• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the Reasons Why Italy Entered the First World War 1915

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine the Reasons Why Italy Entered the First World War 1915 The background to one of the reasons why Italy entered the First World War concerns their internal politics and civil unrest. Antonio Salandra became Prime Minister in March 1914 much to the surprise of many of the deputies who still saw Giolitti as the 'natural ' Prime Minister. Salandra as a Liberal was pushed even further towards conservatism, as the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavaro (CGL) began a general strike on June 14th, 1914, after three anti-militarist demonstrators were killed. This strike had been the most widespread movement of popular protest since 1898, lasting a week and it took thousands of troops to restore law and order. This strike became known as 'Red Week'. Salandra realised that the 'Red Threat' - Communism had become a reality; this realisation however, was soon pushed to the side as Europe fell into war. In August 1914 Europe and its great powers went to war. Austria, being a member of the Triple Alliance (Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy) had declared war on Serbia. This action would inevitably draw in the draw in the Triple Entente (France, Britain, and Russia) as Serbia was allied with Russia, thus, starting war in Europe. Both Alliances had been preparing for war, each hungry for power. Even though Italy was part of the Triple Alliance, she refused to take action, claiming that Austria had broken the terms of the Treaty by declaring war without consulting Italy. ...read more.

Middle

Consequently, on May 4th 1915 Italy condemned the Triple Alliance and entered the First World War three weeks later. Salandra expected, if all went to plan, that Italy would finally become united as a result of being a nation at war, and his position as Prime Minister would become firmly established. So, not only was Italy's entrance to the First World War political but it could possibly, as Salandra hoped, help to solve Italy's domestic problems regarding unification and the 'Red Threat'. However, the domestic situation was not as easily solves by war as Salandra had hoped because public opinion counted for a great deal and the majority of the Italian public did not want to go to war. The opposition to the war was consisted of The Socialist Party, (the only one in Western Europe which had not abandons its internationalist principles however, it was now seen as unpatriotic), and most Catholics, including Pope Benedict XV did not wish to get involved as Austria was a Catholic country. Another significant majority who were against war were the Southern Italians, many of whom had no opinion on Trent or Trieste and perceived 'war simply as a disaster, like drought, famine or plague'. Businessmen (those who were not steel makers and ship builders) were especially opposed to war, particularly with the recent uprising and strike, as a nation at war could lead to State governed industry. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many people would argue that Italy joining the Entente and entering the First World War was in fact due to the long-standing campaign of the Liberals to make Italy great by gaining more territory. This leads me to believe that even though it was unavoidable for Italy to be a part of the First World War, joining and in particular, who with, was very much related to the domestic situation and Salandra's views on how best to solve the problems of governing a unified Italy. Salandra entered the war because he saw it as a way to solve Italy's social and political problems as well as his own. He had many things to consider but mostly the reaction of the other leading powers in Europe and this lead to the importance of Sonnino as he played a vital part in the negotiations. As well as achieving greater power outside of Italy, Salandra wished to unify the divide between the north and the south of Italy and this was one of the main liberal aims. However, one of the most crucial reasons why Italy entered the First World War was the international repercussions if she had stayed neutral - either way she could have gained an enemy depending on the outcome of the war. Italy was, in effect, playing a game of poker not knowing what cards the other players held, all Italy could do was guess who had the best hand and hope that she would come up trumps too. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    Ludendorff opposed it and claimed that the army could hold out until the spring of 1919. * Eventually, on 7-8 November, the Socialists seized power in Berlin and immediately asked for an Armistice. Germany surrendered unconditionally at 11 am on 11 November 1918.

  2. What are the main features of the 'just war theory'? Examine and comment on ...

    There are fewer points to these criteria but they are crucial in successfully carrying out a just war. The first criteria is again proportionality, which was partly looked at in jus ad bellum. It states that the damage caused by a war cannot be disproportionate to the damage being caused by the threat.

  1. Describe the process by which italy was said to be unified between 1860 and ...

    Italy was still not complete as Rome was missing. This lasted until 1866 when French troops left following the September convention. Ratazzi had another opportunity for which he encouraged Garibaldi to try and take over the city. A volunteer force was raised of 4000 and set out to march on Rome in the autumn of 1867.

  2. Analyse and Discuss the Reasons Behind the Breakdown in the Relationship Between the United States a

    contiguous regions was tacitally agreed; or perhaps, more accurately the areas of these regions where each power would have spheres of influence. This meeting was to prove hugely significant in the years to come: in particular as to the thinking of Joseph Stalin.

  1. Interpretations of The First World War.

    It is full of mud and clay and there is so much rain that it has a stream running through it. No wonder the soldiers fell to diseases such as Trench Foot and other things, which were passed on by the rats nibbling at your toes.

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    Damour was then transformed into a stronghold of Fatah and the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). The massacre and destruction of Damour is best described by Becker in the book "The PLO". The massacre induced Muslims residing in Christian-dominated areas to flee to Muslim held areas, and vice versa.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work