47 Facts About Giovanni Giolitti


Giovanni Giolitti was the Prime Minister of Italy five times between 1892 and 1921.

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Giovanni Giolitti was a master in the political art of trasformismo, the method of making a flexible, centrist coalition of government which isolated the extremes of the Left and the Right in Italian politics after the unification.

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Besides putting in place several tariffs, subsidies, and government projects, Giovanni Giolitti nationalized the private telephone and railroad operators.

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Giovanni Giolitti's mother taught him to read and write; his education in the gymnasium San Francesco da Paola of Turin was marked by poor discipline and little commitment to study.

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Giovanni Giolitti did not like mathematics and the study of Latin and Greek grammar, preferring the history and reading the novels of Walter Scott and Honore de Balzac.

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Giovanni Giolitti's uncle was a member of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia and a close friend of Michelangelo Castelli, the secretary of Camillo Benso di Cavour; however, Giolitti did not appear particularly interested in the Risorgimento and differently to many of his fellow students, he did not enlist to fight in the Italian Second War of Independence.

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Giovanni Giolitti pursued a career in public administration in the Ministry of Grace and Justice.

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In 1877, Giovanni Giolitti was appointed to the Court of Audit and in 1882 to the Council of State.

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On 9 March 1889 Giovanni Giolitti was selected by Crispi as new Minister of Treasury and Finance.

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Giovanni Giolitti tried to put a halt to the manifestations and protests of the Fasci Siciliani, his measures were relatively mild.

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Giovanni Giolitti's policy was "to allow these economic struggles to resolve themselves through amelioration of the condition of the workers" and not to interfere in the process.

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Between 1901 and 1903 he was appointed Italian Minister of the Interior by Prime Minister Giuseppe Zanardelli, but critics accused Giovanni Giolitti of being the de facto Prime Minister, due to Zanardelli's age.

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On 3 November 1903 Giovanni Giolitti was appointed Prime Minister by King Victor Emmanuel III.

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Giovanni Giolitti tried to sign an alliance with the Italian Socialist Party, which was growing so fast in the popular vote, and became a friend of the Socialist leader Filippo Turati.

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Giovanni Giolitti would have likes to have Turati as minister in his cabinets, but the Socialist leader always refused, due to the opposition of the left-wing of his party.

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However, Giovanni Giolitti too, had to resort to strong measures in repressing some serious disorders in various parts of Italy, and thus he lost the favour of the Socialists.

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Giovanni Giolitti's government introduced laws to protect women and children workers with new time and age limits.

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Giovanni Giolitti imposed martial law with all looters to be shot, which extended to survivors foraging for food.

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Giovanni Giolitti, speaking in the Chamber, declared himself in favor of universal male suffrage, overcoming the impulse to government positions.

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Giovanni Giolitti's aim was to cause Luzzatti's resignation and become Prime Minister again; moreover he want to start a cooperation with the Socialists in the Italian parliamentary system.

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Giovanni Giolitti believed that the extension of the franchise would bring more conservative rural voters to the polls as well as drawing votes from grateful socialists.

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Sidney Sonnino and the Socialists Filippo Turati and Claudio Treves proposed to introduce female suffrage, but Giovanni Giolitti strongly opposed it, considering it too risky, and suggested the introduction of female suffrage only at the local level.

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In 1912, Giovanni Giolitti had the Parliament approve an electoral reform bill that expanded the electorate from 3 million to 8.

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Italian government was hesitant initially, but in the summer the preparations for the invasion were carried out and Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti began to probe the other European major powers about their reactions to a possible invasion of Libya.

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In 1913, Giovanni Giolitti founded the Liberal Union, which was simply and collectively called Liberals.

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Giovanni Giolitti had mastered the political concept of trasformismo, which consisted in making flexible centrist coalitions of government which isolated the extremes of the political left and the political right.

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Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti understood that the time was ripe for cooperation between Catholics and the liberal system of government.

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Giovanni Giolitti's aim was to get concessions from Austria-Hungary to avoid war.

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On 18 May 1915, Giovanni Giolitti retired to Cavour and kept aloof from politics for the duration of the conflict.

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Giovanni Giolitti returned to politics after the end of the conflict.

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Giovanni Giolitti became Prime Minister again on 15 June 1920, because he was considered the only one who could solve that dramatic situation.

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Giovanni Giolitti was enthusiastically welcomed by the Italian population of Fiume.

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On 24 December 1920, Giovanni Giolitti sent the Royal Italian Army in Fiume and ordered the Royal Italian Navy to bomb the city; these forced the Fiuman legionnaires to evacuate and surrender the city.

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When workers' occupation of factories increased the fear of a communist takeover and led the political establishment to tolerate the rise of the fascists of Benito Mussolini, Giovanni Giolitti enjoyed the support of the fascist squadristi and did not try to stop their forceful takeovers of city and regional government or their violence against their political opponents.

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In 1921 Giovanni Giolitti founded the National Blocs, an electoral list composed by his Liberals, the Italian Fasces of Combat led by Benito Mussolini, the Italian Nationalist Association led by Enrico Corradini, and other right-wing forces.

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Giovanni Giolitti's aim was to stop the growth of the Italian Socialist Party.

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Giovanni Giolitti called for new elections in May 1921, but his list obtained only 19.

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Still the head of the liberals, Giovanni Giolitti did not resist the country's drift towards Italian Fascism.

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Giovanni Giolitti supported Mussolini's government initially – accepting and voting in favour of the controversial Acerbo Law which guaranteed that a party obtaining at least 25 percent and the largest share of the votes would gain two-thirds of the seats in parliament.

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Giovanni Giolitti shared the widespread hope that the fascists would become a more moderate and responsible party upon taking power, but withdrew his support in 1924, voting against the law that restricted press freedom.

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In December 1925, the provincial council of Cuneo, in which Giovanni Giolitti was re-elected president in August, voted a motion which asked him to join the National Fascist Party.

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Powerless, Giovanni Giolitti remained in Parliament until his death in Cavour, Piedmont, on 17 July 1928.

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Giovanni Giolitti tended to see discontent as rooted in frustrated self-interest and believed that most opponents had their price and could be transformed eventually into allies.

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Giovanni Giolitti stands out as one of the major liberal reformers of late 19th- and early 20th-century Europe alongside the French Georges Clemenceau and the British David Lloyd George .

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Giovanni Giolitti was a staunch adherent of 19th-century elitist liberalism trying to navigate the new tide of mass politics.

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Giovanni Giolitti was able to get parliamentary support wherever it was possible and from whoever were willing to cooperate with him, including socialist and Catholics, who had been excluded from government before.

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Giovanni Giolitti was the first long-term Prime Minister of Italy in many years because he mastered the political concept of trasformismo by manipulating, coercing and bribing officials to his side.

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