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Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Then the French came to the pope's aid and conquered Rome, while Austria quelled the revolt in the north. Under the able leadership of the shrewd diplomat Count Camillo di Cavour, the great minister of Victor Emmanuel, Sardinia-Piedmont grew strong in resources and in alliances see Cavour. Cavour had learned that, genuine as was Italian patriotic fervor, Italy would never be unified without help from abroad.
Therefore he cleverly won an alliance with Napoleon III of France, and in the spring of Austria was goaded into declaring war. Napoleon, however, hurriedly arranged matters with the Austrians, allowing them to retain Venetia. Cavour and Victor Emmanuel were clever enough to veil their disappointment and wait.
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Cavour arranged plebiscites in the small states that checkered north-central Italy. Tuscany, Modena, Parma, and Emilia voted to cast out their princes and join Sardinia-Piedmont, the victor from the north. The second step toward a united Italy came the next year when the famous soldier of fortune Giuseppe Garibaldi and his thousand red-shirted volunteers stormed the island of Sicily and then the rest of the Kingdom of Naples on the mainland. The people everywhere hailed him as a liberator, and the hated Bourbon king was driven out see Garibaldi.
Venetia was gained in , after Austria was defeated by Prussia in alliance with Italy. The Papal States alone were now outside the Italian kingdom, and the lack of that central strip of territory was a very real handicap. French troops still guarded the pope's sovereignty, however, and Victor Emmanuel was too intelligent a pupil of Cavour who had died in to attack the French and thus perhaps undo all that had been accomplished. Immediately the Italian forces marched in. Pope Pius IX excommunicated the invaders and withdrew into the Vatican.
There he and his successors remained prisoners until the Concordat of , or Lateran Treaty, between Italy and the Holy See recognized the temporal power of the pope as sovereign ruler over Vatican City, covering Giant tasks lay before the new Italy. It was staggering under a load of debt and heavy taxation. Leaders of the various regions were in disagreement even in conflict.
Citizens found it difficult to adopt the ways of parliamentary government after being so long under despotic rule. The breach between newly formed socialist parties and the old conservative and reactionary elements widened. Riots and disorder marked the later years of the 19th century. In spite of the many problems, however, an army and navy were built up; railroads, ports, and schools were constructed; and a merchant marine was developed. Meanwhile Italian statesmen were attempting to gain territory in Africa for colonial expansion.
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On Africa's east coast they obtained two colonies of doubtful value, Eritrea and Italian Somaliland, and on the north coast they won Tripoli after a war with Turkey Italy had joined with Germany and Austria in the Triple Alliance in The Alliance weakened as Italy tended toward friendship with France and England.
Austria's invasion of Serbia in , after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, flouted the terms of the agreement.
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Italy announced its neutrality, Aug. The next month it stated that it had withdrawn from the Triple Alliance, and on May 23 the king declared war on Austria. Italy's share in the fruits of victory, when the old Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up, was territory formerly under Austrian rule. It included Italy of the Trentino in the north and the peninsula of Istria at the head of the Adriatic. See also World War I. Depression after the war brought strikes and riots, fomented by anarchists, socialists, and Communists. Bands of former servicemen roamed the country angry, embittered, dangerous eager to strike a blow against the evils which faced Italy, but they were unorganized and lawless.
In these bands a new Italian man, Benito Mussolini, saw his opportunity see Mussolini. With his gift of eloquence he soon organized them into enthusiastic groups in each community, armed them, and set them to preserving order. They formed the nucleus of his black-shirted Fascist party, whose emblem was the fasces, the bundle of rods which had symbolized the authority of the Roman lictors. The party grew rapidly because Mussolini promised benefits to everyone.
The poor hoped for reforms which would end unemployment, raise wages, and lower prices. The rich pictured Fascism as a bulwark against the Communism they feared. The king, fearing civil war, refused to proclaim martial law. The premier resigned and Mussolini was asked to form a government. Within a few years Mussolini had reorganized the government so that the people had no voice in it. He was Il Duce The Leader , and all power rested in him. The king was retained as a figurehead because he was revered by the people and had the support of many wealthy and important families.
Mussolini first abolished all parties except the Fascist and took from the Chamber of Deputies the power to consider any laws not proposed by him. In he replaced it with the Chamber of Fasces and Corporations, composed of all the members of his Council of Corporations and of the National Council of the Fascist party.
No semblance of popular rule remained. Mussolini named the prefects of the provinces and the mayors of the cities. All opposition was crushed. Suspected critics of the regime were sentenced to prison by special courts or were terrorized, tortured, or murdered by Blackshirt thugs. News was censored and public meetings could not be held without the government's permission. The new Fascist state was based on the doctrine that the welfare of the state is all-important and that the individual exists only for the state, owes everything to it, and has no right to protection against it.
Mussolini longed to create a new Roman empire and to bring back Italy's lost glory. To this end he trained a large army and built up the Italian navy. In he attacked the weak, backward, and poorly defended African country of Ethiopia. It was conquered the following year see Ethiopia. In April Italy invaded Albania, making it a protectorate. Italy and Germany then became formal military allies. See also Albania; Spain. But when Germany's program of aggression plunged it into war with England and France on Sept. Not until French power had been destroyed did Mussolini join Germany in the war.
Then, on June 10, , Italian forces attacked southeastern France in a in-the-back invasion. Italy, however, lacked the military power, resources, and spirit for fighting a large-scale war.
Within six months, Italian armies met defeat in Greece and North Africa. Italy then humbly accepted the armed aid of Germany. This military dependence soon grew into economic dependence, and Italy was forced to let Germany control its home affairs. Mussolini became a German puppet, and hard-pressed Italians fought only half-heartedly. He was arrested and held under guard. The constitutional monarchy was restored, with Marshal Pietro Badoglio as premier.
Italy was already on the edge of collapse when the Allies invaded from Sicily, Sept. After a token resistance, Italy surrendered unconditionally that same day. On October 13 it declared war on Germany. Meanwhile, Mussolini had been freed by German paratroops and had fled into German-held north Italy. There he established a Fascist State. In the next two years of war, the Allies slowly drove the Germans northward out of Italy.
The entire length of the mountainous country became a bitter battleground see World War II. Enemy forces surrendered in northern Italy, April 29, Mussolini was captured by partisans and shot. The end of the war found Italy with a large part of its industry and agriculture shattered. During the Nazi occupation, the Germans had commandeered supplies, almost stripping Italy.
Bombing raids and the destructive tide of continuous battle ruined Italian factories, roads, docks, and entire villages. As the Germans retreated, they had wrecked remaining industries and transportation. People were cold, hungry, and jobless. The Allies contributed substantial quantities of food, clothing, and other supplies. Reconstruction lagged, however, because of political turmoil and delay in drawing up a peace treaty.
Barbarossa's Princess by Elizabeth Vallone
While Italy was a battleground, parties representing many political views, from the extreme left to the far right, had sprung up. The more liberal parties demanded an end to the monarchy. Then he delegated his power to his son Umberto. On June 2, , the Italian people voted to found a republic.