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The Impact of the World War I on Italy

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Introduction

Tony Taglianetti History Mr P. Thompson The Impact of the World War I on Italy. When World War I began in August 1914, the Italian government brushed aside the Triple Alliance and declared its neutrality. In 1915, Italy had signed the secret Treaty of London. In this treaty Britain had offered Italy large sections of territory in the Adriatic Sea region - Tyrol, Dalmatia, and Istria. Such an offer was too tempting for Italy to refuse. Subsequently, after having signed the secret Treaty of London with the allied powers (Britain and France), Italy declared war on Austria and Turkey, and then declared war on Germany about a year later. By the spring of 1915 General Luigi Cadorna had 25 infantry and 4 cavalry divisions made up of Italian troops. Grouped into four armies, Cadorna only had 120 heavy or medium artillery pieces and some 700 machine guns. Despite the shortage of artillery Cadorna, along with the Italian troops, launched mass attacks on Austria-Hungary in May 1915. ...read more.

Middle

However, this money borrowed proved inadequate to cover the cost of the war so the Italian government resorted to printing money. Consequently, inflation spiralled out of control and prices quandrupled during the war years. The impact of this inflation meant that the middle classes suffered greatly as their savings had become destroyed. Landowners relying on rents and state employees whose wages did not keep up with the increasing prices also suffered. As well as this, workers, such as factory workers, soon began to see a 25 percent fall in their wages between 1915 and 1918. However, although economic distress affected the majority of the Italian nation, Industrialists, on the contrary, did rather well out of the war. Providing their production was linked to the war effort, they were assured of a market. As inflation 'spiralled out of control' industrialists simply raised their prices and a government desperate for military victory continued to purchase their products. Major industries such as Fiat and Ansaldo saw massive expansion as thus profitted well. ...read more.

Conclusion

Subsequently, the unemployed workers and peasants stirred up riots and strikes throughout the country. In the countryside there were agricultural strikes exploiting the labour shortage and peasant seizures of land. Altogether it was a disturbing display of lawlessness and violence. It is quite obvious that the Impact of World War I on Italy has been a dissapointing one. The human cost as well as the economic distress is surely a dissapointing Impact for Italy but an even worse one for Italians. It is fair to say that, as a result of WWI, Italy's nation was in a terrible state. The vunerability of Italy left her a defeated and unstable nation. It is easy to asses the terrible impact that has been placed on Italy as a result of WWI, as the nation's deterioration was clear. But, during the war years and post-war years, a new sense of unity: uknown since 1860, had developed and goverment powers increased. Furthermore, peasants paid off debts, employment of women incresed, social reform took place and a counter-surge of hysterical nationalism came about - produced mainly by the dramatic victory at Vittorio-Veneto. Against this background, the problems of post-war Italy were far more exaggerated. ...read more.

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