Italy and Neutrality: Cultural, Political and Diplomatic Framework

Andrea Carteny


Italian history at the beginning of WWI was well harmonised with other events in the Old Continent, while the domestic picture featured a delicate set of links, between Triplicist, neutralist, and nationalist environments, parties and movements, with "nationalism" acting as a shaping factor in Italy's public scene. But different elements emerged in Italian nationalism that would grow into the interventionist policy of an aspiring “great power”, interpreted by some as a line of continuity between liberal and fascist foreign policy. The period of neutrality and the events that led to Italy's intervention were in the spotlight of historiographical analysis in the post-war years, with both focus on fascist Italy's non-belligerance at the surge of WWII and special attention to documentation and the strategies of protagonists (e.g. Giolitti, Salandra, di San Giuliano, Sonnino, D’Annunzio, etc.), as well as to careful reconstruction of events the growing consensus for intervention, the personalisation of stances for and against intervention, the many elements at play within and outside the country and the clever combination of popular mobilisation and parliamentary strategy by supporters of intervention in the weeks between the Treaty of London and war. The goal of the paper is to present the evolution of the Italian position from neutrality to the intervention in the war alongside the Entente, with a particular attention to international context, to the protagonist of the neutrality period in Italy through the memories and the main historiography on the subject.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n6s2p737

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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