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AH Cooperative Lists Thread

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
The 21st century Olympics

2000: Beijing Narrowly defeating Australia for the bid in 1993, despite Human Rights Watch's "stop beijing" campaign. China was determined to use the olympics as a showcase for its rising economic power and living standards throughout the 1990s; various old neighbourhoods were cleared for stadiums and a hurried attempt to reduce pollution was started. Despite the story of clearances and agitation by human rights groups, the story the world took away was that China was an increasingly rich country that had fancy buildings and green campaigners pointed to the cleanup of Beijing (and other areas where olympiads took places) as proof other countries could do it, leading to big green promises in contemporary elections such as Al Gore's successful run for president.
 

iupius

Joe Biden, on the grassy knoll, with a Solero
The 21st Century Olympics

2000: Beijing - Narrowly defeating Australia for the bid in 1993, despite Human Rights Watch's "stop beijing" campaign. China was determined to use the olympics as a showcase for its rising economic power and living standards throughout the 1990s; various old neighbourhoods were cleared for stadiums and a hurried attempt to reduce pollution was started. Despite the story of clearances and agitation by human rights groups, the story the world took away was that China was an increasingly rich country that had fancy buildings and green campaigners pointed to the cleanup of Beijing (and other areas where olympiads took places) as proof other countries could do it, leading to big green promises in contemporary elections such as Al Gore's successful run for president.

2004: Belfast - It was a risk, to be sure, but it paid off handsomely. The original proposal was not entirely serious, a means to unite two disparate communities behind a city loved by both, and indicate how far Belfast had come. It had always been assumed the bid would go down to defeat against Athens or Paris, right up until the White House privately, and then publicly, threw its support behind the bid. The surprise, the momentum, and the come-from-behind victory on a chilly September afternoon in 1997 – all of it remains rather bemusing in hindsight. The signing of the 1992 Hyannisport Pact had been a welcome cap on the long career of Jim Callaghan, but it had always been assumed that peace in Northern Ireland was the endgame. Nobody had expected to get an Olympic stadium out of the job, least of all one bearing Ted Kennedy’s name. The opening ceremony went off without a hitch, China continued its rehabilitation by pipping the Americans to the post and taking home the most gold medals, and as the fireworks bloomed over Belfast Castle on that final day, you could even have fooled yourself into thinking that the peace was built to last.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
The 21st Century Olympics

2000: Beijing - Narrowly defeating Australia for the bid in 1993, despite Human Rights Watch's "stop beijing" campaign. China was determined to use the olympics as a showcase for its rising economic power and living standards throughout the 1990s; various old neighbourhoods were cleared for stadiums and a hurried attempt to reduce pollution was started. Despite the story of clearances and agitation by human rights groups, the story the world took away was that China was an increasingly rich country that had fancy buildings and green campaigners pointed to the cleanup of Beijing (and other areas where olympiads took places) as proof other countries could do it, leading to big green promises in contemporary elections such as Al Gore's successful run for president.

2004: Belfast - It was a risk, to be sure, but it paid off handsomely. The original proposal was not entirely serious, a means to unite two disparate communities behind a city loved by both, and indicate how far Belfast had come. It had always been assumed the bid would go down to defeat against Athens or Paris, right up until the White House privately, and then publicly, threw its support behind the bid. The surprise, the momentum, and the come-from-behind victory on a chilly September afternoon in 1997 – all of it remains rather bemusing in hindsight. The signing of the 1992 Hyannisport Pact had been a welcome cap on the long career of Jim Callaghan, but it had always been assumed that peace in Northern Ireland was the endgame. Nobody had expected to get an Olympic stadium out of the job, least of all one bearing Ted Kennedy’s name. The opening ceremony went off without a hitch, China continued its rehabilitation by pipping the Americans to the post and taking home the most gold medals, and as the fireworks bloomed over Belfast Castle on that final day, you could even have fooled yourself into thinking that the peace was built to last.

2008: Caracas - Years of warnings of cost overrun and lack of preparation could be ignored or jeered at, 'they said that about Beijing and Belfast!'. Unfortunately for Venezuela, who was hoping for the same international attention as the previous two and had done called in every favour to win the bid, Chavez's mates in charge had cocked it up badly. Infrastructure was a mess, too many buildings hadn't been built right, and police 'securing' the area has gone wrong and started a riot. The actual games went off fine - America winning felt almost like an intended rebuke though (actually it tied with China but the US & Venezuelan press ignored that) - but it fatally hurt Chavez's government, leading to parliamentary defeat in 2010.
 

neonduke

Inspector Paolo Germi
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.
 

Time Enough

European Pollution Police Force
Pronouns
He/Him
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924-1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.
 
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924 - 1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]
1927 - 1931: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Socialista Democratico)
1931 - 1933: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Riformista Italiano) [3]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.

[3] 1927 saw a backlash against both the Left and Right political extremes that voters blamed for the escalating violence, and the incumbent De Gasperi. The newly-formed PSD won a plurality (though not a majority) under the familiar face of Ivanoe Bonomi, who had re-entered politics following Mussolini’s fall. Although the PSD was a party of the Left it stressed that it would bring stability and order back, and Bonomi’s previous tenure as Prime Minister – however brief – was key to convincing the public (and the King) that they could be trusted.

The new government was hampered by its minority status and its leader was more moderate than his party, leading to little new legislation passing. But it had success in calming the tensions and street fighting that plagued Italy, maintaining its popular support. This changed when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression and Italy’s fragile peace went with it. Bonomi was convinced of the need for austerity, but this was too far for the rank and file of the PSD, who expelled him after he formed a national government at the King’s urging. An election in 1931 saw victory for a coalition of Centre and Right parties, with Bonomi still leading from his minor electoral vehicle. But it was no longer Bonomi’s government, and he was liable to be sacked in favour of a politician more to the King’s liking. The final straw came in 1933, when Germany was taken over by Communists with the USSR’s backing.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924 - 1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]
1927 - 1931: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Socialista Democratico)
1931 - 1933: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Riformista Italiano) [3]
1933 - 1941: Benito Mussolini (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [4]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.

[3] 1927 saw a backlash against both the Left and Right political extremes that voters blamed for the escalating violence, and the incumbent De Gasperi. The newly-formed PSD won a plurality (though not a majority) under the familiar face of Ivanoe Bonomi, who had re-entered politics following Mussolini’s fall. Although the PSD was a party of the Left it stressed that it would bring stability and order back, and Bonomi’s previous tenure as Prime Minister – however brief – was key to convincing the public (and the King) that they could be trusted.

The new government was hampered by its minority status and its leader was more moderate than his party, leading to little new legislation passing. But it had success in calming the tensions and street fighting that plagued Italy, maintaining its popular support. This changed when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression and Italy’s fragile peace went with it. Bonomi was convinced of the need for austerity, but this was too far for the rank and file of the PSD, who expelled him after he formed a national government at the King’s urging. An election in 1931 saw victory for a coalition of Centre and Right parties, with Bonomi still leading from his minor electoral vehicle. But it was no longer Bonomi’s government, and he was liable to be sacked in favour of a politician more to the King’s liking. The final straw came in 1933, when Germany was taken over by Communists with the USSR’s backing.

[4] Mussolini and a chunk of the "old school" fascists had left/been pushed out of the Nazionale after the 1927 election, but the former 'Duce' hadn't rested: he'd formed yet another far-right party, rebranded it a bit, and allied with other dissident conservatives to criticise everyone & shove all the violence on "undisciplined freikorps" (i.e. those blackshirts were thugs, not like the new ones he had). He was dismissed as a beaten old bore by too many, all while he prepared for what he considered to be an inevitable failing of politics - and in 1933, he had it.

The King was unhappy but the King was also afraid of the rise of communism, and accepted Mussolini's victory. Vast state projects, increasingly tightened laws and censorship, and a ramping up of military force and police powers were the order of the day. The communists were banned and forced underground, the mafias next. The army intervened in the War for Austria (1933-35), preserving most of the state against a German-assisted revolution, a victory allowing Mussolini to bellow Italy was mighty on the world stage (and showed up serious failings in the army before they had to fight a proper war) and be a key part of the counter-Soviet alliances that kept Europe in a tense peace. His invasion of Abyssinia was internationally condemned but what was anyone going to do, when they needed him for the assumed inevitable war for Europe? The 1938 election was a handy victory - one helped by police raids on socialists to make sure they weren't "Soviet agents".

At this point, Mussolini's successes went to his head and - while this was covered up by censorship laws - he became (more of) a drunken, whoremongering lout, increasingly ignoring his work. Chaos spread in the body politic and the economy. The shock of the Soviet-Japanese War made the rest of the PdU realise this was going to be a liability if the balloon went up and they got together, with the King's help, to talk Mussolini into accepting retirement and being 'kicked upstairs' as the Duke of Abyssinia, a newly created aristocratic position (though he'd mostly stay in his chateu at home).
 

SenatorChickpea

The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
Patreon supporter
Pronouns
he/him
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924 - 1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]
1927 - 1931: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Socialista Democratico)
1931 - 1933: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Riformista Italiano) [3]
1933 - 1941: Benito Mussolini (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [4]
1941 - 1943: Italo Balbo (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [5]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.

[3] 1927 saw a backlash against both the Left and Right political extremes that voters blamed for the escalating violence, and the incumbent De Gasperi. The newly-formed PSD won a plurality (though not a majority) under the familiar face of Ivanoe Bonomi, who had re-entered politics following Mussolini’s fall. Although the PSD was a party of the Left it stressed that it would bring stability and order back, and Bonomi’s previous tenure as Prime Minister – however brief – was key to convincing the public (and the King) that they could be trusted.

The new government was hampered by its minority status and its leader was more moderate than his party, leading to little new legislation passing. But it had success in calming the tensions and street fighting that plagued Italy, maintaining its popular support. This changed when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression and Italy’s fragile peace went with it. Bonomi was convinced of the need for austerity, but this was too far for the rank and file of the PSD, who expelled him after he formed a national government at the King’s urging. An election in 1931 saw victory for a coalition of Centre and Right parties, with Bonomi still leading from his minor electoral vehicle. But it was no longer Bonomi’s government, and he was liable to be sacked in favour of a politician more to the King’s liking. The final straw came in 1933, when Germany was taken over by Communists with the USSR’s backing.

[4] Mussolini and a chunk of the "old school" fascists had left/been pushed out of the Nazionale after the 1927 election, but the former 'Duce' hadn't rested: he'd formed yet another far-right party, rebranded it a bit, and allied with other dissident conservatives to criticise everyone & shove all the violence on "undisciplined freikorps" (i.e. those blackshirts were thugs, not like the new ones he had). He was dismissed as a beaten old bore by too many, all while he prepared for what he considered to be an inevitable failing of politics - and in 1933, he had it.

The King was unhappy but the King was also afraid of the rise of communism, and accepted Mussolini's victory. Vast state projects, increasingly tightened laws and censorship, and a ramping up of military force and police powers were the order of the day. The communists were banned and forced underground, the mafias next. The army intervened in the War for Austria (1933-35), preserving most of the state against a German-assisted revolution, a victory allowing Mussolini to bellow Italy was mighty on the world stage (and showed up serious failings in the army before they had to fight a proper war) and be a key part of the counter-Soviet alliances that kept Europe in a tense peace. His invasion of Abyssinia was internationally condemned but what was anyone going to do, when they needed him for the assumed inevitable war for Europe? The 1938 election was a handy victory - one helped by police raids on socialists to make sure they weren't "Soviet agents".

At this point, Mussolini's successes went to his head and - while this was covered up by censorship laws - he became (more of) a drunken, whoremongering lout, increasingly ignoring his work. Chaos spread in the body politic and the economy. The shock of the Soviet-Japanese War made the rest of the PdU realise this was going to be a liability if the balloon went up and they got together, with the King's help, to talk Mussolini into accepting retirement and being 'kicked upstairs' as the Duke of Abyssinia, a newly created aristocratic position (though he'd mostly stay in his chateu at home).

[5] Flamboyant, and rather more dangerous, Italo Balbo outflanked the leaders of the old right to keep leadership in the hands of the Fascist clique.

Properly speaking, the government was a diumvirate; Galeazzo Ciano was a bitter rival, but had worked with Balbo to preserve Italy's foreign ministry as his private preserve. Balbo was at first content with this arrangement; he spent the first few years achieving a certain efficiency domestically by purging old officers as part of the military's much needed modernisation drive. Throwing a few scalps to the crowd by arresting some of the more corrupt (and uncooperative) landowners and industrial barons let the Fascists- sorry, sorry, the PdU- reclaim their role as partisans of the people. Later critics said that this was just papering over the cracks; contemporary critics didn't say anything, because their mouths were stuffed with castor oil.

By 1943, Balbo was feeling more secure in his position. He was even smiling upon Ciano's Treaty of Understanding with Britain and France.

Then the Second Sarejevo Incident happened.
 
Last edited:

Mumby

Always mysterious!
Published by SLP
Location
Municipal Commune of Bourne
Pronouns
He/Him
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924 - 1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]
1927 - 1931: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Socialista Democratico)
1931 - 1933: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Riformista Italiano) [3]
1933 - 1941: Benito Mussolini (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [4]
1941 - 1943: Italo Balbo (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [5]
1943 - 1944: Emilio De Bono (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [6]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.

[3] 1927 saw a backlash against both the Left and Right political extremes that voters blamed for the escalating violence, and the incumbent De Gasperi. The newly-formed PSD won a plurality (though not a majority) under the familiar face of Ivanoe Bonomi, who had re-entered politics following Mussolini’s fall. Although the PSD was a party of the Left it stressed that it would bring stability and order back, and Bonomi’s previous tenure as Prime Minister – however brief – was key to convincing the public (and the King) that they could be trusted.

The new government was hampered by its minority status and its leader was more moderate than his party, leading to little new legislation passing. But it had success in calming the tensions and street fighting that plagued Italy, maintaining its popular support. This changed when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression and Italy’s fragile peace went with it. Bonomi was convinced of the need for austerity, but this was too far for the rank and file of the PSD, who expelled him after he formed a national government at the King’s urging. An election in 1931 saw victory for a coalition of Centre and Right parties, with Bonomi still leading from his minor electoral vehicle. But it was no longer Bonomi’s government, and he was liable to be sacked in favour of a politician more to the King’s liking. The final straw came in 1933, when Germany was taken over by Communists with the USSR’s backing.

[4] Mussolini and a chunk of the "old school" fascists had left/been pushed out of the Nazionale after the 1927 election, but the former 'Duce' hadn't rested: he'd formed yet another far-right party, rebranded it a bit, and allied with other dissident conservatives to criticise everyone & shove all the violence on "undisciplined freikorps" (i.e. those blackshirts were thugs, not like the new ones he had). He was dismissed as a beaten old bore by too many, all while he prepared for what he considered to be an inevitable failing of politics - and in 1933, he had it.

The King was unhappy but the King was also afraid of the rise of communism, and accepted Mussolini's victory. Vast state projects, increasingly tightened laws and censorship, and a ramping up of military force and police powers were the order of the day. The communists were banned and forced underground, the mafias next. The army intervened in the War for Austria (1933-35), preserving most of the state against a German-assisted revolution, a victory allowing Mussolini to bellow Italy was mighty on the world stage (and showed up serious failings in the army before they had to fight a proper war) and be a key part of the counter-Soviet alliances that kept Europe in a tense peace. His invasion of Abyssinia was internationally condemned but what was anyone going to do, when they needed him for the assumed inevitable war for Europe? The 1938 election was a handy victory - one helped by police raids on socialists to make sure they weren't "Soviet agents".

At this point, Mussolini's successes went to his head and - while this was covered up by censorship laws - he became (more of) a drunken, whoremongering lout, increasingly ignoring his work. Chaos spread in the body politic and the economy. The shock of the Soviet-Japanese War made the rest of the PdU realise this was going to be a liability if the balloon went up and they got together, with the King's help, to talk Mussolini into accepting retirement and being 'kicked upstairs' as the Duke of Abyssinia, a newly created aristocratic position (though he'd mostly stay in his chateu at home).

[5] Flamboyant, and rather more dangerous, Italo Balbo outflanked the leaders of the old right to keep leadership in the hands of the Fascist clique.

Properly speaking, the government was a diumvirate; Galeazzo Ciano was a bitter rival, but had worked with Balbo to preserve Italy's foreign ministry as his private preserve. Balbo was at first content with this arrangement; he spent the first few years achieving a certain efficiency domestically by purging old officers as part of the military's much needed modernisation drive. Throwing a few scalps to the crowd by arresting some of the more corrupt (and uncooperative) landowners and industrial barons let the Fascists- sorry, sorry, the PdU- reclaim their role as partisans of the people. Later critics said that this was just papering over the cracks; contemporary critics didn't say anything, because their mouths were stuffed with castor oil.

By 1943, Balbo was feeling more secure in his position. He was even smiling upon Ciano's Treaty of Understanding with Britain and France.

Then the Second Sarejevo Incident happened.

[6] Much more a creature of the old right, a traditional old reactionary, it was believed De Bono was the steady hand at the tiller needed to guide Italy through the transition from the radical Balbo years. What was clear however in the weeks that followed was that De Bono was too cautious by half, at least by the standards of a Fascist.

The Cautious Fascist is a dangerous creature to lead a country. Imitating Austria before the Great War, De Bono demanded justice for Balbo - and was greeted with distain by the Yugoslavs. The sabre-rattling led to a sudden cooling in the steadily improving relationship with the Entente, while the lack of actual actions stirred the pot of political violence at home.

The eventual war with Yugoslavia, after the failure of multiple ultimatums saw the Italians lose the initiative pretty quickly, neutralising the military advances of the Mussolini and Balbo years. The march of Austrian troops over border at Italian behest, and their shockingly good performance served to simultaneously humiliate the Italians and raise the spectre of a Hapsburg revival in the Balkans. The Regency of Miklos Horthy in Hungary was cut suddenly short, with the hurried coronation of British media mogul, Lord Rothermere - who immediately pivoted to a pro-Anglo-French-Yugoslav position.

Fortunately for Italy, the elderly De Bono would die in office, leaving his country in the midst of war.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924 - 1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]
1927 - 1931: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Socialista Democratico)
1931 - 1933: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Riformista Italiano) [3]
1933 - 1941: Benito Mussolini (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [4]
1941 - 1943: Italo Balbo (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [5]
1943 - 1944: Emilio De Bono (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [6]
1944 - 1953: Rodolfo Graziani (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [7]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.

[3] 1927 saw a backlash against both the Left and Right political extremes that voters blamed for the escalating violence, and the incumbent De Gasperi. The newly-formed PSD won a plurality (though not a majority) under the familiar face of Ivanoe Bonomi, who had re-entered politics following Mussolini’s fall. Although the PSD was a party of the Left it stressed that it would bring stability and order back, and Bonomi’s previous tenure as Prime Minister – however brief – was key to convincing the public (and the King) that they could be trusted.

The new government was hampered by its minority status and its leader was more moderate than his party, leading to little new legislation passing. But it had success in calming the tensions and street fighting that plagued Italy, maintaining its popular support. This changed when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression and Italy’s fragile peace went with it. Bonomi was convinced of the need for austerity, but this was too far for the rank and file of the PSD, who expelled him after he formed a national government at the King’s urging. An election in 1931 saw victory for a coalition of Centre and Right parties, with Bonomi still leading from his minor electoral vehicle. But it was no longer Bonomi’s government, and he was liable to be sacked in favour of a politician more to the King’s liking. The final straw came in 1933, when Germany was taken over by Communists with the USSR’s backing.

[4] Mussolini and a chunk of the "old school" fascists had left/been pushed out of the Nazionale after the 1927 election, but the former 'Duce' hadn't rested: he'd formed yet another far-right party, rebranded it a bit, and allied with other dissident conservatives to criticise everyone & shove all the violence on "undisciplined freikorps" (i.e. those blackshirts were thugs, not like the new ones he had). He was dismissed as a beaten old bore by too many, all while he prepared for what he considered to be an inevitable failing of politics - and in 1933, he had it.

The King was unhappy but the King was also afraid of the rise of communism, and accepted Mussolini's victory. Vast state projects, increasingly tightened laws and censorship, and a ramping up of military force and police powers were the order of the day. The communists were banned and forced underground, the mafias next. The army intervened in the War for Austria (1933-35), preserving most of the state against a German-assisted revolution, a victory allowing Mussolini to bellow Italy was mighty on the world stage (and showed up serious failings in the army before they had to fight a proper war) and be a key part of the counter-Soviet alliances that kept Europe in a tense peace. His invasion of Abyssinia was internationally condemned but what was anyone going to do, when they needed him for the assumed inevitable war for Europe? The 1938 election was a handy victory - one helped by police raids on socialists to make sure they weren't "Soviet agents".

At this point, Mussolini's successes went to his head and - while this was covered up by censorship laws - he became (more of) a drunken, whoremongering lout, increasingly ignoring his work. Chaos spread in the body politic and the economy. The shock of the Soviet-Japanese War made the rest of the PdU realise this was going to be a liability if the balloon went up and they got together, with the King's help, to talk Mussolini into accepting retirement and being 'kicked upstairs' as the Duke of Abyssinia, a newly created aristocratic position (though he'd mostly stay in his chateu at home).

[5] Flamboyant, and rather more dangerous, Italo Balbo outflanked the leaders of the old right to keep leadership in the hands of the Fascist clique.

Properly speaking, the government was a diumvirate; Galeazzo Ciano was a bitter rival, but had worked with Balbo to preserve Italy's foreign ministry as his private preserve. Balbo was at first content with this arrangement; he spent the first few years achieving a certain efficiency domestically by purging old officers as part of the military's much needed modernisation drive. Throwing a few scalps to the crowd by arresting some of the more corrupt (and uncooperative) landowners and industrial barons let the Fascists- sorry, sorry, the PdU- reclaim their role as partisans of the people. Later critics said that this was just papering over the cracks; contemporary critics didn't say anything, because their mouths were stuffed with castor oil.

By 1943, Balbo was feeling more secure in his position. He was even smiling upon Ciano's Treaty of Understanding with Britain and France.

Then the Second Sarejevo Incident happened.

[6] Much more a creature of the old right, a traditional old reactionary, it was believed De Bono was the steady hand at the tiller needed to guide Italy through the transition from the radical Balbo years. What was clear however in the weeks that followed was that De Bono was too cautious by half, at least by the standards of a Fascist.

The Cautious Fascist is a dangerous creature to lead a country. Imitating Austria before the Great War, De Bono demanded justice for Balbo - and was greeted with distain by the Yugoslavs. The sabre-rattling led to a sudden cooling in the steadily improving relationship with the Entente, while the lack of actual actions stirred the pot of political violence at home.

The eventual war with Yugoslavia, after the failure of multiple ultimatums saw the Italians lose the initiative pretty quickly, neutralising the military advances of the Mussolini and Balbo years. The march of Austrian troops over border at Italian behest, and their shockingly good performance served to simultaneously humiliate the Italians and raise the spectre of a Hapsburg revival in the Balkans. The Regency of Miklos Horthy in Hungary was cut suddenly short, with the hurried coronation of British media mogul, Lord Rothermere - who immediately pivoted to a pro-Anglo-French-Yugoslav position.

Fortunately for Italy, the elderly De Bono would die in office, leaving his country in the midst of war.


[7] Graziani was a national hero for conquering Abyssinia (and an infamous bastard for how he'd "kept the peace"), a man with Duke Mussolini's patronage (and god did the King & Cabinet want to avoid HIM coming back), and the only prominenjt general to yet be tainted by defeat. Historians have long note that his war plans weren't actually that great - they amounted to holding ground and throwing people at the problem - but he was able to rally a lot of people to die for Italy. Controversially, he repurposed the ad-hoc SAF auxillaries (Servizio Ausiliario Femminile) into an actual combat unit. The Yugoslavs basically grew tired of losing men (and grew concerned the longer this dragged on, the less impressive they'd look to their new western friends) and proposed peace in exchange for recognition that they now owned Zadar, Istria, and Fiume. Rome agreed and then bellowed how WE'D WON REALLY, and the Italians were bombarded with propaganda to that effect.

The delayed election was a landslide for the PdU and the state continued to tighten its grip, moving more and more to dictatorship, consolidating the state into large fascist ministries, redevelop cities in futurist style, and developing a cult of personality around Graziani, "Papi Marquis", Saviour of Italian Civilisation, Civiliser of Africa. The fact Italy was now less globally tied in, poorer, and looked down on, and that the Church was having vicious internal debates about whether this was the best country to stay in... well, Miniver (Ministero della Verità) kept a lid on this and Minidi (Ministero del Diritto) came round to talk to the people who spread "foreign rumours".

But Miniver couldn't keep quiet forever the growing partisan, gangster, and partisans-who-are-gangsters-too activity in the rural south, nor the continuing deaths of young men and women fighting the communist rebels in Abyssinia and the suggestion both MiniGuer (Ministero della Guerra) & Italian Africa's bureacracy was a rotten mess. Graziani became increasingly grim, despondent, and hidden away from most as everything seemed to be slipping through his fingers no matter how many traitors and Africans he had tortured & killed. 1953's twin shocks of Mussolini's death - a case of the flu, but more realistically "his African 'servants' took the chance to leave him to slowly die and laughed about it" - and the embarrassing the Second Papal Schism that saw Cardinal Roncalli declared PopeJohn XXIII in Ireland happening in the same month finished him off, and Graziani hanged himself, leaving a note lamenting that "a new antipope rises despite all I have done".

Or as the government said a week later, "Papi Marquis passed away peacefully in his sleep"
 

Time Enough

European Pollution Police Force
Pronouns
He/Him
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924 - 1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]
1927 - 1931: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Socialista Democratico)
1931 - 1933: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Riformista Italiano) [3]
1933 - 1941: Benito Mussolini (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [4]
1941 - 1943: Italo Balbo (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [5]
1943 - 1944: Emilio De Bono (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [6]
1944 - 1953: Rodolfo Graziani (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [7]
1953-1956: Giorgio Almirante (Patito dell'Italia Unitia)
1956-1960: Girogio Almirante (Movimento Sociale Nazionale) [8]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.

[3] 1927 saw a backlash against both the Left and Right political extremes that voters blamed for the escalating violence, and the incumbent De Gasperi. The newly-formed PSD won a plurality (though not a majority) under the familiar face of Ivanoe Bonomi, who had re-entered politics following Mussolini’s fall. Although the PSD was a party of the Left it stressed that it would bring stability and order back, and Bonomi’s previous tenure as Prime Minister – however brief – was key to convincing the public (and the King) that they could be trusted.

The new government was hampered by its minority status and its leader was more moderate than his party, leading to little new legislation passing. But it had success in calming the tensions and street fighting that plagued Italy, maintaining its popular support. This changed when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression and Italy’s fragile peace went with it. Bonomi was convinced of the need for austerity, but this was too far for the rank and file of the PSD, who expelled him after he formed a national government at the King’s urging. An election in 1931 saw victory for a coalition of Centre and Right parties, with Bonomi still leading from his minor electoral vehicle. But it was no longer Bonomi’s government, and he was liable to be sacked in favour of a politician more to the King’s liking. The final straw came in 1933, when Germany was taken over by Communists with the USSR’s backing.

[4] Mussolini and a chunk of the "old school" fascists had left/been pushed out of the Nazionale after the 1927 election, but the former 'Duce' hadn't rested: he'd formed yet another far-right party, rebranded it a bit, and allied with other dissident conservatives to criticise everyone & shove all the violence on "undisciplined freikorps" (i.e. those blackshirts were thugs, not like the new ones he had). He was dismissed as a beaten old bore by too many, all while he prepared for what he considered to be an inevitable failing of politics - and in 1933, he had it.

The King was unhappy but the King was also afraid of the rise of communism, and accepted Mussolini's victory. Vast state projects, increasingly tightened laws and censorship, and a ramping up of military force and police powers were the order of the day. The communists were banned and forced underground, the mafias next. The army intervened in the War for Austria (1933-35), preserving most of the state against a German-assisted revolution, a victory allowing Mussolini to bellow Italy was mighty on the world stage (and showed up serious failings in the army before they had to fight a proper war) and be a key part of the counter-Soviet alliances that kept Europe in a tense peace. His invasion of Abyssinia was internationally condemned but what was anyone going to do, when they needed him for the assumed inevitable war for Europe? The 1938 election was a handy victory - one helped by police raids on socialists to make sure they weren't "Soviet agents".

At this point, Mussolini's successes went to his head and - while this was covered up by censorship laws - he became (more of) a drunken, whoremongering lout, increasingly ignoring his work. Chaos spread in the body politic and the economy. The shock of the Soviet-Japanese War made the rest of the PdU realise this was going to be a liability if the balloon went up and they got together, with the King's help, to talk Mussolini into accepting retirement and being 'kicked upstairs' as the Duke of Abyssinia, a newly created aristocratic position (though he'd mostly stay in his chateu at home).

[5] Flamboyant, and rather more dangerous, Italo Balbo outflanked the leaders of the old right to keep leadership in the hands of the Fascist clique.

Properly speaking, the government was a diumvirate; Galeazzo Ciano was a bitter rival, but had worked with Balbo to preserve Italy's foreign ministry as his private preserve. Balbo was at first content with this arrangement; he spent the first few years achieving a certain efficiency domestically by purging old officers as part of the military's much needed modernisation drive. Throwing a few scalps to the crowd by arresting some of the more corrupt (and uncooperative) landowners and industrial barons let the Fascists- sorry, sorry, the PdU- reclaim their role as partisans of the people. Later critics said that this was just papering over the cracks; contemporary critics didn't say anything, because their mouths were stuffed with castor oil.

By 1943, Balbo was feeling more secure in his position. He was even smiling upon Ciano's Treaty of Understanding with Britain and France.

Then the Second Sarejevo Incident happened.

[6] Much more a creature of the old right, a traditional old reactionary, it was believed De Bono was the steady hand at the tiller needed to guide Italy through the transition from the radical Balbo years. What was clear however in the weeks that followed was that De Bono was too cautious by half, at least by the standards of a Fascist.

The Cautious Fascist is a dangerous creature to lead a country. Imitating Austria before the Great War, De Bono demanded justice for Balbo - and was greeted with distain by the Yugoslavs. The sabre-rattling led to a sudden cooling in the steadily improving relationship with the Entente, while the lack of actual actions stirred the pot of political violence at home.

The eventual war with Yugoslavia, after the failure of multiple ultimatums saw the Italians lose the initiative pretty quickly, neutralising the military advances of the Mussolini and Balbo years. The march of Austrian troops over border at Italian behest, and their shockingly good performance served to simultaneously humiliate the Italians and raise the spectre of a Hapsburg revival in the Balkans. The Regency of Miklos Horthy in Hungary was cut suddenly short, with the hurried coronation of British media mogul, Lord Rothermere - who immediately pivoted to a pro-Anglo-French-Yugoslav position.

Fortunately for Italy, the elderly De Bono would die in office, leaving his country in the midst of war.


[7] Graziani was a national hero for conquering Abyssinia (and an infamous bastard for how he'd "kept the peace"), a man with Duke Mussolini's patronage (and god did the King & Cabinet want to avoid HIM coming back), and the only prominenjt general to yet be tainted by defeat. Historians have long note that his war plans weren't actually that great - they amounted to holding ground and throwing people at the problem - but he was able to rally a lot of people to die for Italy. Controversially, he repurposed the ad-hoc SAF auxillaries (Servizio Ausiliario Femminile) into an actual combat unit. The Yugoslavs basically grew tired of losing men (and grew concerned the longer this dragged on, the less impressive they'd look to their new western friends) and proposed peace in exchange for recognition that they now owned Zadar, Istria, and Fiume. Rome agreed and then bellowed how WE'D WON REALLY, and the Italians were bombarded with propaganda to that effect.

The delayed election was a landslide for the PdU and the state continued to tighten its grip, moving more and more to dictatorship, consolidating the state into large fascist ministries, redevelop cities in futurist style, and developing a cult of personality around Graziani, "Papi Marquis", Saviour of Italian Civilisation, Civiliser of Africa. The fact Italy was now less globally tied in, poorer, and looked down on, and that the Church was having vicious internal debates about whether this was the best country to stay in... well, Miniver (Ministero della Verità) kept a lid on this and Minidi (Ministero del Diritto) came round to talk to the people who spread "foreign rumours".

But Miniver couldn't keep quiet forever the growing partisan, gangster, and partisans-who-are-gangsters-too activity in the rural south, nor the continuing deaths of young men and women fighting the communist rebels in Abyssinia and the suggestion both MiniGuer (Ministero della Guerra) & Italian Africa's bureacracy was a rotten mess. Graziani became increasingly grim, despondent, and hidden away from most as everything seemed to be slipping through his fingers no matter how many traitors and Africans he had tortured & killed. 1953's twin shocks of Mussolini's death - a case of the flu, but more realistically "his African 'servants' took the chance to leave him to slowly die and laughed about it" - and the embarrassing the Second Papal Schism that saw Cardinal Roncalli declared PopeJohn XXIII in Ireland happening in the same month finished him off, and Graziani hanged himself, leaving a note lamenting that "a new antipope rises despite all I have done".

Or as the government said a week later, "Papi Marquis passed away peacefully in his sleep"

[8] Italy was slowly collapsing, outside of the cities was bandit/partisan country, Socialists and Communists had come back in force in some areas, Sicily was essentially a Mafia controlled hellhole and the Entente under more Left Wing leaders were trying to cut away the awkard cancer that was Italy. And so it was in this environment that the PUI's first and only leadership election was called. It was expected that Alessandro Pavolini a prominent member and the military/clerical approved candidate would win. Instead thanks to a swathe of students, factory workers, National Syndicalists and generally the Italian working class who were members of the party, the unassuming Giorgio Almirante would win. A member of the PUI's 'Left Wing' Almirante was a radical who believed that the stagnation that Italy was seeing was due to the failure of the 'elites' to deal with the problems of the Italian Working Class. Almirante decided that Italy need to embrace the ideas of National Syndicalism, 'Corporatist Democracy' and engage with the world outside of it's tiny Empire. This dramatic reshuffle would anger the military but they would bide there time, hoping Almirante would crash upon the rocks.

Italy would be restructured, industries were Nationalised or placed under partial Government ownership, Almirante proposed a 'Modern Rome' plan which would revive the Italian economy and bring it out of recession. He would also allow independent candidates to stand in local elections (after vetting of course) and try and secure deals with the various European nations. Italy was recovering, slowly and the miltary was getting antsy. Eventually they decided to launch a coup when Almirante, in an attempt to decline Soviet and German support to the Abyssinian rebels signed a non-aggression and trading pact with the Communist nations. This was too far for the military who organised a coup...which failed. Italian soldiers faced with shooting there fellow citizens decided to turn there guns on the generals instead. The coup had failed but the people's action called for further change and Almirante seeing the choice between bringing about true reform or being put up against a wall decided that he valued his life too much and called for the first time in over 20 years, Italy's first democratic elections.

Of course the hasty campaign and lack of opposition (what with most Socialists and Communists leaders being in exile) meant that it was really Almirante's new MSN party vs a gaggle of independents and crumbling remains of the PUI. Almirante's next four years in office were mainly about securing new relationships with the world beyond the Western powers and embracing the 'New Europe' ideals that were becoming popular amongst Europe's Right. Of course things weren't perfect, Italy now connected to the World Markets suddenly experienced boom and bust like never before and corruption that had been occurring since the PUI days was exposed to people who reacted with anger. Finally the Florence Trials which exposed the crimes of several PUI higher ups found several connections to Almirante. Almirante seeing the writing on the wall and knowing that he would in time likely find himself in front of a jury decided to step down as Prime Minister and MSN leader and absconded to Argentina in which he would spend the rest of his life living in luxury thanks to the Peron regime.
 

SenatorChickpea

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Pronouns
he/him
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924 - 1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]
1927 - 1931: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Socialista Democratico)
1931 - 1933: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Riformista Italiano) [3]
1933 - 1941: Benito Mussolini (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [4]
1941 - 1943: Italo Balbo (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [5]
1943 - 1944: Emilio De Bono (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [6]
1944 - 1953: Rodolfo Graziani (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [7]
1953-1956: Giorgio Almirante (Patito dell'Italia Unitia)
1956-1960: Girogio Almirante (Movimento Sociale Nazionale) [8]
1960-1961: Antonio Gramsci (Assemblea Nazionale Italiana) [9]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.

[3] 1927 saw a backlash against both the Left and Right political extremes that voters blamed for the escalating violence, and the incumbent De Gasperi. The newly-formed PSD won a plurality (though not a majority) under the familiar face of Ivanoe Bonomi, who had re-entered politics following Mussolini’s fall. Although the PSD was a party of the Left it stressed that it would bring stability and order back, and Bonomi’s previous tenure as Prime Minister – however brief – was key to convincing the public (and the King) that they could be trusted.

The new government was hampered by its minority status and its leader was more moderate than his party, leading to little new legislation passing. But it had success in calming the tensions and street fighting that plagued Italy, maintaining its popular support. This changed when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression and Italy’s fragile peace went with it. Bonomi was convinced of the need for austerity, but this was too far for the rank and file of the PSD, who expelled him after he formed a national government at the King’s urging. An election in 1931 saw victory for a coalition of Centre and Right parties, with Bonomi still leading from his minor electoral vehicle. But it was no longer Bonomi’s government, and he was liable to be sacked in favour of a politician more to the King’s liking. The final straw came in 1933, when Germany was taken over by Communists with the USSR’s backing.

[4] Mussolini and a chunk of the "old school" fascists had left/been pushed out of the Nazionale after the 1927 election, but the former 'Duce' hadn't rested: he'd formed yet another far-right party, rebranded it a bit, and allied with other dissident conservatives to criticise everyone & shove all the violence on "undisciplined freikorps" (i.e. those blackshirts were thugs, not like the new ones he had). He was dismissed as a beaten old bore by too many, all while he prepared for what he considered to be an inevitable failing of politics - and in 1933, he had it.

The King was unhappy but the King was also afraid of the rise of communism, and accepted Mussolini's victory. Vast state projects, increasingly tightened laws and censorship, and a ramping up of military force and police powers were the order of the day. The communists were banned and forced underground, the mafias next. The army intervened in the War for Austria (1933-35), preserving most of the state against a German-assisted revolution, a victory allowing Mussolini to bellow Italy was mighty on the world stage (and showed up serious failings in the army before they had to fight a proper war) and be a key part of the counter-Soviet alliances that kept Europe in a tense peace. His invasion of Abyssinia was internationally condemned but what was anyone going to do, when they needed him for the assumed inevitable war for Europe? The 1938 election was a handy victory - one helped by police raids on socialists to make sure they weren't "Soviet agents".

At this point, Mussolini's successes went to his head and - while this was covered up by censorship laws - he became (more of) a drunken, whoremongering lout, increasingly ignoring his work. Chaos spread in the body politic and the economy. The shock of the Soviet-Japanese War made the rest of the PdU realise this was going to be a liability if the balloon went up and they got together, with the King's help, to talk Mussolini into accepting retirement and being 'kicked upstairs' as the Duke of Abyssinia, a newly created aristocratic position (though he'd mostly stay in his chateu at home).

[5] Flamboyant, and rather more dangerous, Italo Balbo outflanked the leaders of the old right to keep leadership in the hands of the Fascist clique.

Properly speaking, the government was a diumvirate; Galeazzo Ciano was a bitter rival, but had worked with Balbo to preserve Italy's foreign ministry as his private preserve. Balbo was at first content with this arrangement; he spent the first few years achieving a certain efficiency domestically by purging old officers as part of the military's much needed modernisation drive. Throwing a few scalps to the crowd by arresting some of the more corrupt (and uncooperative) landowners and industrial barons let the Fascists- sorry, sorry, the PdU- reclaim their role as partisans of the people. Later critics said that this was just papering over the cracks; contemporary critics didn't say anything, because their mouths were stuffed with castor oil.

By 1943, Balbo was feeling more secure in his position. He was even smiling upon Ciano's Treaty of Understanding with Britain and France.

Then the Second Sarejevo Incident happened.

[6] Much more a creature of the old right, a traditional old reactionary, it was believed De Bono was the steady hand at the tiller needed to guide Italy through the transition from the radical Balbo years. What was clear however in the weeks that followed was that De Bono was too cautious by half, at least by the standards of a Fascist.

The Cautious Fascist is a dangerous creature to lead a country. Imitating Austria before the Great War, De Bono demanded justice for Balbo - and was greeted with distain by the Yugoslavs. The sabre-rattling led to a sudden cooling in the steadily improving relationship with the Entente, while the lack of actual actions stirred the pot of political violence at home.

The eventual war with Yugoslavia, after the failure of multiple ultimatums saw the Italians lose the initiative pretty quickly, neutralising the military advances of the Mussolini and Balbo years. The march of Austrian troops over border at Italian behest, and their shockingly good performance served to simultaneously humiliate the Italians and raise the spectre of a Hapsburg revival in the Balkans. The Regency of Miklos Horthy in Hungary was cut suddenly short, with the hurried coronation of British media mogul, Lord Rothermere - who immediately pivoted to a pro-Anglo-French-Yugoslav position.

Fortunately for Italy, the elderly De Bono would die in office, leaving his country in the midst of war.


[7] Graziani was a national hero for conquering Abyssinia (and an infamous bastard for how he'd "kept the peace"), a man with Duke Mussolini's patronage (and god did the King & Cabinet want to avoid HIM coming back), and the only prominenjt general to yet be tainted by defeat. Historians have long note that his war plans weren't actually that great - they amounted to holding ground and throwing people at the problem - but he was able to rally a lot of people to die for Italy. Controversially, he repurposed the ad-hoc SAF auxillaries (Servizio Ausiliario Femminile) into an actual combat unit. The Yugoslavs basically grew tired of losing men (and grew concerned the longer this dragged on, the less impressive they'd look to their new western friends) and proposed peace in exchange for recognition that they now owned Zadar, Istria, and Fiume. Rome agreed and then bellowed how WE'D WON REALLY, and the Italians were bombarded with propaganda to that effect.

The delayed election was a landslide for the PdU and the state continued to tighten its grip, moving more and more to dictatorship, consolidating the state into large fascist ministries, redevelop cities in futurist style, and developing a cult of personality around Graziani, "Papi Marquis", Saviour of Italian Civilisation, Civiliser of Africa. The fact Italy was now less globally tied in, poorer, and looked down on, and that the Church was having vicious internal debates about whether this was the best country to stay in... well, Miniver (Ministero della Verità) kept a lid on this and Minidi (Ministero del Diritto) came round to talk to the people who spread "foreign rumours".

But Miniver couldn't keep quiet forever the growing partisan, gangster, and partisans-who-are-gangsters-too activity in the rural south, nor the continuing deaths of young men and women fighting the communist rebels in Abyssinia and the suggestion both MiniGuer (Ministero della Guerra) & Italian Africa's bureacracy was a rotten mess. Graziani became increasingly grim, despondent, and hidden away from most as everything seemed to be slipping through his fingers no matter how many traitors and Africans he had tortured & killed. 1953's twin shocks of Mussolini's death - a case of the flu, but more realistically "his African 'servants' took the chance to leave him to slowly die and laughed about it" - and the embarrassing the Second Papal Schism that saw Cardinal Roncalli declared PopeJohn XXIII in Ireland happening in the same month finished him off, and Graziani hanged himself, leaving a note lamenting that "a new antipope rises despite all I have done".

Or as the government said a week later, "Papi Marquis passed away peacefully in his sleep"

[8] Italy was slowly collapsing, outside of the cities was bandit/partisan country, Socialists and Communists had come back in force in some areas, Sicily was essentially a Mafia controlled hellhole and the Entente under more Left Wing leaders were trying to cut away the awkard cancer that was Italy. And so it was in this environment that the PUI's first and only leadership election was called. It was expected that Alessandro Pavolini a prominent member and the military/clerical approved candidate would win. Instead thanks to a swathe of students, factory workers, National Syndicalists and generally the Italian working class who were members of the party, the unassuming Giorgio Almirante would win. A member of the PUI's 'Left Wing' Almirante was a radical who believed that the stagnation that Italy was seeing was due to the failure of the 'elites' to deal with the problems of the Italian Working Class. Almirante decided that Italy need to embrace the ideas of National Syndicalism, 'Corporatist Democracy' and engage with the world outside of it's tiny Empire. This dramatic reshuffle would anger the military but they would bide there time, hoping Almirante would crash upon the rocks.

Italy would be restructured, industries were Nationalised or placed under partial Government ownership, Almirante proposed a 'Modern Rome' plan which would revive the Italian economy and bring it out of recession. He would also allow independent candidates to stand in local elections (after vetting of course) and try and secure deals with the various European nations. Italy was recovering, slowly and the miltary was getting antsy. Eventually they decided to launch a coup when Almirante, in an attempt to decline Soviet and German support to the Abyssinian rebels signed a non-aggression and trading pact with the Communist nations. This was too far for the military who organised a coup...which failed. Italian soldiers faced with shooting there fellow citizens decided to turn there guns on the generals instead. The coup had failed but the people's action called for further change and Almirante seeing the choice between bringing about true reform or being put up against a wall decided that he valued his life too much and called for the first time in over 20 years, Italy's first democratic elections.

Of course the hasty campaign and lack of opposition (what with most Socialists and Communists leaders being in exile) meant that it was really Almirante's new MSN party vs a gaggle of independents and crumbling remains of the PUI. Almirante's next four years in office were mainly about securing new relationships with the world beyond the Western powers and embracing the 'New Europe' ideals that were becoming popular amongst Europe's Right. Of course things weren't perfect, Italy now connected to the World Markets suddenly experienced boom and bust like never before and corruption that had been occurring since the PUI days was exposed to people who reacted with anger. Finally the Florence Trials which exposed the crimes of several PUI higher ups found several connections to Almirante. Almirante seeing the writing on the wall and knowing that he would in time likely find himself in front of a jury decided to step down as Prime Minister and MSN leader and absconded to Argentina in which he would spend the rest of his life living in luxury thanks to the Peron regime.

[9] Thirty three years in Prison.

Thirty three years.

Was Gramsci sick? Yes. A shadow of his former self? Yes. Out of touch with modern Italy? Yes.

And yet, the mind was still there. Mainly. More than that, the heart- the heart that had kept beating through all the years of indignity, the heart that had given the strength to write and rewrite his notebooks when they were found, destroyed, censored, smuggled out.

The footage of Gramsci emerging from the prison gates is one of the most famous images of the new Italy, almost as iconic as the great communist thinker sharing a platform with Fellini and a Dissenting Cardinal. Gramsci had finally been allowed out of his cell as an attempt by Almirante to prove that his was a reformed Italy; but the old man immediately became the unifying symbol for a half dozen disparate opposition parties.

Prime Minister for only six months, Gramsci was too old and tired to set in motion any of the great ideas of his youth. Instead, he sought to accomplish three things- and three things he accomplished. An opening of the prisons- universally popular. A timetable was announced for the final withdrawal from the Empire- generally popular, though many of the diehard nationalists were furious. And finally- a referendum on the opposition's new Constitution for Italy, to be held on 17 March 1861, the centenary of the proclamation of the Kingdom.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924 - 1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]
1927 - 1931: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Socialista Democratico)
1931 - 1933: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Riformista Italiano) [3]
1933 - 1941: Benito Mussolini (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [4]
1941 - 1943: Italo Balbo (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [5]
1943 - 1944: Emilio De Bono (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [6]
1944 - 1953: Rodolfo Graziani (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [7]
1953-1956: Giorgio Almirante (Patito dell'Italia Unitia)
1956-1960: Girogio Almirante (Movimento Sociale Nazionale) [8]
1960-1961: Antonio Gramsci (Assemblea Nazionale Italiana) [9]
1961-1970: Angela Guisanni (Assemblea Nazionale Italiana) [10]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.

[3] 1927 saw a backlash against both the Left and Right political extremes that voters blamed for the escalating violence, and the incumbent De Gasperi. The newly-formed PSD won a plurality (though not a majority) under the familiar face of Ivanoe Bonomi, who had re-entered politics following Mussolini’s fall. Although the PSD was a party of the Left it stressed that it would bring stability and order back, and Bonomi’s previous tenure as Prime Minister – however brief – was key to convincing the public (and the King) that they could be trusted.

The new government was hampered by its minority status and its leader was more moderate than his party, leading to little new legislation passing. But it had success in calming the tensions and street fighting that plagued Italy, maintaining its popular support. This changed when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression and Italy’s fragile peace went with it. Bonomi was convinced of the need for austerity, but this was too far for the rank and file of the PSD, who expelled him after he formed a national government at the King’s urging. An election in 1931 saw victory for a coalition of Centre and Right parties, with Bonomi still leading from his minor electoral vehicle. But it was no longer Bonomi’s government, and he was liable to be sacked in favour of a politician more to the King’s liking. The final straw came in 1933, when Germany was taken over by Communists with the USSR’s backing.

[4] Mussolini and a chunk of the "old school" fascists had left/been pushed out of the Nazionale after the 1927 election, but the former 'Duce' hadn't rested: he'd formed yet another far-right party, rebranded it a bit, and allied with other dissident conservatives to criticise everyone & shove all the violence on "undisciplined freikorps" (i.e. those blackshirts were thugs, not like the new ones he had). He was dismissed as a beaten old bore by too many, all while he prepared for what he considered to be an inevitable failing of politics - and in 1933, he had it.

The King was unhappy but the King was also afraid of the rise of communism, and accepted Mussolini's victory. Vast state projects, increasingly tightened laws and censorship, and a ramping up of military force and police powers were the order of the day. The communists were banned and forced underground, the mafias next. The army intervened in the War for Austria (1933-35), preserving most of the state against a German-assisted revolution, a victory allowing Mussolini to bellow Italy was mighty on the world stage (and showed up serious failings in the army before they had to fight a proper war) and be a key part of the counter-Soviet alliances that kept Europe in a tense peace. His invasion of Abyssinia was internationally condemned but what was anyone going to do, when they needed him for the assumed inevitable war for Europe? The 1938 election was a handy victory - one helped by police raids on socialists to make sure they weren't "Soviet agents".

At this point, Mussolini's successes went to his head and - while this was covered up by censorship laws - he became (more of) a drunken, whoremongering lout, increasingly ignoring his work. Chaos spread in the body politic and the economy. The shock of the Soviet-Japanese War made the rest of the PdU realise this was going to be a liability if the balloon went up and they got together, with the King's help, to talk Mussolini into accepting retirement and being 'kicked upstairs' as the Duke of Abyssinia, a newly created aristocratic position (though he'd mostly stay in his chateu at home).

[5] Flamboyant, and rather more dangerous, Italo Balbo outflanked the leaders of the old right to keep leadership in the hands of the Fascist clique.

Properly speaking, the government was a diumvirate; Galeazzo Ciano was a bitter rival, but had worked with Balbo to preserve Italy's foreign ministry as his private preserve. Balbo was at first content with this arrangement; he spent the first few years achieving a certain efficiency domestically by purging old officers as part of the military's much needed modernisation drive. Throwing a few scalps to the crowd by arresting some of the more corrupt (and uncooperative) landowners and industrial barons let the Fascists- sorry, sorry, the PdU- reclaim their role as partisans of the people. Later critics said that this was just papering over the cracks; contemporary critics didn't say anything, because their mouths were stuffed with castor oil.

By 1943, Balbo was feeling more secure in his position. He was even smiling upon Ciano's Treaty of Understanding with Britain and France.

Then the Second Sarejevo Incident happened.

[6] Much more a creature of the old right, a traditional old reactionary, it was believed De Bono was the steady hand at the tiller needed to guide Italy through the transition from the radical Balbo years. What was clear however in the weeks that followed was that De Bono was too cautious by half, at least by the standards of a Fascist.

The Cautious Fascist is a dangerous creature to lead a country. Imitating Austria before the Great War, De Bono demanded justice for Balbo - and was greeted with distain by the Yugoslavs. The sabre-rattling led to a sudden cooling in the steadily improving relationship with the Entente, while the lack of actual actions stirred the pot of political violence at home.

The eventual war with Yugoslavia, after the failure of multiple ultimatums saw the Italians lose the initiative pretty quickly, neutralising the military advances of the Mussolini and Balbo years. The march of Austrian troops over border at Italian behest, and their shockingly good performance served to simultaneously humiliate the Italians and raise the spectre of a Hapsburg revival in the Balkans. The Regency of Miklos Horthy in Hungary was cut suddenly short, with the hurried coronation of British media mogul, Lord Rothermere - who immediately pivoted to a pro-Anglo-French-Yugoslav position.

Fortunately for Italy, the elderly De Bono would die in office, leaving his country in the midst of war.


[7] Graziani was a national hero for conquering Abyssinia (and an infamous bastard for how he'd "kept the peace"), a man with Duke Mussolini's patronage (and god did the King & Cabinet want to avoid HIM coming back), and the only prominenjt general to yet be tainted by defeat. Historians have long note that his war plans weren't actually that great - they amounted to holding ground and throwing people at the problem - but he was able to rally a lot of people to die for Italy. Controversially, he repurposed the ad-hoc SAF auxillaries (Servizio Ausiliario Femminile) into an actual combat unit. The Yugoslavs basically grew tired of losing men (and grew concerned the longer this dragged on, the less impressive they'd look to their new western friends) and proposed peace in exchange for recognition that they now owned Zadar, Istria, and Fiume. Rome agreed and then bellowed how WE'D WON REALLY, and the Italians were bombarded with propaganda to that effect.

The delayed election was a landslide for the PdU and the state continued to tighten its grip, moving more and more to dictatorship, consolidating the state into large fascist ministries, redevelop cities in futurist style, and developing a cult of personality around Graziani, "Papi Marquis", Saviour of Italian Civilisation, Civiliser of Africa. The fact Italy was now less globally tied in, poorer, and looked down on, and that the Church was having vicious internal debates about whether this was the best country to stay in... well, Miniver (Ministero della Verità) kept a lid on this and Minidi (Ministero del Diritto) came round to talk to the people who spread "foreign rumours".

But Miniver couldn't keep quiet forever the growing partisan, gangster, and partisans-who-are-gangsters-too activity in the rural south, nor the continuing deaths of young men and women fighting the communist rebels in Abyssinia and the suggestion both MiniGuer (Ministero della Guerra) & Italian Africa's bureacracy was a rotten mess. Graziani became increasingly grim, despondent, and hidden away from most as everything seemed to be slipping through his fingers no matter how many traitors and Africans he had tortured & killed. 1953's twin shocks of Mussolini's death - a case of the flu, but more realistically "his African 'servants' took the chance to leave him to slowly die and laughed about it" - and the embarrassing the Second Papal Schism that saw Cardinal Roncalli declared PopeJohn XXIII in Ireland happening in the same month finished him off, and Graziani hanged himself, leaving a note lamenting that "a new antipope rises despite all I have done".

Or as the government said a week later, "Papi Marquis passed away peacefully in his sleep"

[8] Italy was slowly collapsing, outside of the cities was bandit/partisan country, Socialists and Communists had come back in force in some areas, Sicily was essentially a Mafia controlled hellhole and the Entente under more Left Wing leaders were trying to cut away the awkard cancer that was Italy. And so it was in this environment that the PUI's first and only leadership election was called. It was expected that Alessandro Pavolini a prominent member and the military/clerical approved candidate would win. Instead thanks to a swathe of students, factory workers, National Syndicalists and generally the Italian working class who were members of the party, the unassuming Giorgio Almirante would win. A member of the PUI's 'Left Wing' Almirante was a radical who believed that the stagnation that Italy was seeing was due to the failure of the 'elites' to deal with the problems of the Italian Working Class. Almirante decided that Italy need to embrace the ideas of National Syndicalism, 'Corporatist Democracy' and engage with the world outside of it's tiny Empire. This dramatic reshuffle would anger the military but they would bide there time, hoping Almirante would crash upon the rocks.

Italy would be restructured, industries were Nationalised or placed under partial Government ownership, Almirante proposed a 'Modern Rome' plan which would revive the Italian economy and bring it out of recession. He would also allow independent candidates to stand in local elections (after vetting of course) and try and secure deals with the various European nations. Italy was recovering, slowly and the miltary was getting antsy. Eventually they decided to launch a coup when Almirante, in an attempt to decline Soviet and German support to the Abyssinian rebels signed a non-aggression and trading pact with the Communist nations. This was too far for the military who organised a coup...which failed. Italian soldiers faced with shooting there fellow citizens decided to turn there guns on the generals instead. The coup had failed but the people's action called for further change and Almirante seeing the choice between bringing about true reform or being put up against a wall decided that he valued his life too much and called for the first time in over 20 years, Italy's first democratic elections.

Of course the hasty campaign and lack of opposition (what with most Socialists and Communists leaders being in exile) meant that it was really Almirante's new MSN party vs a gaggle of independents and crumbling remains of the PUI. Almirante's next four years in office were mainly about securing new relationships with the world beyond the Western powers and embracing the 'New Europe' ideals that were becoming popular amongst Europe's Right. Of course things weren't perfect, Italy now connected to the World Markets suddenly experienced boom and bust like never before and corruption that had been occurring since the PUI days was exposed to people who reacted with anger. Finally the Florence Trials which exposed the crimes of several PUI higher ups found several connections to Almirante. Almirante seeing the writing on the wall and knowing that he would in time likely find himself in front of a jury decided to step down as Prime Minister and MSN leader and absconded to Argentina in which he would spend the rest of his life living in luxury thanks to the Peron regime.

[9] Thirty three years in Prison.

Thirty three years.

Was Gramsci sick? Yes. A shadow of his former self? Yes. Out of touch with modern Italy? Yes.

And yet, the mind was still there. Mainly. More than that, the heart- the heart that had kept beating through all the years of indignity, the heart that had given the strength to write and rewrite his notebooks when they were found, destroyed, censored, smuggled out.

The footage of Gramsci emerging from the prison gates is one of the most famous images of the new Italy, almost as iconic as the great communist thinker sharing a platform with Fellini and a Dissenting Cardinal. Gramsci had finally been allowed out of his cell as an attempt by Almirante to prove that his was a reformed Italy; but the old man immediately became the unifying symbol for a half dozen disparate opposition parties.

Prime Minister for only six months, Gramsci was too old and tired to set in motion any of the great ideas of his youth. Instead, he sought to accomplish three things- and three things he accomplished. An opening of the prisons- universally popular. A timetable was announced for the final withdrawal from the Empire- generally popular, though many of the diehard nationalists were furious. And finally- a referendum on the opposition's new Constitution for Italy, to be held on 17 March 1861, the centenary of the proclamation of the Kingdom.


[10] Angela Giusanni was born into Milanese high society and worked as a model before marrying the publisher Gino Sansoni - but his publishing company suffered the death of a thousand cuts due to government censorship, finally facing a raid in the last days of Graziani. Even after her divorce, Giusanni was on a constant watchlist and could only work at the fringes of publishing, pumping out cheap schlock based on the trends of the day, from westerns to superheroes. Most famously, she and her sister created the satirical samizdat Diabolik: a lunatic goon 'superhero' who beats up on rural partisans. That got found out and she was arrested, but luckily for her this was when Gramsci was let out. She was asked to run for office in the snap election.

Lots of people ran in that snap, from all walks - but Giusanni could speak to the upper classes and the angry rebels, she had an entrepreneur and an artist's mind, she knew marketing and grit. She went from just one MP among others to seizing the top seat, and would hold together the fractious ANI alliance by wheeler-dealing and heavy spin. She also knew what the Italian people wanted, and gave it to them: censorship was out, light-touch entertainment regulations and state-backed art were in ("sugar and circuses" moaned the conservatives), business regulations were loosened, and the new constitution promised to enshrine this forever. "Festitalia" ("Party Italy") was in.

The party couldn't last. The economy was a wild thing; the mafias surged and fought in the streets over the party trades, forcing Giusanni to repower and direct Minidi; the government was continually held together by Giusanni alone; and despite the aid of the League of Nations, the withdrawal of empire didn't go as smoothly as the timetable implied, with Abyssinia becoming a violent conflict between communists and royalists. The successful withdrawals from Eritrea, Somaliland, and Libya were compared by conservatives to the scenes of "decadence and bloodshed" at home, and going into 1970's election they pushed the idea of Italy as weak, libertine laughing stock of the world (even as it became a bigger player in Europe). The party ended in the election.
 

SenatorChickpea

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Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy

1922 - 1924: Benito Mussolini (Partito Nazionale Fascista) [1]
1924 - 1927: Alcide De Gasperi (Partito Popolare Italiano) [2]
1927 - 1931: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Socialista Democratico)
1931 - 1933: Ivanoe Bonomi (Partito Riformista Italiano) [3]
1933 - 1941: Benito Mussolini (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [4]
1941 - 1943: Italo Balbo (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [5]
1943 - 1944: Emilio De Bono (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [6]
1944 - 1953: Rodolfo Graziani (Partito dell'Italia Unita) [7]
1953-1956: Giorgio Almirante (Patito dell'Italia Unitia)
1956-1960: Girogio Almirante (Movimento Sociale Nazionale) [8]
1960-1961: Antonio Gramsci (Assemblea Nazionale Italiana) [9]
1961-1970: Angela Guisanni (Assemblea Nazionale Italiana) [10]
1970-?: Umberto Eco (Movimento Pendulare) [11]

[1] Mussolini had been appointed Prime Minister by the King following the March on Rome and had slowly expanded the power of the Facists over the state. The passing of the Acerbo law and the Fascist victory in the 1924 election looked as if his power was finally cemented, but the shocking murder of Giacomo Matteotti threw the country into chaos.

The parliamentary opposition demanded that the King act, thought many doubted that the man who had appointed Mussolini to enforce order on the country would turn on him. To the surprise of many though the King did indeed order the dismissal of Mussolini, citing the increasing violence of the Blackshirts and a personal loss of confidence in his Prime Minister (though rumours state that what finally made up his mind was finding out that Mussolini had been mocking his lack of height in private).

Officially Mussolini was out, but Italy held its breath for what would happen next.

[2] Italy couldn't have a Blackshirt as a Prime Minister, but it also it couldn't have a Socialist (both were seen as having helped cause the chaos in Italy over the past few years). So it was decided that Alcide De Gasperi, leader of the Italian People's Party would become Prime Minister, mustering a coalition made from both factions of Italian People's Party (Pro & Anti-Fascist) and the elements of the PNF who were seen as 'politically safe' (essentially they weren't Syndicalists or Blackshirts). The coalition would end being rather chaotic in nature though there would be an agreement to implement measures like Corporatism and promote Italian Catholic values. Alicde's 'downfall' as it were would occur in 1927, as Antonio Gramsci tried to form a 'United Front' against the Government the PPI considered this dangerous and would arrest Gramsci and several other Communists. In the ensuing arrests, street brawls, riots and even an assassination of prominent Italian Communist Palmiro Togliatti by former Blackshirts. The ensuing crisis's would force Gasperi to resign as the Government decided to call an election to finally sort out it's political climate.

[3] 1927 saw a backlash against both the Left and Right political extremes that voters blamed for the escalating violence, and the incumbent De Gasperi. The newly-formed PSD won a plurality (though not a majority) under the familiar face of Ivanoe Bonomi, who had re-entered politics following Mussolini’s fall. Although the PSD was a party of the Left it stressed that it would bring stability and order back, and Bonomi’s previous tenure as Prime Minister – however brief – was key to convincing the public (and the King) that they could be trusted.

The new government was hampered by its minority status and its leader was more moderate than his party, leading to little new legislation passing. But it had success in calming the tensions and street fighting that plagued Italy, maintaining its popular support. This changed when the economy collapsed in the Great Depression and Italy’s fragile peace went with it. Bonomi was convinced of the need for austerity, but this was too far for the rank and file of the PSD, who expelled him after he formed a national government at the King’s urging. An election in 1931 saw victory for a coalition of Centre and Right parties, with Bonomi still leading from his minor electoral vehicle. But it was no longer Bonomi’s government, and he was liable to be sacked in favour of a politician more to the King’s liking. The final straw came in 1933, when Germany was taken over by Communists with the USSR’s backing.

[4] Mussolini and a chunk of the "old school" fascists had left/been pushed out of the Nazionale after the 1927 election, but the former 'Duce' hadn't rested: he'd formed yet another far-right party, rebranded it a bit, and allied with other dissident conservatives to criticise everyone & shove all the violence on "undisciplined freikorps" (i.e. those blackshirts were thugs, not like the new ones he had). He was dismissed as a beaten old bore by too many, all while he prepared for what he considered to be an inevitable failing of politics - and in 1933, he had it.

The King was unhappy but the King was also afraid of the rise of communism, and accepted Mussolini's victory. Vast state projects, increasingly tightened laws and censorship, and a ramping up of military force and police powers were the order of the day. The communists were banned and forced underground, the mafias next. The army intervened in the War for Austria (1933-35), preserving most of the state against a German-assisted revolution, a victory allowing Mussolini to bellow Italy was mighty on the world stage (and showed up serious failings in the army before they had to fight a proper war) and be a key part of the counter-Soviet alliances that kept Europe in a tense peace. His invasion of Abyssinia was internationally condemned but what was anyone going to do, when they needed him for the assumed inevitable war for Europe? The 1938 election was a handy victory - one helped by police raids on socialists to make sure they weren't "Soviet agents".

At this point, Mussolini's successes went to his head and - while this was covered up by censorship laws - he became (more of) a drunken, whoremongering lout, increasingly ignoring his work. Chaos spread in the body politic and the economy. The shock of the Soviet-Japanese War made the rest of the PdU realise this was going to be a liability if the balloon went up and they got together, with the King's help, to talk Mussolini into accepting retirement and being 'kicked upstairs' as the Duke of Abyssinia, a newly created aristocratic position (though he'd mostly stay in his chateu at home).

[5] Flamboyant, and rather more dangerous, Italo Balbo outflanked the leaders of the old right to keep leadership in the hands of the Fascist clique.

Properly speaking, the government was a diumvirate; Galeazzo Ciano was a bitter rival, but had worked with Balbo to preserve Italy's foreign ministry as his private preserve. Balbo was at first content with this arrangement; he spent the first few years achieving a certain efficiency domestically by purging old officers as part of the military's much needed modernisation drive. Throwing a few scalps to the crowd by arresting some of the more corrupt (and uncooperative) landowners and industrial barons let the Fascists- sorry, sorry, the PdU- reclaim their role as partisans of the people. Later critics said that this was just papering over the cracks; contemporary critics didn't say anything, because their mouths were stuffed with castor oil.

By 1943, Balbo was feeling more secure in his position. He was even smiling upon Ciano's Treaty of Understanding with Britain and France.

Then the Second Sarejevo Incident happened.

[6] Much more a creature of the old right, a traditional old reactionary, it was believed De Bono was the steady hand at the tiller needed to guide Italy through the transition from the radical Balbo years. What was clear however in the weeks that followed was that De Bono was too cautious by half, at least by the standards of a Fascist.

The Cautious Fascist is a dangerous creature to lead a country. Imitating Austria before the Great War, De Bono demanded justice for Balbo - and was greeted with distain by the Yugoslavs. The sabre-rattling led to a sudden cooling in the steadily improving relationship with the Entente, while the lack of actual actions stirred the pot of political violence at home.

The eventual war with Yugoslavia, after the failure of multiple ultimatums saw the Italians lose the initiative pretty quickly, neutralising the military advances of the Mussolini and Balbo years. The march of Austrian troops over border at Italian behest, and their shockingly good performance served to simultaneously humiliate the Italians and raise the spectre of a Hapsburg revival in the Balkans. The Regency of Miklos Horthy in Hungary was cut suddenly short, with the hurried coronation of British media mogul, Lord Rothermere - who immediately pivoted to a pro-Anglo-French-Yugoslav position.

Fortunately for Italy, the elderly De Bono would die in office, leaving his country in the midst of war.


[7] Graziani was a national hero for conquering Abyssinia (and an infamous bastard for how he'd "kept the peace"), a man with Duke Mussolini's patronage (and god did the King & Cabinet want to avoid HIM coming back), and the only prominenjt general to yet be tainted by defeat. Historians have long note that his war plans weren't actually that great - they amounted to holding ground and throwing people at the problem - but he was able to rally a lot of people to die for Italy. Controversially, he repurposed the ad-hoc SAF auxillaries (Servizio Ausiliario Femminile) into an actual combat unit. The Yugoslavs basically grew tired of losing men (and grew concerned the longer this dragged on, the less impressive they'd look to their new western friends) and proposed peace in exchange for recognition that they now owned Zadar, Istria, and Fiume. Rome agreed and then bellowed how WE'D WON REALLY, and the Italians were bombarded with propaganda to that effect.

The delayed election was a landslide for the PdU and the state continued to tighten its grip, moving more and more to dictatorship, consolidating the state into large fascist ministries, redevelop cities in futurist style, and developing a cult of personality around Graziani, "Papi Marquis", Saviour of Italian Civilisation, Civiliser of Africa. The fact Italy was now less globally tied in, poorer, and looked down on, and that the Church was having vicious internal debates about whether this was the best country to stay in... well, Miniver (Ministero della Verità) kept a lid on this and Minidi (Ministero del Diritto) came round to talk to the people who spread "foreign rumours".

But Miniver couldn't keep quiet forever the growing partisan, gangster, and partisans-who-are-gangsters-too activity in the rural south, nor the continuing deaths of young men and women fighting the communist rebels in Abyssinia and the suggestion both MiniGuer (Ministero della Guerra) & Italian Africa's bureacracy was a rotten mess. Graziani became increasingly grim, despondent, and hidden away from most as everything seemed to be slipping through his fingers no matter how many traitors and Africans he had tortured & killed. 1953's twin shocks of Mussolini's death - a case of the flu, but more realistically "his African 'servants' took the chance to leave him to slowly die and laughed about it" - and the embarrassing the Second Papal Schism that saw Cardinal Roncalli declared PopeJohn XXIII in Ireland happening in the same month finished him off, and Graziani hanged himself, leaving a note lamenting that "a new antipope rises despite all I have done".

Or as the government said a week later, "Papi Marquis passed away peacefully in his sleep"

[8] Italy was slowly collapsing, outside of the cities was bandit/partisan country, Socialists and Communists had come back in force in some areas, Sicily was essentially a Mafia controlled hellhole and the Entente under more Left Wing leaders were trying to cut away the awkard cancer that was Italy. And so it was in this environment that the PUI's first and only leadership election was called. It was expected that Alessandro Pavolini a prominent member and the military/clerical approved candidate would win. Instead thanks to a swathe of students, factory workers, National Syndicalists and generally the Italian working class who were members of the party, the unassuming Giorgio Almirante would win. A member of the PUI's 'Left Wing' Almirante was a radical who believed that the stagnation that Italy was seeing was due to the failure of the 'elites' to deal with the problems of the Italian Working Class. Almirante decided that Italy need to embrace the ideas of National Syndicalism, 'Corporatist Democracy' and engage with the world outside of it's tiny Empire. This dramatic reshuffle would anger the military but they would bide there time, hoping Almirante would crash upon the rocks.

Italy would be restructured, industries were Nationalised or placed under partial Government ownership, Almirante proposed a 'Modern Rome' plan which would revive the Italian economy and bring it out of recession. He would also allow independent candidates to stand in local elections (after vetting of course) and try and secure deals with the various European nations. Italy was recovering, slowly and the miltary was getting antsy. Eventually they decided to launch a coup when Almirante, in an attempt to decline Soviet and German support to the Abyssinian rebels signed a non-aggression and trading pact with the Communist nations. This was too far for the military who organised a coup...which failed. Italian soldiers faced with shooting there fellow citizens decided to turn there guns on the generals instead. The coup had failed but the people's action called for further change and Almirante seeing the choice between bringing about true reform or being put up against a wall decided that he valued his life too much and called for the first time in over 20 years, Italy's first democratic elections.

Of course the hasty campaign and lack of opposition (what with most Socialists and Communists leaders being in exile) meant that it was really Almirante's new MSN party vs a gaggle of independents and crumbling remains of the PUI. Almirante's next four years in office were mainly about securing new relationships with the world beyond the Western powers and embracing the 'New Europe' ideals that were becoming popular amongst Europe's Right. Of course things weren't perfect, Italy now connected to the World Markets suddenly experienced boom and bust like never before and corruption that had been occurring since the PUI days was exposed to people who reacted with anger. Finally the Florence Trials which exposed the crimes of several PUI higher ups found several connections to Almirante. Almirante seeing the writing on the wall and knowing that he would in time likely find himself in front of a jury decided to step down as Prime Minister and MSN leader and absconded to Argentina in which he would spend the rest of his life living in luxury thanks to the Peron regime.

[9] Thirty three years in Prison.

Thirty three years.

Was Gramsci sick? Yes. A shadow of his former self? Yes. Out of touch with modern Italy? Yes.

And yet, the mind was still there. Mainly. More than that, the heart- the heart that had kept beating through all the years of indignity, the heart that had given the strength to write and rewrite his notebooks when they were found, destroyed, censored, smuggled out.

The footage of Gramsci emerging from the prison gates is one of the most famous images of the new Italy, almost as iconic as the great communist thinker sharing a platform with Fellini and a Dissenting Cardinal. Gramsci had finally been allowed out of his cell as an attempt by Almirante to prove that his was a reformed Italy; but the old man immediately became the unifying symbol for a half dozen disparate opposition parties.

Prime Minister for only six months, Gramsci was too old and tired to set in motion any of the great ideas of his youth. Instead, he sought to accomplish three things- and three things he accomplished. An opening of the prisons- universally popular. A timetable was announced for the final withdrawal from the Empire- generally popular, though many of the diehard nationalists were furious. And finally- a referendum on the opposition's new Constitution for Italy, to be held on 17 March 1861, the centenary of the proclamation of the Kingdom.


[10] Angela Giusanni was born into Milanese high society and worked as a model before marrying the publisher Gino Sansoni - but his publishing company suffered the death of a thousand cuts due to government censorship, finally facing a raid in the last days of Graziani. Even after her divorce, Giusanni was on a constant watchlist and could only work at the fringes of publishing, pumping out cheap schlock based on the trends of the day, from westerns to superheroes. Most famously, she and her sister created the satirical samizdat Diabolik: a lunatic goon 'superhero' who beats up on rural partisans. That got found out and she was arrested, but luckily for her this was when Gramsci was let out. She was asked to run for office in the snap election.

Lots of people ran in that snap, from all walks - but Giusanni could speak to the upper classes and the angry rebels, she had an entrepreneur and an artist's mind, she knew marketing and grit. She went from just one MP among others to seizing the top seat, and would hold together the fractious ANI alliance by wheeler-dealing and heavy spin. She also knew what the Italian people wanted, and gave it to them: censorship was out, light-touch entertainment regulations and state-backed art were in ("sugar and circuses" moaned the conservatives), business regulations were loosened, and the new constitution promised to enshrine this forever. "Festitalia" ("Party Italy") was in.

The party couldn't last. The economy was a wild thing; the mafias surged and fought in the streets over the party trades, forcing Giusanni to repower and direct Minidi; the government was continually held together by Giusanni alone; and despite the aid of the League of Nations, the withdrawal of empire didn't go as smoothly as the timetable implied, with Abyssinia becoming a violent conflict between communists and royalists. The successful withdrawals from Eritrea, Somaliland, and Libya were compared by conservatives to the scenes of "decadence and bloodshed" at home, and going into 1970's election they pushed the idea of Italy as weak, libertine laughing stock of the world (even as it became a bigger player in Europe). The party ended in the election.

[11] Futurist! Medievalist! Fascist! Anarchist! Catholic! Anticlericalist!

No Prime Minister had been a child of the dictatorship. Eco was a remarkably intelligent man, who had emerged from the University of Turin with both a law degree and a thesis on the links between Aquinas and Julius Evola. He was a walking contradiction: a man with utter contempt for the left's claims of scientific truth, who was nonetheless repeatedly investigated by Miniver because whatever else he was he was not conservative. A journalist and academic who immersed himself in the high culture, who appeared in the popular press to give the movies and music of the 'Fesitalia' the reverential treatment reserved to Verdi and Manzoni.

The figurehead, eventually, for the Pendulum Movement: the world's only conservative party that spoke about Hegelian dialectics and the need for permanent revolution. The right had failed Italy by ossifying, Eco told his backers, and they had failed Italy by allowing the ossification. Now Giusanni's movement had become the antithesis, an expression of freedom that was allowing the state and society to begin to disintegrate.

The pendulum must swing.

The right loved Eco: when Gramsci passed away in his sleep, Eco was proclaimed the leading intellectual of the Kingdom, and for once that thinker was not a communist.

Though perhaps they did not actually understand what he was. Certainly, no one who watched the celebrated debate with the leader of the Communist Party came away understanding what Eco believed- but that was famously the most entertaining, and most obscure political exchange of the twentieth century.

Then the ANI collapsed into four warring factions, the bizarre hodgepodge that was the Pendulum Movement came third. Eventually, Eco was given a chance to form a government. The bankers who had backed him were confident that he would fail: he had done his part to confuse and shatter the ANI, and traditional conservatism could pick up the pieces in the next election.

Instead, Eco entered government leading the world's only coalition of Futurists, Anarchists, and Christian Democrats.

'The Symbol of the Revolution,' he told the radio, 'is the Revolution itself! The meaning of the Revolution is its symbol!'

Only the leader of the Communist Party understood what he meant- but that didn't mean Italo Calvino could explain it any more clearly.


Anyone want to continue this, or shall we start something new?
 

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EIGHT FICTIONS TO GET CHILDREN INTERESTED IN REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY

A lot of parents will have discovered that it's not always easy to get children interested in the early days of the Republics. 'Consuls'and 'Citizen-Generals' aren't always as fun to play as as 'Kings' and 'Knights,' and many's the boy and girl who's found the bright jewels and amazing dresses of the old regime more appealing than the simpler aesthetics that followed.

In today's 'Literary Digest of the People's Friend,' we suggest eight great entertainments that will hook a bright child on history. Some are projector-plays, some are novels, there's even a game- but it will all help your son or daughter understand what was set in motion on 26 Messidor.


1) 'ANNA AND THE HARP' (Louise Audry, 166)
You'll roll your eyes, but the 'Anna' books have remained in print for over sixty years for a reason. Hundreds of millions of children have been transported to 'The Little Street in Toulon,' inhabited by fishmongers and washerwomen and one bright young girl with a brother in the old Navy. They have felt her family's excitement when the Revolution comes, and her fear when the British arrive to snuff it out. There are enough iconic 'Anna' stories to fill this list alone, but the fourth might be the best starting point for a reader who doesn't know much of the background history. It's more of an adventure than the first three books, and by journeying outside France the reader doesn't have to keep up with as many intricacies of politics.

In this one, in year 3, Anna must fulfill a perilous mission from Citizen Gouges- disguise herself as an Englishwoman, and journey to Ireland with a secret message for her old teacher and rival General Bonaparte. This book has cameos from a whole host of historical figures, an assassination at a masked ball, and a villain who generations of readers have alternately despised or sighed over. Trust us- it's as good as you remember!
 
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Charles EP M.

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EIGHT FICTIONS TO GET CHILDREN INTERESTED IN REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY

A lot of parents will have discovered that it's not always easy to get children interested in the early days of the Republics. 'Consuls'and 'Citizen-Generals' aren't always as fun to play as as 'Kings' and 'Knights,' and many's the boy and girl who's found the bright jewels and amazing dresses of the old regime more appealing than the simpler aesthetics that followed.

In today's 'Literary Digest of the People's Friend,' we suggest eight great entertainments that will hook a bright child on history. Some are projector-plays, some are novels, there's even a game- but it will all help your son or daughter understand what was set in motion on 26 Messidor.


1) 'ANNA AND THE HARP' (Louise Audry, 166)
You'll roll your eyes, but the 'Anna' books have remained in print for over sixty years for a reason. Hundreds of millions of children have been transported to 'The Little Street in Toulon,' inhabited by fishmongers and washerwomen and one bright young girl with a brother in the old Navy. They have felt her family's excitement when the Revolution comes, and her fear when the British arrive to snuff it out. There are enough iconic 'Anna' stories to fill this list alone, but the fourth might be the best starting point for a reader who doesn't know much of the background history. It's more of an adventure than the first three books, and by journeying outside France the reader doesn't have to keep up with as many intricacies of politics.

In this one, in year 3, Anna must fulfill a perilous mission from Citizen Gouges- disguise herself as an Englishwoman, and journey to Ireland with a secret message for her old teacher and rival General Bonaparte. This book has cameos from a whole host of historical figures, an assassination at a masked ball, and a villain who generations of readers have alternately despised or sighed over. Trust us- it's as good as you remember!


2) 'DOCTOR OMEGA: THE PLOTTERS' (Denis Spooner, 171)

The enigmatic and seemingly alien Doctor Omega, Arnould Galupin's mot loved creation, has visited the Revolution several times in his various adaptations - as well as various sci-fi analogues - but one of the earliest is one of the best. Spooner, the son of refugees during Britain's War of the Two Kings, crafted a blackly comic romp set in the early days of the Revolution, where Omega and his time-travelling comrades are mistaken for monarchist agents. A comedy of errors sees them having to clear their name while simultaneously saving Robespierre from the real plotter in his midst.

It isn't entirely historically accurate, but it's a fun story and that's often the best way to introduce kids to history. It also admits the struggle to purge France of monarchists as a messy, often slapdash affair but necessary in the end - it's neither starry-eyed nor the revisionism that infests our colleges.
 
EIGHT FICTIONS TO GET CHILDREN INTERESTED IN REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY

A lot of parents will have discovered that it's not always easy to get children interested in the early days of the Republics. 'Consuls'and 'Citizen-Generals' aren't always as fun to play as as 'Kings' and 'Knights,' and many's the boy and girl who's found the bright jewels and amazing dresses of the old regime more appealing than the simpler aesthetics that followed.

In today's 'Literary Digest of the People's Friend,' we suggest eight great entertainments that will hook a bright child on history. Some are projector-plays, some are novels, there's even a game- but it will all help your son or daughter understand what was set in motion on 26 Messidor.


1) 'ANNA AND THE HARP' (Louise Audry, 166)
You'll roll your eyes, but the 'Anna' books have remained in print for over sixty years for a reason. Hundreds of millions of children have been transported to 'The Little Street in Toulon,' inhabited by fishmongers and washerwomen and one bright young girl with a brother in the old Navy. They have felt her family's excitement when the Revolution comes, and her fear when the British arrive to snuff it out. There are enough iconic 'Anna' stories to fill this list alone, but the fourth might be the best starting point for a reader who doesn't know much of the background history. It's more of an adventure than the first three books, and by journeying outside France the reader doesn't have to keep up with as many intricacies of politics.

In this one, in year 3, Anna must fulfill a perilous mission from Citizen Gouges- disguise herself as an Englishwoman, and journey to Ireland with a secret message for her old teacher and rival General Bonaparte. This book has cameos from a whole host of historical figures, an assassination at a masked ball, and a villain who generations of readers have alternately despised or sighed over. Trust us- it's as good as you remember!


2) 'DOCTOR OMEGA: THE PLOTTERS' (Denis Spooner, 171)

The enigmatic and seemingly alien Doctor Omega, Arnould Galupin's mot loved creation, has visited the Revolution several times in his various adaptations - as well as various sci-fi analogues - but one of the earliest is one of the best. Spooner, the son of refugees during Britain's War of the Two Kings, crafted a blackly comic romp set in the early days of the Revolution, where Omega and his time-travelling comrades are mistaken for monarchist agents. A comedy of errors sees them having to clear their name while simultaneously saving Robespierre from the real plotter in his midst.

It isn't entirely historically accurate, but it's a fun story and that's often the best way to introduce kids to history. It also admits the struggle to purge France of monarchists as a messy, often slapdash affair but necessary in the end - it's neither starry-eyed nor the revisionism that infests our colleges.


3) RED, WHITE AND BLUE TRILOGY (Thierry Pratchett, 217-219)

Although best known for his fantasy series, Thierry Pratchett’s children’s trilogy is an engrossing historical fiction that needs no magic to come alive. Red, the first book in the series named for the tricolour, introduces us to Jacques, a cunning orphan on the streets of Revolutionary Paris. Pratchett has fun with the well-known setting and history as it’s revealed that Jacques inadvertently set off the series of events leading to the revolution. Historical cameos abound as everyone from the fictional Père Duchesne to the actual Georges Danton meet Jacques in unexpected circumstances.

Pratchett’s writing is aimed at older children with many darker and moving moments. Most notable is his sympathetic portrayal of Marie Antoinette before her execution – a source many authors have explored before. But also detailed is the struggle of the poor of Paris and how the revolution didn't always improve their plight. The books pay great tribute to the history of Paris and Blue, the last book in the series, gives the same treatment to London in a plot involving Charles Dickens.

A female lead is welcome in White. And although the romance between Lis and Jacques seems a bit too obvious at first, Pratchett's warm prose makes it funny and charming all the same. It's classic Thierry Pratchett, what else do we need to say?
 

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EIGHT FICTIONS TO GET CHILDREN INTERESTED IN REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY

A lot of parents will have discovered that it's not always easy to get children interested in the early days of the Republics. 'Consuls'and 'Citizen-Generals' aren't always as fun to play as as 'Kings' and 'Knights,' and many's the boy and girl who's found the bright jewels and amazing dresses of the old regime more appealing than the simpler aesthetics that followed.

In today's 'Literary Digest of the People's Friend,' we suggest eight great entertainments that will hook a bright child on history. Some are projector-plays, some are novels, there's even a game- but it will all help your son or daughter understand what was set in motion on 26 Messidor.


1) 'ANNA AND THE HARP' (Louise Audry, 166)
You'll roll your eyes, but the 'Anna' books have remained in print for over sixty years for a reason. Hundreds of millions of children have been transported to 'The Little Street in Toulon,' inhabited by fishmongers and washerwomen and one bright young girl with a brother in the old Navy. They have felt her family's excitement when the Revolution comes, and her fear when the British arrive to snuff it out. There are enough iconic 'Anna' stories to fill this list alone, but the fourth might be the best starting point for a reader who doesn't know much of the background history. It's more of an adventure than the first three books, and by journeying outside France the reader doesn't have to keep up with as many intricacies of politics.

In this one, in year 3, Anna must fulfill a perilous mission from Citizen Gouges- disguise herself as an Englishwoman, and journey to Ireland with a secret message for her old teacher and rival General Bonaparte. This book has cameos from a whole host of historical figures, an assassination at a masked ball, and a villain who generations of readers have alternately despised or sighed over. Trust us- it's as good as you remember!


2) 'DOCTOR OMEGA: THE PLOTTERS' (Denis Spooner, 171)

The enigmatic and seemingly alien Doctor Omega, Arnould Galupin's mot loved creation, has visited the Revolution several times in his various adaptations - as well as various sci-fi analogues - but one of the earliest is one of the best. Spooner, the son of refugees during Britain's War of the Two Kings, crafted a blackly comic romp set in the early days of the Revolution, where Omega and his time-travelling comrades are mistaken for monarchist agents. A comedy of errors sees them having to clear their name while simultaneously saving Robespierre from the real plotter in his midst.

It isn't entirely historically accurate, but it's a fun story and that's often the best way to introduce kids to history. It also admits the struggle to purge France of monarchists as a messy, often slapdash affair but necessary in the end - it's neither starry-eyed nor the revisionism that infests our colleges.


3) RED, WHITE AND BLUE TRILOGY (Thierry Pratchett, 217-219)

Although best known for his fantasy series, Thierry Pratchett’s children’s trilogy is an engrossing historical fiction that needs no magic to come alive. Red, the first book in the series named for the tricolour, introduces us to Jacques, a cunning orphan on the streets of Revolutionary Paris. Pratchett has fun with the well-known setting and history as it’s revealed that Jacques inadvertently set off the series of events leading to the revolution. Historical cameos abound as everyone from the fictional Père Duchesne to the actual Georges Danton meet Jacques in unexpected circumstances.

Pratchett’s writing is aimed at older children with many darker and moving moments. Most notable is his sympathetic portrayal of Marie Antoinette before her execution – a source many authors have explored before. But also detailed is the struggle of the poor of Paris and how the revolution didn't always improve their plight. The books pay great tribute to the history of Paris and Blue, the last book in the series, gives the same treatment to London in a plot involving Charles Dickens.

A female lead is welcome in White. And although the romance between Lis and Jacques seems a bit too obvious at first, Pratchett's warm prose makes it funny and charming all the same. It's classic Thierry Pratchett, what else do we need to say?

4) THUNDER OVER NOTTINGHAM (Geoffery Trease, 196)

A favourite amongst Radical Parents and the children of said Parents this was one of Trease's later works, having made much of his success on the various Bow Against the Barons trilogy and Cue for Treason series as well as other radical books for children. Thunder Over London is his attempt to deal with Revolutionary era Britain in particular the actions of the Pentrich Revolution. Following a young lad called William Sullivan as he accidental joins the Pentrich Revolution it follows him as the Revolutionaries plan on establishing a Nottinghamshire Republic, along the way Sullivan becomes friends with French spies, Jeremiah Brandreth, Ned Ludd, George Africanus and even in a humorous scene has to look after a young Samuel Morley. Sullivan also has to be constantly on the look out for the forces of reaction lead by Lord Byron who is magnificently hammy as the villain of the book.

Bringing a sense of humour, wit and comprehensive research (Colleague Trease is infamous for having spent years researching books and throwing away drafts that had slight inaccuracies) Trease brings to life one of the important but rarely talked about events of Revolutionary era Britain. Even despite it's sad ending this book still manages to be a fun and rollicking adventures that all children can love.