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Domestic factors in Italian intervention in the First World War.

Jones, Simon Mark Oliver (1982) Domestic factors in Italian intervention in the First World War. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis attempts to explain Italian intervention in World War I as essentially a product of various domestic economic and political issues. It begins with a discussion of the growing economic difficulties in the years before 1914, problems which lead to greater organisation amongst both employers and labour and the collapse of Giovanni Giolitti's former political dominance. The emergence of Italian imperial aspirations in North and East Africa, the Balkans and Asia Minor is then followed. This is seen as a further symptom of Italy's economic malaise, and as the ground for cooperation between agrarian and industrial interests. Italy's demands in 1915 are linked to this imperialist programme developed over the previous decade. Salandra's decision to pull Italy out of the Triple Alliance and join the Entente powers is also caused in part by the constant clash of economic interests between Italy and the Central Powers in both the Balkans and Asia Minor: above all in their diametrically opposed railway plans which are of such great importance to both Rome and Berlin. Further pressure for intervention comes through the economic crisis of neutrality, bringing with it the threat of a repetition of the insurrection in June 1914. Neutrality also demonstrates Italy's dependence on Britain for vital raw materials and security on the seas, and brings a growing demand for intervention from industrialists. This demand also springs from a desire for lucrative state contracts, and a mounting distrust of the Banca Commerciale -which is attacked as a vehicle of German domination over economic and political life in Italy. Salandra is shown to use the campaign against this bank to strengthen his position in the political struggle against Giolitti: while intervention in the war also serves as a means to set Italian politics on a new course. The final chapter discusses the appearance and significance of the nationalist movement; in particular, its influence throughout the Italian press and on members of Salandra's Cabinet. The similar short-term goals of the government and the nationalists leads to much tacit cooperation in the campaign for intervention.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, European, History, Military
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1985

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