Keywords: Giolitti; Giolitti Era; Liberal Italy; Historiography.
The article discusses the evolution of the historical debate on the Giolitti era over the last forty years. The policy of Giolitti has been interpreted in different ways. According to the conventional Marxist interpretation, Giolitti was an exponent of the bourgeois bloc and his purpose was to keep unchanged the basic socio-economic structure and equilibria of Italy. On the opposite side, historian Alberto Aquarone has described Giolitti as a supporter of parliamentary rules and order, capable of integrating anti-systemic forces such as Catholics and some Socialists. Giorgio Candeloro maintained instead that Giolitti was a protagonist of the Italian transition from an agricultural country to an industrial one. Regardless of these different interpretations, it's possible nevertheless to identify some key issues of the Giolitti era: the non-emergence of a liberal party; the peculiar relationship between Giolitti and the Catholics; the construction of a parliamentary bloc faithful to Giolitti. These are issues that still offer broad ground for historical research.