Italy Essay, Research Paper
Italy Italy is a very exciting country to write a paper about because of its very active political history. I hope that the political history, conditions, and framework will be evident in this paper. After the expulsion of the Etruscans from what is now central Italy, ancient Italian history is largely that of the Roman Empire, of which Italy was the core. Like the rest of the empire, Italy was overrun by barbarian tribes in the early 5th century A.D. The Eastern emperors struggled over its remains, but Byzantine rule was soon displaced by that of the Lombards, except Rome, where Pope Gregory I laid the foundation for the Papal States. The persisting of Lombard threat against Rome brought the intervention of Pepin the short and Charlemagne, who established Frankish hegemony over Italy. The German king Ottoi invaded Italy and was crowned emperor by the pope; this union of Italy and Germany marked the beginning of the Holy Roman Empire. Southern Italy, conquered by the Normans, eventually passed to the Angevins of Naples and the Aragonese kings of Sicily. North and central Italy saw the rise of separate city-states; these, despite constant internecine warfare, built huge commercial empires, dominated European finance, and produced the treat cultural flowering known as the Renaissance. Europe s Renaissance period began in Italy during the 14th and 15th centuries. Literary achievements such as the poetry of Petrarch, Tasso, and Ariosto and the prose of Boccaccio, Machiavelli, and Castiglione exerted a tremendous and lasting influence on the subsequent giants such as da Vinci, Raphael, Bottecelli, Fra Angelico, and Michelangelo. The musical influence of Italian composers Monteverdi, Palestrina, and Vivaldi proved epochal; in the 19th century, Italian romantic opera flourished under composers Gioacchino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi, and Giacomo Puccini. Contemporary Italian artists, writers, filmmakers, architects, composers, and designers contribute significantly to Western culture. Beginning in the late fifteenth century, Italy became the battleground of French, Spanish, and Austrian imperialism. By the eighteenth century Italian subjection to foreign rule, notably by the Spanish Bourbans and the Austrian Hapsburgs, was complete and remained so until the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleon I redrew the map of Italy. After the Congress of Vienna, Austria, whose influence in Italy was now paramount, could not long suppress the efforts of Cavour, Garibaldi, and Victor Emmanuell II, who became king of Italy in 1861. Italy later acquired Venetia in 1866, and Rome and its environs in 1870. Though a member of the Triple Alliance, Italy entered World War I on the Allied side and in the peace treaty obtained additional territory, including Tyrol, Trieste, and Istria. After the war, political and social unrest encouraged the growth of fascism, and in 1922 Mussolini seized power. He created a totalitarian corporative state, conquered Ethiopia in 1936, seized Albania in 1939, and entered World War II in 1940 as an ally of Germany. In 1943 Italy surrendered to the Allies. Italy became a republic in 1946, and the king was exiled. the 1947 peace treaty deprived Italy of its colonies and considerable territory. Trieste was regained in 1954. The postwar era has seen a succession of short-lived, pro-Western coalition governments: the Communists although strong electorally, have been excluded from ministerial positions. The Mafia and organized crime have had a persistent corruption influence on postwar Italian society, and in the late 1970 s leftist guerrilla terrorism plagued the country, most notably in the kidnapping and murder of former premier Aldo Moro in 1978. The 1992 parliamentary elections resulted in centrist, four-party minority government led by Giuliano Amato, a Socialist. Corruption probes, begun in 1992, led to the arrest of hundreds of business and political figures and the investigation of many others, including several party leaders and former prime ministers. A large vote, in a 1993 referendum, in favor of ending proportional representation in Italy s senate was regarded as a call for political change, and Premier Amato resigned. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, head of Italy s central bank, succeeded him, and legislation was passed that largely ended proportional representation in parliament. In new elections in 1994, a coalition of conservatives and neo-fascists won a majority of the seats in parliament, and silvio Berlusconi became premier. Fascism philosophy of government that glorifies the nation-state at the expense of the individual. Major concepts of fascism include opposition to democratic and socialist movements; racist ideologies, such as anti-Semitism; aggressive military policy; and belief in an authoritarian leader who embodies the ideals of the nation. Fascism generally gains support by promising social justice to discontented elements of the working and middle classes, and social order to powerful financial interests. While retaining class divisions and usually protecting capitalist and landowning interests, the fascist state exercises control of all levels of individual and economic activity, employing special police forces to instill fear. The term was first used by the party started by Mussolini, who ruled Italy from 1922 until the Italian defeat in World War II, and has also been applied to other right-wing movements, such as National Socialism in Germany and the Franco regime in Spain. The Italian Social Movement, a minor neofascist party formed in Italy after World War II, won wider support when the pervasive corruption of the governing parties was exposed in the early 1990 s and became a partner in the conservative government formed after the 1994 elections.
Benito Mussolini 1883-1945, Italian fascist leader and dictator. He edited socialist newspapers but broke with the Socialists to support Italy s entry into World War I. In 1919 he organized his nationalistic followers, who wore black shirts as uniforms and practied terrorism in armed groups. In 1921 he was elected to Parlimiment and founded the National fascist party. His Fascists marched on Rome, and King Victor Emmanuel III called on Mussolini of form a government. Called Duce leader, he gradually created a dictatorship and ended parliamentary government. In 1929 he concluded the Lateran Treaty with the Vatican. His imperialistic designs led to the conquest of Ethiopia and the occupation of Albaina. He signed and alliance with Nazi Germany, but Italy s involvement in World WarII was a military failure in Greece and N Africa. The imminent Allied invasion of the Italian mainland led to a rebellion within the Fascist party. The king dismissed Mussolini and had him imprisoned, but the Germans made him a puppet ruler in N Italy. On the German collapse Mussolini was captured by Italian partisans, summarily tried, and executed. There have been frequent government turnovers since 1945. The Dominance of the Christian Democratic party during much of the postwar period lent continuity and comparative stability to Italy s political situation. From 1992 to 1997, Italy faced significant challenges as voters, disenchanted with past political paralysis, massive government debt , extensive corruption, and organized crime s considerable influence; demanded political, economic, and ethical reforms. In the 1993 referendums, voters approved substantial changes, including moving from a proportional to a largely majoritarian electoral system and the abolishment of some ministries. Major political parties, beset by scandal and loss of voter confidence, underwent far-reaching changes. New political forces and alignments of power emerged in March 1994 national elections. There was a major turnover in the new parliament, with 452 out of 630 deputies and 213 out of 315 senators elected for the first time. The 1994 elections also swept media magnate Silvio Berlusconi and his Freedom Pole coalition into office as Prime Minister. However, Berlusconi was forced to step down in January 1995 when one member of his coalition withdrew support. The Berlusconi government was succeeded by a technical government headed by Prime Minister Lamberto Dini, which fell in early 1996. In April 1996, national elections were again heald and led to the victory of a center left coalition led by Romano Prodi. Prime Minister Prodi s coalition includes the Democratic Party of the Left, the Italian Peoples Party, and other small, center left groups. To make up its Renewas Party. In the April 1997 local elections, voters split almost evenly between center right and center left coalitions. The Italian economy has changed dramatically since the end of World War II. From an agriculturally based economy, it has developed into an industrial state ranked as the world s fifth largest industrial economy. Italy belongs to the Group of Seven industrialized nations; it is a member of the European Union and the OECD. Italy has few natural resources. With much of the land unsuited for farming, it is a net food importer. There are no substantial deposits of iron, coal, or oil. Proven natural gas reserves, mainly in the Po Valley and offshore Adriatic, have grown in recent years and constitute the country s most important mineral resource. Most raw materials needed for manufacturing and more than 80% of the country s energy sources are imported. Italy s economic strength is in the processing and the manufacturing of goods, primarily in small and medium sized family owned firms. Its major industries are precision machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electric goods and fashion and clothing. Italy s economy slowed from 2.8% GDP growth in 1995 to 0.7% in 1996, one of the lowest growth rates among the industrialized economies. That is a brief history, political overview and social setting of Italy.