Keywords: Lieutenancy; transitional government; Southern Italy; political conflicts; administrative unification.
The essay analyses the Lieutenancy in the Southern Italy as a form of transitional government
by the Bourbon regime to the new unitary state. Through the consultation of documents
and reading through the correspondence of the protagonists, the author reflects
mainly on existing conflicts inside the ruling class for its abolition. During the last Cavour
government, the fate of the Lieutenancy is closely intertwined with the examination of the
Minghetti projects concerning the administrative system. The Prime Minister still hopes to
be able to approve in Parliament the part of the projects dedicated to local autonomies and
to the Region as a government institution. After his sudden death in June 1861, his successor,
Ricasoli, moved towards the adoption of the centralized system. The documentation
shows that the Tuscan statesman obtained the approval of the majority of the ruling class.
The duality of powers between the central government and the Lieutenancy's government
on the themes of repression of brigandage and the organization of administrative life in the
Southern Italy contributed to speeding up the abolition of the Lieutenancy.