The Kingdom of Italy was a state founded in 1861 when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy. The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state. It existed until 1946 when the Italians opted for a republican constitution. Italy declared war on Austria in alliance with Prussia in 1866: despite an unsuccessful campaign, it received the region of Veneto following Bismarck's victory. Italian troops entered Rome in 1870, ending more than one thousand years of Papal temporal power.
Italy accepted Bismarck's proposal to enter in a Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1882, following strong disagreements with France about the respective colonial expansions. However, even if relations with Berlin became very friendly, the alliance with Vienna remained purely formal, as the Italians were keen to acquire on Trentino and Trieste, parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire populated by Italians. So, in 1915, Italy accepted the British invitation to join the Allies in World War I because the western allies promised territorial compensation (at the expense of Austria-Hungary) for participation that were more generous than Vienna's offer in exchange for Italian neutrality.
Victory in the war gave Italy a permanent seat in the Council of the League of Nations. "Fascist Italy" is the era of National Fascist Party rule from 1922 to 1943 with Benito Mussolini as totalitarian leader. The fascists imposed totalitarian rule and crushed the political and intellectual opposition, while promoting economic modernization, traditional social values, and a rapprochement with the Catholic Church.
The first phase 1923–25 was nominally a continuation of the parliamentary system, albeit with a "legally organized executive dictatorship." Then came the second phase, "the construction of the Fascist dictatorship proper from 1925 to 1929." The third phase, with less activism, was 1929–34. The fourth phase, 1935–40, was characterized by an aggressive foreign policy, warfare in Ethiopia, which was launched from Italian Somaliland and Eritrea, confrontations with the League of Nations sanctions, growing economic autarchy, and semi-Nazification. The war itself (1940–43) was the fifth phase with its disasters and defeats, while the rump Salo regime under German control was the final stage (1943–45).
Italy was allied with Nazi Germany in World War II until 1943. It switched sides to the Allies after ousting Mussolini and shutting down the Fascist party in areas (south of Rome) controlled by the Allied invaders. The remnant fascist state in northern Italy that continued fighting against the Allies was a puppet state of Nazi Germany, the " Italian Social Republic", still led by Mussolini and his loyalist Fascists. Shortly after the war, civil discontent led to the Italian constitutional referendum, 1946 on whether Italy would remain a monarchy or become a republic. Italians decided to abandon the monarchy and form the Italian Republic, which is the present form of Italy today.
Type of Government in the Kingdom of Italy
The Kingdom of Italy was theoretically a constitutional monarchy. Executive power belonged to the monarch, as executed through appointed ministers. Two chambers of parliament restricted the monarch's power—an appointive Senate and an elective Chamber of Deputies. The kingdom's constitution was the Statuto Albertino, the former governing document of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
In theory, ministers were solely responsible to the king. However, in practice, it was impossible for an Italian government to stay in office without the support of Parliament. Members of the Chamber of Deputies were elected by plurality voting system elections in uninominal districts. A candidate needed the support of 50% of those voting, and of 25% of all enrolled voters, to be elected on the first round of balloting. If not all seats were filled on the first ballot, a runoff was held shortly afterwards for the remaining vacancies.
After a brief multinominal experimentation in 1882, proportional representation into large, regional, multi-seat electoral constituencies, was introduced after World War I. Socialists became the major party, but they were unable to form a government into a parliament split into three different factions, with Christian Populists and classical liberals.
Elections took place in 1919, 1921, and 1924: in this last occasion, Mussolini abolished the PR replacing it with a block voting system on national bases, which gave to the Fascist Party the absolute majority of the Chamber seats. Between 1925 and 1943, Italy was quasi- de-jure Fascist dictatorship, as the constitution formally remained in effect without alteration by the Fascists, though the monarchy also formally accepted Fascist policies and Fascist institutions. Changes in politics occurred, consisting of the establishment of the Grand Council of Fascism as a government body in 1928, which took control of the government system, and the Chamber of Deputies being replaced with the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations as of 1939.
The Map Footprint of The Kingdom of Italy
The Kingdom of Italy claimed all of the territory which is modern-day Italy. The development of the Kingdom's territory progressed under Italian re-unification until 1870. The state for a long period of time did not include Trieste or Trentino Alto Adige and only annexed them in 1919.
The Triple Entente promised to grant to Italy- if the state joined the Allied Powers in World War I - several territories including former Austrian Littoral, western parts of former Duchy of Carniola, Northern Dalmatia and notably Zara (Zadar), Sebenico (Šibenik), and most of the Dalmatian islands (except Krk and Rab), according to the secret London Pact of 1915.
After the compromise was nullified under pressure of President Woodrow Wilson with the Treaty of Versailles which made void Italian claims on Northern Dalmatia, During the second World War, the Kingdom gained more territory in Slovenia and more territory from Dalmatia.
The Kingdom of Italy also held colonies and protectorates, military occupations and puppet states, such as modern-day Italian Eritrea, Italian Somaliland, Libya, Ethiopia (occupied by Italy 1936-1941), Albania, British Somaliland, Greece (occupied in World War II), Croatia (Italian and German puppet state in World War II), Kosovo (occupied in World War II), and Montenegro (occupied in World War II), and a small 46 hectare section of land from China in Tianjin (see Italian concession in Tianjin).
After the Second World War, the borders of present-day Italy were founded and the Kingdom abandoned its land claims.