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ESSSAAAAYY PLLLLAAANNNNSS

HOW FAR DOES _______ EXPLAIN THE WEAKNESS OF THE LIBERAL STATE 1896-1914

1. NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE
-. Began following unification of Italy between the northern and southern provinces
-. Almost all of the South was peasant based  could not cope with heavy taxes
-. South = economically + socially backwards/ suffered from hostile climate + and had advanced little in economic terms since medieval times
-. CONTRASTED with the prosperous north + industries located in North
-. Majority of MPs + people who could vote based in the North =
no representation for the south
-. LINK  therefore clear that difficult for Italy to become completely united from the start as there was such a diverse contrast within the country - difficult for the govt. to deal with - BUT cannot be held entirely responsible for weakness of Liberal State

2. LACK OF ITALIAN IDENTITY
-. Severe lack of Italian identity as well as linguistic and cultural differences
-. Only 2% of population spoke Italian - communication almost impossible
-. Loyalties towards locality rather than towards the Italian nation
-. Each area had its own culture and traditions - saw themselves as separate from the rest
-. No trade and no travel which meant that each state was entirely segregated
-. LINK

3. UNSTABLE POLITICAL SYSTEM
 overall, these issues weakened the Italian state further as it
-. No political parties and no two wasclearly almost defined impossible to create a national spirit orparty unitesystem the Italians;
-. Politicians werecontributed mainly from theweakness middle class represented thus this further to the of the- Liberal state this narrow social class in Parliament
-. Giolitti PM on four occasions between 1903 and 1914
-. Giolitti continued the system of Transformismo whereby opportunist coalitions were formed regardless of ideological coherence
-. Governments kept on failing due to differences of opinions - demonstrated the fact that Liberal politics was based on the pursuit of power for its own sake as opposed to the good of the nation
-. LINK  therefore, the instability within the Liberal political system failed at dealing with the problems that existed within Italy, and Giolitti's political reforms served only to polarise politics further thus exacerbating divisions within the Liberal state.

4. ECONOMIC WEAKNESSES
-. Predominantly an agricultural country
-. Most peasants and farm labourers in the South lived in poverty
-. Heavy industry was relatively poor and underdeveloped due to severe lack of resources (e.g. coal and iron)
-. Any developments that did occur were concentrated in the North again leaving the South behind
-. The lack of railways meant that the country could not transport any goods and production and foreign trade were far behind other European countries
-. LINK  Economic weaknesses of the liberal state meant that it did not have the money, resources, industry or literacy to start rebuilding the
+ linkOF to THE factor

5. country HOSTILITY CATHOLIC CHURCH
-. Powerful source in Italian society
-. Resentful of the Liberal state that had seized the Papal states and Rome from the Church
-. As a result, the Pope refused to recognise the Italian state
-. Catholics were made to boycott the elections
-. Distrust continued beyond WWI
-. LINK hostility of the Catholic Church meant that the Italian state lacked the support of a powerful and influential source in society which was particularly significant as a large percentage of the Italians were devout Catholics

COLLAPSE OF THE LIBERAL STATE

1. IMPACT OF WWI
-. Entry into WW1 had been heavily divisive (Nationalists wanted to fight in order to gain the Italia Irredentia whilst Giolitti did not feel that Italy was in a position to fight a war)
-. Consequences of the war were disastrous
- ECONOMICALLY War cost 148 billion Lire led to inflation and everyday hardship - demobilised soldiers returned to the worsening conditions - poor reward for their sacrifices
- SOCIALLY the war failed to bring about any national integration and did not unite the Italians
- POLITICALLY industrial workers flocked to the Socialist party - socialist party called for the overthrow of the liberal state and a dictatorship of the Proleteriat
- MILITARILY - 5 million men were conscripted - army largely peasant based - 600,000 killed and 1,000,000 wounded
-. Italy was a victorious power but had suffered a major defeat at Caporetto in 1917 and the outcome of the peace treaties following the war - whereby Italy were denied specifically the Adriatic sea and Fiume - led to the majority of Italians declaring they had suffered a 'mutilated victory'

2. RISE OF FASCISM
-. The events at Fiume in 1919 whereby D'Annunzio had gained power by force, served to inspire the charismatic leader Mussolini, who made a promise to not only deal with the problems caused by the war, but also with those caused by the Liberal state as a whole
-. Mussolini set up the Fascist newspaper Il Popolo D'Italia- used a large amount of propaganda in order to gain support for Fascist party
-. Party gained legitimacy when Giolitti invited the Fascists into a coalition government making them appear to be a viable party
-. Upon entering government, Fascism had more control than their rivals, the Socialists and were successful in gaining the support of the army, as well as the people, who appreciated their anti-socialist stance
-. LINK  Therefore, the rise of Fascism can be seen as the catalyst for the collapse of the Liberal state as once they had a firm position in government, as well as the support of the people, the Liberal state was doomed to failure

3. CHALLENGE OF SOCIALISM
-. Challenge of Socialism was rapidly developing
-. Attractive political ideology for a large amount of people - advocated equality, better pay and better working conditions
-. As social and economic situation Italy worsened - Socialism was gaining more support
-. Despite this the Socialists were divided into the Minimalists and Maximalists - this coupled with the fact that Socialist ideology claimed that their party was more violent than they were, meant that the potential for a socialist revolution was not as strong as the working class would have hoped
-. HOWEVER the government was challenged by the Bienno Rosso - 'two red years' when strikes, protests and demonstrations from all those who opposed the state where rife.
-. LINK  this firm opposition would have played a part to the collapse of

4. LONG TERM PROBLEMS PRIOR TO WW1 State it further government as well as in
-. the It is Liberal important to as note that thechallenged economicthe and political situation giving the Fascists to counter. Italy prior to the something war had already been divisive and difficult
-. Economically Italy was struggling to compete with other Western countries and there was an economic divide between the more prosperous north and poorer South
-. Liberal politicians had only introduced universal male suffrage in 1911 and politics was built around coalitions in the Transformismo system meaning that governemnts were liable to break down

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