Andrea Guiso

Neutral Italy, the Parliament and the Legitimation of the War

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: First World War; Parliament; Italy; Neutrality; Legitimization.

Italian historians have generally viewed Italy's participation in the Great War as an expression of a radical, absolute war "against" the parliament, whose narrative would inevitably produce the "history of a defeat". Focusing on the role actually played by Parliament while Italy was still neutral and on the institutional and governmental culture of the country's political class, the paper proposes a partial revision of this historical assessment, while also revealing a picture full of contradictory elements: the non 'uniqueness' of events in Italy in defining the relationship between war and representative government; the unresolved tension between absolutist claims and the parliamentarization of the Kingdom's "political constitution"; the ambiguous political conduct of the majority and the political and institutional inconsistencies of its leader, Giovanni Giolitti.

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