In the heart of Rome beside the Capitol, confronting the Piazza Venezia, stands the Victor Emmanuel monument. In Rome, which until 1945 was so often accorded the adjectives 'eternal' or 'imperial', the monumentissimo (as sardonic socialists labelled it) is the most public, most theatrical and most excessive architectural celebration of post-Risorgimento Italian patriotism, nationalism and perhaps imperialism. This book asks why the Victor Emmanuel monument, planned after 1878 and opened in 1911, was a structure raised by Liberal and not Fascist Italy. Through a detailed study of diplomacy, of policy-making, of policy-makers, and of the distribution of real power in pre-First World War Italy, it demonstrates how important foreign policy, and a foreign policy of greatness, was to Liberal Italy. Weakened by economic backwardness, regional diversity, and the gulf between the legal-political world and 'real' society, Liberal Italy was nonetheless ambitious to be a Great Power. This monograph contributes to a number of major historiographical debates. It produces evidence which casts doubts on the thesis that fascism was a parenthesis in Italian history.
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- Date Published: December 2005
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521019897
- length: 552 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 154 x 32 mm
- weight: 0.813kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
List of maps
1. Society and politics in Liberal Italy
2. New political pressure groups and foreign policy
3. The making of a Foreign Minister: Antonio Di San Giuliano
4. The Consulta: the bureaucrats of foreign policy
5. How Italy went to Libya
6. How Italy stayed in Libya
7. The politics of alliance: Italy in the Triple Alliance, 1912–1914
8. The politics of friendship: Italy, the Triple Entente, and the search for a new Mediterranean agreement, 1911–1914
9. 'Un cliente maleducato': Italy in the Dodecanese and Ethiopia, 1912–1914
10. Preparing to digest some spoils: Italian policy towards Turkey, 1912–1914
11. San Giuliano's epilogue: the realities of European war 28 June to 16 October 1914
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