The Crisis of Liberal Italy

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Professor Forsyth provides an important new interpretation of the crisis of democracy in Italy after World War I. He argues that liberal governments after 1918 failed to balance the conflicting claims of great power conflicts, social welfare, economic growth, and macroeconomic stability in a harsh economic environment. Post-war liberal leaders put stability ahead of the redistributive social policies which would have been necessary to secure broad electoral support: this failure led to parliamentary deadlock and Mussolini's seizure of power.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a wealth of information on monetary and fiscal developments..." Journal of Modern History

"The author bases his analysis on extensive archival research, not only in Italy, but also in France, Britain, and the United States. makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the post-war crisis in Italy." The International History Review

"...he marshals his copious evidence well and makes a compelling case, and his book must be adjudged an important and original reevaluation." American Historical Review

"...[a] meticulously researched study of Italy's public finances during the final years of liberation....Forsyth uses a wealth of archival and secondary sources....Forsyth's study is impressively researched, well organized and clearly written." Times Literary Supplement

"Forsyth's study is impressively researched, well organized and clearly written." Christopher Duggan, Times Literary Supplement

"Forsyth gives the reader a good glimpse into the inconsistencies of the Italian tax system with its inaccurate assessment for direct taxes and its little progressivity and equity especially on the implementation front, a problem that still exists today." Giuseppe Ammendola, Italian Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521416825
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/12/1993
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Giolittian Italy, 1901-1914 19
1 The political economy of Giolittian Italy: the dilemmas of welfare, warfare, and development 21
Pt. 2 World War I, August 1914-November 1918 61
2 The collapse of the Italian fiscal system 69
3 The limits of state borrowing capacity 101
4 Monetary policy and the banking system 125
5 International accounts: Italy's loss of financial independence 149
Pt. 3 The post-war crisis, November 1918-October 1922 193
6 A difficult readjustment: the political economy of the Orlando and Nitti governments, November 1918-June 1920 195
7 From Giolitti to Mussolini: monetary and financial stabilization, and political collapse 236
Conclusion 286
Appendix: Tables and figures 295
Bibliography 331
Index 355
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