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How successful were Giolittis domestic and foreign policies? Did he stabilise the political system?

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William Harbord-HamondSaturday 15th September 2012 How successful were Giolitti?s domestic and foreign policies? Did he stabilise the political system? Giovanni Giolitti was Prime Minister of Italy for 8 years between 1903-1914. His policies would really sit in the middle of any conflict but did they stabilise the political system. Giolitti introduced a lot of socio-economic reforms, which should immediately please the Socialists. In 1893, Giolitti introduced the Bank of Italy, which was supposed to be a ?lender of last of resort? this marked the end of financial instability in Italian Banking and gave people better access to long term credit. This would have pleased the Industrialist and the Rich as it meant more money for mass production. The balanced budgets led to ?judicious government spending? mainly on stuff in the South, like Southern roads and aqueducts. This pleased nearly everybody especially Southerners as they were being helped out. It would have also given confidence to investors to trust Italy?s economy. ...read more.


Giolitti adopted a strict neutrality of state in industrial disputes, like in 1901 allowed agricultural labourers to strike and in 1906 told police and prefects not to take employer?s part. This very obviously pleased the workers as it allowed their views to be heard. Furthermore, when the Pope allowed Catholics to stand for Parliament in 1909, he welcomed the decision even though he was wary of them at the time. This pleased the Pope and Catholics as they would have felt appreciated and it pleased the Liberals as it made it easier to form a government. This would have helped stabilise the nation, as the majority of it was Catholic. Finally in 1912 he introduced a universal male suffrage, which allowed literate men over 21 and anyone over 30. This increased the electorate from under 3 million to 8.5 million. This was music to the Socialist ears as it meant that the masses could now vote for them. ...read more.


The conflict was intense and there were great atrocities. This infuriated everyone and proved the socialists? point that they should have just spent more money on social reforms. This hindered the political system as they had suffered a ?Pyrrhic Victory?. One could say that Giolitti?s actually increased the stability of the state as he usually sided the popular masses. But he angered the rich landowners and factory owners who, until 1912, where the only people who really mattered, in political terms. His Political reforms, brought stability to his political system like the welcoming of Catholics gained him the support of the Catholics. However, he ruined it all when he introduced the universal male suffrage as it increased the popularity of the socialists and actually put him worse off. His foreign policy first pleased the socialists and angered nationalists. They then switched when Italy invaded Libya. However, in the end it just angered everyone, as it was a ?Pyrrhic Victory?. Overall one could say that Giolitti?s reforms did not stabilise the political system and would eventually lead to the end of ?Liberal Italy?. ...read more.

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