expedition of The Thousand" is one of 
the most marvellous in history. Had it occurred in the thir 
teenth century we should accept it with extreme doubt as 
being the exaggeration of an unreliable medieval chronicler. 
But it occurred in the middle of the nineteenth century in 
the memory of men who are still alive, and lives as the un 
dying achievement of the greatest filibuster of all time. 

Of the expedition the vast majority came from the cities of 
Northern Italy, of the rest thirty-three were classed as non- 
Italians, including fourteen from the Trentino and Garibaldi 
himself as of Nice in France, and Menotti Garibaldi as an 
"American"; there were four Hungarians including Tiirr, 
also forty-six Neapolitans and forty-five Sicilians. 

Of The Thousand there was hardly a peasant; many were 
university students, many were city workingmen; all pro 
fessions were represented, including doctors, lawyers, mer 
chants,, sailors, "rentiers," artists, professors, government 
employees, and even ex-priests. There was one woman, the 
wife of Francesco Crispi. The treasury of The Thousand con 
tained 90,000 lire, and there had already been spent in out 
fitting and organizing the expedition some 231,000 lire more. 
The men were ill clothed, ill armed, and ill supplied. 

The Thousand were divided on shipboard into two bat 
talions of four companies each, the first battalion under 
Nino Bixio, the second under the Sicilian Carini. Garibaldi 


appointed the company commanders who in turn appointed 
their own lieutenants and non-commissioned officers. 

In the hurry of departure the ammunition and most of the 
coal and food had been left behind. On May 7 the expedition 
anchored off Talamone, not far from the fortress of Orbetello, 
whose commander was persuaded by Colonel Tiirr, on behalf 
of Garibaldi, to furnish enough coal to carry The Thousand 
to Sicily, and an inadequate supply of ammunition, so little 
that some of the men fought from Marsala to Palermo with 
only ten rounds each, while food was bought at Grosseto. 

At Talamone Garibaldi detached sixty-one men under 
Zambianchi and a Tuscan band of volunteers who had just 
joined him, or 230 men in all, to cross into the Papal States 
and attack Naples from the rear. This little expedition failed 
miserably, being dispersed by the Italian government a fort 
night later. 

In the afternoon of May 9 The Thousand, now reduced to 
exactly 1,089 men ? sailed from Talamone and two days later, 
on May n, anchored in the harbor of Marsala. 

The news that Garibaldi had sailed caused much excite 
ment in the chanceries of all the great powers. Russia and Prus 
sia protested to Cavour, Britain showed anxiety lest the 
capture of Sicily might mean the compensatory annexation 
of Genoa by France, while Napoleon after having protested 
cancelled his order for the withdrawal of the French garrison 
from Rome. Cavour's answer to these various protests was 
to order the governor of Sardinia to stop the expedition if it 
should enter a Sardinian port, and to telegraph Admiral 
Count Persano, "Do not arrest the expedition out at sea, only 
if it enters a port." Persano wired for f urther instructions, but 
when he received them the expedition had safely landed. 
Cavour had accomplished his purpose of keeping his diplo 
matic record straight without interfering with Garibaldi. 

By good fortune three Neapolitan war vessels cruising off 
the west coast of Sicily failed to get in touch with the expedi- 


tion until the landing had actually begun. Embarrassed by 
the presence of two small British war vessels, and mistaking 
the red shirts of the Garibaldians for British uniforms, the 
Neapolitan commander, Captain Acton, delayed opening 
fire until satisfied of the British intentions. When he did fire 
his gunnery practice was so bad that the total casualties among 
the Garibaldians were one man slightly wounded in the 
shoulder and one dog wounded in the leg. 

Marsala received Garibaldi politely but coldly, and he 
determined to set out for Palmero immediately. He first, 
however, proclaimed himself dictator of Sicily in the name 
of Victor Emanuel and appointed Crispi as his political 

On May 15 at Calatafimi he met General Landi who with 
3,000 Neapolitan regulars, of whom 2,000 were actually 
engaged, had been sent from Palermo to intercept him. 
Garibaldi had only 800 of his own men, and 1,000 "squadre," 
as the Sicilian volunteers were called, of whom only 200 
took part in the fighting, the rest remaining at a safe distance 
and firing their muskets in the air. 

With his little force of about 1,000, Garibaldi repeatedly 
charged and finally took with the bayonet Landi's hilltop 
position, Pianto dei Rotnani, and forced the latter to retire. 
Four days later The Thousand were on the hills surround 
ing Palermo and in sight of the city. 

Hearing that the new governor of Sicily, General Lanza, 
a seventy-two-year-old Sicilian who had been Filangieri's 
chief of staff, was sending against him the Swiss Colonel 
von Mechel in command of 3,000 regulars and Swiss guards, 
Garibaldi performed one of his most brilliant guerrilla feats. 
Leaving a detachment to lead von Mechel astray, he aban 
doned his intention of entering Palermo from the south, and 
with his main force circled the city across country and on the 
27th entered it from the east without warning and almost 


After four days of very bloody street-fighting General 
Lanza agreed to an armistice, just before von Mechel returned 
from his wild-goose chase. On June 7 Lanza evacuated the 
city and twelve days later the last of his army had sailed 
away, as Medici arrived bringing with him 2,500 well armed 
and equipped recruits for Garibaldi while at the same time 
there arrived at Marsala a supply of arms and ammunition 
sufficient for immediate needs. 

While fighting had been going on at Palermo, all Sicily 
had risen and with the exception of Messina and Syracuse 
and the fortresses of Agosta and Milazzo the Neapolitans 
had everywhere been driven out. In exactly twenty-seven days 
Garibaldi, with less than 1,000 men, had conquered an army 
of 24,000 and won a kingdom with two million inhabitants. 

His success was due to an extraordinary combination of 
luck, pluck and genius. More than once success trembled in 
the balance, more than once at just the right moment his 
opponents by their incapacity almost presented him with 
victory; the campaign could not have been won but for the 
almost superhuman courage of The Thousand, and cer 
tainly would have failed but for the guerrilla genius of its 

As a civil governor Garibaldi proved a lamentable failure. 
He trusted Crispi absolutely and gave to that unscrupulous 
adventurer a free hand in the management, or rather the mis 
management, of affairs. 

Cavour favored immediate annexation of Sicily to Pied 
mont, but Garibaldi opposed it, at least for the moment, 
believing that were Piedmont to take over the island the 
conquest of Naples would not be permitted. As Cavour in 
tended to use Garibaldi to bring Naples under the House of 
Savoy with the cynical intention of repudiating him if he 
failed, Sicily was left at the disposal of the dictator, until 
Naples had been either won or lost. Meanwhile Garibaldi 
was supplied with arms, equipment and money by Piedmont 


while no effort was made to stop the departure of volunteers 
seeking to join the conqueror of Sicily. It must be remem 
bered that Piedmont was at peace with the kingdom of the 
Two Sicilies, and that Cavour was openly expressing his 
master's friendship for Francis, while secretly he was doing 
all in his power to annex Naples to the crown of Victor 

By the end of July Garibaldi was in complete possession of 
all Sicily but the citadel of Messina, whose commander had 
agreed on the 28th to fire no shot at either the land or sea 
forces of the dictator. The Garibaldian army numbered 
nearly 20,000 well equipped North Italians besides some 
6.000 Sicilians. 

On August 20 Garibaldi, eluding the Neapolitan squadron, 
crossed the strait of Messina and landed at Melito. 

Then began what was really a triumphal march to Naples. 
Again and again Neapolitan forces sent out to stop him 
either melted away without firing a shot or surrendered after 
a pretense of fighting. At San Giovanni, 9,000 Neapolitans 
first murdered their general, Brigand, and then surrendered; 
at Cosenza 7,000 under Caldarelli surrendered; and at Monte- 
leone 12,000 under Viale retreated without being engaged. 
September 6 Francis fled from his capital to Gaeta and the 
next day Garibaldi entered Naples in triumph. 

Cavour believed that the time had come to interfere. Gari 
baldi had served his purpose and must step aside. The same 
day that the dictator entered Naples Cavour served an ulti 
matum on Antonelli demanding the disbandment of the 
foreign mercenaries in papal pay, on the ground that they 
were a menace to Italian freedom and to the safety of the 
patriots in Umbria. On Antonelli's refusal to accept the 
ultimatum, a North Italian army of 35,000 men under Gen 
eral Fanti crossed the papal frontier and, while General 
della Rocca with 22,000 marched on Perugia, General Cial- 
dini with the rest of the army marched on Ancona. Delia 


Rocca took Perugia and Spoleto, while Cialdini met the papal 
army under the former French General La Moriciere on 
September 18 at Castelfidardo. Cialdini had 13,000 men under 
him to La Moriciere's 5,000. After a gallant resistance the 
latter's army surrendered, its commander escaping to Ancona, 
which in its turn capitulated a few days later. 

As soon as his army reached Naples Garibaldi began the 
siege of Volturno where most of the remaining Neapolitan 
force had retired, and on October 2 the city fell. 

Meanwhile Victor Emanuel had joined his victorious army 
and at its head was marching on Naples, October 29 the two 
armies met and on November 7 Victor Emanuel and 
Garibaldi entered Naples, sitting side by side in the same car 
riage. The king offered Garibaldi a major general's commis 
sion in the Italian army and the Collar of the Annunziata, 
which Garibaldi declined, asking that he be made dictator of 
the Two Sicilies for life. On the king very properly refusing 
his request, Garibaldi departed for Caprera. 

The plebiscite that was held October 21 declared almost 
unanimously for annexation to Victor Emanuel's kingdom 
and on February 18 the first Italian parliament met and de 
clared Victor Emanuel king of Italy. March 21 Civitella del 
Tronto, the last Bourbon stronghold, capitulated as had 
Gaeta and the citadel of Messina a month earlier. 

Victor Emanuel now ruled a united Italy that included the 
entire peninsula except Venetia, still in possession of Austria, 
and the papal kingdom, reduced to the so-called patrimony 
of St. Peter and garrisoned by French troops. 



THE Two Sicilies having been annexed, Cavour found 
himself faced with the exceedingly difficult problem, 
of organizing the new Italian state. 

The financial situation was most discouraging, for the 
budget showed a deficit of 344,000,000 lire, with an interest 
charge on the public debt of 110,000,000. Taxes were very 
high and it was only at almost usurious rates that additional 
loans could be effected. 

The unrest in the former possessions of King Francis was 
so serious that some years of drastic effort were required to 
restore order. Brigandage had been more or less endemic 
under the Bourbons, and when they had been expelled they 
took advantage of it and of the general condition of unrest 
that prevailed to create the impression that their former 
possessions were seething with Bourbonic sentiment. 

The Bourbon cause was managed by the former king's 
very able uncle, the Count of Trapani, and by Monsignore 
de Merode, a Belgian priest, who afterwards became papal 
minister of war. Their headquarters was in Rome, where 
Cardinal Antonelli allowed them unlimited latitude, not 
only in forwarding their propaganda but even in organizing 
active warfare in the south. Trapani and Merode appealed to 
Catholics throughout the world for their support, both 
active and financial, in fighting to restore a legitimist dynasty 
upon the throne of which it had been deprived by an atheistic 
sovereign of an atheistic people. 

While the money subscribed to the Bourbon cause was of 
no great amount, many volunteers offered their services, 
actuated by a sincere belief that they were fighting for the 


Church against its enemies, and this impression was in no 
way dispelled by Antonelli who preserved an Olympian 
aloofness, allowing the Bourbon agents a perfectly free field.. 

Many French, Belgian, Irish, and Spanish Catholics joined 
the Bourbon colors in the south, as well as a great number 
of former Bourbon soldiers, who really had nowhere else 
to go. Acting in harmony with the bandit chiefs, for a time 
at least a fairly successful guerrilla war was waged against 
the Italian forces. 

As time passed the pressure of the Italians grew ever 
greater, and what had been in the beginning actual warfare 
degenerated into nothing short of actual brigandage. The 
Bourbonists lived off the country and became constantly 
a harder burden for the countryside to bear. The Italian 
troops kept them always on the move, hunting them relent 
lessly, and shooting them without mercy whenever caught. 
One by one those who had joined the movement from reli 
gious motives or because of loyalty to the Bourbons, were 
either killed, or deserted in disgust and disheartenment. 
Finally only those were left who were frankly bandits and 
nothing more. 

Besides these were the mafia and the camorra. The former, 
which was and perhaps still is an essentially Sicilian insti 
tution, was more a condition of criminal activity than an 
actual organization. The Sicilian, especially the peasant, was 
governed by a peculiar sense of honor called "omerta," which 
required him when injured by another to refuse any appeal 
to police or courts and to take justice into his own hands. It 
was very like the Corsican vendetta, and resulted in endless 
blood-feuds between families, groups, and even villages. 
Banded together originally for revenge, these groups ulti 
mately extended their activities and preyed upon the coun 
try, plundering and levying tribute and blackmail. It was 
not until very recently that any successful effort was made 
seriously to interfere with niafioso activity. 


On the other hand the camorra, which functioned exclu 
sively in the city and province of Naples, was an oath-bound 
secret society. The secrets of this mysterious and sinister or 
ganization were made public for the first time in 1911 and 
1912 at the trial at Viterbo of some thirty of its leaders for the 
murder in 1906 of the husband and wife, Cuoculo, who had 
been suspected of giving information to the police. There were 
two grades of membership in the camorra, the picciotti or 
neophytes who on committing a major crime and after 
initiation became full-fledged camorristi, who constituted 
the majority of the members. The society was organized very 
much as are our political parties in the great cities, the sestiere 
or ward being the unit of organization, each sestiere having 
its executive committee and leader, while for the whole 
province there was an executive committee with a chairman, 
who was the chief of the whole organization, and a secretary 
and a treasurer. 

The activity of the society was immense, and included the 
handling of elections and the control of vice and gambling, 
and the levying of blackmail on all industries and individuals 
was reduced to so fine an art as to make our clumsy racket 
eers green with envy. 

It was testified at Viterbo, by the carabiniere captain in 
charge of the case, that there were in Naples probably 5,000 
oath-bound camorristi, 10,000 open supporters of the society, 
and perhaps half the population tacitly in sympathy with its 

The origin of the camorra is lost in antiquity. Some believe 
that the Arabs brought it with them under Frederick, "the 
wonder of the world"; others say that it came from Spain. 
Under the Bourbons the camorra was almost openly en 
couraged and flourished exceedingly, and at the close of 
Francis' reign Liborio Romano, the minister of the interior, 
disbanded the regular police force and installed the camorra 
in its stead. Garibaldi found them functioning as police 


and of necessity continued them, as he had not the time to 
organize a substitute. In justice to the camorra it must be 
acknowledged that 'under it public order was far better 
maintained than at any time under the Bourbons and that 
the depredations of the society were probably no greater 
than they had been under a thoroughly inefficient and cor 
rupt police. 

Another question which confronted Cavour, and it was a 
most difficult one, was the disposition of Garibaldi's men. 
The officers of the Italian regular army had lost no occasion 
to show their contempt of volunteers. General Fanti had 
been especially disagreeable and had wounded the ex-dictator 
to the quick. Garibaldi's demand that his entire command 
should be incorporated in the army was of course impossible, 
as was his insistence that his 6,000 officers he had an officer 
for every seven privates should be given commissions. 

The plan finally adopted by Cavour was, under the cir 
cumstances, fairly generous. Each enlisted man was given a 
bonus and discharged, the only exceptions were the Hun 
garians who, being unable to return to Hungary, were en 
listed in the army and used in chasing bandits in the south. 
A board including three of Garibaldi's generals, Sirtori, 
Medici, and Cosenz, was appointed which passed on the 
officers' claims and recommended 1,584 for commissions. 
These were made field and company officers, while Medici, 
Bixio, and Cosenz were made generals. 

Garibaldi was much outraged by what he considered 
Cavour's ingratitude and injustice, and on April 18, 1861, 
appeared in the chamber of deputies, to which he had been 
elected, and made a very violent and, to put it mildly, un 
parliamentary attack on Cavour for his treatment of the 
Garibaldians and for the "sale" of Nice. 

Cavour sat silent during Garibaldi's attack and declined 
to reply or in any way notice it. Five days later the two 
antagonists were brought together, shook hands politely but 


without enthusiasm, exchanged a few commonplaces, and 
parted never to meet again. 

The strain under which Cavour labored in beginning the 
organization of the new Italy was terrific. The problem that 
he faced was to weld into a single nation seven heteroge 
neous states, the vast majority of whose people had nothing 
in common, most of whom did not even use the same lan 
guage, and had neither understanding nor desire for union. 

To this complex problem was added the question of the 
Church. His formula, "a free church in a free state/' failed 
to satisfy either the papacy or the latter's extreme opponents. 

In Piedmont the Church fought desperately for the main 
tenance of privileges which it had long lost in both France 
and Austria, and clung tenaciously to the temporal power, 
which Cavour was determined sooner or later to destroy. He 
believed that Italian nationality could never be achieved 
without the incorporation of Venetia in the kingdom, and 
without the establishment of the nation's capital at Rome. 

It was to this Herculean task, the completion of the mak 
ing of the nation that Cavour now turned. 

The burden that he had carried throughout the last decade 
was so great that the reaction was inevitable. He was worn 
out physically and nervously, and at this moment typhoid 
fever developed. His physicians treated him according to the 
customs of the country and of the time, and almost literally 
bled him to death. On June 6, 1861, he died, his life work 
but half done, at the early age of fifty-one. 

As Cavour's successor Ricasoli, the "Iron Baron" who had 
governed Tuscany through the revolutionary period, was the 
choice of Cavour's supporters, and had been suggested by 
Ca vour himself for the succession. Rattazzi, the king's favorite, 
was impossible, as his opposition to Cavour had made him, for 
the moment at least, extremely unpopular throughout the 
country. The king therefore bowed to public opinion and 
summoned Ricasoli. 


Baron Bettino Ricasoli (1809-1880) was born March 19, 
1809, of an old and aristocratic Tuscan family, at his ances 
tral home at Broglio in the Maremma. He entered politics 
early in life as a liberal, taking a prominent part in the excit 
ing period from 1847 to 1849. In 1847 he founded a news 
paper, La P atria, and was f QT a short time during the follow 
ing year gonfaloniere of Florence. 

On the restoration of the grand duke he retired to his 
estate and devoted himself to farming and the production 
of wine. In 1852 his wife died and the loneliness of living 
without her drove him back to politics. 

He had always hoped to see Tuscany freed from foreign 
rule but strongly opposed the suggestion of winning freedom 
from the Habsburgs by absorption into the kingdom of the 
House of Savoy. By 1856 he had concluded that Tuscany 
was too small and weak for independence, and that the only 
alternative to absorption in Victor Emanuel's kingdom was 
the creation of a united Italy of sufficient size to neutralize 
the power of Piedmont. He therefore necessarily became a 
Unitarian, and henceforth did all in his power for the creation 
of an Italian kingdom. 

In 1859 he became Tuscan minister of the interior and 
virtual dictator of his country. As such he was of very great 
help to Cavour in the creation of the new state, and when 
union had been effected he was elected to the Italian cham 
ber of deputies in 1861. Refusing the lieutenancy of both 
Sicily and Naples that Cavour had offered him, he held no 
executive office in the new state until he became prime 

He was 'always known as the "Iron Baron" because of his 
force, his honesty and his inflexible purpose. He could not 
compromise and could not yield. His mind once made up 
there was no power on earth that could change it. 

While these qualities made him a successful dictator, they 
militated against his success as prime minister. He was sadly 


lacking in the kind of ability required to govern parliament, 
especially as parliament had not learned and never learned 
to govern itself. He was a proud, dour, cold man, with neither 
eloquence nor tact, who had many admirers but few friends. 

He took up the work where Cavour had laid it down, 
being faced with three major problems: the recognition of 
the new state by the great powers, the relations of the crown 
with the Church, and the consolidation of the kingdom. 

While Napoleon gave an early though somewhat grudging 
recognition of the new kingdom, caused by his interest in 
preserving the temporal power of the pope, and Britain under 
the leadership of Palmerston recognized unreservedly de 
spite the unfriendliness of the queen and prince consort to 
the Italian cause, the recognition by Russia, Austria, and the 
German sovereigns presented a question of some difficulty. 

Not only had the creation of the new kingdom torn into 
fragments the settlement of the treaty of Vienna, but it had 
shattered beyond recognition the theory of dynastic legiti 
macy. The new Italy came into being as a triumphant vin 
dication of the spirit of nationality. Victor Emanuel ruled 
not by the grace of God but by the will of the Italian people, 
and while his popular mandate appealed with great force 
to Napoleon who was the creature of the plebiscite, and to the 
liberal government of Britain, if not to their queen, it awoke 
only fear and suspicion in the minds of legitimist sovereigns 
who saw in the creation of another popular monarchy a 
menace to the theory of the divine right of kings under 
which they held their power. It required much negotiation 
and much hard work to win the consent of the reactionary 
powers to the assumption of diplomatic relations with a 
state that had come into being through the violation of the 
principles they deemed sacred. 

Difficult as was the question of recognition, the other two 
major problems which Ricasoli was called upon to solve 
were so serious as almost to daunt his iron courage. 


At the close of his life Cavour had nearly succeeded in 
reaching an accord with the Vatican. He had made the offer 
of "a free church in a free state" and Antonelli had consid 
ered it sympathetically. Cavour's concrete proposal included 
absolute liberty for future conclaves, free speech in the 
pulpits, and unsupervised instruction in church schools, a 
revenue to be guaranteed by the state, the latter to yield its 
right to nominate the bishops. On the other hand the prop 
erty of the seized monasteries was to be retained by the state, 
the state schools were to be freed from religious instruction, 
and civil marriages were to be permitted. All this in return 
for the cession of the temporal power. 

Although nine cardinals favored the proposal, it fell 
through and Antonelli without warning expelled from papal 
territory Pantaleoni, the Italian agent. 

Ricasoli renewed Cavour's offer, backed by a petition to the 
pope signed by some 9,000 parish priests. The papal minister 
of war, who was now that same Merode who had been 
charged with organizing banditry in the south, was violently 
opposed to any accord with Ricasoli, and winning the pope 
completely to his point of view succeeded in closing the door 
to all negotiations. 

Ricasoli was soon convinced that the Roman question could 
never be answered favorably to Italy with the consent of 
Pius IX. He believed that the acquisition of Rome was of far 
greater importance than the possession of Venetia, which 
would have to wait until Italy was prepared to fight Austria. 

Discouraged by the pope's "non possimus," he turned to 
Napoleon in the hope of persuading him to withdraw the 
French garrison, believing that its withdrawal would at once 
be followed by a popular uprising in favor of annexation to 

While the emperor was still, as he always had been, 
friendly to the Italian cause, his hands were tied by French 
public opinion which was becoming more and more friendly 


to the pope and unfriendly to Italy. He was forced, because 
of the political situation in France, to decline Ricasoli's 

The situation in the south was still extremely perplexing. 
Sicily, Naples, and Tuscany had been governed since annexa 
tion by lieutenants who were really viceroys with almost 
independent powers. A succession of lieutenants ending with 
General Cialdini had failed to stamp out brigandage in the 
former kingdom of Naples, or to restore public order. Rica- 
soli therefore determined to take the drastic step of abolish 
ing the lieutenants and of making a general and centralized 
reorganization of the realm. 

He divided Italy into fifty-nine provinces, each under a 
prefetto with very great authority, to be appointed and re 
movable at will by the minister of the interior. At the same 
time the laws and administrative regulations of Piedmont 
were extended over the whole country. He created elective 
provincial councils, with limited legislative powers subject to 
the veto of the prefetto. The various communes and towns 
were governed by sindachi or mayors, elected by the local 
councils and removable at the will of the prefetti. This was 
the Napoleonic system of centralized government carried out 
almost literally. The minister of the interior by his power 
over the prefetti and the latter's power over the sindachi was 
the absolute dictator in domestic government. It was one of 
his functions to "make" elections, and woe betide the prefetto 
, who failed to return the deputies his chief favored. 

With a very restricted suffrage, and even later when the 
suffrage became nominally universal, so few were the voters 
that the task of the prefetti was not difficult except where an 
opposition candidate was personally popular, or until after 
socialism was organized into a militant and for a time suc 
cessful party. Ricasoli may claim the doubtful honor of 
having created the machinery that was used by his successors 
in corrupting Italian politics. 


On the other hand, the centralization of Italy was undoubt 
edly of great value to the state in bringing closely together its 
heterogeneous component parts. The army recruited by con 
scription from the entire country served as a unifying and 
educational force. Illiterate recruits were taught to read and 
write and always performed their service away from their 
own provinces. At the close of their service they returned 
home with at least a rudimentary education and having lived 
for two years or more in some part of Italy other than their 

There are those who believe that a mistake was made in 
going from the extreme of decentralization to its opposite, 
that had the different parts of Italy, the former independent 
states, been permitted to develop autonomously, they would 
have grown together more naturally and more surely than 
happened after violent amalgamation. 

It is difficult to see how this would have been the case. 
The regionalism was so great, the jealousy and even the active 
dislike of the people of each former state for their neighbors 
was so intense, that it is extremely doubtful if they would 
ever have become united, without the legal violence of the 
central government. Allowing them a continuance of home 
rule with the concomitant enjoyment of local customs and 
language could only have resulted in an accentuation of 
internal differences. 

Even with centralization the unification of the country 
proceeded very slowly. The ignorance and poverty of the 
people of the south set them apart from the rest of Italy. They 
were divided sharply into three classes, the galantuomini who 
were the nobles, landowners, and professional men, the aris 
tocracy that monopolized what little wealth and education 
the community possessed, the lazzaroni or town proletarians, 
and the cafoni or peasants. These last two classes were miser 
ably poor to the verge of starvation, and utterly ignorant, and 


even the galantuomini were poor and ignorant as measured 
by the standards of the north. 

Living conditions in the south were so low that it was 
considered a punishment for a northern civil servant to be 
sent to Sicily or the province of Naples, while all southern 
civil servants strove to be assigned to the north. The southern 
ers strove ceaselessly to enter the civil service in which the 
salaries, modest though they might be, were nevertheless far 
higher than those obtainable in the south. Ere long, as the 
inevitable consequence, the vast majority of civil servants 
were either Neapolitans or Sicilians, who serving all over 
Italy helped to break down the particularism of their home 

It required the strong arm of the central government to 
unite the people of the different parts of the peninsula under 
one set of laws and national customs, and one language. 

Victor Emanuel never became an ideal constitutional mon 
arch. He had been born under the absolutist rule of Charles 
Albert and regarded the statuto very much as a necessary 
evil that his father had been obliged to accept and to endure 
so as to save the throne. He had taken an oath to support it 
and did support it in its letter, and having done so believed 
himself free to violate its spirit, or to twist the letter of the 
law to his own purposes. 

The statuto declared the executive power to be vested in 
the king, and while Victor Emanuel was perfectly willing 
that his ministers should under ordinary circumstances do 
the work and assume the responsibility of government, he 
was by no means willing either to keep hands off when he 
was greatly interested or to be relegated to the position later 
occupied by his descendants of a king who rules but does 
not govern. 

* During the era of Cavour the king was usually exemplary 
in his constitutional behavior, not because he so desired but 
because he could not help himself, for he feared Cavour 


almost as much as he disliked him, and knew that any great 
show of opposition to the prime minister would be promptly 
and vigorously resented, and that as between himself and his 
minister the people would support the latter. During the 
war when at the front and surrounded by his generals he did 
not hesitate to humiliate Cavour to such an extent as to force 
the minister's resignation, only to be obliged to receive him 
back a few months later. When Cavour died conditions 
changed. None of his successors ever held the chamber in 
so firm a grip, none of them was as able or as strong. While 
the king had his likes and his dislikes, he never again feared 
a prime minister as he had Cavour. 

Under Cavour the parliamentary system had been consoli 
dated to such an extent that Victor Emanuel realized that 
it was out of the question openly to oppose the wishes of the 
chamber. He had his own ideas of how the greatness of Italy 
should be achieved and as those ideas differed radically from 
the policy of Ricasoli, he deliberately began to plot the pre 
mier's downfall. He did not dare to attack openly, but by 
indirection and in the dark he commenced a campaign 
against his prime minister which was, to say the least, 

Victor Emanuel was anxious to annex Venetia as soon as 
possible, with or without the consent of Ricasoli. Using his 
friend Rattazzi as his agent he tried to induce Napoleon to 
help him. The emperor was wary and declined, openly at 
least, to commit himself. Rattazzi then turned to Garibaldi 
who had been sulking at Caprera ever since his rather pitiable 
attack on Cavour in the chamber, and induced him to post 
pone his plan to conquer Rome, in favor of an expedition 
against the Austrians in Venetia. Ricasoli did what he could 
to calm the condottiere, but Garibaldi's liking for Victor 
Emanuel was too great to permit him to listen to reason, 
and moreover he never in his life was reasonable. 


When the chambers met in November 1861 the prime 
minister found that his majority was drifting from him. He 
fought as best he could to retain control but by die begin 
ning of the new year he bowed to the inevitable and resigned 
March i, 1862, after a prime ministership of a little less than 
nine months. 

The king at once sent for Rattazzi. 

Urbano Rattazzi was the antithesis of his predecessor. He 
was born June 29, 1808, at Alessandria, of middle-class 
parents, and was a lawyer. In 1848 he was elected by his 
native city as a deputy in the Piedmontese chamber, and held 
office as minister of public instruction and afterwards as 
minister of the interior under Gioberti. On the latter's retire 
ment in 1849 he became head of the government and as such 
was obliged to bear the parliamentary responsibility for the 
defeat of Novara, which forced him to resign. 

When in 1852 Cavour carried out his so-called "connubio," 
or "marriage" of the moderate groups of the left and right, 
Rattazzi received the presidency of the chamber as the price 
of his support. He was forced out in 1858 but the next year 
joined the La Marmora cabinet as minister of the interior, 
retiring in January 1861, and remaining out of office until he 
became prime minister. 

While a man of no great force, or of firm principles, he 
thoroughly understood the temper of the chamber and was 
very successful in managing it. He had great tact, patience, 
and suppleness, and while at first he posed as a liberal, on 
attaining the prime ministership in 1862 he completely dis 
carded his liberal professions. He had many friends, spoke 
well, and never hesitated to practise opportunism when op 
portunism could help his political fortunes. 

He early won the favor of the king, and earned the latter's 
gratitude and affection by encouraging him to marry the 
Countess Mirafiore, despite the violent opposition of Cavour. 
He was probably the most intimate friend that Victor Eman- 


uel had among the politicians, and he used that friendship 
without hesitation in the furtherance of his projects. 

He was first of all a Piedmontese, who could not visualize 
a united Italy until it had actually come into being, but as a 
Piedmontese he was a sincere patriot. His lawyer's mind and 
his parliamentary instinct made him labor unceasingly for 
the smooth working of the constitution and for the orderly 
conduct of parliamentary business, and it is largely due to him 
that at the most critical period of its life the statuto was able 
to weather the storms which assailed it. 


BEFORE his death Cavour, realizing the inevitability of 
war with Austria, had begun a reorganization of the 
army and had made such increases in military supplies 
and material as his extremely limited resources would permit. 

The king and Rattazzi, carrying on Cavour's work, had 
sought to win the support of Napoleon, but the latter, hang 
ing back, showed himself constantly more unwilling to join 
in an attack on his former enemy Francis Joseph. They very 
wisely concluded that single-handed their chances of suc 
cess were of the slightest and regretfully postponed for the 
present their hopes of acquiring Venetia. 

Unfortunately the king had suggested to Garibaldi the 
possibility of enlisting the emperor in the Italian cause. Gari 
baldi had at once assumed the certainty of the emperor's 
support and had begun to recruit volunteers for an expedi 
tion against Tirol, which to the horror of Rattazzi he an 
nounced would begin in the immediate future. 

It required all the king's influence to induce Garibaldi to 
give up his purpose and return to Caprera. He had, however, 
been too much excited by the prospect of active service easily 
to calm down again. He had hardly returned to Caprera, to 
the infinite relief of the king and the prime minister, when 
in June without warning he appeared at Palermo, and called 
for volunteers for the purpose of attacking Rome. France 
and Austria immediately demanded explanations of Italy, 
and the long-suffering Rattazzi was hard put to it to satisfy 
their anxiety. 

Meanwhile Garibaldi flatly refused to listen to the mes 
sengers sent by the king, who in the king's name ordered him 

i866 in 

to desist from his utterly hopeless adventure, and continued 
to arouse the enthusiasm of his audiences but not to make 
much headway with his recruiting. None of his old lieuten 
ants had joined him, and those who enlisted were mostly very 
young and very worthless. 

By the beginning of August Rattazzi reached the conclu 
sion th&t Garibaldi must be suppressed or that Italy might 
find herself involved in war with Austria and France. Ac 
cordingly on August 17, 1862, Garibaldi was denounced as 
a rebel, martial law was declared in Sicily, and Cialdini was 
put in command with instructions to restore order and arrest 
the condottiere. 

The latter on August 24 with 2,000 very poorly equipped 
volunteers crossed the strait near Reggio, where he found the 
people very cool in their reception. Four days later on the 
slopes of Aspromonte he was surrounded by the Italians 
who opened fire, which was returned. There were a few 
casualties, but none was killed. Garibaldi was wounded rather 
badly in the foot and laid down his arms. He was impris 
oned in the fortress of Varignano until October, when he 
was pardoned and returned once more to Caprera. 

The news that Garibaldi had been wounded "by an Italian 
bullet" caused intense excitement throughout Italy, and 
aroused almost universal sympathy for the old condottiere. 
The facts that he had been in open rebellion against his 
country and that before proceeding to extremes the prime 
minister had treated him with great forbearance were entirely 
forgotten and Rattazzi was held to blame for having ordered 
Italian troops to fire upon the national hero. 

After Garibaldi had landed at Palermo Rattazzi did every 
thing possible to induce him to abandon his mad purpose of 
a filibustering attack on Rome. Had he been permitted to pro 
ceed and had he captured Rome, Italy would have found 
herself confronted by both Austria and France, with the 
probable destruction of the new kingdom as the outcome. 


Garibaldi's flat refusal to disband his motley little army, 
which marching across Sicily gained recruits as it travelled, 
left the government no other course than to stop him at all 
costs. The five weeks' not uncomfortable imprisonment to 
which Garibaldi was subjected was a very mild punishment 
for an offense that technically at least might have earned the 
death penalty. It was the wound from "an Italian bullet" that 
appealed to the popular imagination and aroused the popular 
indignation. A victim was demanded and Rattazzi stood 
ready at hand. 

Although Rattazzi had done nothing but his plain duty, 
the chamber turned against him, and finding his majority 
gone, without waiting for a vote of no confidence, on Decem 
ber i, 1862, he resigned after nine months of office. 

He was succeeded by Luigi Carlo Farini (1812-1866), a 
physician who had been director general of public health in 
Rome under Pius IX, commissioner of Piedmont at Modena, 
and afterwards dictator and lieutenant of Sicily and minister 
of the interior under Cavour. Farini was an able man who 
announced his intention of carrying out Cavour's policies. 
His health, which had never been good, began to break and 
his mind to fail and by March 1863 he was obliged to resign 
and retire into private life, after three months of the prime 
ministry. He was succeeded by Minghetti whose advent 
marked a radical change in government policy. 

Marco Minghetti (1818-1886) was born in Bologna under 
the papal flag, and early entered politics as a moderate who 
would have been satisfied had the pope granted a small 
measure of home rule to Romagna. He was a member of the 
constitutional convention summoned by Pius, and became 
minister of public works under Cardinal Antonelli. When 
the pope declared against the Austrian war, Minghetti re 
signed office and received a commission as captain in the 
Piedmontese army. Returning to Rome at the close of 1848 
he declined the pope's request to form a government after 

i866 113 

the murder of Pellegrino Rossi, and abandoned politics until 
1859 when Cavour took him into the foreign office as secre 
tary general, from which post he was sent to Bologna as 
president of the revolutionary assembly, to prepare for the 
fusion of Romagna with Piedmont. When Cavour organized 
the first Italian government he appointed Minghetti minister 
of the interior, which post he held until after Cavour's death. 
Farini called him back to office as minister of finance from 
which post he found it easy to acquire the prime ministership 
on the resignation of his chief. 

He had the reputation of being the most eloquent parlia 
mentary orator of his time, and while a man of no profound 
convictions was a past master in handling men and in manip 
ulating the chamber. 

The first Minghetti ministry is chiefly famous for its anti- 
Piedmontese attitude. Under the leadership of the Tuscan 
Ubaldino Peruzzi there had been organized in the chamber a 
so-called "consorteria," which may be translated "associa 
tion" or "combine," having for its purpose the exploitation 
of the non-Piedmontese regions at the expense of Turin. The 
prime minister gave only unimportant posts to Piedmon- 
tese, surrounding himself with aggressive regionalists, includ 
ing Peruzzi, Visconti-Venosta at the foreign office, and 
Spaventa at the interior. The latter not only governed through 
the prefetti with an iron hand, but created a secret police 
worthy of Bourbon Naples and inaugurated a system of press 
control, through subsidy and what was actually censorship, 
that endured. In the chamber the group system became a 
recognized institution, so much so that for the next sixty 
years no one party ever had a majority of its votes. 

To Minghetti belongs the doubtful distinction of having 
begun the degradation of Italian politics that continued until 
our own day. 

Under Visconti-Venosta the question of the evacuation of 
Rome by the French garrison was once more resumed with 


Napoleon, and on September 15, 1864, what is known as "the 
September Convention" was signed. Under it Napoleon 
agreed to withdraw his troops from papal territory in two 
years' time, in return for which Italy agreed to guarantee the 
papal temporal power and to remove the capital from Turin 
to some other city within six months. 

The latter clause of the convention was a great triumph 
for the consorteria and a great blow to the Piedmontese. 
Cavour and his followers, while always hoping and intending 
eventually to transfer the capital to Rome, expected to retain 
it at Turin until that time. When the capital was moved to 
Florence at the beginning of 1865 great indignation was felt 
and violently expressed at Turin, and the charge was made, 
and probably with reason, that the press campaign in favor 
of Florence had been carried on by the lavish use of secret- 
service funds. 

Minghetti fell, giving place to General La Marmora before 
the transfer was actually made. 

La Marmora's principal activity was in the cause of the 
acquisition of Venetia, a cause which was very near Victor 
Emanuel's heart. While the Austrian government had made 
some concessions to popular feeling in the Veneto by the 
appointment of the Archduke Maximilian, the emperor's 
brother and subsequently the ill-starred Emperor of Mexico, 
as viceroy, and had considerably lightened its rule, the time 
had passed when the Venetians could be placated. The de 
mand for inclusion in the Italian kingdom became ever more 
insistent, a demand expressed by unsuccessful uprisings, 
invariably suppressed with unnecessary brutality. 

La Marmora, following Minghetti's example, approached 
Napoleon in the hope of winning him to the cause of Vene 
tian annexation. The emperor, at first sympathetic to the 
point of nearly agreeing actively to aid Italy in the acquisi 
tion, not only of Venetia, but of the Trentino as well, found 
that his people were averse to war, and finally declined to 

i 866 115 

join in hostilities against Austria. He urged an alliance with 
Prussia whose intentions against Austria were becoming con 
stantly more evident. 

Bismarck had for some years sought to win the support of 
Italy as the only available ally against Francis Joseph. When 
La Marmora found that Austria would not consider selling 
Venetia, and that Napoleon was willing to keep hands off in 
the event of war, he signed a secret treaty with Prussia 
(April S, 1866) under the terms of which the two contracting 
parties agreed to declare war against Austria within three 
months, the casus belli to be the latter's refusal to agree to a 
reform of the German federal constitution. It was agreed that 
neither party should make peace without the consent of the 
other, and that Italy should receive Venetia., and Prussia a 
territory equal to Lombardy and Venetia combined. Bismarck 
positively refused to agree to the acquisition of the Trentino 
by Italy. 

Napoleon, at first inclined to join Prussia, was induced to 
remain neutral by an Austrian promise to give Venetia to 
Italy no matter what might be the outcome of the war. 

The real cause of the so-called "seven weeks' war" was the 
ambition of both Prussia and Austria to acquire the hege 
mony of Germany. The ostensible difference that brought 
on hostilities was over the fate of Schleswig and Holstein, 
which the two powers had stolen from Denmark two years 
earlier. Austria insisted that they should be given the status 
of independent states, and charged Bismarck with wishing 
to absorb them in Prussia, which he ultimately did. 

When the treaty between Prussia and Italy became known 
it was obvious that war was inevitable. Both powers began 
to mobilize, while at the same time playing for position so 
as to make it appear that each was forced into war by the 

On June 6 a Prussian division under Manteuffel crossed the 
border of Holstein and the Austrian brigade in occupation 


withdrew. Eight days later (June 14) Hanover, Saxony and 
Wiirttemberg declared in the Bundestag that by so doing 
Prussia had broken the peace. Prussia replied the next day by 
marching her troops into Hanover and on the i5th the army 
of the Elba crossed the Saxon frontier. 

On June 20 Italy declared war and Victor Emanuel as 
sumed command of the army with La Marmora, who had 
resigned as prime minister in favor of Ricasoli, as chief of 

The army of new Italy was actually the Piedmontese army 
greatly expanded. After the war of 1859 it had consisted of 
five divisions of well seasoned and well disciplined men who 
had fought gallantly through a victorious campaign. The 
six intervening years had expanded it to twenty divisions, but 
had not yet succeeded in bringing the efficiency of the new 
troops to the standard of the old. The army numbered 
250,000 infantry, armed with Minie rifles, 13,000 cavalry, and 
480 rifled guns. On the declaration of war 110,000 combatants 
divided into three corps were assembled in Lombardy, under 
the direct command of the king, at Lodi, Cremona, and 
Piacenza, respectively. Seventy thousand men under Cialdini 
were assembled at Bologna and on the south bank of the Po, 
while 40,000 volunteers under Garibaldi were at Como to 
invade Tirol and cover the left flank of the army. 

The Austrian army numbered some 75,000 effectives, and 
stood on a front running from Padua through Vicenza to 
Verona. Benedek, who had won fame during the past war, 
was placed greatly against his will in command in Bohemia 
and not allowed to return to Italy. The supreme command 
was given to the Archduke Albert, son of the Archduke 
Charles, the greatest general of his time next to Napoleon. 
The Archduke Albert, who was almost as great a soldier as 
his father,- had as his chief of staff Marshal von John. 

La Marmora's plan of campaign was based on the known 
inferiority of the Austrian force which he assumed would 

i866 117 

necessitate a concentration in front of Verona. He proposed 
to cross the Mincio and, facing the Austrians in front of 
Verona, from a position near Custozza hold them there, so as 
to permit Cialdini to take them at the same moment in the 

"" Unfortunately he failed to allow for the difficulty of Cial- 
dini's march which involved the crossing of a great number 
of canals and streams, in addition to the Po and Adige, and 
a journey of sixty miles from the Adige to Vicenza. Instead 
of giving Cialdini at least four days in which to bring up his 
force. La Marmora ordered him to move on the same day as 
the main army, with the result that he had only progressed 
a short distance when he received the news of Custozza and 
withdrew to the south bank of the Po without having been 

As a consequence of La Marmora's inexcusable mistake, his 
available force was reduced to 100,000 men, of whom many 
left much to be desired in discipline and steadiness, with 
which to face 73,000 Austrians under one of the greatest 
generals of his day. 

The three days' notice of the declaration of war expired 
June 23 and at 8 a.m. of that day the Italians began to cross 
the Mincio. Deceived by the archduke, La Marmora believed 
that no opposition would be offered to his concentration in 
front of Verona and accordingly made no adequate prepara 
tion for an immediate meeting with the enemy. On the morn 
ing of the 24th five columns of Italians unexpectedly met the 
Austrian army, and were at once engaged. With the excep 
tion of the position at Valegio which the Italians held with 
admirable courage, the Austrians were everywhere successful. 
Prince Humbert's and Nino Bixio's divisions were held at 
Villafranca and prevented from taking part in the main 
action, which was fought mostly in the same steep, hilly 
country in which had been fought the first battle of Custozza 
eighteen years before. 


By evening Victor Emanuel ordered a general retreat across 
the Mincio, which was carried out without interference, as 
the Austrians were as exhausted as the Italians. The retreat 
was carried beyond the Oglio, and when the archduke began 
to pursue he heard the news of Sadowa and at once withdrew 
east of the Mincio. Eventually he received orders to abandon 
Venetia with the exception of the Quadrilateral, which he 
forthwith did. 

When Victor Emanuel heard that Austria had been de 
feated at Sadowa he immediately prepared to take the offen 
sive. He proposed to use Cialdini's perfectly fresh troops, with 
what was available of the army of Custozza, to seize Triest 
and South Tirol, while at the same time using the fleet to 
attack the island of Lissa in the Adriatic, and engage the 
Austrians at sea. 

The day that Cialdini crossed the Austrian frontier, July 
26, Bismarck, despite his agreement that neither ally should 
make peace without the consent of the other, had signed an 
armistice with Austria, which gave the latter a free hand 
against Italy. Determined not to yield either Triest or the 
Trentino, she massed upon her southwestern frontier 155,000 
men, 40,000 horses, and 4,000 giins. Realizing the hopeless 
ness of facing Austria single-handed, Italy voluntarily evacu 
ated the line of the Isonzo and the Trentino, and peace was 
signed between Italy and Austria October 3, 1866. 

While the main Italian army was fighting at Custozza 
Garibaldi was engaged in trying to win the Trentino for 
Italy. He was not, however, the Garibaldi of six years before. 
Whether it was that he had begun to grow old or whether 
mountain warfare did not suit him, whether the inferior 
quality of his volunteers handicapped him, the fact remains 
that his campaign was a failure. 

Although he was supposed to have 40,000 men under him 
it is probable that not more than 25,000 were effectives, who 
lacked the mobility and the dash of his men of Sicily. He was 

i866 119 

opposed by General Kuhn, an experienced mountain soldier 
and mountaineer with 12,000 mountain troops, the best the 
world had seen, or was destined to see until the Italian 
Alpini were subsequently developed. 

Kuhn and his men knew their terrain thoroughly, while 
Garibaldi was not only ignorant of the country but found 
fighting in the high Alps a very different matter from 
manceuvering in the hill country of Sicily. He proposed to 
keep the enemy occupied on the Stelvio and Monte Tonale 
while leading his main army in a dash against Trent. After 
some slight and inconclusive skirmishes the news of the 
battle of Custozza caused Garibaldi to withdraw from the 
Tirolean frontier, but after Sadowa he renewed the offen 
sive. On July 15, the Italians marched against Fort Ampola 
and occupied Storo and Condino. The next day they met 
Kuhn north of Condino and were defeated. As Kuhn failed 
to follow up his advantage, Garibaldi once more advanced 
and seized Fort Ampola, but was again defeated at Bececca 
and driven back. 

Cialdini having no great faith in the volunteers had sent 
Medici with his division of regulars to seize Trent if possible 
and to open communications with the hard-pressed Garibaldi. 
Medici failed to capture Trent and, because of the delay of 
Garibaldi in moving to meet him, failed in the second part 
of his objective. The coming of the armistice found Tirol in 
the hands of the Austrians who occupied the frontier. 

Kuhn's campaign had been brilliant and successful, for with 
15,000 men he had against 25,000 volunteers and 10,000 regu 
lars preserved Tirol intact for his emperor. 

At sea the Italians fared as badly as they had on land. 
Admiral Count Persano, the Italian commander, blockaded 
the island of Lissa with orders to land and capture it. He had 
under his command thirty-four ships of which twelve were 


The attack on Lissa, begun July 18, failed and the Italians 
were severely punished. On the 2Oth the Austrian squadron 
from Pola arrived under the command of Admiral von 
Tegetthoff , consisting of fourteen ships of which seven were 

Persano began the action at 10:45 when Tegetthoff suc 
ceeded in separating the Italian ironclads from the wooden 
vessels, which took no further part in the battle. The Aus 
trian flagship rammed and sank the Italian flagship and the 
Italian ironclad Palestro was blown up. By noon the battle 
was over, Persano retreating to Ancona, leaving the victorious 
Austrian in possession of Lissa. 

The treaty of Vienna which was signed October 3 brought 
the war to a close. Austria flatly refused to consider ceding 
either Trent or the Trentino, as the armistice had found her 
in possession of both. Napoleon, who had acted as mediator 
between Prussia and Austria, received Venetia from the latter 
for the purpose of transferring it to Italy, which he did 
October 19. 

The close of 1866 found United Italy, at long last, in being 
but with Rome, her logical capital, still to be won. 



TWO serious problems faced United Italy, the ignorance 
and poverty of the people and the Roman question. 
The people groaned under a total per capita tax, 
including national and local, of 38 lire. Less than a quarter 
of the heads of families had annual incomes of over 250 lire, 
and only some 33,000 corporations and individuals had 
incomes of over 10,000 lire. The highest government salary 
was 20,000 lire, the highest judicial salary was 15,000 lire, 
while the average parish priest received 800 lire and the 
average schoolmaster 400 lire. In 1861, 75 per cent of the 
population was illiterate, and 90 per cent in Naples and Sicily 
could neither read nor write; even in Piedmont and Lom- 
bardy 33 per cent of the men and 50 per cent of the women 
were illiterates. In 1869, 14 per cent of those charged with 
crime were homicides. The vote was restricted to literates who 
paid 40 lire in direct taxes, and to those in business or manu 
facture with a small property qualification. Before the annexa 
tion of Venetia the total number of voters was less than half 
a million and in 1874 only 2.2 per cent of the population 
possessed the franchise as against 12.7 per cent in France 
and 10 per cent in Germany. 

A succession of constantly growing deficits had increased 
the national debt to alarming proportions, and by 1867 it 
had reached nearly 4,000,000,000 lire. Succeeding prime min 
isters, whatever may have been their mistakes in other direc 
tions, faced the financial situation with courage and success, 
so that by 1875 the budget had been balanced and Italy could 
at last see daylight in financial improvement. 


The Roman question presented an equally difficult prob 
lem, and Ricasoli strove for the realization of Cavour's 
dream, "a free church in a free state." It was unfortunate 
that, while negotiations were under way with the Vatican 
looking to a better understanding, he should have chosen that 
particular time for the sequestration of the property of the 
religious orders. What he did was no more than had already 
been done in almost every other Catholic state in Europe, 
but he could not expect the Holy See to feel very amiably 
toward him after having been despoiled. His action showed 
a remarkable lack of tact, and the consequences were on his 
own head. 

During the autumn of 1866 he forced through parliament 
an act dissolving almost all the religious houses, their prop 
erty passing to the state, subject to charges for the payment 
of pensions to the evicted monks and nuns of from 250 to 
600 lire a year, the maintenance of former church charities 
and the betterment of the parochial clergy. 

Apparently to Ricasoli's surprise, Rome received the news 
of the act of dissolution with intense indignation which 
tended to widen still further the already existing breach 
between church and state. 

The prime minister's efforts to induce the pope to consent 
to an accord consisted of two alternative suggestions, either 
that the pope should retain the Leonine City and a strip of 
land to the sea, yielding the rest of his possessions to Italy, or 
that Rome should become a sort of "parade capital" under 
the nominal suzerainty of the pope, where future kings of 
Italy should be crowned, the political and actual capital 
remaining at Florence. In both cases the Church to have 
absolute freedom, with the guarantee of financial help from 
the state, the latter yielding its claim to nominate the bishops, 
the clergy to be under the civil and criminal law, like all other 
Italians, and the Church to recognize civil marriage. 

1870 123 

While Antonelli was inclined to consider Ricasoli's sug 
gestions at least sympathetically, Pius at length decided to 
reject them finally and absolutely. 

Rebuffed by Rome, Ricasoli determined to proceed with 
the enactment of a free church bill, which would place the 
Church in exactly the same position as any lay corporation. 
His bill pleased only the moderates, for it went too far to win 
the support of the friends of the Church and not far enough 
to placate its enemies. 

After a violent scene in the chamber in which Ricasoli by 
his usual want of tact and abuse of his opponents alienated 
many of his friends, a vote of censure was passed by 136 to 
104 and the prime minister appealed to the country. Because 
of the group system which dominated Italian politics, the 
prime minister was unable to hold the majority he had se 
cured by "making" the election by bribery and intimidation. 

On April 4, 1867, the king forced Ricasoli to resign and 
for the third time called his friend Rattazzi to power. 

On October n, 1866, Napoleon had kept the letter of the 
September Convention by withdrawing the French garrison 
from Civitavecchia, but had at the same time deliberately 
violated it in spirit. The papal army was largely officered and 
manned by Frenchmen, the French government holding 
service under the pope to be equivalent to service under the 
emperor. The papal army was nothing but a section of the 
French army in everything but name. 

Rattazzi never learned the danger of playing fast and loose 
with Garibaldi, whose simple and straightforward mind was 
unable to grasp the subtleties of political intrigue. The condot- 
tiere, undoubtedly encouraged by the prime minister, an 
nounced that, as the September Convention had been vio 
lated by France, he proposed to capture Rome and add it to 
Italy as her capital. 

Whereupon, Napoleon protesting, Rattazzi changed front, 
and washing his hands of the ex-dictator and his plans deter- 


mined to have nothing more to do with him. The latter with 
great wrath denounced the prime minister as the pope's 
"sbirro" and sought to arouse the country against him, and 
to raise a force with which to march on Rome. 

Rattazzi's reply was to order the immediate arrest of Gari 
baldi, who on September 23, 1867, was carried back to 
Caprera. Rattazzi insisted that Garibaldi had given his parole 
not to leave the island, while the latter stoutly denied that 
such was the case. Be this as it may, on October 14 he 
escaped and landed on the Tuscan coast, where he was joined 
by an incongruous crowd of some 4,000 volunteers. 

When Napoleon heard the news he forthwith dispatched 
an expedition which landed at Civitavecchia twelve days later 
and joined hands with the papal troops, while at the same 
time he sent an ultimatum to Italy demanding the dispersal 
of Garibaldi's little army. 

After Garibaldi had reached the mainland Rattazzi, believ 
ing the opportunity worth using, had almost openly en 
couraged the enlistment of volunteers and had made no 
secret of his intention of letting them join a Roman uprising, 
if it should occur. The receipt of Napoleon's ultimatum had 
the contrary effect upon the premier from that intended by 
the emperor. Instead of arresting Garibaldi and stopping his 
adventure, he ordered the Italian army to the papal fron 
tier, which was almost equivalent to declaring war against 
the pope. 

War with the pope would have meant war with France as 
well, and Italy could not possibly have survived. Once more 
the king showed himself wiser than his prime minister, and 
ignoring his constitutional limitations as a ruling but not 
governing sovereign, he interfered and forbad the troop 

Rattazzi's last prime ministership had been anything but 
a bed of roses, for during the year that it had lasted he had 
been faced with the constant necessity of managing Napo- 

1870 125 

Icon, Garibaldi, and the king. Managing any one of them 
would have been very difficult, managing all three at the 
same time was almost hopeless. Garibaldi was obsessed with 
the purpose of capturing Rome, while Napoleon was equally 
determined to protect the temporal power of the pope. At 
the same time the king, while desiring Rome as the capital 
of his kingdom, very sensibly hesitated to incur the enmity 
of Napoleon by forcibly seizing it. Rattazzi who was by 
nature an intriguer found himself involved in a web of 
intrigue of his own spinning, between Napoleon and Gari 
baldi. He was the king's man, who owed his place to his 
friend and sovereign. As long as Victor Emanuel supported 
him, his efforts against Rome had some possibility of suc 
cess. As soon as that support was withdrawn he was bound 
to fall. There was no course left him but to resign, and after 
Cialdini had failed to form a government, Menabrea suc 
ceeded him. 

Meanwhile Garibaldi had been hard at work recruiting. 
Before crossing the papal frontier he had increased his force 
to nearly 7,000, but of these over 2,000 deserted on learning 
that no help was to be expected from Italy. He entered papal 
territory at the head of some 5,000 ill-equipped and undisci 
plined volunteers with which to meet a vastly superior force 
of French and papal troops, and moreover his status was 
that of a filibuster and an outlaw. 

His first effort against the obsolete fortress of Monte 
Rotonda was successful although it was held only by a gar 
rison of 300 and the Garibaldians required a whole day's 
fighting for its capture. 

Refusing to believe the information sent him by friends in 
Rome of the French plans, on November 3, 1867, Garibaldi 
was surprised at the village of Mentana by a greatly superior 
force of French and papalists, defeated and forced over the 
frontier where he was arrested and sent back to Caprera. 


He had failed miserably as a general, as a leader and as 
a strategist. It is unfortunate for his memory that he did not 
die, or at least that he did not retire after his triumphant 
entry into Naples seven years before. Thereafter almost every 
public appearance that he made was accompanied by either 
political or military mistakes. 

The defeat of Mentana was a triumph for the papacy and 
a serious blow to the prestige of Italy. France refused to with 
draw her troops, the French prime minister, Rouher, an 
nouncing in the chamber that she would never allow Italy 
to take Rome. 

The ill feeling against France aroused throughout the 
peninsula was used by Bismarck to keep the two countries 
apart, so as to ensure Italian neutrality in the war between 
Prussia and France, which he knew to be inevitable. 

Victor Emanuel had listened to the suggestion of Beust, 
the Austrian prime minister, of a triple alliance consisting 
of France, Austria, and Italy. He found support in Menabrea, 
who agreed to favor the triple alliance provided France 
evacuated Civitavecchia, demanding that Austria should 
cede the Trentino and that Italy should be permitted to 
occupy Tunis as a naval station. Beust not only agreed to 
Menabrea's terms but even offered to extend the Italian fron 
tier in the direction of Triest. 

Napoleon, however, was obdurate and flatly refused to 
abandon the pope, and the plan for a triple alliance was per 
force given up. 

Count Luigi Federico Menabrea, who had been born in 
Savoy, was so ardent a patriot that he had remained Italian 
when his native province had been ceded to France. He had 
begun life as a liberal but had gradually turned to the right, 
so that^by the time he became prime minister he had become 
a reactionary. 

His cabinet was chosen from the extreme right and was 
faced with the task of restoring the national prestige so 

1870 127 

greatly damaged by the defeat of Mentana. What he might 
have eventually accomplished is problematical, for he was 
by no means a man of either great ability or force. He had 
the support of the king, but found that in view of Napo 
leon's attitude his favorite project for the triple alliance was 
impossible. He had weathered a defeat during the closing 
days of 1867, but during the whole of 1868 he retained office 
only by a constant rearrangement of parliamentary groups, 
so that early in 1869 ^ became constantly more evident that 
it would be impossible for him to survive a concerted attack 
of the opposition brought at a propitious moment, and the 
moment arrived with the breaking of the so-called "tobacco 

The finance minister proposed to sell the government 
tobacco monopoly for 180,000,000 Ike to a bank whose shares 
had, on the publication of the news, risen 70 points. Lanza 
and Sella had at once organized a vigorous opposition, de 
spite which the bill became a law on August 8, 1868. 

There were rumors that the bill had been passed by the 
use of money, and that not only deputies, but also members 
of the cabinet were involved in a most shocking scandal. In 
June 1869 Crispi and a fellow deputy Lobbia openly charged 
that certain specific members of the chamber had been given 
shares in the favored bank to influence their votes. Shortly 
afterwards Lobbia was murderously attacked in Florence, but 
riot killed. He and his friends charged that the partisans of 
the government were responsible, while the government re 
plied that Lobbia had wounded himself for the purpose of 
furthering his cause. 

He was arrested and tried for "fraudulent simulation of 
crime," convicted, but acquitted on appeal. 

The scandal would not down, and despite Menabrea's 
desperate efforts to keep his office he was obliged to resign 
in November 1869. There followed almost a month of crisis. 
The chamber by a large majority wanted Lanza as prime 


minister. He was one of the outstanding politicians of Italy, 
and had led the fight against the tobacco monopoly bill. 
The king, however, did not like him, and did all that he 
could to retain, if not Menabrea, at least some of the latter's 
ministers. Lanza was elected president of the chamber by 
a majority of forty, against the candidate of the outgoing 
ministry, strongly supported by Victor Emamiel. Lanza de 
clared himself in favor of rigorous retrenchment in all 
departments including the army and navy, and once more 
the king vigorously opposed him, even hinting that rather 
than see Lanza prime minister he would either abdicate or 
suspend the constitution. The chamber declined to be terror 
ized and in December 1869 Lanza became prime minister, 
with Quintino Sella at the treasury and Visconti-Venosta at 
the foreign office. 

Take it all in all these three men gave Italy a very efficient 
government, far better than most of those that were to 

Giovanni Lanza (1810-1881) was the first self-made man 
to be prime minister of Italy, The son of a Piedmontese 
blacksmith, with no great amount of education, he entered 
politics as a democrat but gradually became conservative, 
becoming one of Cavour's most faithful followers. By no 
means brilliant, he was painstaking and hard working, and 
even by his enemies conceded to be scrupulously honest and 
sincere. He was no orator, but won and retained the respect 
of the chamber and the trust of his friends by his uprightness 
and integrity. He was a devout Catholic, but nevertheless a 
strong supporter of Cavour's doctrine of "a free church in 
a free state." 

Quintino Sella (1827-1884) came from a family of pro 
fessional men and was himself a geologist. In his early days 
he also had belonged to the left in politics, but had gradually 
moved to the right center. He became a financial expert and 
ere long was respected and consulted as the leading financial 

1870 129 

authority in the chamber. He was first of all a financier who 
thought more of the finances of his country than of anything 
else on earth. He was one of those treasury watchdogs whose 
breed, especially with us, has become almost extinct, whose 
one and only ambition in life is a balanced budget, and who 
care little whom they may offend, or what interests they may 
antagonize in the accomplishment of their purpose. An honest 
man through and through, invaluable to his country, but 
neither lovable nor loved. 

Unlike his two colleagues, Marchese Emilio Visconti- 
Venosta (1829-1914) came from, an old Milanese family that 
had been distinguished for centuries. He began life as a Maz- 
zinian but, realizing the impracticability of his leader, left 
him, and being expelled from Lombardy went to Turin, 
where he took service under Cavour. He was a diplomatist 
by profession, as well as by nature and inclination. A brilliant 
man of great charm, he served his country many times and in 
many posts, and always served her well. 

Each of the trio had already held cabinet office, Lanza 
under Cavour as minister of public instruction in 1855 and 
as finance minister in 1858, and again under La Marmora in 
1864, Sella under La Marmora as finance minister, when a 
quarrel with Lanza forced the latter's resignation, and 
Visconti-Venosta as minister of foreign affairs under Min- 
ghetti in 1863 and under Ricasoli in 1866. 

The new cabinet took office pledged to the economy that 
the disordered condition of the finances imperatively re 
quired. It was proposed to cut the army and navy estimates 
23,000,000 lire, whereupon a violent opposition developed 
headed by the king himself. Lanza found that he was not only 
faced with the open antagonism of the militarists in the 
chamber but with the far more insidious opposition of Victor 
Emanuel who, working behind the scenes and relying upon 
his royal immunity, could not be openly rebuked. Finally 


after weeks of finessing a majority was induced to vote for 
a reduction of 15,000,000 lire. 

Economic conditions throughout the country were very 
bad; in fact, they could not have been much worse. The 
taxes were cruelly high, and Lanza was unwilling to con 
sider any reduction, convinced that national bankruptcy must 
at all cost be avoided. In the south many of the people were 
close to starvation, and social unrest followed almost as a 
matter of course. It took the form of republican revolutionary 
agitation having as its object the deposition of the king. 

Mazzini assumed the leadership under the impression 
that his opportunity had at last arrived, and even induced 
Garibaldi to lend him an academic support. Lanza, acting 
promptly, arrested Mazzini and imprisoned him at Gaeta, 
whereupon the dangerous phase of the agitation collapsed. 

Almost as important as the settlement of the economic 
problem was that of the government's relations with the 
Church. The victory of Mentana had given the papacy great 
political prestige, which was soon reinforced on the moral 
side by the outcome of the Vatican council. 

On June 28, 1868, the Holy Father issued the bull Aeterni 
Patris convening the 20th (Ecumenical Council to meet at 
Rome December 8, 1869. The purposes of the council were 
not stated in the bull, and it was not until the following 
spring that it was semiofficially announced that the question 
of proclaiming the papal infallibility would be discussed. The 
council was opened by the pope according to schedule, and 
began to debate the question of infallibility. 

On July 18, 1870, the dogma was approved by 535 votes 
in the affirmative to 2 in the negative, and was at once pro 
claimed by the pope. On October 20, the council was 

The dogma was expressed by the council as follows: "The 
Roman Pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when as 
head of the Church and in virtue of his supreme apostolic 

1870 131 

authority he states that a doctrine on faith or morals is binding 
on the Universal Church, possesses that same infallibility 
with which the Divine Redeemer thought fit to endow His 
Church, to define its doctrines with regard to faith and 
morals; and consequently that these definitions of the Roman 
Pontiff are irref ormable in themselves and not in consequence 
of the consent of the Church." 

Whatever may have been the political effect of the procla 
mation of the dogma of infallibility, its effect upon the 
Church itself was far-reaching. It not only consolidated the 
Church and centralized its power in Rome in the hands of the 
Holy Father, but it made the latter supreme, reducing the 
church councils to the position of merely advisory bodies com 
pletely under the control of the pope, and it definitely de 
stroyed the doctrine of Gallicanism which had for seventy 
years been a thorn in the flesh of Rome. 

Under the concordat of 1801 Napoleon, then first consul, 
had after long negotiations reached an agreement with the 
Holy See under which the latter, spurred by the fear that 
Jansenism would dominate France, had yielded virtually all 
control of the French Church, except the investiture of 
bishops upon the nomination of the French government. The 
Holy See acquiesced in the seizure of church property and 
the expulsion of certain religious orders by Napoleon, while 
the latter agreed to support financially the Church in France. 

Shortly afterwards a similar concordat was negotiated be 
tween the cisalpine republic and the Vatican. 

The example of France was felt far and wide, and the ten 
dency toward national churches became ever more marked, 
so that Rome had been obliged constantly to defend herself 
from the inclination of Catholics in many parts of the world 
toward national independence in everything but name. 

As a necessary corollary to the doctrine of Gallicanism it 
was held by its supporters that the Church was superior to 
its head, who could be limited in his authority at any time 


by a church council, and could even be deposed should he 
exceed the authority thus granted him. 

The acceptance of the dogma of infallibility, making the 
pope the only source of all power and all authority, once and 
for all destroyed Gallicanism, and freed the Vatican from a 
serious menace to its ascendency. 

On July 19, 1870, the day before the council adjourned, 
France declared war against Prussia. Nine days earlier Napo 
leon had once more suggested to Victor Emanuel and Beust 
the forming of a triple alliance. Both welcomed the sugges 
tion, and agreed to join France against Prussia provided 
Italy were permitted to annex Rome, Beust agreeing to cede 
the Trentino and part of the Triestino to Italy. As soon as it 
was known that war was possible, anti-war demonstrations 
occurred all over Italy as well as in Austria and Hungary. 
These utterly failed to influence either the Italian king or the 
Austrian prime minister, who stood fast to the project of an 
alliance, provided Italy were permitted to occupy Rome. 
Again Napoleon declined under any circumstances to aban 
don the pope, and refused absolutely the proposed terms. 

August 7, after the defeat of Worth, Napoleon begged 
Italy to send him help. Lanza under the urging of Victor 
Emanuel might have complied had he not received a message 
from the Italian ambassador in Paris informing him that the 
empire was doomed. 

After die defeat of Gravelotte, Napoleon offered to sacri 
fice the pope if Italy would send him help, but now even the 
king had become convinced that to ally himself with France 
would mean suicide for Italy, and Austria also determined to 
remain aloof; France went alone to meet her fate on Sep 
tember 3 at Sedan. 

The French garrison was withdrawn from Civitavecchia 
on August 19 and the very next day the chamber began to 
debate the question of occupying Rome. When the French 
republic was proclaimed two days after the battle of Sedan, 

1870 133 

Italy assumed that the September Convention was dead, as 
having been negotiated with Napoleon personally, and, the 
powers having consented, began the march on Rome Sep 
tember n, 1870. 

The 50,000 troops that had been mobilized were under 
the command of General Raff aele Cadorna, the papal army 
being under the command of the Bavarian General Kanzler. 
It had been hoped that Pius would consent to a peaceful 
occupation of the city, as Antonelli had favored such a course. 
The pope, however, refused to yield except to force, and 
Cadorna was ordered to take the city. On the i2th Viterbo 
and Civita Castellana were occupied, on the i6th Bixio occu 
pied Civitavecchia, on the iyth Cadorna reached Rome, and 
on the 20th began the bombardment of the city. He easily 
breached the wall near Porta Pia and entered at the head of 
his men, twenty-one years after Garibaldi had marched out. 

Lanza had striven hard to bring about an accord with the 
papacy, but entirely without success. The Italian troops did 
not enter the Leonine City until September 21, when the 
pope asked them to do so for his protection. Pius retired to 
the Vatican which he never again left, preserving the fiction 
that he was a prisoner in Italian hands. From his new home 
he excommunicated all who had been involved in the capture 
of Rome, and declined to accept the subsidy that the Italian 
government offered. 

The so-called "Law of Guarantees" was forced through 
parliament by Lanza March 21, 1871, and strove to realize 
Cavour's theory of "a free church in a free state." It gave the 
pope the immunity of a sovereign in his person, the right to 
maintain the Swiss and Noble Guards, full freedom for the 
exercises of his religious ministry, with freedom of speech 
for the clergy and freedom of the press, and the right to send 
and receive diplomatic representatives. Bishops were not any 
longer required to swear allegiance to the king, nor be 
nominated by the government. The pope was given the 


palaces of the Vatican, Lateran, and Castel Gandolfo, with 
quasi-rights of extraterritoriality, and the government agreed 
to pay him 3,225,000 lire annually. On the other hand civil 
marriage had already been made compulsory, the clergy had 
been subjected to the civil law, and religions other than the 
Roman Catholic had been permitted to enter Italy. On May 
15 Pius refused to accept the law and called upon all Roman 
Catholic states to join in a restoration of the temporal power. 

On July 2, 1871, Victor Emanuel moved from Florence to 
Rome, using as his residence the Quirinal Palace which had 
been taken from the pope, and on November 27 parliament 
met for the first time in the new capital. 

The occupation of Rome, necessary as it was as a matter 
of domestic politics, raised an international question which 
required years for settlement While the Protestant powers 
viewed the matter coldly and without interest, the Catholic 
powers and Catholics everywhere were furious. Refusing to 
recognize the necessity which impelled Italy to seize Rome 
as her capital, they supported the pope in his demand for the 
restoration of the temporal power, and preserved toward the 
Italian government an attitude of at least veiled hostility 
that did not disappear for a generation. 



BOTH Cavour and d'Azeglio had expressed the same 
thought in saying "we have created Italy, it now remains 
to create Italians." 

The new kingdom of "Italia Unita" had been brought into 
being by the genius of its leaders and the patriotism and 
heroism of their followers who, never discouraged in the 
face of obstacles that seemed almost insuperable, had striven 
unselfishly and constantly for the realization of an ideal. 

The vast majority of the inhabitants of the peninsula dur 
ing the period of the risorgimento were illiterate and pro 
foundly ignorant. As the result of centuries of oppression and 
misrule they were incapable of political thought or of any 
intelligent desire to better their condition. The movement 
for the risorgimento was not in the broad sense popular, for 
it was the work of a handful of intellectuals, members of the 
aristocracy and the learned professions, followed by the mid 
dle classes in the cities and the larger landholders, who for" 
political purposes constituted "the people," for in 1871, tfee, 
franchise was restricted to less than 500,000, in a total popu 
lation of 28,000,000. 

United Italy included seven different states whose people 
spoke some twelve dialects, that -had their own literature and 
might fairly be classed as languages, and a vast number of 
minor dialects, offshoots of the principal languages. A Vene 
tian was as unable to understand a Neapolitan as was a 
Roman a Sicilian. Italian in its purity was spoken only in 
parts of Tuscany, and was in no sense a general medium of 
communication. In many parts of Italy the aristocracy spoke 


French among themselves and the local dialect for gen 
eral use. 

After the union of Italy the leaders and the electorate of 
the component states continued to think of themselves as 
belonging not to Italy but to the region of their birth. Until 
quite recently, although an Italian might when abroad call 
himself an Italian, he always spoke of himself when at home 
as a Venetian, or a Neapolitan or a Roman, as the case 
might be. 

In the beginning this spirit of regionalism or particularism 
was greatly exaggerated by a general jealousy of Piedmont. 
The charge was constantly made that Piedmont had absorbed 
Italy, which was true to the extent that Piedmont had led 
the risorgimento, had furnished many of its leaders, had been 
the focal point of the movement, had given her king to 
the new state as its first sovereign, and her statuto as its 

It speaks well for Ricasoli's broad-mindedness that, Tuscan 
though he was, he was willing to disregard regionalism and 
to adopt the Napoleonic system of centralization. Yet cen 
tralized as the government became, the local spirit still flour 
ished and it was not until our own day that the Italians were 
born who had been hoped for by Cavour and d'Azeglio, 
Italians speaking the same language and united in their de 
votion to the nation as a whole. 

Giovanni Lanza, the first prime minister of new Italy 
was faced with a task that was almost beyond the possibility 
of accomplishment. The welding together of seven hetero 
geneous states into one homogeneous whole, the education 
and development of an ignorant and poverty-stricken people 
into an intelligent and patriotic Italian nation, the expansion 
of total financial resources of less than half a billion lire into 
ten times that amount without ruining the country by 
overtaxation, were tasks that might perhaps have been per 
formed in a generation had Cavour been spared to live out 


his life. But Cavour was dead, and none of his followers or 
successors, not even Lanza, measured up to his greatness. 

Lanza and his immediate successor Minghetti did their best 
and accomplished much, but their best was not enough and 
it required more than half a century of government, some 
times good, sometimes bad, sometimes very bad indeed, to 
people the Italy of the risorgimento with the Italians of 
Cavour's and d'Azeglio's dreams. The chamber of deputies 
never understood party government any moire than "any 
Latin race h^s ever understood democracy. In no country on 
earth except in those of Nordic peoples has party loyalty or 
party discipline existed in the Anglo-Saxon meaning of the 
terms. " 

It is true that three well organized parties have emerged in 
Italian politics during the last thirty years : the socialist, which 
when faced with its first great opportunity broke into fac 
tions bitterly opposed to each other, neutralized itself, and 
died; the popolari, who were nothing but the supporters of 
the Holy Father, who, having attained great influence under 
the leadership of Don Luigi Sturzo, at the command of 
Pius XI disbanded and disappeared; and the fascist i who are 
essentially the loyal and devoted supporters of the great man 
who called them into being. 

The curse of Italian politics, as it has been the curse of 

... " ,,.,. """ '"""""^,lMM..,, | , m / (m ,. , 

politics in every great continental state, has been the group 
system. The natural tendency of all Italian politicians has 
been not to belong to a great political party but to follow 
some individual political leader. These leaders might and 
usually did profess to belong to a party bearing a distinctive 
name, such as the right, the left, the old left or whatever 
it might be, but their followers were held together not by 
party ties but by the hope that some day their chief might 
become prime minister and that they would be able to share 
in the resultant spoils, either for themselves or for their 


In no country on earth has politics been so personal as in 
Italy. Governments have always been formed by the com 
bination of a number of groups, sufficiently numerous to 
assure a majority to the prime minister of the moment. Gov 
ernments have remained in office as long and only as long 
as the leaders of the component groups remained loyal to 
the prime minister. As this loyalty depended largely on the 
gratification of the personal ambitions of the group leaders 
and the prime minister's ability to satisfy the lesser ambitions 
of their parliamentary followers, it necessarily followed that 
governments were short lived. During the half century be 
tween 1871 and 1922 there were thirty-five governments, 
averaging one year and five months of life, and nineteen 
prime ministers averaging two years and seven months of 
office. Of the prime ministers three totalled a service of 
twenty-seven years, or an average of nine years, Depretis 
serving for nine years, Crispi for six years and Giolitti for 
twelve years; the other sixteen prime ministers averaged a 
service of one year and five months. That Depretis, Crispi, 
and Giolitti were in power off and on for so long was due to 
their extraordinary ability in manipulating the groups, by 
constantly changing the personnel of their cabinets. The poli 
ticians who ruled Italy during the first half century of -her 
life were opportunists in the crudest sense, frankly and 

The early parliaments of Italy were divided rather vaguely 
into "two main groups called euphemistically the "parties of 
the right and of the left." To the right belonged the close 
friends and followers of Cavour, the men who had been 
responsible for shaping the policies that had brought the 
risorgimento into being. They were the "elder statesmen" of 
new Italy, and while none among them measured up to the 
intellectual greatness or the marvellous ability in handling 
men of their former leader, they included Ricasoli, Lanza, 
Minghetti, La Marmora, Visconti-Venosta, Peruzzi, Sella, 


and Spaventa, a group of able and honest men of which any 
country might well be proud. Most of them were aristocrats 
by birth; they were in the best sense the aristocracy of Italian 
politics, and were in power in Piedmont and later in the new 
Italian kingdom, with short intervals of temporary eclipse, 
from 1849 to 1876. 

To the left belonged the young men and the new men, the 
men of action, the ex-Garibaldians and the ex-republicans. 
They were those who, being excluded from the close corpora 
tion that was the right, were determined at all cost to attain 
power, and power could only be attained by the destruction 
of the ruling group. For the moment, this common ambition 
gave the very discordant elements that constituted the so- 
called left a certain unity of purpose and a certain homo 
geneity of action. Realizing that their interests lay in constant 
opposition, they opposed the government in season and out 
of season on every question and in every possible way. Poli 
cies and measures were bitterly fought, only to be adopted and 
carried to completion, after the fall of the right, by the very 
men 'who had opposed them. 

The foreign policy of Visconti-Venosta, who was foreign 
minister during the governments of Lanza and Minghetti, 
advocated friendly relations with the great powers, especially 
with those of Central Europe; the left signed the triple 
alliance. The right, while insisting on an absolutely secular 
state, strove to improve relations with the Vatican; the left, 
on the death of Pius IX, persuaded the college of cardinals 
to hold their conclave in Rome. The right strove to balance 
the budget by decreasing expenditures and greatly increas 
ing taxes, against the frantic objection of the left, who were 
charged with constantly endeavoring to increase expenditures 
and reduce taxation. On assuming office, the first prime 
minister of the left, Depretis, announced that he would not 
yield a single lire of revenue, or do anything to disturb the 
balanced budget. The left charged the right with being re- 


actionary, and yet the right enacted more progressive legis 
lation during its five years of office in the new kingdom than 
did the left in a generation. The truth was that the policy of 
the left was demagogic, seeking power at any price, while the 
leaders of the right, who were mostly elderly men, made the 
fatal mistake of distrusting their opponents and of refusing 
to absorb the leaders of the left as they might very probably 
have done. It was perfectly obvious that sooner or later the 
right would be driven from power and its leaders from public 

The Lanza government began the life of united Italy faced 
with national bankruptcy. Sella, the finance minister, found 
a net deficit of 212,500,000 lire with taxation apparently at 
its maximum. With great courage he faced the difficulty by 
forcing through the chamber a tax on flour, usually called 
the grist tax, which raised 80,000,000 lire of revenue, and by 
drastic economies he was able to reduce the deficit to 
50,000,000 lire at the close of 1871. 

In France the attitude of Thiers, who viewed with undis 
guised suspicion the growth of the new Italian state, the 
increase of clericalism, and the anti-Italian attitude of 
the French press convinced the Italian government that the 
sooner the army was reorganized and made efficient, the 
better chance would Italy have to withstand the possible out 
come of French ill will. 

Accordingly, reversing their early efforts for possible mili 
tary economy, the cabinet charged General Ricotti, minister 
of war, with the task of army reform, but the first steps in 
that direction resulted in swelling the deficit to 200,000,000 
lire by 1872. 

Sella succeeded in tiding over the emergency by increasing 
taxation and by refunding government loans at a lower rate 
of interest. 

Meanwhile Minghetti had quarrelled with Lanza and, 
forming a coalition of his own followers, the Tuscan group 


under Correnti and the left under its new leader Depfetis, 
Rattazzi having died June 5, 1873, he succeeded in overturn 
ing the government, June 23, 1873, and himself became 
prime minister. Visconti-Venosta was retained in the for 
eign office, and Lanza's policies were generally carried out; 
there was really no change, except that the new prime min 
ister became finance minister in place of Sella and that the 
cabinet depended for life on the votes of the prime minister's 
former enemies. 

Visconti-Venosta found relations with France becoming 
constantly more strained. He realized that in the then condi 
tion of Italian finances, with the army not yet reorganized 
and with the navy practically non-existent, a breach with 
France would be fatal to Italy. To offset this weakness he 
sought, if not an alliance, at least an understanding with 
some other power. Britain because of her policy of isolation 
was out of the question. There remained only Austria and 
Germany, and a rapprochement with these two powers was 
accomplished in 1873. Victor Emanuel visited the two em 
perors, who subsequently returned the visits, although not 
going to Rome on account of papal susceptibility. 

When Marshal MacMahon succeeded Thiers the tension 
with France relaxed. Nevertheless General Ricotti continued 
his efforts in army reform and on June 7, 1875, parlia 
ment enacted a comprehensive plan that he had pre 
pared while at the same time the creation of a new navy 
was undertaken. 

Despite the great cost of army and navy building, and the 
purchase by government of the railroads, Minghetti succeeded 
in gradually rehabilitating the finances so that his last 
budget, that for 1876, showed a surplus of 18,000,000 lire. 

The opposition had for some time been bitterly fighting 
the government on its policy of high taxes and large expen 
ditures. The attitude of the anti-governmental leaders was, 
to say the least, inconsistent, for while conceding the necessity 


of army and navy reorganization they vigorously objected to 
its cost. 

Depretis, the leader of the left, was assisted by Cesare 
Correnti, an able and thoroughly unscrupulous parliamenta 
rian. Born in Milan January 3, 1815, a newspaper man by 
profession, he devoted his early years to a very courageous 
opposition to Austrian rule, not only with his pen but, during 
the Five Days, with his sword. Moving to Turin, Cavour 
sent him to the chamber of deputies in 1849, where he faith 
fully served his patron. From having been a radical he 
changed to conservatism under Cavour, became councillor 
of state in 1860 and minister of education in 1867 and 1869. 
He was part author of the Law of Guarantees and helped to 
organize the occupation of Rome in 1870. His personal fol 
lowing in the chamber, especially among the Tuscan depu 
ties, was considerable. A bitter quarrel with Lanza, whom he 
charged with ingratitude, caused him to join Minghetti in the 
former's overthrow, while a subsequent quarrel with Min 
ghetti drove him into the arms of Depretis and the left. He 
now became an extreme radical and ardent supporter of 

The government found itself steadily losing ground. 
Minghetti, by his flirtation with the left, had made himself 
thoroughly suspect among his former friends of the right. 
Lanza never forgave him for what many called his treason, 
and was not over-anxious to save him from destruction. On 
the other hand, still calling himself a conservative of the 
right, Minghetti had never succeeded in winning the confi 
dence of his new friends and lived from day to day by their 
sufferance. On March 18, 1876, Depretis, believing that his 
hour had come, turned on the man whom he had placed in 
office and with Correnti's help voted a solid left against the 
government. The right gave but a half-hearted and partial 
support to the man whom they disliked, and so fell Min 
ghetti, the last conservative prime minister. 


The right had passed, never as a party to resume power. 
Some of its leaders formed alliances with this or that left 
politician, some formed groups of their own, and in certain 
cases held office again. But the right as the party of the elder 
statesmen, joined together in public office, had gone forever. 



THE right had held office, with a few brief interludes, 
ever since 1849. With its passing went the only sem 
blance of party government that Italy has known, for 
the advent of the so-called left inaugurated that era of per 
sonal and opportunist rule that lasted until our own day. 

Theoretically liberals, the men of the left had violently 
opposed almost every constructive proposal of the right, only 
to follow haltingly and inefficiently in the latter's footsteps 
on attaining power. 

In the new cabinet Depretis took the ministry of finance, 
giving that of foreign affairs to Melegari, a former Mazzi- 
nian and minister to Switzerland, the interior to Nicotera, a 
former Garibaldian with anything but a spotless past, and 
public works to Zanardelli, who had been one of the most 
violent radicals in the chamber. 

Agostino Depretis (1813-1887) was born a Piedmontese 
near Stradella, January 31, 1813. In early life a Mazzinian, a 
republican and a member of Giovane Italia, he became a 
deputy in 1848, when he threw aside his republicanism and 
started a newspaper, // Diritto, which was monarchist but 
radical. He was a member of the Rattazzi cabinet of 1862, 
and of the Ricasoli cabinet of 1866, and on the death of his 
chief, Rattazzi, in 1873 he became the leader of the left 
groups. He was a man of fair ability and conveniently unfixed 
principles, not a statesman, but a trimming politician who 
was willing to sacrifice his opinions of today, if by so doing 
he could attain office tomorrow. 

Foreign affairs did not interest him, and he was content 
to leave their conduct in the hands of his foreign minister, 


provided the latter did not entangle Italy in her dealings 
with other countries. He was quoted as having said, "When 
I see an international question on the horizon, I open my 
umbrella and wait until it has passed." 

He is chiefly remembered for being the joint author with 
Minghetti of the policy of "trasformismo" that did so much 
to corrupt and debase Italian politics. Under trasformismo 
majorities in the chamber were made by uniting men of the 
most diverse opinions, from the left and from the right, by 
the "cohesive power of public plunder." 

Depretis began his administration by adopting practically 
all of the policies of his predecessors, including army and 
navy reform, purchase of the railways, financial readjust 
ment, and even the grist tax tHat had been so loudly de 
nounced by his supporters. The only real change which he 
advocated was the extension of the franchise, which was not 
accomplished until five years later. 

Nicotera proved himself at the interior far more despotic 
than had any of his predecessors. He forbad radical or repub 
lican meetings and imprisoned their authors, suppressed or 
suspended newspapers, dissolved labor unions and sent recal 
citrant strikers to the penal settlements on the islands. The 
rights of free speech, free assembly, and free press were all 
limited or denied by this self-styled liberal member of a 
self-styled liberal cabinet. 

The general election of November 1876 was a triumph 
for the left. Nicotera, by the unblushing use of corruption 
and intimidation, "made" the election with such success that 
421 supporters of the government were returned and only 
87 supporters of the right. Nicotera had overplayed his hand 
and returned a majority that was so large as to be unwieldy 
and soon gave signs of breaking up. 

By the following year Nicotera's past had begun to plague 
him. Much scandal was created by Zanardelli's refusal to 
authorize the construction of a railway in Calabria, on the 


ground that Nicotera held the controlling financial interest. 
When the latter was charged with tampering with private 
telegrams, the storm burst in the chamber and Depretis, 
bowing before it, reconstructed his cabinet by dropping 
Nicotera, Zanardelli, and Melegari, he himself assuming the 
foreign office and placing Magliani in finance and Crispi 
in the interior. 

Crispi had at last attained cabinet rank. This old Mazzi- 
nian, Garibaldian, and republican plotter had become one 
of the strongest supporters of the monarchy. While he called 
himself a liberal, his liberalism never hampered him in 
pushing his own fortunes or in accomplishing the purpose 
that he had immediately in view. At the interior he proved 
himself to be even more arbitrary and more drastic than had 

While the left during the years of the right had favored 
a rapprochement with the central powers, Depretis was ex 
tremely Francophil, which aroused the undisguised suspi 
cions of Germany and Austria. The increasing influence of 
the latter in the Adriatic led the prime minister to send 
Crispi on a species of "goodwill tour" to Paris, Berlin, and 
Vienna in the effort to obtain some compensation for the 
Austrian success, but Crispi who fancied himself as a diplo 
mat accomplished nothing whatever. 

In the beginning of 1878 both Victor Emanuel and Pius IX 
died, and Crispi was successful in not only assuring the peace 
ful accession to the throne of Humbert, but also in convincing 
the cardinals of the desirability of holding their conclave at 
Rome. He gave them the choice of either holding the con 
clave abroad, in which event he frankly told them that they 
would not be permitted to return, or of holding it in Italy 
under his guarantee of independence. They wisely chose the 
latter course and elected the greatest pope of modern times, 
Leo XIII. 


In March 1878 a rearrangement of the groups in the cham 
ber resulted in Depretis' fall, the premiership being assumed 
by Cairoli with Count Corti, former Italian minister to the 
United States, at the foreign office. 

The first Cairoli ministry, which lasted only nine months, 
was marked by the enactment of some exceedingly unsound 
financial legislation and the holding of the Congress of Ber 
lin. The occupation by Austria of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
authorized by the congress, an occupation that had been 
voted for by Count Corti, not only marked Cairoli for defeat 
but greatly increased the anti-Austrian feeling throughout 
Italy and stimulated the spirit of irredentism. The secret 
committees that existed in the north, pledged to the redemp 
tion of the Trentino and Triest, began openly to agitate, and 
Austria charged that the government, led by an ex-Garibal- 
dian, did nothing in the matter except apologize. 

In December 1878 Depretis succeeded Cairoli and on 
July 12, 1879, Cairoli returned to power, to reorganize his 
government with the help of Depretis in the following 

The second and third Cairoli administrations were notable 
for the demoralization of the finances and the affair of 

The finances fell into a condition bordering on anarchy. 
The surplus disappeared, and although revenue was sadly 
needed the grist tax was abolished arid a loan of 650,000,000 
lire was placed abroad,, ostensibly to permit the withdrawal 
of the unprotected paper money, actually to meet the ex 
penses of government. The financial condition of the larger 
cities, especially Rome, Florence, and Naples, required direct 
national help and the deficit increased unchecked. 

While Cairoli inexcusably muddled the finances, his mis 
handling of the Tunisian question dealt the severest blow to 
her prestige ever received by new Italy. 


With Tunis actually his for the taking, a plum ripe and 
ready to fall into his lap, with the importance of its acquisi 
tion evident to all, it is inconceivable why Cairoli should 
have deliberately refused the greatest opportunity ever given 
or to be given his country for colonial expansion. 

The story of the loss of Tunis by Italy begins with the 
close of the Russo-Turkish war. 

Having dictated the peace of San Stefano at the war's 
close, Russia bitterly resented the outcome of the congress 
of Berlin, under which she saw herself deprived of practically 
all the political and territorial advantages she had proposed 
to seize from Turkey. She was particularly incensed that 
Austria should be rewarded for her pusillanimous neutrality 
by being allowed to annex, under the fiction of an occupa 
tion, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and the Sanjak of Novi Bazar, 
and that in carrying out the delimination of the Austrian 
accessions the German representatives should have always 
voted against Russia. Moreover, just before the beginning 
of the Turkish war, Germany had declined to pledge her 
self to neutrality in the event of Russian hostility against 

The anger of Russia was directed not only against Austria, 
but even more so against Germany. While in the spring of 
1879 Cairoli and Waddington, the Italian and French prime 
ministers, were unsuccessfully approached on the subject 
of joining Russia in a war against Austria, Russian regiments 
were mobilized on both the Austrian and German frontiers. 

Bismarck realized that while the league of the three em 
perors, the Dreikaiserbund, still existed in theory at least, it 
was so sorely damaged that Germany stood in great need of 
reinsurance against her Russian ally. 

Accordingly he approached Andrassy, the Austrian for 
eign minister,' with the view of joining with Germany in a 
defensive alliance against Russia, and if possible against 
France as well. Andrassy was quite willing to protect Ger- 


many against Russia but was unwilling to agree to proceed 
to extremities against France, unless the latter were supported 
by the Tzar. 

Bismarck found an unexpected obstacle in the unwilling 
ness bf the German emperor to ally himself against Russia 
or even to believe that the latter had any but the kindliest 
feelings toward Germany. It required all his power of per 
suasion and address and the threat of his resignation to 
convert the old man to his point of view, and it was not 
until October 7 that the treaty was signed, to be ratified nine 
days later. 

Both powers declared in a protocol their friendship for 
Russia, their intention to negotiate new commercial treaties 
with her, and their determination to abide by the results of 
the Congress of Berlin. They announced that they had no 
intention of ever changing their purely defensive attitude into 
one of aggression. 

In the treaty proper they agreed that were either attacked 
by Russia the other would join its ally, and that peace would 
be concluded only in common; that should either be attacked 
by another power, the other would "observe at least benevo 
lent neutrality. Should, however, the attacking party be sup 
ported by Russia, either by active cooperation or by military 
measures which constitute a menace, the other shall aid," this 
obviously referring to France. The treaty was to run for five 
years, and to be further extended for a period of three years 
unless notice to the contrary were given one year before its 
expiration. It was to be kept secret except in the event of some 
menacing act on the part of the Tzar, whereupon he was to 
be informed, confidentially, that an attack on one of the 
allies would be considered an attack on both. 

While the terms of the treaty were not published until 
1888, its general tenure was very soon known. Although in 
the beginning a shock to Russia, it did not by any means pro 
duce the ill feeling that might have been expected. In fact, 


relations became increasingly friendly so that by 1881 it was 
possible to revive the Dreikaiserbund, which was done in a 
secret treaty signed June 18 and which was to last for three 

The three powers agreed that if one of them should go to 
war with a fourth power the other two would preserve a 
benevolent neutrality and try to localize operations; they 
recognized the principle of the closing of the Dardanelles; 
while Russia and Germany agreed to respect the interests of 
Austria acquired under the treaty of Berlin. 

At the close of 1881 Bismarck found himself insured 
against possible attack by France, by treaties with Russia and 
Austria, and by the friendship of Britain, due largely to the 
latter's tension with the French republic. 

Four years earlier Crispi, then president of the chamber, 
during his goodwill tour had felt out Bismarck as to whether 
Germany would make a treaty with Italy to join with the 
latter in case of attack by either France or Austria. Bismarck 
replied that he would support Italy against a French attack 
but not against an attack by Germany's ally Francis Joseph. 

For the moment the negotiations came to nothing, but four 
years later they were renewed under very much altered 
circumstances. . - 

Tunisia is Italy's nearest African neighbor, , the distance 
from Cape Bon to Cape Feto in Sicily being only 85 miles 
and from the city of Tunis to Marsala only 145. miles. It has 
a superficial area of 49,000 square miles, almost half that of 
the Italian peninsula, and more than twice that of Sicily, with 
a cultivable area of nearly 7,500,000 acres, 10 per cent larger " 
than the entire area of Sicily, with a population of only about 
1,500,000; rich in phosphates, iron, zinc, and lead, and with 
an equable climate not unlike that of Sicily, it was admirably 
adapted for colonization and exploitation by Europeans. 

As early as 1862 Italian statesmen began to think of 
Tunisia as a possible if not probable Italian colony in the not 


distant future. Far-sighted Italians realized that if population 
should continue to grow it would only be a question of time 
when some outlet would be required for their nationals who 
were finding it constantly more difficult to make a living at 
home. Tunisia was the ideal Italian colony, for not only was 
it the nearest undeveloped and available territory, but what 
was of even as much importance it commanded with Sicily 
the narrowest part of the Mediterranean. 

In 1869 Tunisia became bankrupt and Italy joined with 
Britain and France in administering Tunisian finances, and 
in 1880 bought from the British the railway from Tunis to 
Goletta. By this time a large number of Italians had settled 
in Tunisia and constituted the majority of the foreign popu 
lation in the capital, where Italian was the foreign language 
generally in use. The time seemed to have arrived for the 
formal acquisition of Tunisia, an event that public men 
throughout the World expected to occur at any moment. 

At the Congress of Berlin Germany, Austria, and Russia 
had suggested that in return for Austria's occupation of Bos 
nia and Herzegovina Italy should compensate herself in 
Tunisia, but for some unaccountable reason the suggestion 
failed to impress either Cairoli or his foreign minister Corti 
and it was declined. Immediately thereafter and almost under 
the eyes of Corti, Bismarck smoothed out the difficulty be 
tween France and Britain, due to the taking over of Cyprus 
by the latter, by bringing Lord Salisbury and M. Waddington 
together in an, agreement, later reduced to writing, that when 
she might see fit France should seize Tunisia with the ap 
proval of Great Britain, this agreement being subsequently 
ratified by the Gladstone government. 

So secretly were the negotiations conducted that although 
Corti was in almost daily association with the principals at 
Berlin, he never had the slightest suspicion of what was 
going on. 


France proceeded to make ready for the capture of Tunisia 
while Cairoli lived in a fooPs paradise, convinced that Britain 
would through friendship for Italy never permit France to 
cross the Tunisian border. 

In the early spring of 1881 France began to move troops 
into the Kroumir, on the border between Algeria and Tunisia. 
On May n the French foreign minister, Barthelemy St. 
Hilaire, solemnly assured the Italian ambassador in Paris 
that France had no intention of occupying any part of Tuni 
sian territory except some points in the Kroumir for the pur 
pose of protecting Algeria from native raids. 

When this assurance was given the French expeditionary 
force had already reached Tunis, where the next day, May 
12, the bey was forced to sign the treaty of El Bardo giving 
to France the protectorate of his country. 

The repercussion of the news upon the Italian public was 
immediate and violent. They saw the colonial hopes of Italy 
in Tunis shattered, the ruin of the Italian settlers, and the 
permanent occupation of land almost within gun-range by 
a power that had grossly and meanly deceived them. 

Very naturally Cairoli was held largely responsible. Corti 
had boasted that he had returned from Berlin with "clean 
hands," which was quite true, but they were also empty 
hands while they might have brought back the protectorate 
of the regency now lost to Italy forever. 

On May 14 Cairoli resigned and sank into well deserved 
obscurity, Depretis succeeding him and carrying on with 
the same cabinet except the former prime minister, whose 
place at the foreign office was taken by Mancini. 

When the French troops, returning from Tunisia, landed 
at Marseilles the event was celebrated by the murder of 
a number of Italian workmen. Depretis, despite his strong 
Francophil attitude, found himself obliged to protest by 
the mobilization of some of the army reserves, which was 


very embarrassing as he was in the process of negotiating 
a commercial treaty with the French government. 

The Third Republic had failed signally to carry on the 
friendship for Italy that had existed under Napoleon III, and 
despite Depretis' every effort toward a good understanding 
it became constantly more evident that if Italy was to live 
in security she must find friends elsewhere than in France, 
the only alternative being the central powers. 

Among Italian politicians the line was very clearly drawn 
between those who were Francophil and those who favored 
an alliance with Germany and Austria. Among the former 
were Lanza, Bonghi, and Peruzzi, while among the latter 
were Crispi and Minghetti. Depretis favored an alliance with 
the central powers, provided it could be accomplished secretly 
so as not to imperil the commercial treaty with France that 
was so near to his heart. 

At first the central powers remained cold to the suggestion 
of an alliance. Depretis' irredentism had antagonized Aus 
tria, while the constant appeals of the Holy See for help 
touched the Catholic Austrians and influenced Bismarck, who 
was trying to bring to his support the Catholic center party 
in Germany. Besides, as a military power Italy was singularly 

After months of negotiations Mancini succeeded in induc 
ing Bismarck to agree to an alliance and, the latter bringing 
pressure on Kalnoky, the Austrian foreign minister, the 
treaty was finally signed May 20, 1882, five days after the 
ratification of the Italian commercial treaty with France. 

Under the terms of the treaty, which was to last for five 
years, it was agreed that should any of the contracting powers 
be attacked the other two would join in resistance "within 
the limits of their own interests"; should anyone be menaced 
and be obliged to declare war the other two would preserve 
a benevolent neutrality, but should anyone be menaced by 
two or more powers then all would join in the war. It was 


further agreed by Austria and Italy that if possible the status 
quo should be maintained in the East, but if this should 
prove to be impossible then neither should occupy any terri 
tory temporarily or permanently, without the consent of the 
other and adequate compensation. 

Kalnoky was anxious that the treaty should be kept secret, 
but both Bismarck and Mancini repeatedly hinted of its 
existence and finally a year after its signature Mancini openly 
acknowledged it. 

Mancini's announcement was received with very mixed 
feelings by the Italians. As it allied the best friend of the 
papacy with its worst enemy, the Catholics saw in it a serious 
setback to their hopes of a restoration of the temporal power; 
the Francophils, who included most of the radical ex- 
republicans, deplored it, as alienating their country from 
republican and more or less liberal France; while on the 
other hand the majority of Italians welcomed it as rescuing 
Italy from her isolation and giving her needed support in 
case the tension with France should become more acute in 
the future. 

The alliance between Germany and Austria on the one 
hand and Russia on the other did not tend to flatter Italian 
pride, and during the first period of the triple alliance, at 
least, relations among its members while correct were never 
anything warmer. 

Mancini did his best to smooth the ruffled feelings of 
France, and ostentatiously declined Britain's invitation to 
join with her in restoring order in Egypt. 

In the effort to neutralize the bad impression caused by 
Cairoli's loss of Tunisia, Depretis on February 5, 1885, occu - 
pied Massowah, a small seaport on the African coast of the 
Red Sea, and was immediately defeated in the chamber. 

Sacrificing Mancini, he reconstituted his cabinet with 
Count di Robilant at the foreign office. 


Robilant showed himself to be the best foreign minister 
Italy had had since Visconti-Venosta. He showed firmness 
and tact in handling foreign relations, succeeded in reaching 
a diplomatic understanding with Britain for common naval 
action in the Mediterranean in case of war, and in 1887 re 
newed the triple alliance for a further term of five years. 

While Depretis reestablished the gold standard, his finan 
cial management was so bad and his extravagance so great 
that a budget surplus of 25,000,000 lire at the beginning of 
his rule was turned into a deficit of 250,000,000 at its close. 

Public works were undertaken with neither coherence of 
plan nor actual necessity, roads were built to please political 
followers, and the railways were leased to three private com 
panies on terms that made it certain that sooner or later the 
government would be obliged to resume their operation. 

Yielding to the demand of his more radical followers he 
liberalized the franchise and increased the number of voters 
from half a million to two million. 

The extension of the franchise brought into being a new 
element in politics, the so-called "grand' elettori" or great 
electors. These were really petty bosses, controlling groups 
of voters. They were in some cases employers of labor, either 
landed proprietors or owners of small industrial enterprises, 
or as was more often the case men of .political instincts who 
recruited small followings whose loyalty they retained by 
the use of money or political favors handed down to them by 
the prefetti or the deputies. 

They became an element that had to be reckoned with, for 
upon them very largely depended the delivery of the vote 
on election day. 

While to a certain extent the work of the prefetti was sim 
plified, as they were now able to do much through the 
grand 5 elettori, they were at the same time faced with a great 
increase of those demanding governmental favors, and in 
many instances direct money payments. Nevertheless in the 


hands of competent pref etti, elections continued to be "made" 
satisfactorily as they always had been. 

The occupation of Massowah was a step forward in the 
policy of colonization which Italy had inaugurated five years 
earlier, when the crown colony of Assab had been established 
in and around the Red Sea port of that name, which had 
been bought with government money in 1869 ^Y Rubattino, 
the same Genoese shipowner whose vessels Garibaldi had 
used in his Sicilian expedition. 

The colonial projects of Italy caused the Abyssinian negus 
great anxiety, and convinced him that the Italian govern 
ment had equivocal intentions against his throne. There was 
a certain amount of fighting between Italian and Abyssinian 
troops, the latter under the command of Alula, ras of Tigre, 
in which the Italians were more or less successful. 

On January 25, 1887, a small Italian expedition of 547 
officers and men, commanded by Colonel de Cristoferis, was 
surprised by Ras Alula at the head of a greatly superior force 
at the village of Dogali and annihilated, only one enlisted 
man escaping to tell the story. 

When the news of the disaster reached Italy the excitement 
was intense. The chamber at once voted no confidence in 
the government, which resigned on April 4, 1887, only to 
be followed by a "transformed" government with the recently 
defeated Depretis at its head, but with Robilant eliminated 
and Crispi at the interior. 

On July 29, 1887, Depretis died after what had been a 
virtual dictatorship of Italian politics of eleven years, during 
nine of which he had been prime minister, and Crispi suc 
ceeded him in office. 


OF THE three men who dominated Italian politics 
between 1876 and 1922, Depretis, Crispi, and Giolitti, 
Francesco Crispi was the ablest, the strongest and the 
most attractive. He was no more scrupulous and far more 
arbitrary than the other two, but at least he was straightfor 
ward and perfectly frank in his unscrupulousness and in his 

Born at Ribera, Sicily, in 1819 of Albanian ancestry, by 
profession a lawyer, he early fell under the spell of Mazzini 
and devoted himself until 1860 to conspiring with his leader 
for the creation of an Italian republic. He was expelled in 
turn from Sicily, Naples, Malta, Piedmont, and France, and 
was one of the first of Garibaldi's Thousand, being one of the 
organizers of the expedition. On the capture of Palermo, 
Garibaldi placed him in virtual charge of the civil govern 
ment, a charge he filled so badly that he was soon forced 
to resign. In 1861 he entered the Italian parliament as an 
aggressive, uncompromising republican, but three years later 
abjured republicanism and declared for the monarchy, and 
was ever after one of its strongest supporters. 

He was largely responsible for preventing the proposed 
alliance with France in 1870, and for forcing Giovanni Lanza 
to move the capital from Florence to Rome. On the passing of 
the right in 1876 he was elected president of the chamber, 
and a year later succeeded Nicotera as minister of the inte 
rior under Depretis. During his seventy days of office he 
showed himself a forceful administrator and a good 


After the fall of the second Depretis government, Crispi 
was charged with having committed bigamy, and while the 
charge was never legally proved it was sufficiently serious to 
force him into the background and keep him out of office 
until 1887, when he returned to the ministry of the interior 
in the last Depretis government and, as we have seen, suc 
ceeded the latter on his death. 

On assuming the prime ministership Crispi retained the 
interior and also assumed foreign affairs. 

Taken as a whole, Crispi's two governments, covering a 
total of six years, were probably the most efficient that Italy 
has had until our own day. -,,,,-.. 

At home, public order was well maintained, irredentist 
and radical agitations being mercilessly suppressed, while new 
penal, sanitary, and commercial codes were adopted. Under 
Giolitti at the treasury the finances were very badly man 
aged, and but little was done to reduce the deficit of nearly 
a quarter of a billion lire. 

In foreign affairs Crispi drew away from France, and 

1 1 * 1 * ,,'"'"" Y fr^Mt, MW 10f, M ,, * fl p,j^ p , M i| BCT rtr 1 B ywW| -^ 

worked unceasingly to increase cordial relations wim Ger 
many and^Austtia. 

T On December 15, 1886, the prime minister denounced the 
commercial treaty with France, the treaty that had been 
negotiated by Depretis with so much care and trouble. His 
action was the culmination of a series of unpleasant inci 
dents that had occurred to accentuate the long-standing fric 
tion between the two countries, and the result was altogether 
to the prejudice of Italy. 

Ill feeling greatly increased, for Italy not only lost her best 
customer for her wine but, when France began a campaign 
against Italian securities, conditions Became serious. 

Germany had some time previously awakened to Italy's 
economic possibilities, and German capital had founded the 
Banca Commerciale which soon became the largest and 
strongest non-governmental bank in Italy. 


It was to the Banca Commerciale and to German capital 
ists that Crispi turned in his hour of need. Help was forth 
coming, and German finance seized the opportunity of 
establishing itself on the peninsula to its own great profit and 
undoubtedly to the profit of Italy as well. 

The ill will between France and Italy engendered by the 
seizure of Tunis was increased by the denunciation of the 
commercial treaty, and did not die down until after Crispi 
had passed away. 

An earnest practitioner of the policy of trasformismo, when 
the prime minister found his supporters of the left becoming 
lukewarm he did not hesitate to ally himself with what 
remained of the right, although he had hitherto bitterly 
fought them. 

On January 31, 1891, Crispi, who was a brilliant and impas 
sioned but often indiscreet orator, lost his temper and in 
debate attacked his friends of the right, who at once joined 
his enemies of the left and voted him out of office, replacing 
him with Marchese di Rudini, the leader of the right, who 
formed a typical trasformismo cabinet of the right and the 
extreme left. 

While Rudini accomplished very little at home in reducing 
expenditures or in balancing the budget, his foreign policy 
was marked by several notable accomplishments. Although 
a Francophil, he recognized the importance of the triple 
alliance, which he renewed in June 1891 for a term of twelve 
years, at the same time informing Russia that its purpose 
was strictly defensive. He also brought to a successful conclu 
sion the negotiations for commercial treaties with Germany 
and Austria which Crispi had begun, and agreed with Great 
Britain in fixing the British and Italian spheres of influence 
in northeast Africa. 

On May 5, 1892, he was defeated in the chamber and suc 
ceeded by Giolitti who had been minister of the treasury 
under Crispi. 


Giovanni Giolitti was born at Mondovi in Piedmont, 
October 27, 1842. Like most Italian politicians he was a law 
yer, and had held various minor offices when in 1882 he was 
appointed to the council of state and elected to the chamber 
from Cuneo, a constituency that he continued to represent 
until his death in 1928. 

He was prime minister five times, covering a total period 
of twelve years, and from 1903 to 1922 was undoubtedly the 
most influential of Italian politicians, being for all prac 
tical purposes during that time the national political "boss." 

Lacking the fiery eloquence of Crispi, with no transcen 
dent ability as an administrator, with no profound knowledge 
of either finance or of government, he was endowed with a 
real genius for the handling of men, for the manipulation of 
the chamber, and for the smaller sort of politics that domi 
nated his period. He had a personal following that clung 
to him through thick and thin, and that stood by him in the 
face of scandals that would have wrecked any one of his 

He was an opportunist, a time-server and a trimmer, and 
yet so low had Italian politics fallen that at the close of his 
career admirers were not lacking to call him great. He lived 
to be eighty-six years old, and as the end drew near, the mis 
takes, and weaknesses, and scandals of his past forgotten, he 
became a sort of legendary though tarnished hero for those 
who opposed the new regime. 

Giolitti's first ministry was composed entirely of members 
of the left. The chamber was dissolved and in November 
1892 the new election was held with the usual result of an 
overwhelming majority for the prime minister in power. 
Giolitti had proved himself a worthy successor of Crispi and 
Depretis in the art of "making an election." 

The foreign and domestic policies of the new government 
were equally weak. The failure of the French commercial 
treaty had brought on a tariff war with France that, accentu- 


ated by the killing of some Italian workmen near Marseilles, 
caused much anti-French sentiment throughout the kingdom 
and a great deal of disorder in Sicily which the authorities 
failed to suppress. Times were hard and there was an acute 
crisis in the building trade. 

Giolitti was allowing matters to drift as best they might 
when without warning the Banca Romana scandal broke 
upon the chamber, through an interpellation of a member. It 
was charged that Tanlongo, the director of the bank, had 
issued for the profit of his friends and himself some 62,500,000 
lire of duplicate bank notes. The prime minister replied by 
denying the charge, by whitewashing the management, and 
by appointing Tanlongo a senator. 

The chamber refused to accept the answer as satisfactory, 
demanded an investigation and the prosecution of Tanlongo 
and his associates. To save his political life Giolitti was 
obliged to order the prosecution of his friends and to consent 
to an investigation of the national banks of issue by a parlia 
mentary commission. 

On November 23 the parliamentary commission reported 
that not only Giolitti but also his two immediate predecessors 
had been fully aware of Tanlongo's peculiar methods of con 
ducting the affairs of the bank, that Tanlongo had loaned 
money right and left to members of the chamber and of the 
government, without adequate security and without expecta 
tion that the loans would be returned, that he had bought the 
support of the press by the payment of direct bribes to those 
newspapers willing to accept them, and, most serious charge 
of all, that Giolitti had deliberately deceived the chamber in 
reference to the bank, and had suppressed the most incrimi 
nating documents bearing upon the case, after the prosecution 
of Tanlongo had been ordered. 

After having made these charges the commission pro 
ceeded to acquit Giolitti of any personal dishonesty, 
although it deeply regretted the course that he had followed. 


The next day the government resigned and Giolitti judged 
it wise to visit Switzerland for a "rest cure." 

Criminal proceedings were brought against him in the ordi 
nary courts, but were quashed, on appeal, on the ground that 
a minister could not be held responsible for his official acts 
outside of the chamber. 

As the important evidence against Tanlongo and his acces 
sories had been destroyed it is not surprising that their trial 
resulted in an acquittal. 

The Banca Romana scandal was by far the dirtiest that has 
ever arisen in modern Italy. It unearthed a condition of 
political corruption almost passing belief, but its most sinister 
feature lay in the fact that not only was no one ever punished, 
but that of its two chief actors one died in the odor of sanc 
tity, a rich man and a patron of art and charity, while the 
other not only lived down the scandal but was afterwards 
four times prime minister of Italy. 

The unrest in Sicily which had reached the proportions of 
an insurrection, the bank scandal, and the constant and huge 
budget deficit all called for a strong man at the head of 
affairs, and the chamber turned almost as a matter of course 
to Crispi, as the one man with force enough to face the 

The disorders were ruthlessly suppressed and under Crispi's 
heavy hand public order was maintained throughout the 
kingdom. With Sonnino as finance minister, Crispi undertook 
a general reorganization of the state finances, including the 
banks of issue. 

The affairs of the insolvent Banca Romana were wound up, 
and a supreme national bank, the Banca dltalia, was organ 
ized, with the banks of Naples and of Sicily as subsidiaries. 
The volume of the bank-note currency was limited, the banks 
were forbidden to make loans on real estate, and rigorous 
governmental supervision was inaugurated. 


To meet the budget deficit expenditures were reduced by 
some 90,000,000 lire and revenues increased by nearly the 
same amount, chiefly by drastically raising the income-tax 

The end of Crispi's government came with startling dra 
matic suddenness, and was the lo^d^cpndusion^f^^his 
colonial policy. 

'"'Realizing that Italy had entered the game of land-stealing 
in Africa too late to accomplish very much, Crispi neverthe 
less determined to pick up whatever crumbs might still be 
left. Accordingly in 1890, during his first government, he 
organized the colony of Eritrea, which consisted of a number 
of small Italian settlements on the coast of the Red Sea. As 
its capital and harbor he seized the town of Massowah, which 
had formerly belonged to Turkey and latterly to Egypt. His 
high-handed action was possible in virtue of an understand 
ing with France and Britain, which was really nothing more 
than a concession to Italy of the right to acquire territory 
within certain rather vague limits, from the native tribes and 
from Abyssinia either by agreement or by force of arms. 
Acting on this understanding, Italy began a penetration of 
Abyssinia by fortifying the caravan route from Massowah 
to Kassala which was held by the Mahdists then at war with 

In 1894 General Baratieri, governor of Eritrea, captured 
Kassala, and by so doing incurred the ill will of Kassai, the 
chief of the northern part of Abyssinia. On Kassai's death 
his lieutenant, Ras Alula, assumed the feud and began a 
guerrilla war against the Italians. Baratieri succeeded in 
winning the friendship of Menelek, chief of the southern 
part of Abyssinia, who proclaimed himself "Negus Negusti" 
or "king of kings." 

A treaty had been signed at Uccialli on May 2, 1889, by the 
new negus and by Count Antonelli acting for Italy, which 
was the cause of untold trouble. 


The Italian copy, which was published in Rome, provided 
that Italy should control the foreign affairs of Abyssinia, 
which meant, of course, that Italy had acquired a protectorate 
and had won a great diplomatic and colonial triumph. On 
the other hand, the Abyssinian copy of the treaty provided 
that Abyssinia might, if she saw fit, conduct her foreign 
affairs through the Italian foreign office. According to the 
Italian copy Abyssinia must deal with other states through 
Italy, according to the Abyssinian copy she might do so. 

A French agent called the attention of the negus to the 
discrepancy between the two copies of the treaty, whereupon 
Menelek in a great rage announced that Italy had betrayed 
him, and forthwith repudiated the treaty. 

In return for a railway and mining concession he was able 
to borrow 4,000,000 lire in Paris with which he repaid the 
Italian loan for the same amount. The French government 
and private contractors sold him some 80,000 Gras rifles, with 
ammunition and equipment, as well as a considerable num 
ber of Hotchkiss rapid-fire guns. By the beginning of 1895 
he was ready to undertake hostilities against Italy, and on 
January 14 a raiding expedition was driven back, badly beaten 
by Baratieri. While Baratieri prepared to invade Tigre, 
Menelek, with the aid of some French instructors, organized 
an aggressive campaign. 

General Arimondi was ordered to hold the town of 
Makalla, while Major Toselli with 2,000 native troops under 
Italian officers was sent forward to Amba Alazi, where on 
December 7 he was surprised and driven back with a loss 
of 1,300 men and 20 officers. 

Menelek then besieged Makalla, which on January 20, 
1896, surrendered. 

The negus released his prisoners and proposed a peace con 
ference, which Crispi vetoed, informing Baratieri that he 
must at once wipe out the disgrace of the two reverses he had 


Menelek had fallen back, and stood on the crest of the hills 
behind Adua, while Baratieri stood on the road to Adi Caje 
a few miles to the east. Menelek had under him some 120,000 
men, of whom 80,000 were armed with Gras breech-loading 
rifles, he had some 10,000 cavalry, and 40 Hotchkiss rapid- 
fire guns. Baratieri had 25,000 men under him, but of these 
8,000 were doing garrison duty along the line of communi 
cation, so that he had present and fit for duty only some 
17,000 men, of whom 10,000 were Italian regulars, the rest 
being natives. He had 56 guns, including 44 light mountain 
guns, and 12 rapid fires. He had great difficulty with his 
supplies, for he was obliged to bring them up from the sea- 
coast over a very rugged mountain trail, constantly harassed 
by enemy raiders. 

He was told by his scouts that the enemy was suffering 
from lack of provisions and likely at any moment to disband. 
As his position was extremely strong, it seemed to the Italian 
commander that Menelek must either attack, in which case 
Italian victory was certain, or retire for lack of supplies when 
the Italian army would have no difficulty in defeating a 
hungry and demoralized enemy. He therefore very wisely 
decided to stand fast and await events. 

Unfortunately, as has so often been the case in other wars 
and other lands, the civilians in the capital, knowing nothing 
of conditions at the front, demanded immediate action. As 
no immediate action was forthcoming, Crispi sent out Gen 
eral Baldasera to take over the command. 

Baratieri determined to risk everything in an effort to win 
a victory before Baldasera's arrival. 

His scouts reported that Menelek had begun to retreat, a 
report which was untrue, for it subsequently developed that 
Baratieri's native scouts were in the pay of the enemy to 
whom they told the truth, reporting to Baratieri exactly 
what Menelek told them to report. 


Believing that Menelek was already beaten, Baratieri de 
termined to advance against him on the night of February 29. 

His force was divided into four brigades. The first, under 
General Arimondi, consisted of a regiment of bersaglieri of 
two battalions, a regiment of infantry of three battalions, and 
220 natives, or 2,493 men i* 1 a ^> w idh- two batteries of 12 guns. 
The second, under General Dabormida, consisted of two regi 
ments of infantry of three battalions each, and 960 natives, 
or 3,600 men in all, with three batteries of 18 guns. The third, 
under General Ellena, consisted of five line battalions, 
one battalion of alpini, one native battalion, and 70 engineers, 
or 4,150 men in all, with two batteries of 12 guns. The 
fourth, under General Albertone, consisted of four native 
battalions, or 4,070 men in all, with one and one-half native 
batteries and two Italian batteries of 14 guns. 

Baratierfs plan was to advance against the enemy during 
darkness in three columns, the second brigade on the right, 
the first in the center, the fourth on the left, with the third in 
reserve. He expected that at dawn the army would be in 
position on the heights of Mount Belah dominating Adua, 
with Albertone on the hill of Kidane Meret guarding the left 
flank of the main position. When his army had reached 
Mount Belah he intended to reconnoiter, and be guided by 
the reports of his scouts. 

The route to the new position lay up three steep mountain 
paths, separated from each other by mountain ridges, as 
were the proposed positions of the three brigades. To ensure 
the success of Baratieri's plan required the most exact co 
ordination among his battle units. Unfortunately, because 
of the false information of his scouts and the utterly faulty 
sketch map of the terrain, which had been prepared by his 
staff, coordination was impossible. 

When at dawn Albertone reached the point marked on 
the staff map "Kidane Meret," he found it to be a hollow 
and not a hill, and was told by his native scouts that the place 


he sought was some two miles further west. He accordingly 
marched forward and soon found himself engaged with 
Menelek's main army. 

Baratieri, hearing firing well to the west of what should 
have been the position of his left, at first supposed that it 
was Albertone's skirmishers in advance of the main body. He 
finally concluded that something had gone wrong with the 
fourth brigade and ordered General Dabormida to go to its 

Dabormida led his men into the valley in front of his 
position and, also deceived by the sketch map, turned down 
stream instead of up, which would have brought him into 
touch with Albertone. He only discovered his mistake when 
he was surprised by an overwhelming force of the enemy. 

The enemy now attacked the first brigade in the center, 
and the battle became three separate actions, each brigade 
fighting for its life against overwhelming odds, each brigade 
separated from the others by mountain ridges, and utterly 
unable to go to each other's support. The first brigade under 
Arimondi did not have the advantage of the help of the 
reserves who were isolated in trying to join him. 

By early afternoon both Albertone and Dabormida were 
doomed, but kept on fighting gallantly to the last, for they 
were entirely surrounded. 

Baratieri determined to fight his way out if possible, and 
sent orders to both Albertone and Dabormida to save what 
was left of their commands. While the orders were never 
delivered, the few survivors of both the second and fourth 
brigades escaped to the hills and later drifted into camp. 

Menelek found it impossible to hold his army together so 
as to follow up his victory, and so Baratieri was able to 
escape with what was left of his command. Had he been 
permitted by Crispi to bide his time before advancing, it is 
altogether probable that Menelek's army would have broken 
up because of lack of food. 


The Abyssinians are supposed to have lost at least 7,000 
killed and 10,000 wounded; of the Italians, 261 officers and 
2,981 men were killed, 3,436 wounded, 954 missing, 3,000 
prisoners. Total casualties, 10,632 out of 17,000 engaged. 
Generals Arimondi and Dabormida were killed, and Alber- 
tone was wounded and taken prisoner. Of the two Sicilian 
batteries attached to Albertone's brigade, the third lost 3 offi 
cers and 60 men out of a total of 4 officers and 62 men, and 
the fourth lost 4 officers and 69 men out of a total of 4 officers 
and 73 men. 

Adua was a crushing defeat, but the honor of the Italian 
troops came through unstained, for never have men fought 
a forlorn hope more gallantly or well. 

The importance of Adua lay in its results. It was the first 
instance in modern times of a dark-skinned force defeating 
a white army with lasting consequences. Had Menelek been 
beaten, Italy would undoubtedly have conquered Abyssinia. 
He destroyed the Italian army and by so doing saved the 
independence of his country. 

Th^^by^smian expedition had never_ been^ EpjiaL*in 
Italy, and after its fjffureTEre was no desire to try again. 
TEe news was received witfii great anger by the TSTian'public, 
but the anger was directed against Crispi and Baratieri, and 
not against Menelek. It was thought that the prime minister 
should never have undertaken the campaign, and that Bara 
tieri had mismanaged it. 

After Baratieri had been court-martialled and cashiered and 
Crispi had resigned, the public was satisfied to abandon for 
the time at least all colonial ambitions. 

By the treaty of Addis Ababa signed October 26, 1896, the 
treaty of Uccialli was annulled, Italy acknowledged the abso 
lute independence of Abyssinia and paid an indemnity of 
10,000,000 lire to Menelek, in return for which the Italian 
prisoners were released. 


For some months before Adua Crispi had been heading 
for disaster. His efficient maintenance of public order and 
a public safety law that he had forced through parliament, 
designed to stop anarchist propaganda, had infuriated the 
members of the extreme left. Cavalotti, their leader, and the 
prime minister had a quarrel so serious that the former began 
a campaign against the latter with the avowed purpose of 
driving him from public life. 

Joining forces with Giolitti who had returned from Switz 
erland, Cavalotti commenced an attack on Crispi's personal 
character that absolutely beggars description. The old bigamy 
charge was revived, and no member of the Crispi family was 
spared. Giolitti accused Crispi of being implicated in the 
Banca Romana scandal, but when Crispi began criminal 
proceedings for libel against the accuser, the latter thought 
it wise to take another "rest cure," this time at Berlin, where 
he remained until his enemy had fallen. 
' In 1895 Crispi succeeded inthe usual way in winning the 
general election with a majority in the chamber of 200. 
Nevertheless Cavalotti' s campaign of defamation continued 
and when in the following spring the news of Adua was 
received Crispi, on March 5, 1896, resigned without waiting 
for the inevitable adverse vote. 

He was succeeded by Rudini, with the support of Cava 
lotti, bought by the promise of Crispi's prosecution for em 
bezzlement. A parliamentary commission, to which were 
referred in 1897 t ^ ie charges against the former prime minis 
ter, dismissed them all with one exception. It held that Crispi 
had replenished the secret-service fund by borrowing 300,000 
lire from one of the banks, which he had repaid through 
the treasury. The chamber, while refusing to prosecute, cen 
sured Crispi, who thereupon resigned to be reelected in 1898 
by his Palermo constituents by an enormous majority. 

Crispi was now seventy-nine years of age, had led a life 
of great strain and excitement and was beginning to break. 


On his return to the chamber he took but little part in 
affairs, and even the attacks of Cavalotti, whose hatred con 
tinued to the end, failed to rouse him. Toward the close he 
became an invalid and on August 12, 1901, he died at Naples. 

Italy has been led by far bigger and better mien than 
Crispi, but to her sorrow she has also been led by far smaller 
and worse men. He was not a great man in the ordinary 
meaning of the term, but he was an able man and a patriot, 
and when compared with the pettifogging politicians who 
preceded and followed him he stands out as one of the few 
men of his time who deserved well of Italy. 

Crispi's chief constructive achievement was in making the 
triple alliance a real world force. He had never been particu 
larly friendly with France, returning with interest that coun 
try's dislike of Italy, so that it was not difficult for Bismarck 
to win the warm support of his Italian colleague in making 
the alliance something more than a name. 

Actually the alliance was self-contradictory, for by the 
terms of its renewal in 1887, for which Crispi was responsible, 
Austria and Italy agreed to maintain the status quo, not 
only in the Balkans and the Aegean but also on the Adriatic. 
This was equivalent to an abandonment on the part of Crispi 
of Italy's irredentist hope of some day recovering Triest and 
the Dalmatian Islands, a hope which no patriotic Italian ever 
for a moment forgot. It is true that there was a proviso in 
the treaty to the effect that should the maintenance of the 
status quo prove impossible, Italy and Austria should inform 
each other in advance of what they intended to do, a proviso 
that Austria calmly ignored when it suited her to do so 
twenty-seven years later. In return for their yielding of irre 
dentist ambitions, her two partners in the alliance gave Italy 
what was really a free hand in the acquisition of colonies at 
the expense of France. 

Crispi believed, and probably rightly, that the prestige of 
being associated thus intimately with the greatest war power 


of the world, and with that power's closest political friend, 
was worth any temporary sacrifice of irredentist hopes. Italy 
was struggling up from the position of a small power to that 
of one of importance. Her membership in the triple alliance, 
signed in 1882 and really implemented in the renewal of 
1887, gave her a factitious appearance of national greatness, 
warranted neither by her economic or military strength, but 
extremely flattering to national pride. It gave Crispi the moral 
support, and in certain contingencies the physical, of his two 
allies and greatly increased his importance when dealing 
with other powers. 

Austria, the hereditary enemy of Italy, was in a paradoxical 
position as an ally. The Italian people never concealed their 
hope of some day depriving the dual monarchy of a large 
part of its territory, while in the Balkans Austrian and Italian 
national ambitions were in sharp conflict. 

With Germany the case was different. From 1866, when 
Bismarck had won for Italy the annexation of Venetia, he 
had maintained toward the Italians an attitude of sincere 
if somewhat condescending friendliness. He had urged 
Cairoli to annex Tunisia while the possibility still existed, he 
had supported succeeding prime ministers in their differences 
with France, and had flattered Crispi into the belief .that the 
latter was a great diplomatist. 

The first period of the triple alliance from 1882 to 1887 was 
really experimental Its renewal made of it an actuality to be 
reckoned with by other nations as a more or less permanent 
world institution. 

Crispi would have preferred an alliance of Italy, Germany, 
and Great Britain, but the foundation of any understanding 
with Germany was the preexisting alliance between that 
country and Austria. Such being the case, Crispi did his best 
to have Britain invited to join the three allies. At that time 
and for years afterwards relations between Britain and 
France, and Britain and Russia, were greatly strained, and it 


was not until the triple entente came into being in 1904 that 
the possibility of including Britain in the triple alliance van 
ished. Crispi found Austria willing to include Britain, but 
Bismarck absolutely opposed. He was unwilling to ally him 
self with Britain because, he said, it was a country whose 
foreign policy depended upon the changes of party majorities, 
although he was well aware that Italian foreign policy was 
liable to change from moment to moment. Membership in 
the triple alliance was undoubtedly of great advantage to 
Italy. There were times when it was popular at home, and 
times when it was unpopular, there were times when it was 
a real and active force and times when it was almost a dead 
letter, but it gave Italy a confidence in her foreign policy and 
a support in her dealings with France that were invaluable to 
her during the period when she was developing into a 
great power. 

As the years passed the enthusiasm of Italy for the alliance 
gradually cooled, so much so that at Algeciras her repre 
sentatives, abandoning Germany, voted with the entente 
powers. From then until 1914 it became evident that the feel 
ings of Italian statesmen toward the alliance were no longer 
what they had been, and that while the alliance was still 
regarded as a convenience that might be made use of, it was 
very doubtful if it would or could withstand any severe strain. 
In 1914 the strain came, when the dual monarchy, ignoring 
the terms of the treaty, occupied Serbia without notice to 
Italy, and subsequently refused to grant the compensations 
called for by the treaty. The treaty, which had been dying 
for some time, died at last after thirty-two years of life, 
Austria-Hungary having given it its death blow. 



THE lustrum immediately following the passing of 
Crispi saw three prime ministers of extreme mediocrity, 
Rudini, Pelloux, and Saracco. 

Marchese Antonio Starabba di Rudini (1839-1908) was, 
like Crispi, a Palermitan, but unlike his predecessor an 
aristocrat by birth and inclination. After a short experience 
as a member of a revolutionary committee in his native town, 
he drifted to Turin, and became an attache in the foreign 
office. Returning to Palermo in 1865 he was elected sindaco, 
or mayor, and afterwards appointed pref etto of the province 
of Palermo, and in 1868 prefetto of Naples. The next year 
Menabrea made him minister of the interior and on the death 
of Minghetti he became the leader of the right. While nomi 
nally a conservative he was an apostle of the doctrine of tras- 
formismo and never hesitated to forget his principles when 
it was convenient for him to do so. 

Luigi Pelloux (1839-1924) was born of Italian parents in 
Savoy. He entered the Piedmontese artillery in 1857 and was 
promoted through grades to the rank of general of division, 
after a creditable but not particularly distinguished career. He 
was minister of war in the first and second Rudini and first 
Giolitti cabinets, and was made a senator by Rudini. He was 
first of all a soldier, and but a poor politician. He was honest, 
obstinate, and dull. At the close of his political career, which 
lasted from 1891 to 1901, he was placed in command of the 
Turin army corps, where he remained until his retirement. 

Giuseppe Saracco was a Piedmontese lawyer who had been 
a deputy of no great importance belonging more or less to 
the right. His fame was largely derived from having as a 


deputy secured the construction of an unnecessary railway 
through his constituency, which was thereafter known as 
"the Genoa, Saracco, Asti line." He had been made a senator 
by Minghetti and had after long service become president of 
that body. He was nearly eighty when he became prime min 
ister, and owed his selection for the post chiefly to the impor 
tance of the office he held. 

Beginning with Rudini, the successors of Crispi gradually 
abandoned the latter's policies until by the beginning of the 
present century an entirely new orientation was established, 
both in domestic and foreign affairs. Colonial expansion was 
for the time at least given up, not to be resumed for more 
than a decade. The disasters under Crispi had chilled the 
ardor of Italy for territorial acquisitions beyond the seas, 
and moreover the condition of Italian finances did not permit 
of any foreign conquests. 

Rudini, who was a Francophil, negotiated a treaty with 
France in 1898, and so brought to a close the utterly unneces 
sary and foolish tariff war with that country, which had 
lasted for nearly ten years. 

He was the leader of what was left of the right and, while 
nominally a conservative, depended for his political existence 
upon the support of the extreme left, under his friend and 
ally Cavalotti, Crispi's arch enemy. Cavalotti, who was a 
much abler and stronger man than his friend, made the 
latter pay a long price for radical support. Not only was the 
prime minister obliged to pursue Crispi to the point of perse 
cution for the gratification of Cavalotti's personal revenge, 
but the radical leader virtually controlled the government 
without assuming the responsibility of office. 

In March 1897 Rudini, much against his will, was forced 
by his master to dissolve the chamber and to "make" the 
election in favor of the groups of the left. The result of the 
election was the emergence for the first time of the socialist 
party as a political factor to be reckoned with. Two months 


after the election, organized disturbances of the peace oc 
curred in most of the larger cities, nominally as a protest 
against the increase of the price of bread. In Milan, from 
May 7 to 9, the mob ruled the town and Rudini, breaking 
away from Cavalotti, decreed martial law in Milan, Naples, 
and Florence. The disorders were suppressed with the loss 
of a number of lives, and as a result on June 29 the govern 
ment fell, its left supporters turning against it. 

The governments of Pelloux and Saracco were weak and 
inefficient and lived only because of the complaisance of the 
groups of the left. The administration of Saracco is remem 
bered chiefly because, during it, on July 29, 1900, King 
Humbert was murdered and succeeded by his son Victor 
Emanuel III, born November n, 1869. 

Italy and the whole world were stunned by the crime, not 
only because of the high esteem in which the king was uni 
versally held, and the brutality of the murder, but because it 
soon appeared that it might have been prevented. 

The assassin was an Italian named Bresci who was the 
agent of an anarchist lodge in Paterson, New Jersey, where 
he had been living for some time. The Paterson police had 
received a letter giving the plans for the proposed murder 
but, believing the letter to be a hoax, paid no attention to it, 
not even notifying the Italian authorities of its receipt. Bresci 
was allowed to leave the United States unmolested and trav 
elled to Monza near Milan, the king's summer home. There 
in the park, as the king drove by, he fired his revolver from 
behind a tree, killing his victim instantly. 

While Humbert was by no means as able a man as his 
father, he was an ideal constitutional monarch. Born at 
Turin March 14, 1844, educated under the direction of 
d' Azeglio and Mancini, he fought with gallantry at Custozza 
where he commanded a division. In 1868 he married his 
cousin, the beautiful Princess Margherita, daughter of the 
Duke of Genoa. On the death of his father (January 9, 1878) 


he ascended the throne, and assumed the title of "Humbert I 
of Italy," although he was "Humbert IV of Piedmont," thus 
breaking the precedent set by his predecessor, who continued 
to call himself "Victor Emanuel II," although he was the 
first king of Italy of that name. Victor Emanuel could never 
forget that he was a Piedmontese; Humbert on the other 
hand was first and always an Italian. To emphasize- his 
nationalism he ordered that the body of his father should be 
buried in the pantheon at Rome instead of in the family 
tomb at Superga. 

His conception of his duty as king was almost British in 
its regard for constitutional limitations. Unlike his father, 
he obeyed the constitution in spirit as well as in its letter, and 
never tried to influence government or to develop a policy of 
his own, in opposition to the prime minister of the day. His 
strict adherence to his duty as a constitutional king was of 
invaluable service to Italy in educating the leaders of the 
people in the working of a constitutional government. If the 
lesson was never completely learned, it was through no fault 
of the king. He was a brave and kindly man who loved his 
people and was loved by them. 

During the second Rudini ministry Giolitti had returned 
from Berlin, on the assurance that the prosecution against 
him for criminal libel had been dropped. He spent the next 
three years winning back the position he had lost by the 
bank scandal. That unfortunate affair had been very quickly 
forgotten, and Giolitti was able to pose as an upright man 
who had been grossly deceived by his friends. In a surpris 
ingly short time he had surrounded himself with a group of 
devoted adherents, who were ready to follow wherever he 
might lead. He determined to resume office as soon as pos 
sible and only waited a favorable opportunity to put his 
plans into effect. 

The opportunity came sooner than he had expected, for 
he was not quite ready to take the prime ministership him- 


self, although he easily controlled a majority of the chamber. 
On February 9, 1901, Saracco unexpectedly fell and Giolitti 
put in the prime ministership, as his understudy, Zanardelli 
who had been minister of public works in the first Depretis 
government and of the interior under Cairoli. Eight months 
later Zanardelli retired and Giolitti at the age of sixty began 
his second ministry. 

With the exception of the period of the two Sonnino gov 
ernments of three months each, for the next thirteen years 
Giolitti ruled supreme, either as prime minister, or through 
a dummy whom he had placed in office and controlled. 
During this time he was actually prime minister for eight 
years, and practically so for the remaining four and a half 
years. Whenever he grew tired of the work of public office, 
whenever the result of his policies became personally annoy 
ing, he would resign in favor of some one of his followers 
who would carry on as the master might direct. 

During the World War his power suffered an eclipse, only 
to be resumed more complete than ever at the war's close, 
and to be maintained without question until the coming 
of fascismo. 

Of the three "bosses" of so-called "democratic" Italy, Gio 
litti was by far the least able and the smallest as a man, and 
yet his power was by far the greatest and his control of 
Italian politics the most complete. 

During the pre-war period of Giolitti's rule the foreign 
office was in the able hands of Tittoni and San Giuliano, 
which ensured a continuity of policy and conservatism 
in action. Relations with France had been gradually improv 
ing, so that by 1898 a new commercial treaty was signed, and 
in 1900 an Italian squadron visited Toulon, and in 1903 the 
king and queen visited Paris officially, their visit being 
returned the next year by President Loubet. 

In 1900 France announced that Tripoli and Cyrenaica were 
without her sphere of interest, while Italy made a similar 


announcement in reference to Morocco. Two years later both 
countries repeated their announcements more explicitly, 
while Italy declared that she would remain neutral were 
France to be attacked or were she to go to war to protect her 
honor or her interests. 

While Italy was approaching France with the offer of her 
friendship, she had not been idle in the opposite direction. 
In June 1902 the triple alliance was renewed for a further 
period, this time, as the last, for twelve years, but there was 
a marked and constantly growing coolness between Austria 
and Italy. 

The Austrian government, the official ally of Italy, showed 
not only an entire lack of tact, but actual brutality in dealing 
with the inhabitants of the "unredeemed" provinces of the 
Trentino and Triest. Not only did the imperial government 
refuse the request of its Italian subjects for an Italian univer 
sity, but with increasing frequency violent anti-Italian 
demonstrations occurred, that were scarcely suppressed by 
the authorities. Luigi Villari quotes Fortis as saying, when 
prime minister, "Now there is only one power of which we 
must beware and it is an ally." 

The annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908 by 
Austria, without warning to Italy and with no suggestion 
of compensation, in direct violation of the terms of the treaty 
of the triple alliance, caused a wave of anti- Austrian senti 
ment to sweep over Italy that never receded. Tittoni pro 
tested and perhaps, if left to himself, might have secured 
some compensation, but the prime minister, following his 
usual policy of caution, refused to allow matters to go to 
extremes. Tittoni succeeded, however, in inducing Austria 
to abandon her occupation of the Sandjak of Novibazar, and 
to yield her somewhat questionable right to police Monte 
negro. The concessions amounted to very little in themselves, 
but were enough to save the face of the government. 


The tenure of the treasury by Luzzatti, a distinguished 
economist and man of affairs, was the most creditable phase 
of Giolitti's rule. Under Luzzatti the nominal surplus which 
existed at the beginning of his administration was increased 
to 65,000,000 lire at its close. Two debt conversions were car 
ried out with great success, the interest rate being reduced 
in the one case from 4 per cent to 3% per cent and in the 
other from 3% per cent to 3% per cent. 

It was in home affairs that Giolitti was particularly unsuc 
cessful. Realizing the tremendous power of the minister of 
the interior who, through the prefetti, could not only "make" 
elections but govern the country almost as he might see fit, 
he always reserved that portfolio for himself. While per 
fectly willing to resort to any methods, equivocal or other 
wise, to carry out his purposes, he preferred to accomplish 
them through indirect and subterranean channels rather 
than by the forceful means of a Crispi. When a question arose 
that obviously required force for its solution, he usually hesi 
tated, lacking the moral courage to employ it. 

During the first seven years of his dictatorship he was con 
stantly faced with unrest and disorder that could have been 
suppressed or prevented had a strong man been at the helm. 

The socialist party, which had been making great progress 
during the previous decade, was the only political party in 
Italy in the English-speaking sense. Had its members re 
mained united and had they been willing to submit them 
selves to party discipline, it is quite conceivable that, sooner 
or later, as a party they might have ruled the state. But union 
and discipline were as abhorrent to the socialist as to any 
other Italian politician. By 1902 the party had broken up into 
three new and violently antagonistic groups, each claiming 
to be the only real socialist party. There were the Marxian or 
revolutionary socialists under the more or less recognized 
leadership of Enrico Ferri, the rif ormisti or possibilists under 
Filippo Turati, and the revolutionary syndicalists. 


Ttie Marxians were willing to take part in elections but 
only for the purpose of overturning the monarchy and 
the state, preferring direct action as a means to the attain 
ment of their end. The riformisti sought to bring about the 
socialistic state by peaceful means, taking part in elections 
and striving to amend the constitution in their own interest. 
The syndicalists, like those in other countries, refused to have 
anything to do with elections or parliament, basing their 
hopes of changing the government upon "direct action," a 
euphemism for revolution. 

The Marxians and the syndicalists employed similar 
methods, and tolerated each other for the moment in putting 
those methods into practice. 

Labor conditions in all parts of Italy were very bad, wages 
were low, not only in industry but also on the land, working 
hours were long, and the hold of the employer and the land 
lord was difficult to break. Trade unionism had made much 
progress and the beginning of the century ushered in a con 
dition of acute labor unrest that lasted until the revolution. 

Taking advantage of the desire of labor to better the really 
deplorable conditions under which men worked, the Marx 
ians and syndicalists strove to give a political and revolution 
ary aspect to every strike and labor demonstration that 

In 1902 a strike was called on the Mediterranean Railway, 
all the men walking out. Giolitti showed, for him, remark 
able decision. All the hands who were reservists were mobi 
lized and ordered to operate the road. As they were under 
the articles of war, it is needless to say that they obeyed. Eight 
years later Aristide Briand in France followed Giolitti's 
example, and obtained great glory by so doing. 

This first railway strike, which was finally settled five 
irionths later, was followed by a general strike all over Italy 
in 1904, by a general railway strike in 1905, by an agrarian 
strike in the provinces of Rovigo and Ferrara in 1907, by a 


general strike in Milan in 1907, and by agrarian strikes in the 
north in 1908. All of these strikes were frankly revolutionary 
in their purpose, although predicated on just grievances of 
the strikers. In every case there was fighting with bloodshed 
and loss of life, not only among the strikers, but also among 
the police and troops. 

In addition to the ordinary strike, the syndicalists invented 
what was called the "sciopero bianco," or white strike. This 
was an adaptation of the Scottish "ca canny" or of the French 
"sabotage." Work was not entirely stopped, or property 
actually damaged. The men were instructed to do only a 
minimum of work and to do it as badly as possible. For ex 
ample, on one of the railways under a decree of sciopero 
bianco one train a day in each direction was permitted, taking 
twice the schedule time for the run. It was not, however, until 
after the Great War that the sciopero bianco reached its 

Had Giolitti shown more initiative in meeting the just 
demands of labor for a redress of grievances, and more firm 
ness in dealing with the illegal methods adopted by the revo 
lutionary parties for their enforcement, Italy would have 
been spared much loss of both capital and life. As usual, how 
ever, he followed a policy of drift and really welcomed the 
coming of the Turkish war as a way out of his domestic 
troubles. Yet the Turkish war and the Great War proved to 
be only truces in the industrial struggle that began with the 
present century and was destined to continue with ever- 
increasing violence until a far stronger national leader than 
Giolitti appeared upon the scene. 

The war for the acquisition of Tripolitana and Cyrenaica 
had been lung expected, for the pressure of her rapidly in 
creasing population had caused Italy to consider the question 
of a colonial outjct one of vital importance. Eritrea had 
proved to be no white man's country and Tunisia, the logical 
Italian colony had, as Italians believed, been stolen from them 


by French sharp practice. Algeria was French, Morocco in 
process of becoming so, and Egypt was under British influ 
ence. Of the Mediterranean coast of Africa only Tripolitana 
and Cyrenaica remained available for European exploitation. 
It is true that they belonged to Turkey, that their people were 
content under Turkish rule, and were even more devout 
Mohammedans than their owners. The only excuse that Italy 
had for the absorption of Libya was the need or fancied need 
for its possession, which after all has been the excuse of other 
European powers in their partition of Africa. 

Turkey, as "the sick man of Europe," saw herself despoiled 
of her African empire, as well as of her European, piece by 
piece because she was not strong enough successfully to resist. 
In the days of her strength she lived by the sword, in the 
days of her weakness she fell by the sword. As a European 
and a colonizing power she had become an anachronism, and 
the lands and the peoples taken from her by conquest have 
from the point of view of modern western civilization 
profited greatly by the change. 

Italian big business, having invested a certain amount of 
capital in Libya, sought greater security for its investments 
than that offered by the very lax and corrupt Turkish 

Giolitti, always averse to positive action, at first held back 
and it was not until pressure was brought to bear from two 
different sources that he was finally induced to make the 

As early as 1901 and 1903 France and Italy had recognized 
each other's rights in Morocco and Tripoli respectively, rights 
which France had already begun to enforce in the former 
country. After the conference of Algeciras both Great Britain 
and France had agreed that Italy might if she chose annex 
Tripoli. As time passed and Italy failed to take advantage of 
British and French complaisance, Germany began to feel out 
the British and French foreign offices as to whether compen- 


sation for the defeat of Algeciras might not be obtained in 
Tripoli. The Italian ambassador at Paris informed his chief 
that unless Italy moved against Tripoli in the immediate 
future it was altogether probable that she would find herself 
forestalled by Germany. 

On the other hand the Italian banks that were deeply 
involved in Libyan investments served notice on the prime 
minister that unless he came to their help they would be 
obliged to appeal to France. Giolitti realized that if he did not 
move at once there was every prospect of Tripoli going the 
way of Tunis, and being lost to Italy forever. 

Accordingly the great powers of Europe were formally 
consulted and agreed to remain neutral, provided the war 
was localized in Africa. Having received this assurance Italy 
approached Turkey with the suggestion that the latter should 
peacefully surrender her last African possession. On Turkey's 
refusal, an ultimatum was delivered giving her twenty-four 
hours to accept an Italian occupation, and on September 29, 
1911, war was declared. 

On October 3, Tripoli was bombarded by an Italian squad 
ron and two days later occupied. Off Epiras the Duke of 
Abruzzi, the king's cousin, had destroyed a Turkish torpedo- 
boat flotilla, but further action in European waters was 
stopped by the veto of the powers. 

Although the Italians controlled the sea, it was not until 
October 20 that the first Italian force of 9,000 men with 
their equipment had been landed. A month later General 
Caneva arrived to take command, bringing with him 25,000 
men and 16 batteries of artillery, his total force numbering 
some 35,000 men and 20 batteries. 

The entire Turkish garrison in the whole of Libya num 
bered at the outbreak of the war less than 10,000 Turkish 
regulars under the command of Enver Pasha, a very able 
young officer who had been educated at the German general 
staff college. 


It was impossible for Enver to receive reinforcements from 
home in either men or materials, for not only was the sea 
closed to him, but Britain forbad the crossing of Egypt, 
although in theory the sultan was the suzerain of the 

Enver retired to the interior and with the help of the native 
tribes carried on a very gallant struggle for over a year against 
a greatly superior enemy. He showed himself to be a master 
of guerrilla warfare, and it was not until his little force of 
regulars had been greatly reduced that his resistance began 
to give way. In May 1912 the Italians seized the island of 
Rhodes and the Dodecanese, twelve small islands of the 
Sporades, which under pressure from the powers they agreed 
to return after the peace, an agreement which was never 
kept. A naval demonstration at the mouth of the Dardanelles 
resulted in a storm of protest from the powers, so that there 
after Italy confined herself to the African seat of war. 

Toward the close of the summer Caneva won two impor 
tant victories over Enver who still had the remains of his 
little army well in hand, and with the help of his native troops 
might have continued to fight on almost indefinitely, had 
it not been for conditions that arose in the Balkans. 

Turkey found herself faced by the Balkan league and the 
necessity of fighting for her very existence. The task of 
defending herself against a union of the Balkan States was 
sufficiently difficult without having Italy also on her hands, 
so as soon as the organization of the Balkan league became 
a certainty Turkey began negotiations with Italy for the 
best peace terms possible, and on October 15 the negotiations 
were concluded in the signing of the Peace of Ouchy, the 
same day that the league declared war. 

Under the terms of the treaty Turkey agreed to withdraw 
her troops from Tripoli and cease hostilities, although not 
formally recognizing the sovereignty of Italy over the lost 
provinces. Italy agreed to recognize the religious authority 


of the sultan as kalifa over his former subjects, and to evacu 
ate the Dodecanese on the departure of the Turkish army 
from Tripoli. 

The Italian forces were subjected to much unjust criticism. 
The men, as always, fought well, whatever fault there may 
have been lay with the home government and the high com 
mand. Caneva, who had no experience in desert warfare, was 
obliged to face a far better man, who was not only a very 
able soldier, but had the faculty of uniting the Arab and 
Berber tribes, and of inspiring their enthusiasm and loyalty. 
The home government was slow in sending reinforcements, 
and hampered the field commander by counsels of caution 
and delay that greatly prolonged the war. 

The Peace of Ouchy, while eliminating Enver and his 
regulars, left Italy with a war against the natives still to be 
won. It was years before the country was pacified, and when 
that much desired end had been attained it was an open 
question whether the cost in men and money in the acquisi 
tion of Libya had been worth while. 



THE Peace of Ouchy left the Giolittian government in 
a far from enviable position. 
While it was true that possession of Libya had been 
transferred to Italy, peace in the new colony had not been 
restored, only a narrow strip along the coast being actually 
in Italian hands. Ouchy marked the beginning of a desert 
war of the most trying sort, in which Italy was obliged to 
maintain an army of occupation of 25,000 men for a genera 
tion before the Libyan hinterland was finally pacified. 

The management of the war had been so inefficient, the 
interference of Freemasonry in the matter of appointments 
had been so blatant, the differences among generals so evident, 
and victory had been so long and unaccountably delayed, that 
while Italians took a proper pride in the gallantry of the 
enlisted men their disgust of the high command made the 
war far from popular. 

As a political asset to Giolitti the war was almost negligible. 

The social unrest that had been more or less dormant 
during the war reasserted itself at the war's close with in 
creased vigor, and during the following year strikes managed 
by the syndicalists and accompanied by grave disorder and 
bloodshed followed each other with scarcely any interval. 

The finances left much to be desired and the surplus had 
once more given place to a deficit. 

For the purpose of helping the treasury, the prime minister 
greatly increased the income tax, and to minimize tax dodg 
ing required all bonds of private corporations to be registered 
in the name of the holder. The abolition of bearer bonds 
raised a storm of protest throughout the kingdom, as did 


also the law making all forms of insurance a government 
monopoly, which not only drove out the foreign corporations, 
but caused the liquidation of all the domestic insurance 

He found his position distinctly weakened and his hold 
upon the middle class gradually loosening. Believing that 
the masses were loyal to him he determined to call them to 
his support. 

During the summer of 1913 he forced through parliament 
a law increasing the number of voters from three to eight 
millions. As a sop to the chamber for its complaisance in the 
matter, he permitted it to provide salaries for members. 

Hitherto deputies had been unpaid, the only perquisites 
which they received being passes and reserved carriages on 
the railways and the use of a free buffet maintained in the 
lobby of the chamber where light refreshments were served. 
A good deal of scandal had resulted from the non-payment 
of members, for it was an open secret that certain favored 
government supporters were in the receipt of subsidies from 
the secret-service funds, and there was one authentic case 
of two poverty-stricken members who for some weeks took 
all their meals at the buffet and spent their nights sleeping 
on government trains. 

As soon as his legislative program was complete Giolitti 
dissolved the chamber, and from October 26 to November 3, 
1913, held the first elections under the new franchise. 

Much to his surprise he found that the "making" of an 
election under the new conditions was a far more difficult 
task than it had been in the past. The increased suffrage had 
brought three new factors into Italian politics. 

The socialists appealed directly to the proletarians and the 
peasants, many of whom were now enfranchised. The care 
fully encouraged revolutionary industrial unrest had done 
its work, and seventy-nine socialist deputies were elected, 
despite the fact that at the reformist socialist congress of the 


previous June, Bissolati, Bonnomi, and their friends having 
been expelled for supporting the war, the party had split in 
two, adding a fourth socialist party to the three already in 

The pope having cancelled his "non expedit" order, for the 
first time in Italian history Catholics as a party voted at an 
election. Not only were thirty-three Catholics elected as such, 
but a number of Giolittians owed their seats to Catholic 

Giolitti had made an arrangement with the Catholic leader, 
Count Gentilomi, called the "patto Gentilomi," under which 
government supported a certain number of Catholic candi 
dates, while in return the Catholic voters supported those 
government candidates who agreed not to vote for legislation 
opposed by the Church. 

The election also saw the appearance of another new party 
destined eventually to play a leading part. In 1912 the Na 
tionalist Association which had existed for some years, but 
without either large membership or influence, was entirely 
reorganized under the able leadership of Luigi Federzoni. It 
became the Nationalist Party and at the election of 1913 
elected five of its candidates to the chamber. 

The new chamber consisted of the old groups that were 
more than ever estranged from the life of the nation, groups 
whose names had long since lost all significance, and three 
new parties that did actually represent concrete ideas and 
opinions; the socialists, divided fundamentally among them 
selves, the Catholics, and the nationalists. 

The prime minister faced the new chamber with a safe 
majority on paper, but it was a majority that was by no means 
as loyal to him as had been his majorities in the past. 

His opposition had shifted from the right, which he had 
long since absorbed, to the extreme left. Among his own fol 
lowers those who opposed the Vatican bitterly resented the 
"patto Gentilomi" by which they insisted, and with some 


show of reason, that Giolitti had tied his hands in dealing 
with religious matters in return for Catholic votes. 

A new trouble, and a very serious one, was added to Gio- 
litti's fear of losing an important part of his following. 

The union of railway workers, the sindicato f errovieri, was 
one of the most openly revolutionary in the kingdom, and an 
adherent of the syndicalist party. In January 1914 it made a 
demand upon the government for a general increase of 
wages. With a constantly increasing deficit, a general in 
crease in pay was out of the question, and Giolitti tried to 
compromise by offering a slight advance to the lowest-paid 
men. The union refused the offer and announced that unless 
its demands were met in full it would order a general strike. 
Whereupon, faced with what promised to be an industrial 
battle of great bitterness, Giolitti shirked the responsibility 
and on March 10, 1914, resigned. 

The Giolittian succession passed to Antonio Salandra with 
the somewhat platonic goodwill of the outgoing premier. 
Salandra was born in Puglia in the south in 1853, and was 
a moderate liberal. He had been undersecretary at the treas 
ury in the Crispi cabinet of 1893, finance minister and min 
ister of the treasury in the two short-lived Sonnino govern 
ments; otherwise he had never held office. 

The new government faced the threatened railway strike 
with firmness, refusing any greater concessions than those 
made by Giolitti, whereupon the railway men's leaders 
accepted and the preparations for the strike were abandoned. 

But no sooner was the railway strike out of the way than 
a revolutionary general strike was called in the march of 
Ancona and Romagna, under the leadership of the anarchist 
Enrico Malatesta, and of Benito Mussolini, editor of the 
socialist official organ, Avanti, as a revolutionary protest 
against the stopping by the authorities of an anti-militarist 
demonstration in Ancona on June 7, 1914. 


In a number of towns so-called "republics" were organized 
and for over a week the strikers ruled the two provinces, 
which were restored to law and order only at the point of 
the bayonet. 

On June 28 Francis Ferdinand and his wife were murdered 
at Serajevo and on July 23 Austria presented her ultimatum 
to Serbia. 

San Giuliano, who had been retained at the foreign office, 
joined with Britain in the effort to keep the peace. While he, 
as well as his compatriots, realized that should a casus joedens 
arise under the terms of the triple alliance Italy would be 
obliged in honor to stand by Austria, he had no illusions as 
to the real friendship of the latter, and was at one with 
Italian public opinion in dreading such an eventuality. But 
Austria, like Germany, made one diplomatic mistake after 
another and, handling the situation with neither tact nor 
sense, made it inevitable that Italy should refuse to sup 
port her. 

It is very doubtful whether if a perfectly correct casus 
joederis had arisen any government would have been strong 
enough to have brought Italy into line with her allies. The 
cry for help from unredeemed Italy against Austrian oppres 
sion, becoming ever louder, had as the years passed made the 
triple alliance increasingly unpopular. So much was this the 
case that very few Italians, even among the pronounced 
Germanophils, would have been willing to fight in behalf of 
the tyrant who ruled over their exiled countrymen. 

Actually Austria by her conduct placed herself outside the 
terms of the treaty. The treaty of alliance in Article I pro 
vided that the three signatory powers should discuss with 
each other all economic and political questions that might 
arise concerning their mutual interests. This the central 
powers had failed to do. 

But more than this Austria had directly violated the terms 
of Article VII, under which Austria and Italy agreed "to 


use their influence to prevent all territorial changes which 
might be disadvantageous to the one or the other of the 
powers signatory of the present treaty," to this end "to keep 
each other informed of their intentions. Should, however, the 
case arise that in the course of events Austria-Hungary in the 
Balkans or Italy should be obliged to change the status quo 
for their part by a temporary or permanent occupation, such 
occupation would only take place after previous agreement 
between the two powers, which would have to be based upon 
the principle of a reciprocal compensation for all territorial 
or other advantages that either of them might acquire over 
and above the existing status quo, and would have to satisfy 
the interests and rightful claims of both parties." 

Austria had acted against Serbia and had occupied Serbian 
territory without notice to or consultation with Italy. The 
treaty provided for mutual help in the event of a defensive 
war, and in this case Austria was the aggressor, and finally 
it was declared that because of the treaty of 1882, which had 
never been abrogated, there could be no casus foederis for 
Italy, in a war in which Austria was opposed by Britain, and 
Britain was of course deeply involved. 

San Giuliano lost no tim'e in calling the attention of Aus 
tria to the latter's violation of the spirit and letter of the 
treaty, and also earnestly supported Sir Edward Grey's efforts 
for an international conference. 

On July 25 the prime minister, Salandra, and San Giuliano 
called on the German ambassador, von Flatow,and submitted 
the Italian case, a summary of which was at once telegraphed 
by San Giuliano to the Italian ambassador at Vienna as fol 
lows: "Salandra and I called the special attention of the 
ambassador to the fact that Austria had no right, according 
to the spirit of the triple alliance treaty, to make such a move 
as she has made at Belgrade without previous agreement with 
her allies. Austria, in fact, from the tone in which the note 
is conceived and from the demands she makes demands 


which are of little effect against the pan-Serb danger, but are 
profoundly offensive to Serbia and indirectly to Russia has 
shown clearly that she wishes to provoke a war. We there 
fore told Flatow that in consideration of Austria's method 
of procedure, and of the defensive and conservative nature of 
the triple alliance, Italy is under no obligation to help Austria 
if as a result of this move of hers she should find herself at 
war with Russia. For in this case any European war whatever 
will be consequent upon an act of aggression and provocation 
on the part of Austria." 1 

After the Austrian declaration of war against Serbia, San 
Giuliano on July 27 and 28 sent notes to Berlin and Vienna 
in which he again invoked Article VII of the treaty, pro 
tested against its violation and declared that should Italy fail 
to receive the compensation to which she was entitled the 
triple alliance would be ended. 

From the very beginning Italy placed herself in a perfectly 
correct position and never for a moment either yielded her 
rights or failed to insist on what was her due under the terms 
of the treaty. 

In addition to the sentimental and legal arguments in favor 
of refusing to join Austria, Was the very practical argument 
of unpreparedness. As the result of the strain of the Turkish 
war the Italian army was in a most unsatisfactory condition, 
and stood in need of drastic reorganization, especially among 
the higher officers. With the fall of Giolitti, General Spin- 
gardi had been succeeded at the war office by General Grandi, 
with General Cadorna as chief of staff, who at once began the 
reconstruction of the army and reported that it would require 
at least a year of the hardest kind of work before it would be 
in condition to take the field. 

Influenced by these various considerations the Salandra 
government followed the only course possible under the cir 
cumstances, and on August 3, 1914, declared Italy's neutrality. 

1 Quoted in The Nations of Today, "Italy," by W. K. McClure, p. 181. 


As the World War dragged on its weary way it became 
ever more plain that no matter what course Italy might follow 
in the future, she would never under any circumstances align 
herself with the central powers. The most for which any 
Austrophil or Germanophil could hope was that the Italian 
government would resist the constantly -increasing pressure 
for intervention on the side of France and Britain and remain 
neutral. The efforts of German and Austrian diplomacy were 
therefore concentrated in favor of Italian neutrality, without 
any hope of armed or even economic Italian support. 

The Italian people were sharply divided between the neu 
tralists and interventionists. The former had as their chief 
mouthpiece Giolitti, who spoke constantly of Italian "sacro 
egoismo" which would be satisfied to remain neutral on the 
receipt of "alcuni compensi." They included many of those 
at court and in diplomacy, a large part of the army, the 
Catholics because of their sympathy with Catholic Austria, 
and the "official socialists" who were frankly pacifists. 

The dislike of France was as strong as ever and many 
people who had no particular desire to see the Italian army 
fighting beside the central powers, were equally unwilling 
that it should fight as the ally of France. Germany had flat 
tered the national pride of Italy by accepting her in the triple 
alliance at her own valuation as a great power, and made 
every effort to win the support of those in authority by con 
ferring honorary commissions in the Prussian Guards on 
certain of the royal princes, and by the general distribution 
of decorations, in which latter activity it is only fair to say 
that France was equally generous. 

The nationalists, irredentists, and the Mussolinian syndi 
calists were in favor of joining Britain, Russia, and France 
because they believed it to be a golden opportunity to recover 
the "unredeemed" provinces and finally to unite the country 
as a first-class power, while the reformist socialists, the Free- 


masons and the various groups of the left favored the cause 
of the allies, because of their admiration for France. 

On the death, October 16, 1914, of San Giuliano who had 
been a neutralist, Salandra reconstructed his cabinet with 
Sonnino as foreign minister. 

Sidney Sonnino was born in Florence in 1847, was ^ son 
of an Italian Jewish merchant with large English connections 
and of an English gentile mother, who had brought him up as 
a Protestant. He spent his early years in diplomacy, but re 
signed in 1872 and was elected to the chamber of deputies 
in 1880. He became an authority on finance and foreign 
affairs and had been prime minister in 1906 and again in 
1909, each time for a little over three months. He was a man 
of much ability and force and easily dominated the three 
successive cabinets in which he was foreign minister. 

Being half a Jew he naturally viewed with little favor the 
anti-Semitic attitude of the central powers, while his English 
blood and British connections naturally made him an Anglo 
phil. It is no wonder that in his heart he favored the allies 
and, all things being equal, preferred intervention to 

Sonnino, however, was first of all an Italian and a patriot 
who was determined to serve his country at all costs. He 
believed that for the future security and greatness of Italy 
not only must the unredeemed provinces be redeemed, but 
that new strategic frontiers must be acquired which would 
make Italy safe against attack. He hoped that these very 
desirable ends might be achieved peacefully, and accordingly 
invited the attention of Austria to the fact that her occupation 
of Serbia involved, under Article VII of the treaty of alliance, 
the giving of compensation to Italy. 

On April 8, 1915, he formulated his request as follows: 

i. Cession of the Trentino up to the boundary of 1811, and 
the towns of Rovereto, Trent, and Bozen. 


2. Extension of the eastern frontier along the Isonzo, includ 
ing Tolmino, Gorizia, Gradisca, and Montefalcone. 

3. Triest to be made an autonomous state. - 

4. Cession of several Dalmatian islands. 

5. Recognition of Austria-Hungary's disinterestedness in 
the Dodecanese. 

Germany, fearing the ineptitude of Austrian diplomacy, 
had in December 1914 induced Prince von Billow, the former 
chancellor, to take over the embassy at Rome. Biilow, who 
had married an Italian wife, had since his retirement spent 
his winters at his home, the Villa Malta, in Rome where he 
was one of the most popular men in the Roman world. 

He realized that if Italy was to be kept neutral Austria 
must waste no time in accepting Sonnino's request, which 
was nothing but a diplomatically worded ultimatum. 

Austria, however, flatly refused all of Sonnino's demands 
except the first, from which she excluded the cession of 
Bozen, and declined to transfer any territory until after the 
end of the war. 

Having given Austria her chance, having made his demand 
and having been refused, Sonnino now turned to the allies. 
After some negotiation he succeeded in inducing Britain, 
France, and Russia to agree to the treaty of London, which 
was signed April 25, 1915, to be subsequently completed and 
implemented by naval and military arrangements. 

Under the terms of the treaty, which was kept secret until 
after the war, the allies, in the event of victory, were to cede 
to Italy the Trentino and upper Adige as far as the top of the 
Brenner Pass, Gorizia, Gradisca, Triest, Istria, Dalmatia as 
far south as Cape Planka, Valona, and if Albania were given 
its own government it to be under Italian influence, the 
islands of Lussin and Cherso in the Adriatic, Rhodes and 
the Dodecanese and a part of Asia Minor, when and if it 
should be partitioned, as well as a share of the German 


colonies in Africa. In addition it was agreed that the Holy 
See should be excluded from the Peace Congress. 

The terms offered by the allies far exceeded Italy's de 
mands upon Austria, for it was a simple matter for them 
to be generous in the disposal of property belonging to some 
one else, especially as their part of the treaty could only be 
carried out in the event of victory. 

Although on May 3 Italy denounced the triple alliance, 
Biilow worked desperately for neutrality as the representative 
not only of his own country but of Austria, whose ambassa 
dor had been withdrawn on the abrogation of the treaty. 

Under Billow's insistence Austria agreed to Sonnino's terms 
but refused to pay the price until after the peace at the war's 
end. On Sonnino's demand for immediate payment, Francis 
Joseph, die Austrian emperor, forbad his foreign minister to 
agree, whereupon Biilow offered Germany's guaranty for 
Austria's good faith, but Sonnino replied that in the event of 
the defeat of the central powers, a guaranty from Germany 
would not be of any avail. On the other hand, he argued, 
should the central powers win it was quite within the bounds 
of possibility that Austria would fail to carry out her agree 
ment. In either event there was no certainty of Italy receiving 
what she asked, and the only way in which she could be 
sure of gratifying her ambitions was by immediate possession, 
without waiting for the end of the war. 

Giolitti and his associates had done their best in favor of 
neutrality, and in a very vigorous press campaign strove to 
influence the government in the direction of agreeing to the 
Austrian offer. The interventionists, however, had not been 
idle, and the demand for war constantly grew in volume 
under the influence of d'Annunzio's speeches and Mussolini's 
articles in his newspaper, // Popolo d'ltdia. 

Had Austria at the last moment accepted Sonnino's terms 
it is doubtful if he could have controlled the public, for so 
effective had been the interventionist propaganda that the 


war spirit, sweeping the country, would in all probability 
have either carried the government with it or turned it out 
of office. Austria's only chance of preserving the neutrality 
of Italy lay in a prompt and definite acceptance of the Italian 
demands when they were first presented, and before the 
intensive interventionist propaganda was well under way. By 
the time the Ball Platz was permitted by the emperor to 
accept, it was too late and the opportunity had gone forever. 

Giolitti's hold on the chamber seemed unshaken and 
despite the evident opposition to him in the country he de 
termined to force out Salandra. 

Realizing that the chamber was against him, on May 13 
Salandra resigned. The same evening the king sent for Gio- 
litti who, unwilling to assume the responsibility of office 
himself, advised his sovereign to appoint Marcora, the presi 
dent of the chamber, as prime minister, and on Marcora's re 
fusal to accept, the king sent for Carcano, minister of finance, 
also at the suggestion of Giolitti, and on Carcano's refusal of 
the prime ministership, the king invited Salandra to resume 

Although a majority of the chamber was undoubtedly 
against Salandra, public opinion was so strongly for him 
that enough deputies of the opposition, fearing the wrath 
of their constituents, voted against their inclinations and 
assured him a majority. 

Villari calls attention to the fact that throughout the war 
the divorce between parliament and country was so complete 
that each cabinet was really extra-parliamentary without a 
majority to count on, although having the enthusiastic sup 
port of the country, and that the king in summoning 
Salandra in the face of an adverse majority in the chamber, 
really carried out the popular will. 

On May 20, 1915, parliament granted to the government 
full powers with which to face the emergency, on May 23 
mobilization of the army was ordered, and on May 24 war 


was declared against Austria, to be followed later by declara 
tions against Turkey, Bulgaria, and Germany. 

At the time Sonnino was charged by the neutralists and 
by the central powers with having acted in bad faith to Ger 
many and Austria. It was said that he had played with 
Austria and had continued to negotiate with her after he 
had definitely committed himself on the side of the allies. 
Time has, however, vindicated his good faith and Prince 
von Biilow in his memoirs goes far to justify the course 
followed by the Italian foreign office. 

Biilow says that he called upon Sonnino the day after his 
arrival at Rome, December 16, 1914. That Sonnino "made 
no bones about giving me his views of the position and set 
them forth with clarity and candor. As war objective, the 
allies had promised Italy all Austrian territory peopled by 
Italian subjects. Should Austria wish to be assured that Italy 
would not enter the war against her, she must, in her turn, 
be willing to propose definite concessions, giving formal 
engagements to abide by them," Sonnino then stated Italy's 
minimum terms upon which she would be willing to remain 

Biilow summarizes the situation by saying, "I could never 
manage to learn the exact extent of Italian commitments, 
made before my arrival, to the allies; nor, above all, could 
I be certain that she had not definitely and finally pledged 
herself. My instinct told me that, though preliminaries might 
already have reached their final stage, there had been, as yet, 
no binding official promise. It was therefore a question of 
giving Italian statesmen the speediest possible guarantee that 
Austria would acknowledge, without arriere pensee, the 
minimum at least of Italian aspirations and demands." 2 

It is obvious that had Biilow not believed Sonnino to be free 
to negotiate with him he would at once have demanded his 

2 Memoirs oj Prince von Biilow f Vol. Ill, pp. 245-63. 


passport and gone home. On the contrary he remained and 
did all that was humanly possible to keep Italy neutral. 

It was not until more than four months after Billow's 
arrival in Rome that the treaty of London was signed, and 
during that interval the field was free as between Biilow, on 
the one side, and Sir Rennell Rodd, the British ambassador, 
and Camille Barrere, the French ambassador, on the other, 
with the support of Italy, either active or passive, as the prize. 

With no disparagement to either, Biilow was far abler than 
his two opponents, but unfortunately for his cause, he was 
weighted with a very heavy handicap. 

While Sonnino was an Anglophil his friendship for Britain 
would never have swayed him from his duty to Italy, could 
he have served the interests of his country best by an accord 
with the central powers, reached before the Italian war spirit 
had been aroused. 

It was not the antagonism of Sonnino that hampered 
Biilow in his efforts, but the opposition of his own alleged sup 
porters. Not only was the emperor, Francis Joseph, obsti 
nately unwilling to yield an inch, but Biilow charges that his 
personal enemies, including Bethmann-Hollweg the chan 
cellor, Jagow the foreign minister, and Flatow his predecessor 
as ambassador, did all in their power to make his mission 
a failure. He says that against all diplomatic precedents 
Flatow remained in Italy, after leaving office, and continued 
to inform Berlin that Italy had no intention of joining the 
allies, and that he, Biilow, exaggerated the situation for the 
purpose of self-aggrandizement. Jagow, believing his friend 
Flatow rather than Germany's regularly accredited represen 
tative, failed to bring the necessary pressure on Vienna to 
make the Austrian emperor listen to reason. Without support 
from Berlin, Biilow was obliged to play a lone hand, and that 
he lost the game was due not so much to the ability or the 
finesse of his opponents, as to the failure of his superiors at 
the German foreign office to support him whole-heartedly. 


The inference to be drawn from the Biilow memoirs is 
that had Austria frankly met the Italian terms, at any time 
during the first four months of 1915, Italy would have re 
mained neutral and that Sonnino acted in good faith, not 
closing his arrangements with the allies until he became con 
vinced that Austria could not be induced to accept his 



GENERAL LUIGI CADORNA was appointed chief 
of the general staff of the Italian army July 10, 1914, 
and given the task of army reorganization. 

The Giolittian government had done very little to repair 
the damage to the morale and materiel of the army caused 
by the Turkish war, and it was greatly to Cadorna's credit 
that, in the eleven months that intervened between his ap 
pointment and Italy's declaration of war, he should have 
accomplished so much. 

Italy's industrial resources were extremely limited, and in 
fact never reached a sufficient expansion to give the army 
all the material or supplies it needed. Although there was 
enough man power, artillery, aircraft, and transport were 
always below requirements. 

When the Italian army faced the Austrians, who had had 
a year's war experience, while still leaving much to be 
desired, discipline in it had been restored, many incompetent 
officers had been weeded out, and it had become an efficient 
fighting machine. 

The task that faced Cadorna was one of extreme difficulty. 
Friuli and Venetia, the northeastern part of Italy, formed 
a salient thrusting into Austrian territory, bounded on the 
south by the Adriatic, on the west by the Italian hinterland, 
and on all other sides by the Austrian Alps, beginning with 
the Ortlers on the northwest, extending through the Dolo 
mites, Cadore, and Carnia, and finally striking the plain near 
Monf alcone, the mountains degenerating into high and steep 
hills near the coast, and swamp land on the seashore. The 


summits of the ranges were all in Austrian hands, the fron 
tier running considerably down the slope toward Italy. 

To the north, Tirol formed a wedge driven into Italian 
territory, the point resting at the northern end of Lake Garda 
some twenty-five miles north of Verona. 

For the moment Austria was Italy's only enemy and it was 
necessarily against her that the Italian efforts were directed, 
without regard to the other central power, or to any coopera 
tion with the allies, for unity of command was still two years 
in the future. 

The plan of the Italian general staff was therefore predi 
cated entirely upon the local Italian situation. As the least of 
two evils Cadorna determined to strike the enemy on the 
Isonzo frontier to the east. An attack to the north, in the 
Trentino, up the mountain passes in the face of very elaborate 
defenses, was for the untried Italian army much too hazard 
ous an undertaking. 

Thanks to Mackensen's successes against the Russians and 
Serbians, Austria was able to transfer five divisions from the 
Serbian front to the Isonzo, where she opposed the Italian 
advance with some eight divisions. 

Cadorna organized his forces in four armies, the first under 
Brusati, later succeeded by Pecori-Giraldi, of five divisions, 
the second under Capello, of eight divisions, the third under 
the Duke of Aosta, the king's cousin, of six divisions, and the 
fourth under Robilant, later succeeded by Giardino, of six 
divisions. The first army was ordered to stand on the defen 
sive in the Trentino to block a possible attack of the enemy in 
the rear, the fourth army was sent into the Pusterthal to co 
operate with the eastern advance and at the same time to 
cut, if possible, the enemy's communication with the Tren 
tino, while the second and third armies, with fourteen divi 
sions, were ordered to advance against the Isonzo. As seven 
of these divisions were not yet ready, Capello and Aosta on 


reaching the Isonzo were obliged to intrench and await 

By June 23 these had arrived and the first battle of the 
Isonzo was fought until July % with no decisive results. A 
second battle was fought ten days later and in October a third 
battle was begun, which lasted until December when further 
operations were postponed until spring. 

While the Italians had outnumbered the Austrians two to 
one, they were lacking in artillery and experience and lost 
280,000 men, as against the Austrian loss of 140,000. 

In December 1915 Conrad von Hotzendorff, the Austrian 
chief of staff, had proposed to von Falkenhayn, his German 
colleague, a joint German-Austrian attack against Italy 
through the Trentino front in the direction of Vicenza and 
Bassano. Falkenhayn had declined on the ground that it 
would be impossible to collect the twenty-five divisions which 
he considered essential, and that railway facilities were inade 
quate. On Falkenhayn's refusal to cooperate, Conrad deter 
mined to make the attack alone, with a total force of four 
teen divisions. 

When rumors of the proposed attack reached Cadorna in 
April he at once visited the Italian lines and found that 
Brusati had failed to select the strongest available defensive 
positions, despite repeated orders to do so. Brusati was 
promptly relieved from his command and replaced by 
Pecori-Giraldi, the commander of the seventh corps. 

Before new positions could be prepared, on May 14 the 
Austrians attacked, and began what is known as the battle 
of Asiago. 

The Italian force consisted of 130 battalions of regulars, 
45 of customs troops, and 45 of territorials, these latter of no 
great value, with which to oppose 180 battalions of Austrians. 
The Austrians were not only stronger in infantry than the 
Italians but were much superior in artillery. 


By May 19 the Italians had been driven back from their 
defective defensive positions with great loss, and the outlook 
was extremely serious. 

Meanwhile a fifth Italian army under Morrone had been 
organized with divisions taken from the second and third 
armies, and had been moved up in reserve to the Trentino. 

The Italian left, comprising the divisions of Berlotti and 
Ricci-Armani, had stood firm, and by June 8, after the fifth 
army had been brought into action, the Austrian offensive 
was checked. 

Cadorna now began a counter-attack, driving the Austrians 
out of the positions they had captured, but determined to 
abandon his first intention of an offensive on a large scale, as 
he had neither the men nor the artillery for the purpose. 

The Austrian casualties amounted to over 100,000, the 
Italian to 110,000. The Austrian attack had been well con 
ceived and well executed, but failed because of the admirable 
resistance of the Italians. 

As soon as the battle of Asiago had been won, Cadorna was 
once more free to resume his attack on the eastern front. The 
Duke of Aosta with sixteen divisions kept up a constant ham 
mering at the Austrian line between Monte Sabotino and 
the sea, while during the night of August 8 Capello's men 
with extraordinary gallantry captured the supposedly im 
pregnable fortress of Monte Sabotino, crossed the river under 
a withering artillery fire, and captured the city of Gorizia. 

Three further but unsuccessful drives were made against 
the Austrians and the year closed with Italian losses of 
483,000 and Austrian of 260,000. 

On August 27, 1916, war was at last declared against 

The year 1917 was the most disastrous for the allied arms; 
it was the darkness before the dawn of the entrance of the 
United States into the war, a darkness that but for that dawn 
would have seen the triumph of the central powers. 


Cadorna had begun the year with a renewed attack in the 
east in May, but without decisive results, what little progress 
he made being soon after lost. In August he began what has 
been called the eleventh battle of the Isonzo, during which 
Capello captured the greater part of the Bainsizza plain to 
the north of Gorizia. As no further progress was made after 
four weeks of fighting, the offensive was stopped. 

Cadorna appealed to the allies for cooperation but without 
success, while the Austrians were reinforced by six German 

Austria was beginning to weaken as the Italian army 
gained in experience. While at first the Italian losses almost 
always doubled those of Austria, by the beginning of 1917 
the losses were usually equal. The great gallantry of the 
Italian troops was being used to better advantage by officers 
who were beginning to learn their profession. As it was 
becoming more and more evident that Austria unhelped 
could not long resist the terrific pounding of the Italians, the 
German general staff determined that every effort must be 
made to defeat Italy or Austria would collapse. 

On the other hand, Cadorna had undoubtedly driven his 
men too hard. While defeatist propaganda in the rear may 
have had some effect, the loss of morale was chiefly due to 
the unbearable strain to which the men had been subjected. 
They were kept in the trenches and in active fighting month 
after month with neither relief nor leave, besides which they 
had suffered heavily from malaria and an epidemic of intes 
tinal disease. Gallant and uncomplaining as they were, it is 
no wonder that they began to crack. The Italian losses were 
proportionately greater than those of any other army on 
either side. The men were kept in the fighting line more 
constantly than on the western front, the fighting was inces 
sant and terrific, while with the exception of the successes 
of Capello the gains were negligible. The fault was not with 
the men, but chiefly with the general commanding. 


Late in October, nine Austrian and six German divisions 
under the German General Otto von Below were concen 
trated at the extreme northeast of the Italian left, while two 
Austrian armies under Boroevic were concentrated near the 
Adriatic. Because of inefficient air scouting the concentra 
tion was not discovered by the Italians. 

Capello had called his chief's attention to the difficulty of 
defending the advanced positions taken by the army and had 
earnestly urged an attack on the Austrian right flank. He was 
in position to continue the offensive that had been stopped 
in the previous month and did not believe it possible to turn 
his offensive into a defensive with any great prospect of 
success. Although many of the staff agreed with him he was 

Cadorna had under him the second and third armies on 
the eastern front, with the fourth cooperating to the west. 
Although many battalions were short-handed, his force 
was sufficient. He was weak in heavy guns, but otherwise had 
enough artillery. The Austrian force consisted of fourteen 
divisions, including nine Austrian and seven German, with 
2,500 guns and 500 trench mortars, under Below, while 
Boroevic had twenty divisions in his two armies, with his 
left close to the Adriatic. 

On October 24, after fiye hours' bombardment with gas and 
high-power shell, the attack began. The weakest point in the 
Italian line was in the Tolmino sector between the ipth and 
46th divisions of the second army, and it was here that the 
Austrians broke through. The severest fighting was north of 
the line where for a time the second army bore the brunt. 
Capello had been seriously ill and on the 25th was so near 
collapse that he was forced by his surgeon to relinquish his 
command and was succeeded by Montuori. 

Both on the 24th and 25th matters went badly for the 
Italians; the line was broken not only near Tolmino but also 
in the south and near Caporetto. 


By the afternoon of the 25th, the line became untenable 
and the Italians began their retreat; the morale of the second 
army and its left wing became entirely demoralized and 
commenced to crumble. 

The enemy pursued with such vigor that by October 28 
Below had reached Udine, the former Italian general head 
quarters, and by the 3ist the river Tagliamento. Although 
Boroevic was slower in his movements than Below, he never 
theless drove the Italians before him and Cadorna was only 
able to save his army from capture by retreating precipitately 
behind the Piave, where his entire force arrived November 
9 with a loss of 320,000 killed, wounded, and missing, 265,000 
prisoners, 3,000 guns and 1,700 trench mortars. 

The fourth army was called in from the Cadore and, with 
the third army and what was left of the second army joined 
to the third, held the new and much-shortened line which 
ran along the west bank of the Piave, from the sea to Quero, 
whence it turned west over Monte Grappo, meeting the first 
army at Rovereto. 

The next day Cadorna was relieved from his command 
and General Armando Diaz, the commander of the 23rd 
army corps, put in his place. 

It must be said in justice to Cadorna that the new align 
ment was entirely his work and that when Diaz took over 
the command he found the troops in their new positions, and 
the morale of the men greatly improved. 

The victors of Caporetto were unable to follow up their 
success. The German-Austrian general staff had neither fore 
seen nor prepared for so complete a triumph, consequently 
the pursuing army outmarched its transports and its supplies 
and was obliged to await their arrival. When in a position to 
move again, the opportunity to destroy the Italian army had 
passed, for the defense of the new line held unshaken, and 


Throughout the month of November the Austrians and 
Germans kept up an incessant series of attacks all along the 
Italian front from the sea to Tirol, but while they scored 
some slight successes it soon became evident that the new 
line was firmly established. 

Early in November the British and French began to send 
reinforcements to the Italian front and by the middle of 
December there were in all five British divisions under 
General the Earl of Cavan, and six French divisions under 
General Duchesne. 

These were not put into the battle area until the beginning 
of December and had nothing whatever to do with the 
remarkable restoration of Italian morale and confidence. 

The British took position to the left of the third army, with 
the French on their left. 

The enemy now concentrated his attacks against the west 
of the line on the Brenta and the Asiago plateau, and all 
through December kept up a merciless hammering at the 
mountain positions of the Italians. By the end of the month 
the enemy had spent his force and by Christmas, when the 
snows brought the fighting to an end, the Italians had begun 
successfully to counter-attack. 

During the winter the work of reorganizing the army, and 
of supplying the losses in munitions and equipment due to 
Caporetto, was carried on so successfully that by the end of 
February Diaz found himself at the head of a first-rate fight 
ing force. 

To meet the threatened offensive on the western front, four 
French, two British, and two Italian divisions were sent to 
France, leaving with the Italians of foreign troops only two 
French and three British divisions and one American 

The Germans and Austrians determined to attack on the 
Brenta, and against the Piave line. The Austrians had on each 
front fifteen divisions with nineteen in reserve, while the 


Italians had twenty-five divisions on both fronts with nineteen 
in reserve, the forces on the Brenta being roughly equal, the 
Austrians outnumbering the Italians on the Piave by some 
six divisions, and having a 40 per cent superiority in artillery. 

The general attack began early on July 15. By evening of 
the 1 6th the attack against the Brenta positions was definitely 
and finally checked. 

Against the Piave line the Austrians were at first successful 
and crossed the river at three different points. As Diaz threw 
in his reserves, the Austrian advance was checked and by the 
24th the enemy had been driven back across the river. The 
Austrian losses were killed and wounded 200,000, prisoners 
25,000, guns 70, against Italian losses of 90,000. 

The moral effect of the Italian victory was tremendous. It 
not only greatly heartened the Italians, but correspondingly 
depressed the Austrians and hastened the fall of the Habs- 
burg empire. 

It was not until the end of October that Diaz considered 
the time had come for a final drive against the enemy. He 
had waited until conditions in Austria gave promise of 
political and economic collapse, and had used the interval in 
reorganizing his army and increasing his materiel. 

Having concentrated forty-one divisions on the Piave front, 
against thirty-three of the Austrians, on October 24, the anni 
versary of Caporetto, Diaz ordered the fourth army to attack 
in the Grappa sector. By the 27th the crossing of the river 
had begun, and the next day the enemy's line was broken at 
the village of Vittorio Veneto, and on the 29th he was in full 
retreat, which soon became a rout. 

October 30 Austria asked for an armistice, which was 
signed November 4, 1918, after consultation with the allies, 
and required the Austrian army to retire behind the frontier, 
established by the treaty of London, which was to be occu 
pied by Italy. 


The Italian loss had been 33,000, of whom 20,000 had 
fallen in the Grappa sector. The Austrians had lost 600,000 
prisoners and 7,000 guns, and the Austrian-Hungarian em 
pire had passed away. 

As the result of the early reverses in the Trentino, Salandra 
had been forced to resign on June 10, 1916. His successor was 
the venerable Paolo Boselli, president of the chamber, who 
formed a national cabinet in which all groups but the social 
ists and neutralists were represented. Orlando was moved 
from justice to interior, while Sonnino remained at the for 
eign office. 

Because of Caporetto, Boselli fell, Orlando succeeding him, 
with Nitti at finance and Sonnino remaining at the foreign 

Vittorio Emanuele Orlando was born at Palermo March 
19, 1860, was a lawyer by profession and professor of law at 
the University of Palermo until he took office. Elected a 
deputy in 1898, he became an ardent supporter of Giolitti 
under whom he served as minister of education, and later as 
minister of justice. He declined to follow his chief in the 
latter's neutralist campaign and, becoming an interventionist, 
was made minister of justice by Salandra and minister of the 
interior by Boselli. While a man of conceded integrity, he 
was not over-forceful, and was too much inclined to com 
promise and in an emergency to let matters drift. 

It fell to the lot of Orlando to negotiate the terms of peace, 
a task for which he was ill equipped, both in character and 

A week after the signing of the armistice with Austria, on 
November n, Italy signed the armistice with Germany, the 
same day that Marshal Foch signed on behalf of the allies. 

Italy had made a glorious fight, for despite lack of equip 
ment and mistakes in generalship, under Diaz she had turned 
defeat into victory, and had to her credit the final destruction 
of the Austrian army. The price that she had paid had been 


terrific, 600,000 killed, 1,000,000 gravely wounded of whom 
220,000 were "mutilati" or permanently disabled, while the 
budget showed a deficit of 6,271,000,000 lire. 

When on January i, 1919, the government declared the 
war at an end, Orlando found his cabinet much divided on 
the question of territorial acquisitions from Austria. Sonnino, 
who had negotiated the treaty of London, stood firmly by it, 
insisting that it not only gave to Italy all that she had ever 
claimed as "unredeemed" but that it secured for her the stra 
tegical frontier demanded by the general staff. The prime 
minister felt that Italy should not only have the concessions 
granted by the treaty of London but also Fiume on the 
ground that its Italian majority had petitioned for annexa 
tion. Bissolati, the very mild socialist minister without port 
folio, opposed both positions. He opposed the annexation of 
Fiume on the ground that it contained a very large popula 
tion, perhaps a majority, of Slavs, who wanted to belong to 
Yugoslavia, and that it would be unfair to deprive that coun 
try of its chief seaport and trade outlet. He opposed the 
annexation of the Alto Adige on the ground that its popula 
tion was entirely German and that apart from the injustice of 
forcing them unwillingly under Italian rule, Italy would by 
so doing be unnecessarily creating for herself a problem 
similar to the German problem of Alsace and Lorraine. 

The differences in the ministry became so acute that a crisis 
resulted, during which Bissolati, Nitti, and four other min 
isters resigned. Orlando reconstituted his cabinet on January 
18, 1919, the very day that the peace conference met in Paris. 

The delegates to the conference were Orlando, Salandra, 
Sonnino, Barzilai, and Salvago-Raggi, Italian ambassador 
to France. For the next three months but little progress was 
made toward settling the claims of Italy. President Wilson, 
who had taken Yugoslavia under his wing, was unwilling 
to yield to Italy any of the claims of his protege, which in- 


eluded a "rectification" of the former Italian-Austrian fron 
tier to the disadvantage of Italy. Wilson, who had made a 
triumphal progress through Italy early in January, astounded 
the world on April 23 by making a direct appeal to the 
Italian people urging them to support his attitude on the 
question of Italian claims. 

The American president, who had never been on the 
Continent until he went to the peace conference, showed by 
his appeal his utter ignorance of the Italian character. He ad 
dressed the Italians in exactly the same way that, when presi 
dent of Princeton University, he had addressed the alumni 
over the heads of the board of trustees, with which he was at 
odds. To his intense surprise his appeal was received with 
vociferous indignation by an almost unanimous Italian nation. 

Orlando at once hurried to Rome and asked of parliament 
an expression of its confidence, which he received by a vote 
of 382 to 40. 

Had Orlando possessed any force of character he could 
undoubtedly have secured Fiume for Italy, scored a great 
triumph for his country and himself, and avoided for the 
former the years of disturbance that followed. 

Wilson was so deeply committed to his project for a League 
of Nations, Lloyd George and Clemenceau were so anxious 
that the treaty of peace should be signed by all the allies, that 
Orlando with his country solidly behind him had it in his 
power to exact almost any price for his signature. Instead 
of firmly insisting on the cession of Fiume and refusing to 
adhere to the League of Nations or to sign the treaty unless 
Fiume were given him, he allowed the three dominant 
figures in the conference to ride over him roughshod, and 
accepted what they were willing to give him. 

On June 19 a thoroughly disillusioned and disgusted 
chamber refused him a vote of confidence, and Nitti suc 
ceeded him. 


Nitti replaced Sonnino at the foreign office with Tittoni, 
gave Schanzer his own portfolio at the treasury, and himself 
took the interior. 

On June 28, 1919, the treaty with Germany was signed at 
Versailles by Sonnino, the same day that the new Italian 
delegates headed by Tittoni left Rome. 

Early in July serious rioting occurred in Fiunae which re 
sulted in a number of deaths among the soldiers of the French 
garrison. A commission of inquiry appointed by the peace 
conference recommended that the council which had been 
governing Fiume be dissolved, that new elections be held 
under allied auspices, and that the city be policed by British 
and Americans, the Fiume volunteers to be disbanded. 

Before the recommendations of the commission could be 
carried into effect, on July 12 d'Annunzio arrived at Fiume at 
the head of a force of Italian soldiers and volunteers, while 
most of the Italian soldiers and sailors in the town fell in 
behind him. He easily took over the government of the city, 
and on the departure of the allied garrisons, Nitti found it 
impossible to dislodge the poet without resorting to a minor 
war. As Italian public opinion seemed to be favorable to 
d'Annunzio, who declared that he was holding Fiume for 
Italy, Nitti concluded to allow matters to drift. 

On September 10, 1919, the treaty of St. Germain was 
signed with Austria under the terms of which Italy received 
the territory assigned to her by the treaty of London, with 
the Sexten Thai and Tarvis thrown in. 



FRANCESCO SAVERIO NITTI was born at Melfi in 
the Basilicata in 1868, was by profession a lawyer, and 
had been for some years before he entered politics pro 
fessor of economics at the University of Naples. He entered 
parliament in 1904, was minister of agriculture, industry, and 
trade under Giolitti from 1911 to 1914, and minister of the 
treasury under Orlando from October 1917 to 1919. Intrigu 
ing against his chief, he brought about the fall of the govern 
ment and succeeded Orlando as prime minister. As an 
economist Nitti stood high. As prime minister he was a fail 
ure, for he was lamentably weak and vacillating. 

He took over the direction of affairs at a time that required 
a very strong hand at the helm, and his hand was painfully 
feeble. The war had left behind it domestic, economic, and 
political problems of great seriousness and difficulty. The 
budget prepared under Nitti but presented by his successor 
showed a deficit of 14,000,000,000 lire. Wheat had been made 
a government monopoly and was commandeered from the 
home producer for a less price than it was bought abroad in 
the open market. There was a bread subsidy and an un 
employment dole, both of which made great inroads into the 
treasury. The number of government employees had been 
almost doubled for the purpose of providing work for politi 
cal henchmen, and, in the railway service the number had 
been increased from 154,000 to 240,000, and the men had 
become completely demoralized. 

The repercussion of the Russian revolution was strongly 
felt and communist propaganda was carried on without gov 
ernmental hindrance in all parts of the country and in all 


the public services. Revolutionary strikes were almost en 
demic, and the revolutionary parties were rapidly becoming 
a serious menace to the stability of the state. 

The old Catholic group had been reorganized under the 
able management of Don Luigi Sturzo, a Sicilian priest, into 
the Partito Popolaro Italiano, with a so-called Christian 
socialist program, but with a left wing scarcely distinguish 
able from out-and-out socialists. 

Under the urge of the popolari and the socialists, Nitti 
consented to the enactment of a proportional election law, 
and at the elections held under it November 16, 1919, there 
were returned 156 socialists, 101 popolari, and 30 "comba- 
tenti" who were nominated by groups of war veterans, the 
rest of the deputies being divided into the usual groups more 
numerous than ever before. 

When parliament met the socialists withdrew from the 
chamber, and were received by the crowd outside with such 
vigor that several of the deputies were wounded, whereupon 
a general strike was called and lasted for twenty-four hours, 
with serious rioting in several cities. 

The railway situation was to say the least anomalous. The 
union of the railway men, whose members were government 
employees, was frankly revolutionary, having for its main 
purpose the overturning of its employer, the government. The 
men were paid by the state, and yet sought the state's destruc 
tion. They were ruled by a committee of six hundred, popu 
larly known as "the little railway parliament," and ruled 
despotically and capriciously. They terrorized succeeding 
prime ministers, who until the coming of the revolution 
never dared to oppose their will. 

On January 22 "the little railway parliament" formulated 
a series of demands on the government, including higher 
pay and shorter hours, and at once ordered a general strike, 
without giving the government an opportunity to deal with 


them. Nitti immediately granted all their demands and 
agreed not to punish the strike leaders. 

In the beginning of March, the hands of the Mazzonis' 
cotton mills, having been refused higher pay, seized the plant 
and threatened to destroy it. As government declined to help 
the owners, they were obliged to yield, and Nitti forthwith 
amnestied all who had taken part in the disorders. 

Meanwhile the railway men refused to carry troops or 
police in the direction of any place where there was a strike 
or industrial disorder, refused to transport munitions to the 
frontier lest they be used against Russia, and refused to trans 
port wine or food from one province to another lest the price 
of living might rise, and Nitti made no effort to curb them. 

Finding the situation more serious than he could face, 
Nitti resigned March 12, 1920, but as no one could be found 
who could form a government, he reconstituted his cabinet 
and carried on. Two months later he was defeated in the 
chamber, but again was obliged to reconstitute his cabinet 
and remain in office. 

For another month the Nitti government lived a precarious 
life, making one political mistake after another. The amnesty 
ing of war deserters caused a violent outcry, as did the gov 
ernment's failure to solve the Adriatic question, and its refusal 
to hold a ceremony in honor of the Unknown Soldier on the 
ground that it would revive memories of the war. 

In June the prime minister decreed the reduction of the 
bread subsidy, only to withdraw the decree five days later 
when faced with the protests of the socialists. His supporters 
had fallen away from him so that he found himself deserted 
by all the groups, even the popolari, and on June 9 resigned 
and passed finally from the political scene. 

A week later Giolitti succeeded in forming his fifth gov 
ernment and took the premiership for the last time, with 
Sforza at the foreign office. 


One of Giolitti's first acts was to withdraw the Italian 
garrison from Albania at the demand of the socialists. At the 
conference of Spa, however, held in the month of July 1920, 
Sforza redeemed this loss of prestige by inducing the allies 
to raise Italy's share of the German indemnity to 10 per cent 
and of the other indemnities to 25 per cent. 

At a conference with Yugoslavia held at Rapollo in August 
the independence of Fiume was recognized, Italy yielding 
Dalmatia to Yugoslavia, with the exception of the city of 
Zara and four islands off the coast, and also Porto Baros, part 
of the port of Fiume. 

D'Annunzio having declined to accept the treaty or to 
leave Fiume, pressure was brought to bear and the poet, 
deeming discretion the better part of valor, at the beginning 
of 1921 surrendered and left the city. 

It was in his handling of the domestic situation that Gio- 
litti showed a most astounding weakness and absolutely 
broke down. 

The inflation due to the war had run its course, and signs 
were not wanting that a serious depression was coming. 
Employers felt that they could no longer continue to meet 
the demands of labor for increased wages, and labor directed 
by the revolutionary groups declined to modify their 

The general strike as a weapon of class warfare was of 
almost daily occurrence in some part or other of the penin 
sula. A general strike might be called in support of an exist 
ing economic strike for higher wages or shorter hours or 
the like, or in protest against some act of the authorities, or 
merely as a revolutionary gesture. It would be called in one 
or more of the cities, for a fixed period of one or two or three 
days as the case might be. While the strike lasted, every single 
wage-earner in the affected area stopped work, including 
factory hands, cab-drivers, railway men, and the employees 
in the markets, newspapers, hotels, restaurants, and theaters. 


The only restaurants allowed to stay open were those fre 
quented by the strikers, while in the hotels the proprietors 
and their families, with the aid of their guests, made shift to 
keep body and soul together. 

Encouraged by the inaction of the authorities, the trade 
unions became bolder, and in Piedmont and Lombardy 
seized the factories and tried to operate them. Failing to do 
so they kidnaped the managers and forced them to supervise 
the work in the interests of the men. 

In Bologna and Sardinia there were meetings held in favor 
of separating from Italy. 

The situation in the rural districts was as bad as in the 
towns. The laborers struck for conditions beyond the power 
of their employers to grant, and emphasized their demands 
by rioting and murder. 

The government, thinking only of its parliamentary major 
ity, and unwilling to antagonize either the left-wing popolari 
or the socialists or even the communists, did nothing to check 
disorder, and in fact showed evident sympathy with the 
authors of unrest. 

The prime minister, calling together the owners and lead 
ers of the workers in the north, induced the former to agree 
to a proposed law increasing wages and providing for the 
control of industry by the men, a measure worthy of bol 
shevik Russia. Whereupon the factories were handed back to 
their owners by the workers who had been in possession, 
and work was half-heartedly resumed. 

It might have been supposed that Giolitti's surrender to 
communism would have brought industrial peace, but what 
the leaders of the agitation wanted was not peace but revo 
lution in government, and the agitation went on. 

Thinking men in Italy realized that if conditions continued 
as they were it could only be a short time before the revolu 
tion would come, and Italy follow in the footsteps of Russia. 


The proprietary class began to put pressure upon the prime 
minister in the hope of stiffening his attitude, but Giolitti 
did not have it in him to rise to the occasion. As usual he was 
Willing to compromise and to give a free hand to the bands 
of fascisti, who had been organized by Mussolini, in their 
effort to restore order. 

Giolitti was under the impression that he could use Musso 
lini as Cavour had used Garibaldi use him to do the work 
which he was both unwilling and incapable of doing him 
self. He thought that in case of failure Mussolini could be 
easily repudiated, and in case of success he could be shelved. 
What Giolitti failed to understand was that he was not 
Cavour, and that he was dealing with a very different type of 
man than Garibaldi. 

Cavour was a great statesman and a great man, of whom 
Garibaldi stood in awe, for all his intense dislike. When Italy 
had been won, and Garibaldi's part had been played, Cavour 
had little difficulty in sending him back to Caprera. The old 
hero went with a heavy heart and much resentment, but not 
a hand was raised to stay his departure. 

Giolitti was the antithesis of Cavour. A small and weak 
man, he was utterly incapable of controlling Mussolini. 
When order had been finally restored and the threat of 
bolshevism conjured, thanks to Mussolini and not to Giolitti, 
the power of the former had become so great and so gen 
erally recognized that he completely overshadowed and 
dominated the latter. 

During the summer and autumn of 1920 and the winter of 
1921 Giolitti preserved the attitude of an interested spectator 
and allowed the communists and fascisti to fight it out with 
out government even keeping the ring. 

In Bologna the anarchist Malatesta secured control of the 
city government and a virtual reign of terror began, which 
was finally ended by the fascisti driving out the reds and 
reorganizing the administration. From then on the fascisti 


carried war into all the communist strongholds, and usually 
with success, for public opinion, fearful of a bolshevik revo 
lution and disgusted with the supineness of the government, 
vigorously supported Mussolini. 

It is possible that the socialists might have made much 
headway had they held together, but at their congress of 
Leghorn, January 13, 1922, they once more split, and the left 
wing, breaking away, strove to emphasize its position by 
bomb outrages in Florence. The fascist! interfered, there were 
killings on both sides and for once the troops were allowed 
to restore order. 

During March the bread subsidy was at last abolished, but 
Giolittfs pet bill for the control of industry by the trade 
unions was defeated. Accordingly on April 7, 1921, the 
chamber was dissolved and the elections returned 107 popo- 
lari, 122 right-wing socialists, 16 communists, 35 fascisti, 
10 nationalists, 4 Germans from Tirol, and 5 Slavs from 
Triest, leaving only 236 out-and-out supporters of the prime 

Times had changed since the days when governments 
could "make" elections at will. There was too much unrest, 
too much excitement, especially among the peasants, to allow 
the prefetti to handle the electorate as they had done in the 
past. Moreover, the grand 5 elettori on whom Giolitti had 
relied, found their followers had developed an unexpected 
spirit of independence. 

Giolitti had extended the franchise to eight million voters 
in the belief that by so doing he would ensure his continuance 
in office. The result was precisely the opposite of his expecta 
tions, for the people whom he had enfranchised were those 
who turned against him and eventually drove him from 

For the first time the fascisti appeared in the chamber as 
an organized party, and with the nationalists formed a mili- 


tant group that carried on an unrelenting war against the 

On June n parliament met, and a fortnight later on a vote 
of confidence raised by Federzoni, the nationalist leader, on 
the foreign policy of Sforza, the government majority being 
negligible, Giolitti resigned. He was succeeded by Bonomi, 
who had held office in various Giolittian cabinets, and was as 
hesitating and weak a prime minister in the face of industrial 
unrest as had been his chief. He formed a government that 
depended largely on the popolari, and during its tenure of 
office the real power behind the throne was Don Sturzo who 
proved himself almost as radical as the socialists. 

Largely as the result of the failure of the Banco di Sconto 
the government fell after eight months of office and was 
succeeded by Luigi Facta, probably the weakest of the many 
weak prime ministers with whom Italy had been burdened. 

Disorders and strikes continued as they had under the 
Bonomi government, and reached a climax when on August 
i, 1922, a general strike was called in all Italy by the Allianza 
del Lavoro as a protest against the f ascisti. The f ascisti retali 
ated by issuing a proclamation giving the government forty- 
eight hours in which to assert its authority, threatening to 
take over governmental powers in the event of a continuance 
of the disorders. The workers walked out of most of the 
factories, and the railways, the mails and the telegraph were 
seriously crippled. The fascisti met and engaged the com 
munist forces in Milan, Genoa, Ancona, and other cities, and 
by August 5 the strike was over, again thanks to Mussolini 
and not to the prime minister. 

Facta offered several unimportant posts to Mussolini who 
replied with an ultimatum, "either immediate dissolution or 
a new cabinet with the important posts in fascista hands." 
Facta tried in vain to resign his office but could find no one 
to take his place. It was evident that his government was 


ceasing to function, and it seemed doubtful if it would be 
possible to constitute a cabinet that could govern. 

On October 24 at the fascista congress at Naples, 40,000 
well drilled fascisti in their black-shirted uniforms marched 
through the streets, and two days later some 10,000 marched 
on Rome in four columns, the actual march starting at Civita 
vecchia. The revolution had begun. 

On October 27 Facta presented to the king for the royal 
signature a decree proclaiming martial law, and, on the king's 
refusal to sign, at once resigned. 

An attempt by Salandra to form a government resulted in 
failure, and on Salandra's and Giolitti's advice the king sent 
for Mussolini. 

The fascisti reached Rome October 30, 1922, and occupied 
the city with very little bloodshed. The same day Mussolini 
arrived and was received by the king to whom he submitted 
the list of his government. October 31 Mussolini, fearing 
disorder, wisely ordered his followers to leave the city and 
two days later all had left. 

The revolution had been won and Mussolini was in abso 
lute control of the state. 

There has been a good deal of idle speculation as to 
whether, had he wished to do so, the king could have nipped 
the revolution in the bud. It has been suggested that had he 
followed the advice of Facta and signed the decree for martial 
law the army would have had no difficulty in suppressing 

While unquestionably the black shirts would have had no 
chance against the military in a pitched battle, it would have 
required a far stronger man than Facta at the head of af? airs 
to have made such a procedure successful. Had the decree 
been signed the army would of course have obeyed orders, 
but with a weak prime minister the campaign would at best 
have been carried on half-heartedly, for the great industrial 
ists, the aristocracy, and the middle classes, those, in short, 


who made public opinion, sympathized with a movement 
intended to change the existing conditions of semi-anarchy. 

It is not supposable that Facta or any of his possible parlia 
mentary successors would have had the courage, or the per 
sistence, or the energy to have carried on a long-drawn-out 
struggle, as it undoubtedly would have been. 

The king in refusing to sign the decree showed himself to 
be a man of wisdom and a patriot, for by so doing he un 
doubtedly saved his country from the horrors of civil war. 



TO UNDERSTAND the ease with which the fascista 
revolution succeeded, it is essential to study it objec 
tively, to disassociate oneself entirely from the Anglo- 
Saxon point of view, and to try to grasp the phenomenon 
with the mentality of an Italian. 

We English-speaking peoples have dogmatically asserted 
that a democratic government is the best government, not 
only for ourselves, but for all the other peoples of the world, 
that it is the ideal for which all peoples and nations ought to 
strive, and that failure to achieve it shows a civilization 
inferior to ours. 

It is undoubtedly true that for us democratic government 
is the best and only possible government. But it has come 
to us as the gradual development of a thousand years during 
which our ancestors worked and struggled and lived and 
fought and died for the realization of an ideal that they never 
forgot and never betrayed. 

That democracy has its shortcomings, in lack of efficiency 
and in cost, we concede, but we cheerfully pay the price, as 
we would cheerfully pay any price rather than surrender our 
right to self-government, for the concept of democracy is so 
ingrained in us that we can think in no other terms. 

While many of the Germanic peoples have followed in our 
footsteps, for most of the South Europeans this devotion of 
ours to democracy is an unfathomable mystery. Nations with . 
just as high as and far older civilizations than ours have 
never grasped the real meaning of democracy. 

While Italy, carried away by the doctrines of the French 
Revolution, loudly preached democracy she never really 


practised it, and it is absurd to think that had her leaders 
understood its spirit and sincerely desired to adopt a demo 
cratic government they could have succeeded. 

j\. form of government, that results from a condition of 
mine!, that is the growth of centuries, cannot be created 
overnight. The vast majority of the Italian people at the time 
of the birth of Italia Unita were illiterate and desperately 
poor. The struggle for existence was so hard that it left them 
neither leisure nor desire to think of other things. They were 
quite incapable of political thinking and were perfectly con 
tent to allow their betters to do their thinking for them, 
which their betters never hesitated to do, and the "making" 
of elections, which was the corruption and intimidation of 
the electorate by the political group or groups in power, 
became a recognized institution. Until the last general elec 
tion, before the revolution, there was no case of a prime 
minister failing to "make" an election in his own favor. 
Because of the group system and the tendency of deputies 
toward disloyalty he might ere long lose control of the major 
ity, but invariably at the beginning of a new parliament the 
outgoing prime minister was sure of a vote of confidence. 

The suffrage was never universal, or ever granted to all 
grown men. Even Giolitti's last extension of the vote had 
property qualifications that limited it to less than eight 
million out of a total population of nearly forty millions. 
Under Cavour the total number of voters was less than half 
a million, and after his time was on several occasions in 
creased to two million where it remained until 1912. 

These limited numbers of voters were easily handled by the 
prefetti and grand' elettori, who were the election agents of 
the groups in power. The vast majority of the deputies be 
longed to the so-called learned professions and followed some 
personal leader in the chamber, with whom they formed 
a group. 


In the early days when the so-called right was in power, 
there was real statesmanship in Italian politics. Cavour was 
a truly great man, while Ricasoli, Visconti-Venosta, Sella, 
Lanza, and Minghetti were all men of high character and 
great ability. 

On the passing of the right, Italian politics fell into the 
hands of smaller and cheaper men, professional office-holders 
who were willing to go to any lengths to retain their places. 
There was a gradual deterioration in public life after the 
time of Crispi, who with all his faults was a man of strength 
and character and by far the ablest of the three men who 
dominated Italy during the greater part of the time between 
1876 and 1922. 

As time passed, inefficiency and corruption in the public 
service increased to such an extent that they were generally 
acknowledged and condoned. Shortly before the World 
War a former minister, Nasi, was tried by the chamber for 
stealing the public funds and expelled. He was promptly 
reelected by his constituents, his election declared invalid by 
the chamber, again elected and unseated, and again elected, 
whereupon the chamber accepted him and he continued to sit 
until his death some years later. 

The Banca Romana scandal had not the slightest lasting 
effect on Giolitti's career, and was entirely forgotten by his 

A government rotten with graft and pitiably inefficient 
was obviously unable to face a serious crisis. If the World 
War ended gloriously for Italy it was because of the army, 
the organizing ability of the high command and the gallantry 
of the rank and file, and not at all because of the civil 

When the peace came and the government was called upon 
to face the menace of falling revenues and increasing expen 
ditures and of bolshevism, it sank deeper and deeper into 


the slough of despond, and threatened to cease functioning 

The thinking people of Italy, the hard-headed middle class 
and the intelligent peasants, who together constitute wellnigh 
a majority of the population, had for some time realized 
that only drastic measures could save the state from anarchy 
or communism. 

Parliament was out of touch with the country, and had 
ceased truly to represent public opinion. It was made up en 
tirely of professional politicians who owed their seats to the 
support of group leaders, prefetti, and prime ministers of the 
past or the future, who kept them in office to do their will. 

During the last decade of its existence Giolitti nearly 
always controlled a majority, and if at times that majority 
got out of hand and voted against his wishes, it was because 
public opinion was so aroused that deputies feared to run 
counter to it. 

At the outbreak of the war a large majority of the chamber 
was neutralist, and never viewed the war with any particu 
lar favor, so much so that only one deputy, Count Brando 
Brandolin of Venice, was killed. Yet against its will, the 
chamber not only declared war, but supported, although un 
enthusiastically, the various prime ministers who carried on 
during hostilities. 

Because of the group system a minority of the chamber, if 
sufficiently active and persistent, could usually defeat almost 
any legislation to which it objected, by bargaining with other 
minorities for the undoing of the government. It was not 
that able men were lacking in Italian politics, but the neces 
sity of constantly intriguing for group support, of constantly 
bargaining for the loyalty of members, made of the intriguer 
a far more outstanding figure than the statesman. 

That Giolitti controlled the chamber for so long was due 
not only to his great ability in intrigue, but to his invariable 


willingness to drop legislation that he had proposed, and to 
jump from one side to the other of a question with lightning 
speed, when the exigencies of a vote required. 

The idea of a dictator was not repugnant to a people who 
had never known real democracy. The quasi-democracy of 
Crispi had degenerated into the mob lawlessness permitted 
by Giolitti, which if allowed to continue could only have 
resulted in the shipwreck of the state. 

It became more and more evident that the only hope for 
Italy lay in a strong man at the helm. There was no one 
among the professional politicians who was other than a 
weakling. Had the king been willing to pattern himself upon 
his grandfather, it would have been logical for him to have 
seized control and to have saved the state. But the king was 
too scrupulously constitutional a monarch for the emergency. 
Fortunately for Italy there was one strong man available, who 
had behind him the force needed to work his will. 

Conditions were ripe for revolution; the car of state had 
fallen so deep in the mud that only dynamite could put it 
back upon its road. 

In 1922 Italy was faced with the alternative of collapse and 
communism, or of a dictatorship in the opposite direction. 
In any event the government, as it then was, was doomed 
and revolution either of the left or of the right was inevitable. 
Nothing could have saved the nation from communism but 
a strong man and at the most critical period of her life the 
strong man appeared. 

Mussolini is the only creator of a revolution in history who 
was both its apostle and its messiah. 

Born July 29, 1883, at Varano di Costa in Romagna, the son 
of a blacksmith, he became a schoolteacher, resigned to study 
at the University of Geneva, became a newspaper man, and 
in December 1912 the managing editor of Avanti, the official 
socialist organ. At that time he was an extreme syndicalistic 


and revolutionary socialist. In 1914, because of the anti-war 
policy of Avanti, he resigned and started his own paper, 
// Popolo d f Italia, with a capital of 4,000 lire lent him by pros 
pective advertisers. 

While still a socialist he advocated Italy's entrance into 
the war, and when she entered joined the colors. He fought 
with gallantry, was wounded and discharged as a sergeant. 

The war over., he resumed the editorship of his paper and 
on March 23, 1919, organized in Milan what he called "il 
fascio di combatimento," which may be freely translated "the 
fighting group." It consisted of some one hundred and fifty 
of his friends, who before the war had worked with him as 
syndicalists and for intervention. Most, if not all, had been 
soldiers, and while their political ideas were somewhat 
nebulous, they leaned toward socialism and republicanism 
and were all extreme nationalists. 

Mussolini was unceasing in spreading his belief in nation 
alism, and by voice and pen called on his countrymen to 
repair the damage done the national cause by the weakness 
of the government. In every town in which he found ad 
herents he organized a fascio, and soon had his units of 
organization spread all over the country. 

The movement at first made slow progress. In the election 
of 1919 the fascisti made no impression whatever, although 
in the following year, in union with other anti-red groups, 
they were heard from in the municipal elections. After the 
suppression of the Bologna riots in November 1920 when 
the local fascisti, numbering not more than two hundred, 
played an important part, the first armed bands called 
"squadre" or squadrons were organized. 

These were recruited from the existing fascii, from 
d'Annunzio's "legionari" who had recently been forced out 
of Fiume, from ex-soldiers and adventurous lads who sought 
excitement. They were armed, all with clubs, many with 


rifles, revolvers, and automatics, and used as a favorite 
weapon castor oil, which they forced their victims to drink. 
They were uniformed in black black trench cap, or fez, 
black cotton shirt, and black breeches and gaiters, and were 
usually known as "camicie nere," or black shirts, the black 
uniform being derived from that of the arditi or shock troops 
at the close of the Great War. 

They roamed the country without let or hindrance from 
the authorities, breaking up communist meetings, sacking 
communist newspaper offices and headquarters, and engag 
ing communist bands whenever and wherever met, and 
usually giving their opponents better than they received. 
Many of their historians would have us believe that they were 
entirely actuated by "outraged patriotism"; it is probable, 
however, that the force that impelled most of them was the 
love of adventure that is inherent in every normal boy. 

Atrocities were committed on both sides; the fascisti killed 
many communists, but on the other hand the communists 
killed many fascisti, yet it is probable that the total death 
list did not exceed a thousand. This death list seems not ex 
cessive when it is remembered that the black shirts were not 
only doing the work that the police should have done, but 
were at the same time bringing about one of the most com 
plete revolutions in history. When it is compared with the 
death lists of the French and Russian revolutions it sinks 
into insignificance. 

Who financed the movement is not known. The cost of 
arming, equipping, and maintaining in the field thousands 
of black shirts must have been very great, and it is probable 
that the paymasters were the industrialists whose interests 
required the restoration of order. 

The success of the fascisti against the communists, who 
had been repudiated by the right-wing socialists, brought 
many recruits to the fascista cause, especially from organized 


labor, many trade unions in the north joining fascismo 

At the election of May 1921 fascismo was strong enough to 
elect 38 deputies,, including Mussolini himself, who aban 
doned republicanism and declared for the monarchy Sep 
tember 29, 1922. In November 1921, a national congress was 
held in Rome, where Mussolini reviewed his black shirts, and 
the Partito Nazionale Fascista, or national fascista party, was 
formally organized. 

The platform of the party expresses in brief the doctrine 
of fascismo that Mussolini had evolved. "The nation," it 
says, "is not merely the sum total of living individuals, nor 
the instrument of parties for their own ends, but an organism 
comprising the unlimited series of generations of which indi 
viduals are merely transient elements; it is the synthesis of all 
the material and non-material values of the race." 

In foreign affairs the nation should "reaffirm her right to 
complete historic and geographic unity, and fulfil her mission 
as the bulwark of Latin civilization in the Mediterranean." 

In home affairs the functions of parliament should be 
limited to dealing with the state as the instrument of the 
nation and the individual as a citizen. The citizens as pro 
ducers should be dealt with by technical councils. The right 
of private property should be protected, unions both of em 
ployers and employed should be created and supervised by 
the state. The finances should be put in order and the state 
restored to a position of respect and importance. 

From this beginning has gradually been evolved the pres 
ent philosophy of fascismo, with its doctrine of the corporate 
state and its prime insistance on the state as the be-all and 
do-all of the nation. 

That Mussolini was personally ambitious no one can deny, 
but that he was influenced by a patriotism quite as great and 
even greater than his ambition is equally evident. 


He dreamed a dream of making Italy, his Italy, the greatest 
nation of the earth. But to do this he realized that he must 
entirely modify the character of her people. Never quite 
forgetting the socialism of his youth, he thought of the 
individual as a mere atom in the cosmos of the state. The 
government that he conceived is governmental socialism in 
which, although capitalism is recognized, it is controlled 
and regulated by the state. To produce such a government 
was possible, but to ensure it required a discipline among 
the people that did not exist. That he has succeeded in mak 
ing his countrymen not only accept his benevolent despotism 
in politics, but accept willingly the interference of govern 
ment in almost all their daily affairs, is because of the his 
toric experience of Italy and because of the man himself. 

The Italians have never known political self-government. 
The imposition of fascismo on the surface changed democ 
racy into dictatorship; actually it changed a corrupt and 
inefficient travesty of the one into an honest and efficient 
actuality of the other. Except among those who had lost their 
means of political livelihood and those dreamers who hon 
estly believed that the former government had really been 
democratic, the change was welcomed as a great improvement. 

State interference with the daily life of the individual was a 
different matter, and to bring about a condition of discipline 
among the people which would cause them to acquiesce, was 
the task to which Mussolini devoted himself. 

No other man than he could have succeeded, for he under 
stands the psychology of his people better than almost any 
other Italian who has ever lived. He has known how to raise 
the patriotic fervor of the people to the boiling point by a 
word and to calm them with a gesture, he has known just 
how far to go in making changes and just when to stop, he 
has kept the people interested in national affairs and in him 
self, and has won their devotion and their admiration. He 


has developed his people physically and mentally, and has 
inspired them by his personality. Eloquent, able, untiring, 
fearless morally and physically, hard-headed, ruthless, patient, 
he is the kind of man that Italians would like to be, and, not 
being, are glad to follow. 



MUSSOLINI'S government has always been that of 
one man, for, while he has had assistants, he has 
never had a colleague. He has the ability possessed by 
all great executives of making others do his work for him. 
His has been the directing brain, and from him have come 
the new ideas and the inspiration that have wrought the 
revolution, the details having been worked out by his subor 
dinates. For a decade he has been the absolute and undisputed 
dictator of Italy, standing head and shoulders above his asso 
ciates, not one of whom measures up to him in either force 
or ability. 

Before the march on Rome, Mussolini appointed the quad- 
rumvirate of the fascista party, as a sort of executive com 
mittee, under his direct control. It consisted of Michele 
Bianchi as secretary and executive officer, Italo Balbo, com 
manding the black shirts, General de Bono, a retired regular 
who had won fame for his gallant defense of Monte Grappa, 
and C M. de Vecchi, a deputy. Dino Grandi, a newspaper 
man, was attached as political adviser. These constituted the 
inner circle of the fascista machine and have remained the 
close friends of their leader ever since. 

The cabinet that Mussolini submitted for the approval of 
the king contained twelve members, and included represen 
tatives of the principal groups, excepting the left socialists. 
Besides the prime ministership Mussolini took the portfolios 
of foreign affairs and the interior, General Diaz was given 
war, and Admiral Thaon di Revel the navy, these two as 
soldier and sailor respectively being supposed to have no 


political affiliations but being nevertheless ardent fascisti. 
Tangorra at the treasury and Cavazzoni, labor, were popolari; 
Rossi, industry, was a follower of Giolitti; Gentile, education, 
and de Capitani, agriculture, were liberals; Cesaro, posts, was 
a right-wing socialist; Federzoni, colonies, was the nationalist 
leader who with his party soon joined fascismo; while de 
Stef ani, finance, and Carnazza, public works, were fascisti. 

As Gentile almost immediately after his appointment be 
came a fascista, all the important portfolios in this first 
fascista cabinet were in the hands of men who could be cer 
tainly counted on by the prime minister. Before many months 
had passed the non-f ascista members of the cabinet had either 
died or retired voluntarily or under pressure, and their places 
had been taken by fascisti. 

On November 16, 1922, when Mussolini faced the chamber 
as prime minister, he told it that he might have dissolved it 
and governed without its authority, but that he preferred to ask 
it to grant him absolute power for one year. He promised to 
call parliament together at the end of that time and to report 
that he had balanced the budget and restored Italy to order 
at home and dignity abroad. He further told the chamber 
that if the authority he sought were refused he would dis 
solve it, and assume absolute power without its consent. 
Whereupon the chamber, overwhelmingly Giolittian, with 
only forty-eight fascista and nationalist deputies, granted 
Mussolini the authority he demanded by a vote of 275 to 90 
and then adjourned. 

The action of the chamber was unconstitutional and revo 
lutionary, for it conferred upon Mussolini an unlimited dicta 
torship, never contemplated by the statuto. The 227 non- 
fascista and nationalist deputies, who supported Mussolini's 
demands, by so doing associated themselves with the revolu 
tion, and scarcely improved their standing in the eyes of the 
world when later they claimed to have voted under duress. 


The ease with which Mussolini intimidated the chamber 
shows clearly the quality of the membership of that body, 
and while thereafter and for some years opposition among 
the deputies to the new regime continued, it was very largely 

In December 1923 Mussolini, whose title of duce, or chief, 
had in the meantime been conferred upon him by fascismo, 
met the chamber, reported progress, and submitted a bill for 
the chamber's reorganization, which was promptly passed, 
whereupon parliament was dissolved. 

Under the terms of the new law Italy was divided into 
fifteen election districts, each electing a fixed number of 
deputies on a single ticket in proportion to its population. 
The party polling a plurality of the total votes in the nation 
was to receive two-thirds of the seats in the chamber. 

The elections were held on April 6, when 7,628,859 votes 
were polled, the fascisti receiving 4,693,690 or 65% per cent 
of the total. The old art of "making" an election had evi 
dently not died with the coming of the revolution, and yet 
in fairness it must be conceded that the intimidation used at 
the polls was no greater than was usually employed under the 
old regime. 

It has been said 1 that when Mussolini became prime min 
ister he intended, certainly in the beginning, to carry on the 
government under then existing political institutions but 
that a short experience with the chamber convinced him of 
the necessity of a change. 

The statuto, while respected in its letter, had been greatly 
modified in its spirit. Under Giolitti it had been more and 
more ignored, and the chamber of deputies had become the 
willing tool of the prime minister in his dictatorship. The 
statuto had expressly reserved the executive power to the 

1 Italy, by Luigi Villari, New York, 1929, p. 176. 


king, and had given the senate and chamber of deputies equal 

The chamber had centered the executive power in its own 
hands and had reduced the senate to the position of a register 
of the deputies' decrees. 

While the chamber had shown complete subservience to 
the will of the new dictator, it was by no means certain that 
under the existing group system that subservience could be 
counted on indefinitely. 

Mussolini had certain very clearly defined views on gov 
ernment, including the belief that the executive branch 
should be independent of and superior to the legislative. 
Under Giolitti the executive had become the creature of the 
chamber, a condition that might and probably would return 
as soon as the deputies recovered from their fear of the 

Mussolini believed that the only way by which the efficient 
functioning of the legislative branch of government could be 
restored was by laying the axe to the root of the group 
system and creating a majority party in the chamber. 

The method he employed was original and effective. It was, 
however, never intended to be anything but a stop-gap, and 
the next year, when it became evident that fascismo had 
established its power sufficiently to ensure a majority of the 
voters, the former one-member districts were reestablished 
and remained in being until the present system was enacted. 

When parliament met May 24, 1924, fascismo seemed to 
be firmly seated and yet a fortnight later began the most 
serious crisis of its existence that nearly brought its rule to 
an end. 

Giacomo Matteotti was a rich man, thirty-nine years of 
age, a deputy and secretary of the right-wing socialist party. 
He was the author of a book, Un anno di dominazione 
jascista, in which he had violently denounced the revolution, 


and was counted as one of fascismo's most uncompromising 
and courageous enemies. 

On May 30, 1924, he delivered a two-hour speech in the 
chamber of deputies, in which he vigorously attacked fas- 
cismo, charging especially that the recent election had been 
carried by fraud and violence. 

On June 10 he left his home in via Antonia Scialoia to go to 
the chamber of deputies and then disappeared. 

As the days passed and nothing was heard of him, his 
family and his friends became very much worried and ap 
pealed to the government for help. The duce announced on 
the floor of the chamber that everything possible was being 
done to find the missing deputy and that if unfortunately 
he had been made away with, his murder would be probed to 
the bottom and his murderers brought to justice. 

On the i5th most of the non-fascista deputies, as a protest 
against what they called the slackness of the government, 
withdrew from the chamber and were afterwards called "the 
deputies of the Aventine" in memory of the Roman plebs 
who had literally gone to the Aventine to mark their dis 
agreement with the policies of the aristocracy. 

The cry was raised that Matteotti had been murdered and 
that the government was responsible, and for a time the 
survival of fascismo seemed in doubt. While no one either 
suspected or suggested that the duce was personally impli 
cated, it was charged that those near him were deeply 

On June 16 the duce transferred Federzoni from the col 
onies to the interior, with orders to "clean house" which the 
minister promptly proceeded to do. 

On August 16 Matteotti's body was found in a wood, some 
ten miles from Rome. The murderers had crushed and 
twisted it in the effort to force it into a trench which they had 
dug, and while it was in an advanced state of decomposition, 
it was perfectly obvious that murder had been done. 


An "instruction" was at once ordered, and the examining 
magistrate caused the arrest of Dumini, Volpi, Poveromo, 
Viola, and Malacria, five notorious fascista gunmen o the 
early revolutionary days, Dumini having been the head of the 
Florentine squadra, Cesare Rossi head of the press bureau in 
the prime minister's office, Marinelli administrative secretary 
of the fascista party, Filipclli editor of the Corrieri Italiano, 
and Naldi editor of the Nuova Paese. 

A twelve-year-old boy who had been standing in front of 
Matteotti's home on June 10 testified that he had seen the 
latter seized by some men who had jumped from an auto 
mobile, that when Matteotti had cried out one of his attackers 
had knocked him down, and that he had then been carried 
to the car, which had rapidly driven away. The boy identified 
Dumini as the leader of the assassins. Under examination 
Dumini charged that Marinelli and Rossi had hired him to 
kidnap and beat Matteotti but not to kill him, that Matteotti 
had died under the beating "which had been very gentle, 
because of a weak heart." He further gave the names of his 
associates, and involved Finzi, the assistant minister of the 
interior, and General de Bono, the chief of police, in the 

The prime minister at once asked for the resignations of 
Rossi and Finzi, while General de Bono demanded a trial by 
the senate of which he was a member. 

The examining magistrate having held the prisoners for 
trial, they appealed from his decision. 

The opposition press became exceedingly violent and the 
duce put into force the decree for the regulation of the press 
that had been issued the year before. Under it the newspaper 
critics of the government found themselves faced with either 
change of policy or suppression. Most of them reorganized, 
substituting fascisti for the opposition editors who were dis 
charged; a few like the socialist Avanti and the democratic 


Mondo continued for a time to lead an unreorganized but 
chastened existence, but before long they disappeared. 

The imposition of a rigorous press censorship was followed 
by a general increase of severity which resulted in a renewal 
of activity on the part of unauthorized groups of black shirts. 

In the summer of 1925 Giovanni Amendola, leader of the 
Aventine group of deputies and proprietor of the newspaper 
// Hondo, was taking the cure at Montecatini, recovering 
from an attack that had been made upon him by fascisti in 
Rome the previous winter. While walking in the outskirts of 
the town he was held up by a band of black shirts and so 
severely beaten that he died shortly afterwards. His murder 
ers w^ere never arrested. 

In October of the same year the Tuscan provincial secre 
tary of the fascista party was murdered by Freemasons, so it 
was said. His friends cried out for vengeance and for several 
days there followed a reign of terror in Florence, during 
which the houses of Freemasons were sacked, and a number 
of leading Freemasons .killed, without much effort on the 
part of the authorities to restore order. 

In December 1925 the criminal section of the court of cassa 
tion handed down its decision in the Matteotti case, the 
senate having already absolved General de Bono. 

The court exonerated Filipelli, Marinelli, and Rossi, but 
held Dumini and his fellow gunmen for trial for "homicide 
without premeditation." 

The trial took place at Chieti, the prisoners being defended 
by Roberto Farinacci, the secretary of the fascista party, and 
ended March 24, 1926. Malacria and Viola were acquitted on 
the ground that they had not left the motor, while Dumini, 
Poveromo, and Volpi were found guilty of "unpremeditated, 
unintentional homicide, extenuated by the subnormal phys 
ical resistance of Matteotti," and were sentenced to five 
years, eleven months, and twenty days imprisonment, from 


which a year and nine months were deducted according to 
the Italian law as having been served while awaiting trial, 
and four years more were deducted by a general amnesty. 
Their total punishment was therefore two months and twenty 
days in prison. 

Subsequently, from the safety of Paris, Finzi, Rossi, and 
Dumini charged that the murders had been committed by 
direct orders, coming presumably from the duce. Their 
charges were so utterly fantastic that not even the duce's 
worst enemies believed them. Dumini, who later was so fool 
ish as to return to Italy and there repeat his charges, was 
clapped into jail and has not been heard from since. Rossi, 
who was living in Switzerland and had never ceased to repeat 
his very unbelievable story, was enticed over the frontier 
by a woman secret-service agent, and promptly followed 
Dumini to prison. 

The Matteotti murder, like that of Amendola, will prob 
ably always remain an unsolved mystery. It was undoubtedly 
the work of irresponsible men who thought they were gain 
ing the goodwill of their betters by their actions. No fair- 
minded man can for a moment believe that any of the real 
leaders of fascismo were involved. The only leader under 
suspicion was General de Bono, the hero of Monte Grappa, 
and the case against him rested on the unsupported word 
of a professional gunman and ex-convict. 

Had the leaders of fascismo ordered the murder, it would 
have been not only a crime but a political mistake of the 
most serious description. Matteotti was too prominent a man 
to be tampered with, with impunity. His murder certainly 
did not help the cause of fascismo, in fact, for the moment 
at least, it very seriously menaced it. It is inconceivable that 
any responsible leader would have wittingly run the tremen 
dous risk to his cause involved in the encouragement -of 
the crime. 


Delacroix 2 points out that "all involved have gone to the 
enemy and are now plotting abroad against the regime. It 
was a belated episode of the civil war which had raged since 

Had the opposition been well advised it is possible that 
fascismo might have fallen. Instead, they followed a course 
that only helped to strengthen the government. The extreme 
constitutionalists and the moderate socialists formed a coali 
tion with the left-wing socialists and communists who wished 
to destroy the constitution, and withdrew from the chamber. 
As the press was muzzled, they thus deprived themselves of 
the sole method of expressing their grievances that was open 
to them. 

Only Giolitti, Orlando, and Salandra with a handful of 
their personal friends remained in the chamber, and their 
opposition to the government was so mild as to be negligible. 
The government repeatedly invited the Aventinians to return 
to the chamber but without success. 

In the House of Commons or the House of Representatives 
a call of the house results in the arrest of absent members 
by the sergeant at arms, and in their appearance at the bar 
of the house, where they are subject to the will of their 
fellow members. 

The Italian chamber of deputies, having no method to 
compel the attendance of absent members, the Aventinians 
continued their futile and childish policy until in 1926 the 
chamber expelled them all for failure to attend to their 

Next to the Matteotti murder the most serious difficulty 
that Mussolini was called upon to face was the financial 
situation. De Stef ani, as minister of the treasury, had reorgan 
ized the finances with such success that a budget deficit of 
14,500,000,000 lire in 1920-1921 had been reduced to 418,000,000 

2 Un uomo e un popolo, p. 349. 


in 1923-1924, the first fiscal year of fascismo, and later turned 
into a surplus of 497,000,000 in 1927-1928. 

It is interesting to note that for the year 1931-1932, when 
the United States was groaning under an enormous deficit, 
Italy's deficit, despite the world depression, was only 
576,000,000 lire. 

In 1926 the Banca d'ltalia was made the sole bank of 
issue, the banks of Naples and Sicily being at the same time 
deprived of the privilege of issuing bank notes, which they 
had up to that time enjoyed. 

De Stefani, despite his good work in other directions, 
failed in trying to stop the fall in the value of the lire which 
from twenty to the dollar fell to thirty. The duce accepted 
the minister's resignation July 1925 and put in his place the 
governor of Tripoli, Count Giuseppi Volpi, a well known 
industrialist whose efforts to restore the lire were crowned 
with success. 

The war debt due to the United States was by treaty re 
duced from $2,148,000,000 to $360,000,000, or by 82 per cent, 
while that to Great Britain was reduced from 610,000,000 
to 254,000,000. At the same time a loan to stabilize exchange, 
amounting to $100,000,000, was negotiated with American 
bankers, and in December 1927 Italy returned to the gold 
standard and the value of the lire was fixed at nineteen to 
the dollar, where it has remained ever since. Volpi's stabili 
zation of the lira was accomplished with rapidity and with 
much courage and ability, and thoroughly deserved the great 
praise that he received for his achievement. Besides this 
Count Volpi abolished the dazio, or municipal customs 
duties, which had been an unprofitable and abominable 
nuisance, only retained because of the unwillingness of 
previous governments to discharge the army of employees 
required for their collection. 

While Mussolini was increasing his power at home, he was 
at the same time asserting a very vigorous foreign policy. 


On August 27 ? 1923, General Tellini, Italian president of 
the interallied (jreek-Albanian boundary commission, and 
four of his staff were murdered by Greeks on Greek terri 
tory, following a series of violent attacks against Italy on the 
part of the Greek press. Mussolini at once demanded an 
apology and an indemnity of 50,000,000 lire. The Greek 
government having refused all responsibility for the murders, 
an Italian squadron was ordered to seize Corfu, which it did 
after having bombarded the town and unintentionally killed 
a number of non-combatants. Greece having appealed to the 
Council of the League of Nations, the latter referred the 
matter to the conference of ambassadors then sitting in Paris. 
After an inquiry the ambassadors sustained the Italian 
claims and held that Greece was responsible for the murders, 
and should pay the required indemnity. Whereupon Greece 
paid in full, and Italy on September 27 withdrew from Corfu. 
Exactly one month after the murders Mussolini had won his 
first diplomatic success. 

Four months later he won a second diplomatic victory of 
far greater importance to his country. As a result of negotia 
tions with Yugoslavia which had lasted for some fourteen 
months there were signed at Rome on January 27, 1924, a 
series of treaties by which Italy and Yugoslavia agreed to 
work together in support of the peace treaties, and to stand 
by each other politically and diplomatically in case of attack 
by a third power. Yugoslavia recognized Italy's sovereignty 
over Fiume, while Italy recognized Yugoslavia's sovereignty 
over Porto Baros, near Fiume, a free customs zone being estab 
lished to include Fiume and Castna. 

By these treaties Italy at last received the much desired city 
of Fiume and relations with Yugoslavia, which had been 
greatly strained, were for the moment at least improved. 

By the following year, however, relations between the two 
countries were once more far from satisfactory and Yugo 
slavia flatly refused to ratify an agreement signed at Nettuno 


July 20, 1925, in reference to the rights of the nationals of 
Italy and Yugoslavia in each other's countries. 

A treaty of friendship between Yugoslavia and France 
signed November 7, 1927, was answered by a treaty of alli 
ance between Italy and Albania signed November 22 of 
the same year. 

Under this latter treaty Italy acquired what was virtually 
suzerainty over Albania, whose so-called president became 
king under Italian auspices in 1928. The feeling in Yugo 
slavia against Italy became extremely bitter and it was not 
until Briand, the French foreign minister, had used his good 
offices with that country that its government finally, on 
August 13, 1928, ratified the treaty of Nettuno. 



WHEN in October 1930 the eighth anniversary of 
the march on Rome was celebrated, Mussolini 
could fairly claim that the revolution of which he 
had been the creator and inspiration had been completed. 

A new Italy had been built upon the foundations of the 
old, new in ideals, new in purposes, new in government. The 
old order and the old governing caste had disappeared and 
new men had taken their places. 

Italy is today the fascista syndical corporative state. It is 
ruled nominally by a king belonging to the House of Savoy, 
but the actual head of the state is Mussolini, from whom all 
powers of government are derived. 

The fascista party consists approximately of a million 
members, men of over eighteen years of age, out of a popula 
tion of about forty-two million, belonging to all classes in 
the community from the highest to the lowest. These are the 
"fascii di combatimento," or fighting groups, and are recruited 
by the admission of members of the "avanguardia," composed 
of boys between fourteen and eighteen, which in its turn is 
recruited from the "balilla," composed of boys under four 
teen. The avanguardia and balilla together have a member 
ship of about two million out of a total school population of 
four million. 

The balilla is a military adaptation of the boy scout move 
ment, and is under the ministry of education. The emphasis 
in the training of the boys is on discipline and military drill, 
boys not members of the balilla receiving military drill in the 


Since 1925, with the exception of a few honorary appoint 
ments, officers on the active list of the army and navy being 
ineligible, no one has been allowed to join the party unless 
he has worked his way up through balilla and avanguardia. 
In 1931 90,000 avanguardisti were admitted to the party, and 
eventually every full-fledged fascista will be a disciplined 
and fairly well drilled soldier. 

There are also parallel organizations of women, number 
ing in all about half a million. 

The old fascista squadre di combatimento have been abol 
ished and in their place a black-shirt militia numbering 
190,000, with a budget of 50,000,000 lire, has been organized 
and takes its orders directly from the duce. On mobilization, 
two battalions of black shirts are attached to each infantry 
division of regulars. 

The fascii in the various provinces appoint delegates who 
in turn appoint a provincial secretary. These secretaries with 
the central committee constitute the national council, which 
elects the central committee and the ten members of the direc 
torate and the general secretary of the party, all these elec 
tions being subject to the approval of the duce. 
:. The fascista party has become the government, or rather 
the government has been absorbed by fascismo; all other 
parties have been abolished. 

Next to the duce the highest authority is the fascista grand 
council, which consists of the duce as chairman, the members 
of the cabinet, and some of the under-secretaries, the quad- 
rumviri of the march on Rome, the general commanding 
the militia, the presidents of the two houses of parliament, 
the president of the fascista criminal court, and the presidents 
of various syndicates of employers and employed.,,/ 

Besides having general jurisdiction over the party, the 
grand council appoints the party officers, passes on the can 
didates for election to the chamber, determines the powers 
and composition of the senate and chamber, the prerogatives 


of the crown, the succession to the throne, approves treaties 
involving territorial changes, the powers of the prime min 
ister, and, in case of a vacancy in the office, chooses his 

The grand council, on paper at least, is supreme, and it is 
even conceivable that it might make itself very disagreeable 
to the duce, but as it is composed of his appointees and friends 
this is scarcely probable. 

The senate has been left as it was, made up of the ap 
pointees of government, enjoying life terms. The cham 
ber has been entirely reorganized. Its membership has been 
reduced to 400, elected from the nation at large on a single 
ticket. Each of the thirteen confederations of employers and 
employed and certain other organizations are entitled to a 
fixed number of members. Their councils submit the names 
of 800 candidates from which the grand council chooses 400 
names, or may substitute candidates of its own for those sub 
mitted. The candidates approved by the grand council are 
then submitted to the electorate, who vote either "y es " or 
"no" upon the ticket as a whole. In the almost impossible 
event of the ticket being defeated, an extremely complicated 
arrangement is provided for a second ballot. 

In the first election held under the new law the suffrage 
was given to all men over twenty-one years of age paying a 
direct tax of 100 lire, or who were holders of at least 500 lire 
of government bonds, or who were state pensioners, office 
holders or clerics belonging to any recognized church, and 
included a total of about 9,500,000 of whom 8,650,000 voted. 
; The powers of parliament are limited and may be at any 
feioment enlarged or restricted by a decree of the grand coun 
cil. There have been occasions when the budget was enacted 
by decree, being read by the finance minister to a mass meet 
ing at the Scala Theater at Milan, with no opportunity for 
discussion or amendment. 


To strengthen central authority, the old provincial and 
communal elective councils have been done away with. For 
the former have been substituted advisory economic councils, 
appointed by the pref etti, while the communes are now ruled 
by podesta appointed by the minister of the interior, and 
govern with the advice, which they need not accept, of con- 
suite or councils chosen from the voters in the commune. 
The podesta need not be a resident of the commune but may 
be anyone agreeable to the minister. 

It has been charged that before the change, the government 
of the communes was not only grossly inefficient, but also 
exceedingly corrupt. The smaller communes were generally 
governed by a few families or by a single family, of grand' 
elettori, who ran them in their own personal interests, while 
the large communes such as Milan and Bologna were gov 
erned by small close corporations, or machines, with such 
reckless disregard of economy and honesty as to drive many 
of them into near bankruptcy. 

While the minister of the interior had the legal power to 
dissolve municipal and provincial councils, it was a power 
that he never used for fear of losing the electoral support of 
those involved. The consequence was that the local govern 
ments did very much as they pleased, without let or hin 
drance, and they usually pleased to do their work extremely 

As aids to the enforcement of authority a number of meas 
ures have been adopted which to one living in a democratic 
country seem to be, to say the least, extreme. 

The first restriction of the freedom of the press, put into 
force after the Matteotti murder, was followed after the first 
attempt on Mussolini's life by a complete suppression of all 
opposition newspapers. No one may be a newspaper man 
who is not a member of the fascista syndicate. It is often said 
that there is no press censorship in Italy. It is unnecessary. 
Were any newspaper in the kingdom to attack or criticize 


the government, it would be at once suppressed. Newspaper 
men must needs be discreet. 

Civil servants, from the highest to the lowest, who are out 
of sympathy with fascismo may be dismissed. The number, 
however, who have suffered for their opinions has not been 
large when compared with the changes that occur in the 
United States as a matter of course with every change of 
administration in the nation, states and cities. Only seven 
teen employees of the ministry of justice were removed on 
the coming of fascismo, and only two university professors 
and four elementary school teachers, as against thirty-two 
professors removed from the University of Naples alone for 
Bourbon sympathies on the acquisition of the Two Sicilies 
by the kingdom of Italy. 

There are many officials, some of them of high rank, who 
are still in office although not members of the fascista party. 
These are of course not enemies of the government and 
are presumably at least sympathetic to the source of their 

Italians living abroad who are held to have injured the 
interests of Italy may be deprived of their citizenship and 
their property. Yet of all the many "fuorusciti," as they are 
called, who from their headquarters in Switzerland and 
France constantly conspire against fascismo, only fifteen, it 
is claimed, have been so punished. 

The death penalty has been revived for murder, acts of 
sedition, and attempts upon the lives of the king, the crown 
prince, and the duce. There has been created an emergency 
court martial that tries those charged with sedition and may 
on conviction sentence them to death, confinement in the 
ordinary prisons, or on one of the penal islands, or to police 
supervision. On the enactment of the law the number of those 
sent to die "confini" (the penal islands) was said to have been 

!, while 959 people were alleged to have been put under 


police supervision. It is claimed that since the recent amnesty 
very few are still upon the islands. 

All secret societies including the Freemasons have been 
abolished and the grand master of the latter, Torrigiani, was 
sent to the confino, but with Malatesta, the anarchist, was 
shortly afterwards pardoned. 

It must be remembered that Latin Freemasonry is quite 
different from that of the United States, Britain, and Ger 
many, so much so that it is not recognized by Freemasonry in 
the latter countries. It is anti-religious and political, opposing 
the Church in the Catholic countries where it has its being, 
and taking an active although secret part in politics for the 
benefit of its own members. Both in France and in Italy before 
the revolution, the political power of Freemasonry was gen 
erally recognized, and it was conceded that a non-mason 
had but a poor chance of making a political career. 

Masonry had become in Italy a state within a state, and it 
was as a matter of self-defense that Mussolini took drastic 
action against it. In doing so he had only followed the ex 
ample of the Church that had long since put it under the ban 
of excommunication. 

It will be seen that the power which the duce has attained 
is as nearly absolute as human ingenuity can make it. 
Through his instrument, the grand council, he may by decree 
repeal, amend or enact any law he pleases. The state is so 
centralized that there is no public official who is not directly 
under superior authority in Rome, and who is not imme 
diately removable. Opposition parties and groups having 
been abolished, the press being entirely governmental, and 
the interpretation of what constitutes sedition being ex 
tremely liberal, serious hostility to or criticism of fascismo 
are impossible. 

All of this, it may be said, offends our democratic senti 
ments, but fascismo has never claimed to be democratic, and 
has insisted that inefficiency is the price of democracy. 


The duce never offered to give Italy democratic institu 
tions. What he did promise was to give Italy the place to 
which she was entitled in the family of nations and to start 
her on the road to financial and economic prosperity, and 
both of these promises he has kept. / 

Before the World War, Italy counted but little in the fam 
ily of nations; today she stands as one of the four great 
powers of Europe. With a budget that until the present world 
depression was balanced, a stabilized lira, and an army of 
325,000 regulars and 190,000 militia, who in case of war can 
be expanded to a total of 4,500,000, the word of Italy counts, 
and her friendship is sought as never before. 

This newly acquired position in world affairs has given her 
people a pride in their country and a devotion to their leader 
that is a new development in Italian history. 

In domestic affairs the revolution has been quite as great. 
The people are very heavily taxed but the revenue so raised 
has been wisely used. Primary education has been made com 
pulsory, while the health of the children has been cared for 
through the balilla, avanguardia, and the parallel organiza 
tions for girls. 

The "dopolavoro" office supervises the well-being of the 
people in their leisure time, encouraging employers' welfare 
plans for their employees, and providing opportunities for 
education, amusement, and sport among the workers. The 
total number of dopolavoro groups in 1930 was 11,084, with a 
membership of 1,622,140. 

Fascismo has laid great stress on the physical development 
of the people, and has not only encouraged and subsidized 
athletics but has waged with considerable success a war 
against tuberculosis and other communicable diseases. A com 
prehensive scheme of social legislation has been inaugurated 
and as soon as funds are available will be completed with 
laws for insurance against old age, sickness, accident, and 
unemployment, and for mothers' and children's welfare. 


Throughout the government services waste has been re 
duced, graft largely done away with, and efficiency increased, 
while the morale of the personnel has been much strength 
ened. The railway service has been improved and 20 per cent 
of the lines have been electrified, many new motor roads have 
been built, the water power has been largely developed, and 
the mercantile marine has been increased by nearly 500,000 

The duce has taken under his personal supervision the 
encouragement of art and archeology. New museums have 
been organized in many of the larger cities and in almost all 
the smaller towns where none already existed, while the exhi 
bitions of modern art in Rome and Venice have become inter 
national institutions. Much progress has been made in exca 
vating Pompeii, Rome, and Ostia, and many monuments of 
antiquity and of the renaissance have been restored, as for 
example the castles in Mantua and Verona, which from hav 
ing been semi-ruins have been transformed into two of the 
most interesting and beautiful museums in Italy. 

During its decade of life fascismo has done more for Ital 
ian art than was accomplished during the preceding half 

While slightly more than half of the people of Italy live 
by agriculture, more than a quarter of the food supply must 
be imported. To remedy this condition, the duce, in 1925, 
began what he picturesquely called "the battle for wheat." 

The wheat campaign has had for its purpose technical de 
velopment so as to obtain the maximum yield per unit, with 
out displacing other crops. The "battle" has thus far been 
extremely successful. The wheat crop has increased from an 
average of 5,000,000 metric tons before the war and 4,500,000 
immediately after the war, to 6,100,000 in the first six years 
of the campaign, rising to 7,100,000 in 1929. 

In the beginning fascismo had no labor policy of its own, 
and it was not until 1926 that one was evolved. The most 


drastic change under Mussolini has been the reorganization 
of labor and its relations with its employers and with the 
state. By the decree of April 3, 1926, the previous parliamen 
tary state gave place to the corporative or guild state. 

For the purpose of the decree the employers of labor includ 
ing engineers and managers are divided into six great con 
federations: i, industry; 2, agriculture; 3, commerce; 
4, banks; 5, land and inland water transport; and 6, sea and 
air transport. 

The workers by hand and brain are organized into seven 
federations corresponding to the confederations of employers, 
and are united into one national confederation of fascista 
syndicates, or trade unions. The workers in sea and air 
transport and the artisans are organized separately, the latter 
being affiliated with the employers' confederation of indus 
try* The professions are organized into a federation of intel 
lectual workers, consisting of sixteen associations represent 
ing the various professions, and are affiliated with the 
workers' confederation. 

The federations and confederations choose their own offi 
cers, subject to the veto of the minister of corporations, who 
has the general direction of the whole movement. Public em 
ployees have their own organizations combined in a general 
association, the army, navy, judiciary, university professors, 
and the personnel of the foreign office being, however, for 
bidden to organize. 

Under the federations and confederations are "corpora 
tions" for the provinces and cities. In the various branches of 
activity there are national corporations representing both 
employers and employed under a chairman appointed by 
the minister. 

These are the permanent deliberative and advisory bodies 
representing both employers and employed but directly under 
the government. They not only regulate the conditions of 
labor, but organize and direct employment offices, and act 


as boards of mediation in disputes before reference to the 
labor courts. Strikes and lockouts are illegal and the findings 
of the labor courts, directed by the minister, are final. 

The minister has an advisory council composed of dele 
gates from the confederations, federations, government em 
ployees, and the various educational and welfare boards such 
as the balilla, dopolavoro, etc. 

The corporations are sustained by a fund to which each 
employer annually pays an amount equal to one day's pay for 
every man he employs, while each worker pays through his 
employer one day's pay a year, and this applies also to work 
ers who are not members of a union. 

While many members of the workers' syndicates are at the 
same time members of the fascista party, the vast majority 
are not, for membership in the party is an entirely different 
matter from membership in the syndicates. The two exist for 
entirely different purposes, although the party, through the 
grand council, dominates the syndicates. 

The total membership of the workers' federations of syn 
dicates was about 4,000,000 in 1928, while that of the em 
ployers' confederation was about 900,000. 

While non-official syndicates are not forbidden by law, 
they have almost ceased to exist. They may not legally rep 
resent their members, and have no official standing. The 
advantages of membership in the official unions are so 
obvious and so great, that it is probable that within a few 
years practically all of both employers and employed will 
have been unionized. 

The link between government and the corporations is very 
close, for not only do the confederations submit to the grand 
council of the fascista party candidates for the chamber, but 
they have direct representation on the grand council itself, 
while on the other hand the control of the whole movement 
is finally under the direction of the minister of corporations. 


Under fascismo, as it has been developed, the individual 
has been absorbed into the state so that to paraphrase the 
charter of labor proclaimed April 21, 1927, the individual is 
subordinated to national interests, work is a social duty, pri 
vate initiative is the most effective instrument of production, 
but the organizers of industry are responsible to the state for 
results. While the workers are partners in production, the 
management and direction belong exclusively to the em 
ployer, and over both and supervising production and distri 
bution is the state. 

It will thus be seen that while the statuto has never for 
mally been repealed, nothing now remains of the original 
document but Article XXXIII, which creates the senate and 
provides for its composition. By the action of the chambers 
or by decree, every other article has either been nullified or 
whittled away beyond recognition. 

The statuto declares that the throne is hereditary but under 
the law of December 9, 1928, the grand council determines 
the succession. On the death of the king it will be the duty of 
the grand council to determine whether the Prince of Pied 
mont shall succeed, or whether the crown shall be given to 
some other member of the House of Savoy or to an outsider. 
The statuto declares that "the executive power belongs 
solely to the king who is the supreme head of the state," but 
under the law of December 24, 1925, the executive power is 
actually vested in "the head of the government" (il capo del 
governo), which is Mussolini's official title, who is in theory 
and in theory only nominated and recalled by the king and 
responsible to the king for the general management of the 
nation. By this and other laws all other powers of the king 
reserved by the statuto have either actually or by inference 
been terminated. The statuto declares that "the press will be 
free," but the law of December 31, 1925, completely abolishes 
its freedom. The statuto provides in a number of Articles for 
the creation and election of the chamber of deputies, and for 


the duties and rights of its members. All of these Articles 
have been abrogated by the law of May 17, 1928, and the 
present chamber "corporate in origin, is political in charac 
ter and has political functions." None but fascist! are eligible, 
and no question can be discussed unless on the calendar or 
submitted by the head of the government. Members "may 
freely discuss the work of the government, not, of course, for 
the purpose of overthrowing it, but for the purpose of criti 
cism and collaboration." 

As under the law of January 31, 1926, the executive, which 
means the head of the government, may at any time issue 
decrees on any subject, having the force of law, it follows that 
the chamber may only legislate on such subjects as the gov 
ernment permits. In other words, the functions of parliament 
are more ornamental than useful. 

The statute declares "individual liberty is guaranteed." 
Under the various laws and decrees of f ascismo the individual 
has become a mere item in the life of the state, with only such 
liberty of speech and action left to him as the state may see 
fit to grant. 

It must be remembered that while pre-revolutionary Italy 
was not a real democracy, the statuto was not a democratic 
constitution. It did not come from below but from above. 
It was not the work of the people, but was a charter of liberty 
granted by the king. It was the ultimate concession that he 
was willing to make to his subjects, and coming as it did 
from a monarch who had hitherto believed in and practised 
absolutism, it marked a great advance along the road to free 
dom travelled by a people who hardly knew the meaning 
of the word. During the years which followed, the statuto 
remained intact in form, and ministers more than once 
showed much ingenuity in preserving its letter while vio 
lating its spirit. 

When f ascismo came into power the government was faced 
with the alternative of devising some method of transforming 


a charter of liberty, based in theory at least on democratic 
principles, into the fundamental law of a government that 
repudiated democracy and all its works, that would satisfy 
the scruples of constitutional lawyers, or of ignoring it. 

As the new government was frankly revolutionary, it 
boldly chose the latter course. 

Under the old order power was derived from the king, 
under the new order power is derived from the f ascista party. 
So in nullifying the statuto the government has been perfectly 
logical in claiming for itself supreme authority, supreme over 
any law or body of laws coming from any other source, 
whether from king or from people. 



SINCE the passing of Pius IX there have been four popes, 
of whom two have been primarily statesmen and two 
men of near sainthood. 

Leo XIII, who reigned from 1878 to 1903, was probably 
the ablest diplomatist and statesman of his time, and enjoys 
the distinction of being the only man who succeeded in de 
feating Bismarck or, in accordance with the expression of the 
day, in making him "come to Canossa." 

Bismarck in his Kulturkampf against the Church had en 
acted legislation designed completely to destroy its freedom 
and subject it oppressively to the police power of the state. Leo, 
with infinite tact, patience, and skill succeeded in forcing 
the Iron Chancellor to reverse himself and to restore the 
Church to its former position of independence. This victory 
did more to increase the prestige of the Vatican than any 
event that had occurred since the French Revolution. 

Throughout the world Leo strove for harmonious rela 
tions between church and state, holding that the form of 
government existing in any country was of no concern to 
the Church provided it received justice from the authorities. 

In his relations with Italy, however, he remained intran 
sigent, forbidding the faithful either to vote or hold office, 
and flatly refusing to recognize the Italian government 
without a restoration of the temporal power. Nevertheless 
negotiations were begun, and it is probable that Leo would 
have been satisfied with a very small territorial concession. 
But the times were not ripe for an accord between church 
and state, and the Italian liberals, like most of the so-called 
liberals in Latin countries, violently illiberal in religious mat- 


ters, brought the negotiations to an end in 1889 by deliriously 
celebrating the birthday of Giordano Bruno. 

Under Pius X, who reigned from 1903 to 1914, consider 
able progress was made in the betterment of relations with 
the Quirinal. The pope, unlike many clericals who regarded 
themselves as internationalists, could never forget that he was 
an Italian who loved his Italy. His kindness of heart and 
gentleness prevented him from harboring any animosity 
against the country of his birth, or against her people. 

While officially continuing the claim of the papacy for the 
temporal power, and insisting on the right of the Church to 
complete liberty, the inhibition against voting was relaxed 
so that the faithful were permitted to take part in elections, 
both as voters and candidates, and the "Catholic Action" 
was created, a non-political society having for its purpose the 
civic, social, and religious education of the Italian people. 

At the beginning of the Turkish war chaplains were fur 
nished the troops by the Vatican at the request of the Qui 
rinal, the first time in forty years that the Italian army had 
the official ministration of religion. 

In 1911 a regiment of bersaglieri that was going to the 
front was passing the Vatican, when the Holy Father coming 
to his window blessed them. Forgetting the bitterness of the 
past, he remembered only that they were his countrymen 
on their way to fight and die for Italy. 

On August 2, 1914, Pius appealed to the world to keep the 
peace, and called on the faithful everywhere to join with him 
in praying that the horrors of war might be averted. Eight 
een days later he died with this prayer for peace upon his 
lips, universally regretted and mourned. 

He was succeeded by Benedict XV who reigned from 
1914 to 1922. 

The new pope, while a diplomat de carriere, was a man of 
great piety, a lover of justice and of peace. He began his 
reign by declaring the strict neutrality of the Holy See in 


the Great War, a neutrality from which he never swerved. 
The horrors of the war sickened him, and he strove inces 
santly and eloquently to bring peace. 

No man has ever been more unjustly abused than Bene 
dict XV. Because he was neutral, the war hysteria of the 
time charged him with favoring either one side or the other. 
Nevertheless, disregarding the attacks that were made upon 
him, he kept his poise and bravely followed the course which 
he had set himself, to do all in his power to bring the world 
back to reason and to mitigate the sufferings of those who 
had gone down in the strife. 

The Italian government restricted to an unjustifiable de 
gree the independence of the Holy Father. The diplomatic 
representatives of the central powers to the Vatican left Italy 
at the suggestion of the pope and those of the Vatican were 
obliged to go to and from Austria and Germany via Switzer 
land. It was charged and scarcely denied that letters and tele 
grams were opened and many never delivered, and that 
clerics were subjected to espionage. It was a humiliating sit 
uation and wellnigh intolerable, and the Holy Father pro 
tested against it with great vigor and demanded the restora 
tion of some small part of the temporal possessions as a 
guarantee of that independence so essential for the liberty 
of the Church. 

When the passions and hysteria of the war have been for 
gotten and the world is once more capable of an impartial 
judgment, Benedict XV will receive the credit that is his due. 
He was an honest, sincere, and holy man, who strove against 
overwhelming odds to bring peace to a war-worn world. He 
will be remembered long after the little men who brought 
about the war have been forgotten. 

On January 22, 1922, Benedict died and on February 6 
Pius XI was elected in his place. 

Achille Ratti was born May 31, 1857, at Desio, a suburb 
of Milan, and was the son of Francesco Ratti, a prosperous 


silk manufacturer* He was ordained priest December 20, 
1879, an d finished his studies three years later and has since 
then had a distinguished and varied career. After a few 
months as parish priest at Barni he was appointed professor 
of dogmatic theology in the Great Seminary at Milan. In 
1888 he joined the staff of the Ambrosian Library and in 
1907 became its prefect. He not only completed a reclassifi- 
cation of the library on modern lines but became a really 
great paleographer. In 1912 he was appointed vice-prefect of 
the Vatican Library and canon of St. Peter's. 

In 1919 Benedict XV sent him to Poland as nuncio apos- 
tolico and created him titular archbishop of Lepanto. He 
was chosen by the interallied commission, at the suggestion 
of Germany and Poland, as ecclesiastical commissioner. On 
the death of Cardinal Ferrari in June 1921, he was appointed 
archbishop of Milan and created cardinal. Eight months later 
he was elected pope. 

He had proved himself as an executive and an adminis 
trator. His service in Poland showed that he was a diplomat 
and statesman of high order. He has travelled far more 
widely than most of his countrymen, is a scholar, and a good 
linguist. He is a man of great breadth of view, a just man 
who loves mercy and is very human. 

He is a lover of nature, but more than that he is a moun 
taineer. From his ordination to his election as pope every 
summer vacation was spent in the Alps. He has made a num 
ber of first ascents, including a new way up Monte Rosa, 
usually without guides, and has written and published one 
of the most delightful of existing books on mountain climb 
ing, Scrim Alpenistici. His apostolic letter declaring San Ber 
nardo di Mentone the patron saint of Alpinists is one of the 
most beautiful essays on the mountains and mountaineering 
that has ever been written. 

Throughout his long career in Milan, Pius XI had always 
been on excellent terms with Italian officials and had always 


shown himself possessed by a profound love and admiration 
for his country. From the beginning of his reign he began 
quietly to feel out the Quirinal as to the possibility of a 
rapprochement. His exceedingly able foreign minister, Car 
dinal Gasparri, conducted the negotiations on behalf of the 
Holy See, but it was some time before a responsive chord was 
struck in the heart of the Italian government. 

Italy is, nominally at least, overwhelmingly Catholic. Ac 
cording to the census of 1911, 33,000,000 out of a population 
of 35,000,000 had claimed allegiance to the Catholic Church. 

While the extreme supporters of the Holy Father were 
inclined to intransigence, referring to the king as "colui che 
detiene," or "he who withholds" (the temporal power), some 
extremists even going so far as to wear mourning on the 
anniversary of the capture of Rome, as time passed the vast 
majority on both sides learned to treat their diff erences with 
good nature. 

The anti-clericals never went to the extremes that were 
reached in France, while the vast majority of the clericals 
found no difficulty in being both good Catholics and good 

The bitterness of the iSyo's had given place to a new spirit 
of tolerance. "The uncompromising non licet of Pius IX had 
become merely the nune non expedit of Leo XIII," 1 and even 
that had been withdrawn. 

Mussolini, who previous to his assumption of power had 
been a violent anti-clerical and as lately as 1920 had an 
nounced that the revolution would seek to destroy the 
Church, had begun his career as head of the state with words 
of friendliness toward the Holy Father. 

Every time, however, that pope and duce drew together 
something occurred to check the growing kindliness of rela 
tions. First it was the abolition of the pacifist Catholic boy 

1 Luigi Villari, op. cit., p. 300. 


scouts, and the substitution in their place of the militaristic 
balilla and avanguardia, then it was the suppression of the 
Catholic Action Society. 

As this latter occurrence was accompanied by a good deal 
of needless force on the part of the militia, the reaction of all 
Catholics throughout Italy was immediate and violent. Rela 
tions between the Vatican and Quirinal became much 
strained and all the efforts that had been made toward a 
better understanding seemed to have been wasted. 

Mussolini had never forgotten that although Biilow had 
threatened the restoration of the temporal power, Benedict 
had flatly refused to help the intrigues of Germany and Aus 
tria during the war, and had even requested their diplomatic 
representatives, accredited to the Vatican, to leave Italy. The 
duce was not ungrateful and to his words of friendliness had 
added acts which at the time had been sincerely appreciated 
by churchmen. 

He had restored the crucifixes in the schools, where they 
hung below the portraits of the king and of Mussolini him 
self, set up once more the large cross in the Colosseum, which 
had been taken down in 1870, and permitted religious pro 
cessions to be held anywhere in Italy. 

The pope who had, as a guarantee of his good faith, abol 
ished the popolaro party and sent its founder and leader, Don 
Sturzo, into exile, resented the implication that he had 
broken faith and allowed his followers to engage in political 
activity under the guise of philanthropy, using the Action as 
their instrument. 

A compromise was finally reached, and the Action was 
permitted to resume, greatly limited in its scope, so as not to 
interfere with the work of the balilla and avanguardia and 
pledged to refrain from all political activity. 

Good feeling was gradually restored and by 1926 Mussolini 
judged it to be opportune to approach the Vatican with 
a proposal for direct negotiations looking to the settlement 


of the Roman question. The Holy Father accepted the duce's 
proposal with right good will, and the negotiations began. 

They were conducted secretly, Signor Baroni representing 
the duce and Monsignore Duca and Signor Pacelli the pope. 
After Signor Baroni's death the cluce and Cardinal Gas- 
parri dealt with each other through Signor Pacelli. 

At the beginning of 1929 it was rumored that an accord 
had been reached, but so startling was the suggestion that it 
was generally disbelieved. On February 7 Cardinal Gasparri 
summoned the diplomatic corps and announced that the 
Roman question had been settled and that an accord was 
about to be signed, and at the Lateran Palace in Rome, at 
noon on February n, the accord was signed. 

Ever since the occupation of Rome by Victor Emanuel in 
1870 churchmen had been sharply divided upon the question 
of the restoration of the temporal power. On the one hand 
were those who believed that it was essential for the dignity, 
honor, and authority of the Church that the sovereignty of 
the pope should extend not only over things spiritual but 
also over a territory sufficiently large to make him indepen 
dent of Italy and free to rule his spiritual domain without 
let or hindrance from any other political state. There were 
some who hoped for a restoration of the former States of 
the Church ; these were, however, very few in number and 
included no really practical ecclesiastical statesmen. There 
were others who favored the acquisition of territory outside 
of Italy as the gift of some Catholic and friendly power, but 
the proponents of a second Babylonian exile were so insignifi 
cant in numbers and influence as to be negligible. The vast 
majority of those who sought a reconciliation on the basis 
of a territorial state were realists who neither expected nor 
desired any large domain, knowing that Italy would never 
make such a cession. They favored reconciliation with the 
Quirinal in return for the grant of a small and compact papal 
state with access to the sea. The misgovernment of the king- 


dom of Pius IX had been such as not to encourage any ambi 
tion to repeat the experiment. What was wanted was an 
independent sovereignty large enough and no larger than 
necessary to house the offices of the papal government, with 
the possibility of free and open communication with the rest 
of the world, without the necessity of crossing Italian terri 
tory. A small papal state would be easy to govern and would 
at the same time answer the requirements of the papacy quite 
as well as would a larger. But territorial sovereignty, with all 
the powers and rights that sovereignty implies, was consid 
ered an absolute necessity if the Church was to function with 
the maximum of efficiency and freedom. 

On the other hand were those who deplored the very idea 
of a restoration of the temporal power. They argued that 
the Church could gain nothing, by a return of political sov 
ereignty, that it did not already possess under the terms of 
the Law of Guarantees. That if the Holy Father would aban 
don the fiction of being the "prisoner of the Vatican" and go 
quietly about his business, the work and mission of the 
Church would be accomplished quite as well as it would be 
were temporal sovereignty restored, and the papacy would 
be freed from the responsibilities and annoyances of adminis 
tering a temporal state. 

In addition, and this was their strongest argument, they 
expressed the fear that with a temporal state, an enclave of 
Italy, and granted by the goodwill of the Italian government, 
the Church would depend for its temporal existence on the 
whim of that government and inevitably from being the 
church universal sink to the position of being nothing more 
than the Italian state church. 

Those who favored the restoration of territorial sovereignty 
included not only every successor of Pius IX but almost all 
the cardinals of the Curia, and the Church in Italy as well as 
the vast majority of churchmen elsewhere. The opponents of 
the territorial claims were mostly American, English, and 


German, they were few in number, and, as many of them 
had formerly inclined to modernism, their influence was not 
great and in no way hampered or delayed the accomplish 
ment of the accord. 

The accord of the Lateran signed by Mussolini and Car 
dinal Gasparri consists of three documents, a treaty, a con 
cordat, and a financial convention. 

By the treaty Italy recognizes the full sovereignty and 
possession of the Holy See over the state of the "Vatican City" 
thereby constituted, including the present confines of the 
Vatican palace and its outbuildings with St. Peter's and the 
square in front of the church and a few acres on the slope of 
the Janiculo, the boundaries of the state being defined by an 
annexed map, Italy agreeing to refrain from all interference 
within the new state. The right of the Holy See to send and 
receive diplomatic representatives is recognized, territorial 
immunity is granted to the patriarchal basilicas, and to the 
Lateran palace and Castel Gandolfo. 

The Holy See declares that it will not seek admission to 
international congresses or other temporal competitions, and 
will only take part in them if unanimously invited to do so 
for the purpose of carrying out its mission of peace. 

It recognizes the kingdom of Italy under the House of 
Savoy, and Rome as its capital, and declares the Roman 
question definitely settled and that it now possesses the 
guarantees necessary for the liberty and independence of the 
spiritual government of the Church. 

The concordat regulates the relations between the Church 
and the kingdom of Italy, 

Under it the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman is recog 
nized as the only state religion although other religions are 
tolerated. Religious instruction is compulsory in the elemen 
tary and secondary schools, while for Catholics religious mar 
riage is obligatory and questions of voiding or dissolving 
marriages are reserved for the ecclesiastical courts, 


The religious congregations and orders are given the status 
of legal corporations, and are to be free from any special 
taxes. The clergy are to receive their stipends tax free, are 
free from military service, and if convicted of crime are to be 
detained in special prisons. 

On the other hand the Church agrees that all appointees to 
ecclesiastical benefices in Italy, including archbishops and 
bishops, must have the approval of the Italian government, 
and that they must not only be Italians, but must speak 
Italian and before assuming their duties must swear alle 
giance to the king. 

Under the financial convention, the Holy See agrees to 
settle in full for the loss of the States of the Church in 1870, 
on the receipt of 750,000,000 lire in cash and 1,000,000,000 lire 
in Italian 5 per cent bonds at par. 

It will be seen that the outlet to the sea, so much desired 
by the Curia, was not included in the treaty and that the 
sum granted under the financial convention was much less 
than that contained in the Law of Guarantees so indignantly 
rejected by Pius IX, and that the terms were not so favorable 
as those offered by Ricasoli in 1866. Nevertheless from the 
point of view of those who desired a return of the temporal 
power the accord gave all that was really essential for the 
independence and dignity of the Church. 

The pope is once more a temporal sovereign with all the 
rights, powers, and dignities such sovereignty implies, and 
while it may be said that this tiny state exists only at the pleas 
ure of Italy, it is also true that such was the case during the 
decade before 1870. 

On her part Italy has gained quite as much as, if not more 
than, has the Vatican. The festering sore of the Roman ques 
tion has been healed, the divided allegiance of many Italians 
between church and state is a thing of the past, and a Catho 
lic may now be a patriotic Italian without any conscientious 
qualms. Besides this, now that peace and harmony have been 


restored between church and state, because of her geographi 
cal position as surrounding the state o the Vatican City, Italy 
may well aspire to pose as the physical protector of Catholi 
cism not only in Italy but in the uncivilized places of the 
world, with a corresponding gain in the estimation of 
330,0005000 Catholics, 

The accord satisfied the Holy See and satisfied Italy. It was 
a real diplomatic triumph, for each side received what it 
wanted. It would never have been possible but for the open- 
mindedness and willingness to give and take of Mussolini 
and Pius, and the fairness and real ability with which 
both Mussolini and Cardinal Gasparri conducted their 



IN ITS inception fascismo was exceedingly opportunist, 
never hesitating to change its principles and its theories 
as circumstances might dictate. 

With the exception of the will to power and an intense 
nationalism, its ideas were nebulous and subject to alteration 
overnight, while its philosophy has been evolved during the 
last few years and has been an apology after the fact, rather 
than the theory upon which the movement was founded. 

Mussolini and his followers were originally revolutionary 
syndicalists of the Sorel school., seeking the substitution by 
force of a republic for the monarchy, for the greater glory 
of Italy and the fascista party. 

The revolution accomplished and power attained, the 
radicals of yesterday became the conservatives of today and 
republicanism and democracy were alike thrown into the dis 
card. The only relic of the past that was retained was the 
memory of the syndicalism of their youth, a memory that 
still greatly influences fascismo in dealing with the domestic 
affairs of the state. 

After ten years of power the doctrines of fascismo have 
been consolidated and it is possible to appreciate more or 
less accurately what those doctrines are, and predicated on 
those doctrines what the future policies of Italy will be. 

That eminent jurist, Professor Alfredo Rocco, lately min 
ister of justice, has expressed very concisely the fundamental 
political theory of fascismo. "In its spirit as in its exterior 
form, the fascista state is the exact opposite of the liberal 
democratic state which had brought the Italian nation to the 
verge of ruin. . . . The creation of a state of truly sovereign 


authority., which dominates all the forces of the country, and 
which at the same time is in constant contact with the masses, 
guiding their sentiments, educating them and looking after 
their interests: this is the political conception of fascismo." 1 

And again: "Fascismo rejects the theory of equality. Society 
does not exist for the individual, but the individual for society. 
With this difference: that Fascismo does not annul the indi 
vidual in society, as the individual annuls society in the older 
doctrine, but merely subordinates him to society. 

"Italian society is, in fact, reorganized on. a professional 
basis, that is to say, on the basis of the productive function 
exercised by each individual. 

"The fascista state is certainly an authoritative state, but 
it is also a popular state, such as no other has ever been. It is 
not a democratic state, in the old sense of the word, because 
it does not give the sovereignty to the people, but it is a state, 
eminently democratic in the sense that it is in close touch 
with the people, is in constant contact with them, penetrat 
ing the masses in a thousand ways, guiding them spiritually, 
realizing their needs, living their life, and coordinating their 

In his article "Fascismo" in the recently published Ency 
clopedia Italiana, Mussolini says: 

"Fascismo is radically opposed to the whole mass of demo 
cratic ideology and repudiates it, both in its theoretical 
premises and in its practical applications. Fascismo denies 
that numbers, from the mere fact of being numbers, can play 
the r61e of leaders of human communities* Fascismo denies 
that numbers can govern, through a system of periodical con 
sultation of the electorate, but affirms the irremediable, fruit 
ful and beneficial uncquality of men, who cannot all be re 
duced to the same level by an external and mechanical fact 
such as universal suffrage." 

1 What Is Fascism and Why?, edited by Tomaso Sillum, New York, 193 J, pp. 

1 6 et $eq* 


He has summed up the fascista doctrine in a sentence: 
"Nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." 

According to the fascista theory the "average man" is unfit 
to govern, his function being to produce for the benefit of 
the state, the affairs of government being left to a carefully 
trained ruling class. 

The ordinary citizen enjoys only such rights as may be 
compatible with the national interests, his life and his affairs 
being regulated and guided by government from the cradle 
to the grave. 

To carry out the mission of fascismo as conceived by its 
founders requires above all things order at home and peace 

While there are those of exaggerated imperialism who 
dream of putting into practice the Giobertian theory of the 
moral world primacy of Italy, by redeeming the Italia Irre 
denta of Nice, Corsica, and Malta, the actual governors of 
the kingdom are hard-headed realists. 

They know that there are very practical problems to be 
solved, and while there has been from time to time a certain 
amount of sabre rattling, it has been chiefly for its domestic 
effect. They know that Italy can accomplish far more by 
international goodwill than by antagonizing the other great 
powers. Accordingly during the last few years Italy has con 
stantly stood for a good understanding with the other 
powers, a cancellation of war debts and reparations, and a 
general reduction of armaments. 

Relations with Yugoslavia have been much improved and 
the tension with France lessened. 

The development of the army and navy, the firmness of 
the duce, and the tact and diplomatic ability of Dino Grandi, 
the former minister of foreign affairs, have all been elements 
in obtaining for Italy a sympathetic hearing, whenever she 
has desired to be heard 


While standing firmly for the peace of the world, the duce 
does not believe in the possibility of its perpetual mainte 
nance. He is for peace but is not a pacifist, and glorifies war 
in saying that "it carries all human energies to the height of 
tension and gives the seal of nobility to peoples that have the 
courage to confront it.'* 8 

In other words,, fascismo is whole-heartedly for peace, but 
is at the same time ready for war, believing that war can 
never be abolished. 

As a corollary to the belief that war is ultimately inevi 
table, fascista Italy has sought in every way to increase her 
man power and to hold the allegiance of as many of her sons 
as possible, 

The population of the kingdom numbers some 42,000,000 
and is growing constantly and rapidly. Before the World 
War the surplus population emigrated, so that it is estimated 
that today there are some 9,500,000 Italians living abroad, 
most of whom have become citizens of the countries of their 
residence and have been lost by Italy. 

Because of restrictive immigration laws in the United 
States and elsewhere, it has not been difficult to keep Ital 
ians at home, and the population of Italy threatens soon to 
surpass the ability of the peninsula to maintain it. 

Intensive cultivation, breaking up of the latifundie in the 
south and development of industry have done something, and 
may in the future do more to care for the increase in popula 
tion. But if the birth rate continues to grow at its present 
speed, the time is not far distant when colonial outlets will be 
absolutely essential if all Italians are to be kept under the 
national flag. 

Of the present Italian colonies, Somalia and Eritrea are 
equatorial and unfit for white men. Libya was of necessity 
almost abandoned during the Great War, While it has been 

2 "Fascismo,'* in Encyclopedia ltdiana. 


reconquered and pacified, it is largely desert and, with the 
exception of a strip of seacoast, incapable of cultivation even 
by the hard-working and frugal Italian peasant. There is 
today in the colony a total Italian population of only 45,000. 

Italy has suffered a series of bitter disappointments in her 
colonial aspirations. Tunis, that she expected ultimately to 
obtain, was snatched from her by what Italians have always 
believed to be French sharp practice. Libya, for which she 
fought a war, has not come up to expectations. Eritrea and 
Somalia are useless, while Rhodes and the Dodecanese are 
so small as to be negligible. 

Italians, firmly believing that Diaz's successful campaign 
ending in the victory of Vittorio Veneto won the World 
War, expected colonial accessions in Africa and Asia Minor 
as part of their reward. The outcome was a heartbreaking 

It is true, they say, that Italy obtained the upper Adige, 
Triest, and finally Fiume and Istria and part of Dalmatia. 
These acquisitions, however, had only strategic and senti 
mental values, and were of absolutely no avail as homes for 
surplus population, and have given her a problem very simi 
lar to that of Germany's former problem with Alsace and 

On the other hand, Britain who had all the colonies she 
needed received most of German Africa, while France with 
no colonists whatever received German territory in Africa 
as well as Syria merely to gratify her vanity, and even Japan, 
who had played a very inconspicuous part in the war, re 
ceived territory in the Pacific. Of colonies Italy received none. 

Since the war Britain has allowed Egypt to rectify the 
boundary between Libya and her own territory to the ad 
vantage of the former and to the extent of a few square miles 
of oasis and desert, while Somalia has in the same way re 
ceived some slight accessions. Neither acquisition, however, 
was of any importance. 


Where and how Italy is to gratify her colonial ambitions 
is a serious problem. The only possibilities in the Mediter 
ranean basin are either in French or Turkish hands, while 
the desirable former German colonies in Africa belong to the 
British. None of these three powers will consider yielding 
an inch of territory., whether held in actual possession or 
under mandate, and their seizure as spoils of war is for the 
present at least unthinkable* 

Failing to acquire adequate colonies the government has 
done its best to keep control of the emigrants who have not 
lost their Italian citizenship, and in doing so has pursued 
a policy unlike that of any other country. 

For this purpose in February 1928 there was published a 
constitution for foreign fascii, the organizations to which all 
Italian subjects living abroad are expected to belong. There 
is a fascio in each consular district, with a secretary for each 
country and a general secretary stationed in Rome, as well as 
an avanguardia, balilia, and women's fascio in connection 
with each men's fascio. 

The object of the organization is to preserve the Italianism 
of the emigrant, to keep him in touch with home, to make 
him feel that he is and always ought to be an Italian, and 
to keep him under discipline for his own good and for the 
credit of his country. 

In France, where some 150,000 Italians go every year to 
help move the crops, the organization has undoubtedly been 
of great service in protecting the rights of the temporary 
emigrants, working in cooperation with the consular service, 
In Brazil and Argentina, where there are many Italians, the 
fascii have flourished, while they have been withdrawn from 
the United States at the request of the department of state. 

In addition to the foreign fascii, Italian schools, news 
papers, and cultural centers have been established abroad 
by government wherever there are Italians who do not 
already enjoy these advantages. 


The effort is being constantly made, thus far with no great 
success, to induce France to give to Italians settled there and 
in Tunis the rights and privileges of French citizens without 
requiring them to surrender their Italian nationality. 

The natural tendency of immigrants is sooner or later to 
acquire citizenship in the country of their residence. The 
material and political advantages are so great that it is ex 
tremely difficult for the motherland to hold their allegiance. 
The foreign fascii serve to keep alive the loyalty of the Ital 
ian living abroad for "la patria" while he is establishing 
himself in his new home. When he has begun to feel himself 
a part of his new country his enthusiasm for his place of 
origin becomes purely sentimental and his political value to 
his native land becomes nil Therefore, f ascismo, while recog 
nizing the right of expatriation, discourages its exercise, and 
makes it exceedingly difficult for Italians to leave Italy except 
for very short periods, as for example for the duration of the 
harvest in France. 

The colonial question is one of the major problems which 
require future solution, and is only a part of that still greater 
question which is constantly asked, "Has fascismo become 
the permanent form of Italian government, or is it only a 
passing incident destined to disappear within the next few 

There is nothing so futile as political prophecy. In the past, 
governments apparently founded on rock have fallen with 
out warning. No government or form of government can be 
called permanent, for like everything else of human origin 
they last only as long as they serve the requirements of their 
environment and their times. 

Within these limitations, it is not too hazardous to predict 
that in all probability fascismo will endure for many years 
to come. 

Those who are opposed to it, the f uorusciti, living in Swit 
zerland, France, Britain, and the United States, insist that it 


is tottering to its fall, that it is honeycombed with discontent 
and sedition, with secret societies that the police have been 
unable to destroy, and with the general hatred of the people 
who are living under a reign of terror. 

If any of this be true there is no evidence of it upon the 
surface. The government seems confident of its position from 
the fact that there has been a general lightening of the heavy 
hand of authority, most of those imprisoned in the confini 
have been released, there is less police supervision, both at 
the frontier and within, and fewer arbitrary arrests, while 
the hitherto almost intolerable oppression of the Germans 
in the upper Aclige and of the Slavs in Triest and Fiurae has 
been much modified. Government seems far more certain of 
itself than it did a few years ago. In fact, if the individual 
minds his own business and refrains from criticizing the 
government, he need not fear it, but on the contrary finds it 
his good friend and supporter. 

Fascismo has been in absolute power for a decade. The 
new generation, who were children when it came into being, 
have for all practical purposes known no other form of 
government, and the black shirt has become so much a 
national institution that it is difficult to visualize Italy 
without it. 

Today there are some 12,000,000 who belong to the fascista 
party, its subsidiaries the avanguardia and the balilla, and 
the fascista syndicates* It will not be long before practically 
every Italian will be either a member of the party or one of 
the affiliated syndicates, in other words, all Italy will have 
been fascistacized, and practically all Italians will be fascisti. 
That is to say, they will all support in general terms the same 
form of government, as in Britain and the United States prac 
tically everyone supports in general terms the British or the 
United States constitution. 

Differences among fascisti will occur, as they have already 
occurred more than once. 


The effort is made by propaganda, by education, and by 
the control of the press to mould all Italians into one author 
ized fascista model, holding the same ideals, believing the 
same principles and following the same purposes. 

The actual result has been that while all fascista Italians 
use the same terminology, and as the years pass the fascista 
terminology will probably be employed by all Italians, dif 
ferences of opinion as to how that terminology shall be 
applied are bound to arise, as they have already arisen within 
the ranks of the party itself, and among the duce's most 
ardent supporters. 

There is what may be called a left wing of the party, rep 
resented by the old squadristi, the local ras or petty bosses, 
and the intransigents like Farinacci, who would rule Italy 
like a conquered province for the exclusive benefit of the 
makers of the revolution; there is a right wing of men like 
Federzoni, who believe that the revolution having been 
achieved and that government and party having been fused, 
the revolutionary excesses should be forgotten and Italy 
peacefully f ascistacized. 

Villari, in summing up the varying tendencies among 
fascist!, says: "There are coojing to be within the fascista party 
itself many different opinions and tendencies, which un 
doubtedly make themselves felt today and will do so to a 
larger extent in the future, so that in time all reasonable views 
will be able to influence public policy." 8 

It maybe urged that this will inevitably result in a return of 
the group system, with all its drawbacks. As long, however, 
as the present method of electing the chamber of deputies 
remains in force, while political groups may exist outside of 
parliament, they cannot exist within. 

The chamber no longer represents the people as individuals 
who desire to express their political opinions, but it represents 

3 "Italy," op. cit. f p, 195. 


them as members of the confederations which represent not 
politics, but trade, industry, and agriculture. 

To quote Villari again: "Parliament now is not sectional 
but national. , . It has been observed that the voting of 
a list proposed by the government is not really an election but 
a plebiscite or referendum. This is true, as the voter does not 
vote for this or that candidate in any particular constituency, 
but for a program and a policy. It is a sort of ratification of 
the action of the government in the past and an expression 
of confidence (or the lack of it) for the future, rather than 
a creation of the powers of the government. A small majority 
would act as a warning that the policy hitherto pursued must 
be revised, and were the government list to fail to secure a 
majority at all, there would be the possibility of an alternative 
government or system," 

It is highly improbable that for many years to come the 
government list of candidates for the chamber will ever fail 
to receive a majority. It is of course always a possibility which 
some day or other may be taken advantage of, should an over 
whelming preponderance of the people desire a change of 

Actually the people, who havp never known real demo 
cratic self-government, have always been content to have 
their governing done for them by a ruling caste, and have 
been satisfied to work out their lives as the most frugal and 
industrious people on earth, content if able to earn a bare 
living for themselves and their families without bothering 
with politics. 

Under fascismo for the first time the proletarian and the 
peasant finds government taking a direct interest in their 
welfare, an interest which lasts twelve months a year and is 
not limited, as formerly, to the kind words of the deputy 
seeking reelection. 

The wage earner, as a member of his syndicate, has become 
a part, although a very small one, of the actual government of 


the state. Thanks to the incessant propaganda for fascismo, 
which he meets at every turn, in the schools, the press, the 
cinema, in speeches, parades, and holidays, he has acquired 
the consciousness that he is a fascista and as such a citizen of 
a great country, and a loyal Italian. 

On the part of the vast majority of the people who have 
never been aware of any other there is complete acceptance 
of the present regime. 

Of the former ruling class, the intransigents have either 
left Italy or been silenced. Most of them, without profound 
convictions, have elected to swim with the tide, and are as 
enthusiastic fascisti as the best. 

Big business, which strongly supported the movement in 
the beginning as an insurance against disorder, cooled toward 
it for a time when it became evident that in taxation the 
duce declined to play favorites. It has since recognized the 
inevitable and once more supports the government. 

There have been a number of attempts upon the life of 
the duce, but all have been engineered from abroad, with 
the exception of one made by a mad woman and that in 
which General Capello, the hero of Gorizia, was most unfor 
tunately involved and for which he received a sentence of 
thirty years imprisonment. Whatever of opposition there 
may be in Italy is among the intelligentsia, is scattered and 
inarticulate, and confines itself to whispered criticism and 
direful predictions made in confidence to the hearer. 

The glamour of fascismo appeals to the masses, and they 
support it; its solid accomplishments appeal to the hard- 
headed middle classes, and to the vast majority of the think 
ing people in the kingdom. 

In the years that are to come the forms of fascismo, and 
perhaps even its theories, will be altered, but its terminology 
will remain. 

As long as Mussolini lives the government that he has 
created will endure substantially unchanged. Who and what 


will follow him no man can predict. One thing, however, is 
certain: there can be no second duce. No one who may follow 
him can wield the authority that has been his, for it Is an 
authority predicated upon a combination of personal force 
and remarkable achievements that cannot be repeated. 

He has evolved a new theory of government and made a 
new state, both peculiarly adapted to the genius of the Italian 
people. He has ruled that state with an eye single to its best 
interests. He found it suffering from the loss of its self- 
esteem due to the settlement of the World War, and has made 
it one of the great powers of Europe, He found it distracted 
with internal disorder, with ill feeling against its former allies, 
and with almost ruined finances. He has restored peace at 
home and goodwill abroad, and the financial credit of his 

With infinite patience, a patience seldom met with any 
where, but most rarely in Italy, he has taught his people the 
habit of fascismo and by so doing has broken clown regional 
ism. For the first time there is a united country of men and 
women who, forgetting that they come from this or that 
province, under the inspiration of the dtice remember only 
that they are the children of one great nation. 

He has taught his people to think nationally and has after 
many years fulfilled the hope of d'Azeglio, for as Cavour 
made Italy, Mussolini has made Italians. 


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1814 January Return of Pius VII to Rome 

Reconstitution of the Society of Jesus 
March The allies enter Paris 

April Abdication ol: Napoleon; Louis XVIII returns to Paris 
May First peace of Paris 
September The Congress of Vienna meets 

1815 January Triple alliance: Austria, France, Great Britain 
March Return of Napoleon from Elba; flight of Louis XVIH 

Treaties among Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, and 
Russia against Napoleon 
March-June The Hundred Days 

June Adoption of the Federal Act at the Congress of Vienna 
Adoption of the Final Act by the Congress of Vienna 
Battle of Waterloo 
Second abdication of Napoleon 
July Second restoration of Louis XVII I 
July-August The white terror in France 
September Murat; shot at Pixzo in Calabria 

Promulgation of the Holy Alliance 
October Napoleon lands in St. Helena 
November Second peace of Paris 
The treaties of Paris 
Austria the dominant power in Italy 
Restoration of absolutism throughout the 

1 8*6 July Motuproprio of Pius VII 
1818 October-November Evacuation of France by allies 
November Renewal of quadruple alliance 

Papal concordat with Bavaria and Russia 

r8rc) August Settlement between Pius VII and French Church 
j8io July Outbreak of revolt in Sicily and in Naples; king grants 


October Meeting of Conference of Troppau 
1821 January Death of Napoleon I 

Meeting of the Conference of Laybach 


1821 March End of Neapolitan revolt 

Insurrection in Piedmont; abdication of Victor 
Emanuel I 

Pepe defeated at Riete 
December Arrest of Count Federico Confalonieri and Silvio 

1821-31 Carlo Felice, king of Sardinia 

1822 October Opening of Congress of Verona 

1823 August Death of Pius VII 
September Accession of Leo XII 

1824 September Death of Louis XVIII; accession of Charles X 

1825 Death of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies; acces 
sion of Francis I 

1827 April Canning prime minister 
August Death of Canning 

Manzoni's "I promessi Sposi" 

1830 July- August Revolution in Paris; Louis Philippe called to 


Risings in central Italy 

Death of Francis I of the Two Sicilies; acces 
sion of Ferdinand II 

1831 February Election of Gregory XVI 

February -March Rising in the Papal States; Louis Napoleon 

among insurgents 
April 27 Accession of Charles Albert in Piedmont 

Mazzini founds Giovane Italia 
1832-38 French troops in Ancona 
1833 Young Italy's conspiracy in Piedmont 
1:834 Expedition against Savoy; first appearance of Garibaldi 
1835 March Death of Francis I of Austria and accession of Fer 
dinand I 

1837 June Accession of Queen Victoria 
1840 Marriage of Victoria and Albert 

1843 Gioberti's Prirnato Morale e Civile Dcgli Italiani, and Balbo's 
Speranze d f Italia 

1844 Bandiera revolt in Italy 

1845 The protest of Rimini 
Gioberti's Prolegomena al Primato 

1846 June Accession of Pius IX 

July 1 6 Pius IX decrees amnesty 

*8 47 



Gioberti's Gcsuita Moderno 
Settembrini's Protesta del popolo ddle due Sicilie 
March TO Pius IX appoints advisory council 
July 17 Austrian troops occupy Ferrara 

Charles Louis sells duchy of Lucca to Leopold II of 
January 12-27 Successful insurrection in Palermo under 

Ruggiero Settimo 

January 28 Insurrection in Naples; king grants constitution 
February TO Pius IX allocution, beginning "God bless Italy*' 
February 17 Promulgation of statuto by Grand Duke of 

February 22 Austria proclaims martial law in Lombardy and 


February 24 Louis Philippe abdicates; republic proclaimed; 
provisional government of Larnartine and 

Balbo forms first constitutional ministry in 
March 4 Promulgation of statuto by Charles Albert of 


March 10 Pius IX appoints liberal ministry 
March 14 Pius IX grants constitution 
March 18-22 "Cinque giornate" in Milan 
March 22 Austria evacuates Venice; republic proclaimed 
under Manin 

Charles Albert of Piedmont declares war 
against Austria 
March 23 Papal troops declare for cooperation with 

Piedmont; Pius IX ratifies declaration 
April 20 Pius IX encyclical declares against war 
May 15 Riots in Naples; end of constitutional regime 
May 30 Piedmont defeats Austria at Goito 
June 10 Radetzky recaptures Vicenza 
July 23-25 Radetzky defeats Piedmont at Custozza 
July 27 Union declared of Piedmont, Parma, Modena, 

and Venice 

August 6 Radetzky recaptures Milan 
November <) Armistice declared 
November 15 Murder of Pelegrino Rossi 


1848 November 2$ Flight of Pius IX to Gaeta 

December 2 Abdication of Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria 
in favor of Francis Joseph 

1849 February 5 Constituent assembly summoned 
February 8 Tuscan republic proclaimed 
February 18 Pius IX appeals to the powers for help 
March 12 Charles Albert denounces armistice 
March 23 Radetzky defeats Piedmont at Novara 
April i r Leopold of Tuscany restored by plebiscite 
April 30 Garibaldi repulses Oudinot at Rome 

May 5 Fall of Palermo and end of Sicilian revolution 

May 25 Austrians enter Florence 

May-June Fall of Brescia; Haynau's reign of terror 

June 30 Garibaldi evacuates Rome 

July 15 White terror in Rome 

August 24 Negotiations for surrender of Venice begun 

August 27 Venice surrenders; Manin leaves 

Autocracy restored everywhere in Italy but in 


Massimo d'Azeglio prime minister of Piedmont 

1850 January 9 Piedmontese parliament approves peace with 

February Siccardi laws in Piedmont: 

Cavour minister of agriculture 

1851 Gioberti's Rinnovamento Chile d f Italia 
December 1-8 Coup d'e*tat of Louis Napoleon 

Cavour minister of finance in Piedmont 

1852 May 6 Grand Duke abolishes Tuscan constitution 
November 4 Cavour prime minister of Piedmont 
December 7 Mantuan trials; Tazzoli and others executed 

1854 April Crimean War begins 

December 8 Proclamation of dogma of Immaculate Con 

1855 January 25 Piedmont joins France and Britain against 


August 1 6 Piedmont defeats Russia at Chernaya 
August 18 Austrian concordat with Rome (revoked 1867) 

1856 March 6 Treaty of Paris ends Crimean War 

1857 August Garibaldi founds the National Society 


1858 January 14 Orsini attempts murder of Napoleon III 

July 21 and 22 Conference between Napoleon III and 
Cavour at Plombieres 

1859 January 10 Treaty between Piedmont and France 
April 23 Austria sends ultimatum to Piedmont 
April 29 Austria declares war against Piedmont 
April 30 France declares war against Austria 
June 4 Victory of France over Austria at Magenta 

June 24 Victory of France and Piedmont over Austria at 


July 8 Armistice of Villafranca 
July 13 Cavour resigns; Rattazzi prime minister 
August-September Tuscany and the duchies declare for 

union with Piedmont 
November 7 Treaty of peace signed at Zurich 

1860 January 6 Rattazzi resigns; Cavour prime minister 
March Union of Tuscany and Emilia with Piedmont 
March 24 Treaty of Turin cedes Nice and Savoy to France 
April 2 New Italian parliament meets in Turin 

May 11-27 Garibaldi and The Thousand land at Marsala 

and capture Palermo 
August 22-September i Garibaldi lands at Reggio, marches 

north and captures Naples 
October 12 Garibaldi's victory at Volturno 
October 13 Victor Emanuel crosses Neapolitan frontier 
October 21-22 Naples and Sicily declare for union with 


October 26 Garibaldi and Victor Emanuel meet at Teano 
November 4 The marches and Umbria declare for union 
with Piedmont 

1 86 1 February 13 Fall of Gaeta 

March 17 The kingdom of Italy proclaimed by the first 

Italian parliament 

April 18 Garibaldi denounces Cavour in parliament 
April 23 Garibaldi and Cavour formally reconciled 
June 6 Cavour dies; Ricasoli prime minister 

1862 March Ricasoli falls; Rattazzi prime minister 

August 29 Garibaldi defeated and wounded at Aspromonte 
December Rattazzi falls; Farini prime minister 

Parini retires; Minghetti prime minister 


1864 September 15 "September convention" between Piedmont 
and France for the latter's evacuation of 

December 8 Publication of papal encyclical and syllabus 
Minghetti falls; La Marmora prime minister 

1866 April 8 Italy and Prussia sign treaty of alliance 

May 6 Italy refuses to abandon Prussia in return for cession 

of Venetia 

June 20 La Marmora resigns; Ricasoli prime minister 
June 24 Italy defeated by Austria at Custozza 
July 3 Austria defeated by Prussia at Sadowa 
July 20 Italy defeated by Austria on sea at Lissa 
August 12 Treaty of Prague between Prussia and Austria 
October 3 Treaty of Vienna between Austria and Italy 
October 22 Plebiscite in Venetia favors union with Italy 
December French evacuate Rome (reoccupy, 1867) 

1867 April Ricasoli resigns; Rattazzi prime minister 
November 3 French and papalists defeat Garibaldi at 


Rattazzi confiscates church property in Italy 
October 26 Rattazzi falls; Menebrea prime minister 
December 5 Rouher, French premier, declares in chamber 

that France will never permit Italy to occupy 

1869-70 Meeting of CEcurnenical Council in Rome 

1869 November 15 Rubattino buys Bay of Assab from Sultan 

of Rahaita for 47,000 lire of government 

December Tobacco scandal; Mcnabrea falls 

Giovanni Lanza prime minister, Visconti-Vc- 
nosta foreign minister, Quintino Sella finance 

1870 July 16 France declares war against Prussia 
July 1 8 Dogma of Papal Infallibility declared 

August 9 Italy declares neutrality between France and 


August 3i-September i Battle of Sedan 
September 20 Italian army enters Rome 
October 2 Plebiscite in Rome declares for union with Italy 
November 26 Amadeo of Savoy king of Spain 


1871 March 21 Law of Guarantees voted in Italian chamber by 

185 votes to 1 06 

May 15 Pius IX repudiates Law of Guarantees and calls 
on Catholic sovereigns to restore temporal power 
1873 Abdication of Amadeo as king of Spain 

April 29 Lanza-Sella cabinet reconstituted 
June 5 Rattazzi dies at Frosinone 

June 23 Lanza falls; Minghetti prime minister; policy of 
trasformismo inaugurated by Minghetti 

1875 Papal bull of Quod Nunquam 

June 7 General Rkotti-Magnani's army reform adopted 
September Italian king visits Berlin and Vienna 

1876 March 18 Minghetti and the right fall; Depretis prime 


November First election under the left; returns 421 min- 
isteralists, 87 opposition 

1877 Autumn Crispi undertakes unsuccessful diplomatic mission 

to Paris and Berlin 

December 14 Depretis reconstructs ministry, dropping 
Nicotera, Melegari, and Zanardelli, taking 
on Crispi and Magliani 

1878 January 9 Death of Victor Emanuel II; accession of Hum 

bert I 

February 7 Death of Pius IX; accession of Leo XIII 
March Depretis falls; Cairoli prime minister 
November Attempt on king's life by Passanante; Cairoli 

December Cairoli falls; Depretis prime minister for second 


1879 July 12 Depretis falls; Cairoli prime minister 
November 24 Cairoli reconstitutes ministry with help of 


1881 February 23 Foreign loan authorized for 650,000,000 lire 
May 12 Treaty of El Bardo; France occupies Tunis 
May 14 Cairoli falls; Depretis prime minister for third 

time, with Mancini at foreign office 
October Visit of king and queen to Vienna 
November 3 Franco-Italian commercial treaty signed 


1881 June 20 Franchise reform bill increasing electorate from 

600,000 to 2,000,000 
Surplus of 53,000,000 lire 

September 20 Sultan of Rahaita accepts Italian protectorate 
and Assab becomes crown colony 

1882 May 20 Triple alliance, Germany, Aujjtria, and Italy, signed 
May r i New army bill adopted 

June 2 Garibaldi dies at Caprera 
July IT Alexandria bombarded by British 
July 27 Italy declines to join Britain in Egypt 
Assab under Italian sovereignty 

1883 April 12 Forced currency abolished; gold standard adopted 

1884 Secret treaty signed by Austria, Germany, and Russia 
January i Grist tax repealed 

1885 February 5 Italy occupies Massowah 

June 1 6 Depretis reconstitutes his ministry, his fifth, sub 
stituting Robilant at foreign office for Mancini 

March 6 State railways leased to three private companies- 
Mediterranean, Adriatic and Sicilian for sixty 
years, state to resume if it desires at end of twenty 
or forty years 
Deficit 23,500,000 lire 
Employer's liability law enacted 

1887 January 25 Ras Alula of Abyssinia repulsed from Saati 
January 26 Dogali disaster, 524 Italians under Colonel de 

Cristoforis killed by Abyssinians 

February 4 Adverse vote in chamber over disaster of Dogali 
March 17 Depretis reconstitutes ministry, his sixth 
May 17 Triple alliance renewed 
July 29 Depretis dies; Crispi prime minister 
Deficit 73,000,000 lire 

1888 Deficit 250,000,000 lire 

June New penal code drawn by order of Zanardelli 

1889 May 2 Treaty between Italy and Abyssinia signed at 


1890 January t Colony of Eritrea created 

General election gives Cabinet four-fifths 

1891 January 31 Crispi falls; Ruclini prime minister 

June Triple alliance renewed for period of twelve years 


1892 May 5 Rudini falls; Giolitti prime minister 
November General election 

1893 May ii Menelek denounces treaty of Uccialli 
August 10 Banca dltalia created 

August 16- 1 8 Italian workmen murdered at Aigues-Mortes 
Autumn Unrest in Sicily 

Deficit 150,000,000 lire 
November 23 Report on Banca Romana scandal read in 


November 24 Giolitti falls; Crispi prime minister 
December Insurrections in Sicily and Massa-Carrara 
crushed by Crispi 

1894 I u "y I3C Public safety law enacted 

1895 May General election gives Crispi 200 majority 
December 6 Major Toselli and 2,000 men annihilated by 

the Abyssinians 

1896 February 29 General Baraticri and 20,000 men nearly 

annihilated near Adua 

March 5 Crispi falls; Rudini prime minister 
March General election 

October 26 Treaty with Abyssinia signed at Addis Ababa, 
annulling treaty of Uccialii 

1 899 May Disturbances due to high price o bread 
May 7-9 Riots in Milan 

May 9 Martial law in Milan, Florence, Leghorn, and 


June 1 8 Rudini falls; General Pelloux prime minister 
October Admiral Canevaro, foreign minister, begins nego 
tiations with France for new commercial treaty 
after commercial war of ten years 

1900 June General election 

June 24 Pelloux falls; Saracco prime minister 
July 29 King Humbert murdered at Monza by anarchist 
Bresci; accession of Victor Emanuel III (bom No 
vember n, 1869) 

1901 February 9 Saracco falls; Zanardelli prime minister, Gio 

litti at interior 
April 10-14 Franco-Italian fetes at Toulon 

During first six months of year six hun 
dred strikes involving over a million workers 


1902 January 4 Strike on Mediterranean Railway, men mobil 

ized, settled June 

Divorce bill presented and dropped 
April New 3!^ per cent loan voted, placed in Italy 
June Triple alliance renewed for twelve years 
October Exchange at par 

Surplus 16,000,000 lire 

1903 July Leo XIII dies; accession of Pius X 
October King and queen visit Paris 

October Zanardelli resigns; Giolitti prime minister for 
second time 

1904 September 15 General strike proclaimed 
November General election gives Giolitti majority 

1905 March Giolitti resigns; Fortis prime minister 
April 17 General railway strike 

June Purchase of railways voted 
June 1 1 Encyclical abolishes non cxpcdit 
December 17 Fortis reconstitutes his ministry with San 
Giuliano as foreign minister 

1906 January 30 Fortis resigns; Sonnino prime minister 

May 17 Sonnino falls; Giolitti prime minister for third 

Debt converted from 4 per cent to 3^ per cent 
Surplus 65,000,000 lire 

1907 January Number of religious houses formerly under pro 

tection of France taken over by Italy 
June and July Agricultural strikes 
October General strike in Milan 

1908 June Strikes in Parma 

October Austria annexes Bosnia and Herzegovina 
December 28,5a.m. Earthquake in Sicily and Calabria, 
over 150,000 killed 

1909 March At general elections over score of clerical deputies 


December 2 Giolitti resigns; Sonnino prime minister for 
second time 

1910 March 21 Sonnino resigns; Luzzatti prime minister 

1911 March 18 Luzzatti resigns; Giolitti prime minister for 

fourth time 
September 28 Ultimatum to Turkey on Tripoli 


1911 September 29 War declared by Italy against Turkey 

November 5 Italian sovereignty extended to Tripolitana 

and Cyrenaica 

re) 1 2 Franchisse extended from three to eight million voters 
Payment of members 
Government monopoly of insurance 

June Bissolati, Bonomi, and their friends expelled from 
socialist party for supporting the war 
Strikes at Turin and Milan 
October 15 Peace preliminaries signed at Ouchy 
October 18 Treaty of Ouchy signed; peace with Turkey 
Triple alliance renewed 

1913 General strike at Milan 

October 26-November 2 Election under new franchise 

Socialists Increased to 79, Catho 
lics to 33 

1914 March 10 Giolitti resigns; Salandra prime minister 

Revolutionary sindacato ferrovieri threatens 
strike, gives way 

June 7 Riots on statuto day at Ancona, followed by gen 
eral strikes in the marches and Rornagna; near 
revolution, led by Malatesta and Mussolini, lasted 
for over week, quelled by nationalists 
June 28 Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife mur 
dered at Sarajevo 

July 23 Austrian ultimatum to Serbia 
August 3 Italy declares neutrality 
October 16 San Giuliano dies, succeeded by Salandra 
October 31 Salandra reconstitutes cabinet with Sonnino as 
foreign minister 
Italy occupies island of Sareno 
December 26 Italy occupies town and harbor of Valona 

1915 January 13 Earthquake in the Abruzzi, kills 30,000 
April 26 Secret treaty of London signed by Italy, Britain, 

France, and Russia 

May 3 Italy denounces triple alliance 
May 13 Salandra reconstitutes his cabinet 
May 20 Government given full war powers 
May 23 General mobilisation ordered 


1915 May 24 War declared against Austria and diplomatic rela 

tions with Germany broken off 

Offensive on eastern front 
August 21 War declared against Turkey 
December i Italy adheres to London agreement not to 
conclude separate peace 

1916 May Defeats in Trentino and Asiago 

June 10 Salandra resigns; Boselli prime minister 

August 4 Gorizia captured by General Capello after 

eleven days' desperate fighting 
August 28 War declared against Germany 

1917 Treaty of St. Jean de Maurienne in reference to Asia Minor 
August Revolutionary riots in Turin 

October 23 Defeat and rout of Caporetto 
October 26 Boselli resigns; Orlando prime minister 
November 22 Enemy's advance checked at the Piave 
Cadorna relieved and succeeded by Diaz 

1918 January 8 Wilson publishes his Fourteen Points 
June Austrian offensive driven back with heavy losses 
October 24 Italians attack from Asiago to the sea 
November 2 Budget shows deficit of 6,271,000,000 lire 
November 3 Austrian army annihilated, 600,000 prisoners 

and 7,000 guns captured 
November 4 Armistice in force 

Italy's losses 600,000 killed and 1,000,000 
December Postal strike averted by granting high wages 

1919 January Partito Popolare Italiano formed by Don Luigi 

February 7 Italian government presents memorandum to 

peace conference, stating claims 
April 13 Rioting and strikes in Milan 
April 23 Wilson makes his appeal to Italian people over 

heads of government 

April 25 Orlando endorsed by parliament 
May 5 Orlando returns to Paris 
June 19 Orlando beaten in chamber and falls; Nitti prime 


June 28 Treaty with Germany signed 
July 2-5 Rioting in Fiume 



September xo 
September 12 
November 16 

January 13 
January 22 
January 29 

March 22 


1919 September xo Treaty of St. Germain with Austria 

D'Annunzio takes charge in Fiurne 
Proportional election law enacted 
General elections return 156 socialists, 101 
popolari, and 30 combatenti 
: Socialist deputies withdraw 

1920 January 13 Postal employees strike 

Railway employees strike 
Nitti agrees not to punish strikers; strike ends 
in triumph of strikers 
Nitti reconstitutes his cabinet 
Nitti legalizes seizure of Mazzonis' cotton mills by 
May 12 Nitti reconstitutes his cabinet 

Nitti issues decree reducing bread subsidy 
Nitti withdraws decree 

Nitti resigns; Giolitti prime minister for fifth 

Italy withdraws from Albania 
Budget shows deficit of 14,000,000,000 lire 
Conference of Spa 

Anti-Italian demonstrations at Spalato 
August ro Treaty of Sivrcs with Turkey 
September 19 Giolitti induces owners of factories to con 
sent to form of workers' control to be em 
bodied in a bill 

September 27 Factories evacuated 
October 4 Work in factories resumed 
October 14 Communist riots in. Bologna suppressed by 

fascist! and nationalists 
November 8 Conference of Rapollo 

Treaty signed with Yugoslavia 
Communist city council in Bologna sup 
pressed by fascisti and nationalists 
Many industrial disturbances throughout 
the year and many factories seized by the 

1921 January r8 D'Annunzio leaves Fiurne under pressure 

Rioting in Florence 

June 1 6 

June 24 
June 27 
July 5- 16 
July n 

November 12 
November 21 

January rf 

February 27 

March r Bread subsidy repealed by chamber 


1921 April 7 Chamber dissolved 

May 15 New elections return liberals and democrats 275, 
popolari 107, socialists 122, communists 16, 
fascist! 35, nationalists 10 

June 26 Giolitti resigns; Bonomi prime minister 
November 4 Tomb of unknown soldier dedicated 
November 6 First fascista congress at Rome 
November 10 Communists and socialists proclaim general 
strike as protest against presence of fascist! 
at Rome, much rioting 

1922 February 2 Bonomi resigns; Facta prime minister 
March 18 General strikes in shipping broken by fascist! 
April 10 Economic conference at Genoa 

July 12 Budget statement shows deficit of 4,500,000^000 lire 
July 19 Facta reconstitutes his cabinet 
August i General strike called in all Italy 
August 4 Fascisti break strike 
September 29 Mussolini declares for monarchy 
October 3 Socialist party breaks into two groups 
October 24 Fascista congress in Naples 
October 27 Facta resigns 

October 30 Fascisti enter Rome; Mussolini prime minister 
October 31 Fascisti leave capital 

November 16 Chamber gives Mussolini full powers to 
carry on for one year, 275 votes to 90 
Deficit 6,500,000,000 lire 
*9 2 3 January Fascista militia constituted 

Railway staff reduced from 225,000 to 170,000 
Eight-hour day restored 
February 21 Santa Margherita convention signed with 


August 27 General Tellini and Italian commission mur 
dered by Greeks 
August 29 Italian ultimatum presented to Greece and 

Italian squadron seizes Corfu 
September i Greece appeals to League of Nations, matter 

referred to conference of ambassadors 
September 13 Ambassadors sustain Italy on all points 
September 27 Italy leaves Corfu 


1923 November Country divided into fifteen election districts, 

party receiving plurality of votes to have two- 
thirds of seats 

1924 January 25 Parliament dissolved 

January 27 Treaty signed with Yugoslavia giving Fiume 

to Italy 
February 22 Commercial treaty signed with Yugoslavia at 


April 6 Elections give fascisti 64^ per cent of total vote 
May 24 Parliament meets 
June 10 Matteotti murdered 
June 15 "Aventine" deputies withdraw 
July 8 Decree of July 12, 1923, against freedom of press 

1925 Anno Santo, or Holy Year, over a million pilgrims in Rome 
February 10 Old single-member constituencies revived 
June 12 General de Bono acquitted by senate of complicity 

in Matteotti murder 
August Amendola beaten by fascisti and dies 

Surplus of 417,000,000 lire 
October 3 Rioting in Florence 
October 28 Governor of Rome created 
November 5 Plot against Mussolini's life by ex-deputy 

Zaniboni and General Capello 
November 14 Debt settlement with United States 

The battle for wheat begun 
December Secret societies suppressed 
December 24 Power of prime minister greatly increased 

1926 January 27 Debt settlement with Great Britain 
January 31 Law against fuorusciti 

February 4 Communes placed under government of 

March 24 Trial of Matteotti murderers ends 

April 3 Creation of corporations of employers and em 

April 7 Attempt to murder Mussolini by the insane Honu 
Violet Gibson 

August 1 8 Value of lira fixed at 90 to the pound, or 19 to 
the dollar 

September n Attempt to murder Mussolini by Lucetti 


1926 September 30 Mussolini and Sir Austen Chamberlain meet 
October 31 Attempt to murder Mussolini by Zamboni 
November 9 "Aventine" deputies expelled by chamber of 


November 24 Commercial treaty signed with Greece 
November 27 Treaty signed with Albania creating virtual 

December 15 Enactment of law "for the protection o the 


1927 War against mafia in Sicily 

April 23 Charter of labor published 
August 22 New criminal code published 
November New law for chamber of deputies 

1928 April Catholic boy scouts dissolved 

July Mussolini reconstitutes cabinet, substitutes Moscoai for 
Volpi at the treasury, and Giuliano for Fedele in 
department of public education 

September 19 Decree published giving grand council new 
and greatly enlarged powers 
Dazio abolished 

1929 Treaty signed with Holy See ending the Roman question 
1932 July 20 Mussolini reorganizes the cabinet: Grandi, foreign 

affairs; Mosconi, finance; Giuliano, education; 
Rocco, justice; and Bottai, corporations, resign, 
Mussolini takes foreign affairs and corporations, 
and appoints de Francisci, justice; Jung, finance; 
and Ercole, education 
October 30 Tenth anniversary of the revolution. Amnesty 

proclaimed in favor of many criminal and most 

political prisoners. 


Aberdeen, Lord, 48 

AbruKzi, Duke of, 1 83 

absolutism, 72-3; triumph of, 52-63; 

revolt against, 28-40 
Abyssinia, 163-8 
Acton, Captain, 92 
Addis Ababa, treaty of, 168 
Adua, defeat of, 165-8 
Albert, Archduke, 1x6 
Albertone, General, 166-7 
allies, secret terms offered Italy, 195-6, 

Alula, Ras, 156, 163 

Amendola, Giovanni, 240, 241 

Andrassy, 148-9 

d'Annmmo, Gabriele, 196, 213, 217, 

Antonelli, Cardinal, 33, 35, 41, 72, 94, 

96, 97, 103, 123, 133 
Aosta, Duke of, 202, 204 
Arimondi, General, 164-8 
d'Aspre, 44, 45 
"avanguardia," 246, 247 

;lio, Massimo, 66, 67, 68, 69 

Balbo, Cesare, 32-3, 34 

ttalbo, Italo, 234 

Baldasera, General, 165 

"balilla," 246, 347 

Banca Romana scandal, 161-2, 169, 226 

Bandiera brothers, 20 

Bararicri, General, 163-8 

Baroni, Signor, 265 

Barrcre, Camille, 199 

Bamlai, 211 

Ba\ssi, Ugo, 62 

Bastxdc, 56 

Below, General Otto von, 206, 207 

Bcnedek, 84, 86, r t6 

Benedict XV, 260-1, 262, 264 

Berlotti, General, 204 

Bcthniunr>noUwc#, 199 

BCUM, 126, 132 

Bianchi, Michele, 234 

Bismarck, 115, n8, 148, 149, 150, 

151, 154, 259 
Bissolati, 188, 211 
Bixio, Nino, 90, 99, 117, 133 
"Bomba, King," 49 
Bonghi, 153 

Bono, General dc, 234, 239, 240, 241 
Bonomi, 188, 221 
Borocvic, General, 206, 207 
Boselli, Paolo, 210 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, 178 
Bourbonists, 96-7 
Jirandolin, Count Brando, 227 
Bresci, 175 
Brigenti, General, 94 
Brunetti, Angelo, see Ciccruacchio 
Brunetti, Ltiigi, 40 
Brusati, General, 202 
budget, 121, 141, 155, 158, 179, 214 
Biiiow, Prince von, 195, 196, 198-9, 

200, 264 

Cadorna, General Luigi, 192, 201, 202, 
203, 204, 205, 206, 207; relieved of 
command, 207 

Cadorna, General Ratfaclc, 132 

Cairoli, 147-8, 151, 152, 154 

Caldarclli, 94 

Calvedalis, Colonel, 55 

camorra, the, 97-9 

Caneva, General, 183, 184 

Capcllo, General, 202, 206, 280 

dc Capitani, 235 

Caporetto, 206-8, 210 

Carboli-Bimi, 23, 25, 27 

carbonari, 14-18, 74 

Carcano, 197 

Carini, 90 

Carna?,7,a, 235 

Carrascosa, General, 17 

Cavalotti, 169, 170, 174, 175 

Cavan, General the Earl of, 208 

3 i6 


Cavazzoni, 235 

Cavour, 29, 58, 63, 64-80, 85, 86-7, 88, 

9 1 ? 93? 94> 96, 99-100, 102, 103, 106, 

107, no, 219, 226 
centralization, 105, 136-7 
Cesaro, 235 
chamber, 248 
Charles IV, 2 
Charles Albert, 17, 18, 20, 21, 27, 31, 

34> 35> 3$> 37 42, 45> 55* <>5; abdi 
cates, 45 

Charles Felix, 17, 1 8 
Charles Louis, 28 
Chiodo, General, 42 
Chrzanowski, 43-5 
Cialtlini, General, 81-2, 94-5, 104, 117, 

n8, 119, 125 
Ciccruacchio, 34-5 
"Cinque Giornate, Le," 33-4 
civil servants, status of, 250 
Clemenceau, 212 
Clotilde, Princess, 77-9 
colonial aspirations, 274-5, 276 
communes, 249 
Congress of Vienna, 1-4 
Consalvi, Cardinal Ercole, 13 
constitution, demand for, 31; granted, 


Corfu incident, 244 
"corporations," 254-5 
Correnti, Cesare, 141, 142 
corruption, in government, t< 
Corti, 151, 152 
Cosenz, General, 99 
councils, municipal and provincial, 249 
Crimean War, 75 
Crispi, 29, 89, 92, 93, 127, 150, 156, 

157-72, 226; wife of, 90 
Cristoferis, Colonel di, 156 
Culoz, 36 
Custozza, defeat of, 36-9 

Darbormida, General, 166*8 
Danclolo, Vincenzo, 8, 10 
death penalty, 250 
"decade of resistance," 64 
delta Rocca,, General, 85, 94-5 
Depretis, 139, 141, 142, 144-56 
deputies, pay of, 187 
dialects, local, 135-6 

Diax, General Armando, 207, 208, 209, 

2 to, 234 

Dreikaiserbund, 148-50 
Duca, Monsignorc, 265 
ducc, see Mussolini 
Duchesne, General, 208 
Dumini, 239, 240, 241 
Durando, General, 35, 36, 44 

1848, 28-40 
Ellena, General, 166 
Envcr Pasha, 183-4 
expatriation of emigrants, 


Fabbri, 39 

Facta, Luigi, 221, 222 

von Falkcnhayn, 203 

Fanti, General, 94, 99 

Farini, Luigi Carlo, 69, 87, 112 

"fascii di combatimento," 246, 247 

fascista party, 246-8 

fascist* and fascismo, 219, 220, 221, 

222, 224-33, 246-58, 270-2; march 

on Rome, 222; political theory of, 


Fedemmi, Luigi, 188, 221, 235, 238 
Ferdinand I (of Naples), i, r,2, 14, 15, 

1 6, 17, 30 
Ferdinand II, 29, 30, 31, 46, 48, 49, 50, 

51, 58, 72, 88; "King Bomba," 49 
Ferdinand III (of Tuscany), 2, 3, 12, 


Ferrari, Cardinal, 262 
Ferrari, General, 35 
Ferri, Enrico, 179 
Filangicri, 49, 51, 92 
Filipelli, 239, 240 
Fiim, 239, 241 
von Fkitow, 191 192, 199 
Floury, General, 84 
Francis I, 13 
Francis II, 88-9, 94, 96 
Francis IV, 2, 3, 12 
Francis Joseph, 82, 83, 84, 86, no, 

196, 199 

freedom of the press, 249-50 
Freemasonry, 151 
future of Italy, 270-81 

GalHno, Tomaso, 8, 10 



Garibaldi, 42, 58, 59-62, 67, 70, 81-2, 
83, 87-8, 89-95, 99, 107, 110-12, 
08-19, 123, 124-6, 219 

Garibaldi, Menotti, 90 

Gasparri, Cardinal, 263, 265, 267, 269 

general strike, 217-19 

Genoa, Duke of, elected king of Sicily, 

Gentile, 235 

Gentilomi, Count, 188 

"Gentilomi, patto," 188, 189 

Giardino, General, 202 

Giobcrti, 19, 20-21, 23, 29, 108 

Giolitti, 158, 159-62, 169, 176, 177, 
179, 1 80, 181, 182, 183, 186-9, 192, 
*93 196, 197, 216, 217, 218, 219, 

220, 222, 226, 227"8, 236, 242 

Giovanc Italia, 19, 60 

Gizzi, Cardinal, 23, 25 

Gladstone, 47-9; letter of, 47-8 

governments, short life of, 138 

"grand' clettori," 155-6, 225 

Grandi, Dino, 272 

Grandi, General, 192 

Graziani, Admiral, 55 

Gregory XVI, 21, 23 

Grey, Sir Edward, 191 

group system, curse of Italian politics, 

137, 225 
Gyulay, Marshal, 8t, 82 

llaynau, General, ;$7 58 
Hercules III, 2 
Von Hess, Marshal, 82 
Hotzendortf, Conrad von, 203 
Humbert, Prince, 117; King, 175-6 

infallibility, dogma of, 130-2 
Isonzo, the, 202, 203 

Jagow, 199 

Jerome Napoleon, 77-9* 86 

von John, Marshal, xi6 

Kalnoky, 153 
Kanzlcr, General, 133 
King, Bolton, vii, 49 
Kuhn, General, 8t 09 

labor policy, 253-4 
La Farina, 57, 89 

La Marmora, General, 75, 105, 114-15, 


Lamartine, 34, 54, 56 
Lambruschini, Cardinal, 21, 22, 24 
Landi, General, 92 
Lanza, General, 92, 93 
Lanza, Giovanni, 127, 128, 129, 130, 

132, 133, 136-7* 140, 141, 142, I53> 


Law of Guarantees, 135-4, 142, 266, 

Leo XIII, 24, 146, 259, 263 

Leopold II, 28, 73 

de Lcsseps, Ferdinand, 6t 

"little railway parliament, the," 215-16 

Lloyd George, 212 

Lobbia, 127 

Loubet, President, 178 

Louis Napoleon, 54, 56, 58-9, 74-5, 76, 
79-80, 81, 84, 85-6, 102, 107, no, 
1x5, 123, 124, 125, 127, 132 

Louis Philippe, 30 

Luzzatti, ic 79 

Machiavelli, 8 

MacMahon, Marshal, 82, 141 

mafia, the, 97 

Magliani, 146 

Malacria, 239, 240 

Malatestu, Enrico, 189, 219, 251 

Mamiani, 35, 39 

Mancini, 153, 154 

Manin, Daniel e, 34, 52-8 

Manteu(Tcl, 1 1 5 

Marconi, 197 

Maria Carolina, 3 

Maria Louisa, a, 3 

Mavia Theresa, 3 

Marie Louise, 3, 12, 28 

Marinelli, 239, 240 

Martinengo, Giuseppe, 58 

Marxians, 180 

Massowah, 154, 156, 163 

Mastai-Kerretti, Cardinal, 21-2, 25, 27 

Matteotti, Giacomo, 237-41, 249 

Mass'/ini, 10, n, 18, 19, 20, 29, 42, 50, 

60, 89, 130 

Mazxonis' plant seized, 216 
von Mechel, Colonel, 92 
Medici, 93, 99, 1 19 



Melegari, 144, 146 

Menabrea, Luigi Federico, 125, 126-8, 


Menelek, 163-8 

Men tana, defeat of, 125, 126, 127 
Merode, Monsignore de, 96 
Mctternich, i, 2, 3, 4, 12, 16, 26, 27, 

33> 53 

Mieroslawsky, 50, 51 
"Million Rifles Fund," 89 
Minghetti, Marco, 87, 112-14, *37> *4 

141, 142, 145, 226 
mobilization ordered, 197-8 
Montuori, 206 
Morelli, 15 

Morronc, General, 204 
Murat, 10, 14, 86 
Mussolini, n, 189, 193, 196, 219, 221, 

228-9, 231-3, 234-45, 246, 254, 256, 

263-4, 267, 269, 271-2, 280-1 

Naldi, 239 

Napoleon, 8, 9-10, 131 

Napoleon III, see Louis Napoleon 

Nasi, 226 

nationality, evolution of spirit of, 4-8 

neutrality, 190-5, 200 

Nicotera, 144, 145-6 

Nitti, 211, 212, 213, 214-16 

Novara, 41-51 

Nugent, Marshal, 35-6 

Orlando, Vittorio Emanuele, 210, 211, 

212, 342 

Orsini, Felice, 76 

Ouchy, Peace of, 184, 185, 186 

Oudinot, General, 59, 6 1 

Pacelli, Signor, 265 

Pallavinci, 57 

Palmcrston, Lord, 48, 50, 56, 84, 102 

Pantaleoni, 103 

parliament, power* of, limited, 248 

Pecori-Girakli, General, 202, 203 

Pelloux, 173, 175 

Pepe, Guglielmo, 15, 16, 17, 56, 57 

Persano, Admiral, 91, 119-20 

Persigny, 84 

Peruzxi, Ubaldino, 87, 113, 153 

physical welfare of the people, 252 

Piedmontese, 29, 31, 34, 35, 43-5 

Pilo, Rosalino, 89 

Pius VII, 13 

Pius IX, 22-7, 32, 35, 39, 40, 41, 42, 59, 

62, 103, 123, 130, 133, 134, 137, 146, 

263, 266, 268 
Pius X, 260 

Pius XI, 261-3, 2 ^5> 269 
Plon-Plon, see Jerome Napoleon 
Poerio, 46 

population problem, 273-4 
Poveromo, 239, 240 
poverty of the people, 121, 225 
prefetti, 104, 225 

Quadrilateral, the, 34, 36, 84 

Radetzky, 34 35 3<> 37 38, 42-3, 44> 

45> 5<>> 57 

railways, improvement of, 253 

Rattazzi, 69, 86, 87, too, 107, 108-9, 
no, iti-i2, 123-5, *4* J 44 

Ratti, Achille, see Pius XI 

regionalism, 135-6; see also centraliza 

Renier, Archduke, 12-13 

Revel, Admiral Thaon di, 234 

revolution of 1848, outbreak of, in 
Sicily, 29; in Milan, 33-4 

Ricasoli, 33, 87, 96-109, 121-3, 136 

Ricci-Armani, General, 204 

Ricotti, General, 140, 141 

rlsorgimentOt 28, 135 

Robilant, Count <li s 154-5 

Robilant, General, 202 

Rocco, Professor Alfredo, 270-1 

Rodd, Sir Rennell, 199 

Roman question, the, 121-3, *33"4 

Romano, Liborio, 98 

Rossi, 235 

Rossi, Cesare, 239, 240, 241 

Rossi, Pellegrino, 9, 24, 39, 40, \ 13 

Rouher, 126 

Rubattino, 156 

Riulini, Marchese di, 159, 169, 173, 

St, Hilaire, Bardielemy, 152 
Salandra, Antonio, i8), 191*2, 194, 

197, 2IO, 211, 222, 242 

Salisbury, Lord, 151 

Salvago-Kaggi, an 



Salvati, 15 

San Fedisti, 24, 25, 26 

San Giuliano, 177, 190, 191-2, 194 

Santa Rosa, 66 

Saracco, 173, 175, 177 

<le Sauget, 30 

Schlitz, General, 82 

"sciopero bianco," 181 

secret societies, 251 

Sclla, Quintino, 127, 128-9, 140, 226 

senate, 248 

Settembrini, 30, 46 

Settimo, Ruggiero, 50 

Sforza, 216, 221 

sindicato ferrovicri, 189 

Sirtori, General, 99 

Solferino, battle of, 81-4 

Sonnaz, 37 

Sonnino, 162, 194-5, r 9^ *98j '99? 

200, 2to, 2ti, 213 
Spingardi, General, 192 
statuto, present status of, 256-7 
statuto, of Charles Albert, 3 1 -2 
de Stefani, 235, 242, 243 
Stunx), Don Luigi, 137, 215, 221, 264 
suffrage, 15, 104, 135, 225, 248 

Tangorra, 235 
Tanlongo, 161-2 
taxes, 121, 186-7, 2 5% 
Tazzoli, 72 

Tegetthoff, Admiral von, 120 
Tellini, General, 244 
Thiers, President, 140 
"The Thousand," 90-3 
Tittoni, 177, 178, 213 
Tommaseo, 53, 54, 55, 57 
Torrcarsa, 50 
Torrigiani, 251 
Toselli, Major, 164 
Trapani, Count of, 96 
Trevclyan, G, M., vii 

triple alliance, lack o castts joederis 

for Italy, 190-2 
Tunisia, 150-2, 159 
Turati, Filippo, 179 
Turkish War, 181-5 
Turr, Colonel, 90, 91 

Uccialli, treaty of, 163-4, 168 
"unitarianism," 29 

Vatican accord, 103, 259-69 

Vecchi, C. M. de, 234 

Viale, 94 

Victor Emanuel, 1,3, 12, 17, 31, 45, 57, 
67, 69-71, 73, 77-8, 82, 85, 86, 87, 
88, 89, 95, 102, 106-7, 108, 116, 117, 
T25, 126, 127, 128, 129, 132, 134, 
146, 265 

Victor Emanuel III, 175, 222-3 

Villari, Luigi, vii, 278, 279 

Villari, Pasquale, 30 

Viola, 239, 240 

Visconti-Venosta, Emilio, 113-14, 129, 
139, 141, 226 

Volpi, Giuseppi, 239, 240, 243 

Waddington, 148, 151 

war debt to U.S., reduction of, 243 

wheat crop, 253 

Wilson, Woodrow, 211-12 

Wimpffen, 82 

workers' federations, 254-5 

World War, 201-13; allies offer secret 
terms, 195-6, 199; armistice, 209; 
mobilization ordered, 197-8; neutral 
ity, 190-5, 200; outbreak of, 190-1; 
war declared, 198 

Young Italy, see Oiovane Italia 

Zambianchi, 91 
Xanarclelli, 145-6, 177