Keywords: Colonialism; Italy; International Law; Colonial Law; British colonies.
Nineteenth century Italian debate about colonialism - as well as national representation
of colonial phenomenon - was not a homogeneous one. According to Italian scholars (historians,
jurists, economists, geographers) of the period 1860-1880 a "modern" concept of
colonialism must necessarily refuse the use of violence and, in particular, recourse to conquest
as a mean of territorial expansion. This representation of colonialism - that found a
strong scientific support in the mid-Nineteenth century Italian theory of International Law
and in particular in the "principle of nationality" elaborated by Pasquale Stanislao Mancini
- terminated in the decade 1880-1890. Starting from the Berlin West Africa Conference
(1884-1885) Italian jurists - especially International lawyers - considered colonialism as
the principal vehicle of world civilization and this alone was sufficient to legitimize even
the most violent means of territorial acquisition.