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San Giuliano, Antonino Paternò Castello Marchese di

(368 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
San Giuliano, Antonino Paternò Castello Marchese di (December 10, 1852, Catania – October 16, 1914, Rome), Italian politician (foreign minister). San Giuliano’s political career began in the ranks of the liberal right wing, at a time when many political figures of national standing, among them Francesco Crispi, were emerging from Sicily. A member of the Italian parliament from 1882, he became undersecretary of state in 1892, and in 1898 served as a minister in the reactionary government of General Pell…

Italy

(4,816 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
Italy The outbreak of the Great European War took Italy by surprise and came at a particularly difficult time. From February 1914 onward, the country had been ruled by a center-right government under the leadership of Antonio Salandra. The Chamber of Deputies had been elected in 1913 on the basis of an (albeit exclusively male) electoral law. Until then, the government had lain in the hands of the liberal prime minister Giovanni Giolitti, who had essentially dictated the character of Italian poli…

Piave

(667 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
Piave After the surprising breakthrough of the Central Powers during the Battle of Caporetto in the Julian Alps in late October 1917, the beaten Italian troops found themselves retreating across Friuli to Venice. The first line of defense at the Tagliamento had fallen after just a few days. Within the Italian High Command under Cadorna, pessimism and anxiety were widespread. Initial plans for relocating the front back to the Po River were drawn up. Soon, however, the situation changed. The Italia…

Isonzo

(796 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
Isonzo River located in the Karst region of Slovenia near the front in the Alps where, between 1915 and 1917, Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops opposed one another. Directly after Italy had joined the war in May 1915, their Chief of Staff Luigi Cadorna had wanted to undertake a penetration of the Austrian heartland across the Isonzo. However, the Imperial Austrian Army troops held their defensive positions. The war, which devolved into independent actions in the High Alps, was cemented here at …

D’Annunzio, Gabriele

(367 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
D’Annunzio, Gabriele (March 12, 1863, Pescara – March 1, 1938, Cargnacco [Lake Garda]; from 1924 Prince of Montenevoso), Italian writer. The chief correspondent of the newspaper Corriere della Sera was a significant figure in public life in Italy. He was celebrated by his supporters in May 1915 as the most important exponent of interventionist “spectacle politics” when, on several occasions, he delivered exhortations for war at sites of Italian “national memory,” among them the Capitol in Rome. His speeches at these events…

Salandra, Antonio

(328 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
Salandra, Antonio (August 13, 1853, Troia [Foggia Province] – December 9, 1931, Rome), Italian politician, prime minister. A lawyer from Apulia, later Professor of Constitutional Studies and Constitutional Law, was from 1886 a liberal right-wing member of parliament under Sidney Sonnino. He held office several times as secretary of state and minister, always playing a mediating role between the leaders of the Liberal Party, Sonnino and Giolitti. He became prime minister in March 1914. His period i…