Keywords: De Gasperi, Fascism, Catholic Constitutionalism, Liberal Catholicism, Zentrum
Historiography has long underlined the pragmatic nature of De Gasperi's policy, while often overlooking the intellectual dimension of his political experience. Examining his journalistic activity it is possible to understand how his participation to public life took place also through historical and political reflections, particularly in the years of the so-called «domestic exile». The article discusses the main traits of De Gasperi's political culture during the Fascist dictatorship, from the passionate defense of catholic constitutionalism to the frequent references to the liberal-catholic experiences in 19th century European culture. De Gasperi appealed regularly to the constitutional tradition of the German Zentrum and the experience of the Kulturkampf in order to conciliate democratic convictions and Christian idealities, and thus contrast the Fas¬cist authoritarian design with a truly catholic political project, inspired to the more liberal tendencies of the 19th century Catholic Movement.