Italy Between 1943 and 1948

During the so-called ’45 days’ government, Badoglio conducts secret negotiations with the Allies which lead to the signing of an armistice which, announced on 8 September 1943, causes the break-up of the army, left without operational instructions. On 9 September the king and Badoglio leave Rome and flee to Brindisi. The Germans, placed under control the Italy north-central, free from the confinement of the Gran Sasso Mussolini, who announces the birth of the Italian Social Republic. THERE. it is divided into two parts: a fascist republic, directly emanating from the Germans, and a kingdom of the South, which on October 13 enters the war against Germany. While in the North the partisan bands are formed and the National Liberation Committee of Upper Italy (CLNAI) operates, in the Southern kingdom the problem of the formation of a government representative of the anti-fascist forces is linked to the position to be held towards the king and Badoglio, of which the anti-fascist parties ask for immediate removal, while the Allies impose respect for them as a guarantee of armistice and a moderate future order. The situation was released in the spring of 1944 when the USSR, preceding the United States and Great Britain, recognized the Badoglio government. P. Togliatti, leader of the Italian Communist Party, with the so-called ‘Salerno turn’ speaks in favor of the formation of a government of national unity, chaired by Badoglio and supported by all parties, with the aim of fighting against Nazi-fascism, which is formed in April.

Immediately after the liberation of Rome, the king transfers the powers to his son Umberto as lieutenant and Badoglio resigns; he is succeeded by Italy Bonomi (June-December 1944), who has to face the problem of relations with the Resistance that has developed in the North. The role of the partisan movement and the CLNAI is recognized by the Allies and the Bonomi government; the partisan commands undertake to respect the allied provisions and to submit to the authority of the Southern government. On 24-25 April 1945, while the allied troops invade the Po Valley, a general insurrection is proclaimed. Mussolini, captured by the partisans, is executed. For the conditions of peace dictated at the Paris Conference (July-October 1946), Italy loses Brig and Tenda in favor of France and Istria in favor of Yugoslavia. Trieste, source of acute tensions, it is declared a Free Territory and divided into two parts, one under Anglo-American administration, the other under Yugoslav administration. The colonies are lost.

According to, fascism and war leave a heavy legacy; the economic situation, although better than that of other European countries, is nevertheless serious. With the liberation, Bonomi cedes power to a more representative government of the Resistance forces. The new executive led by F. Parri lasts in office for a few months due to the lack of support from the Christian Democrats (heirs of the Popular Party) and the liberals for his program, which is judged to be too biased on the left. This is followed by the first ministry of the Christian Democrat leader A. De Gasperi (December 1945-July 1946), which implements a moderate change. Eliminates the prefects and quaestors appointed by the CLN, reinstating the central bureaucracy and closing the process of purge the fascists.

On June 2, 1946, the elections for the Constituent Assembly and the referendum for the choice of the institutional form are held. The first sees the emergence of the three large mass parties, which collect 75% of the votes: Christian Democrats (DC), Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity (PSIUP), PCI. In the referendum the votes for the republic are 12,717,923, those for the monarchy 10,719,284 (the monarchy is the winner in all the southern regions, confirming the original dualism of the national state which arose in 1861). Provisional President of the Republic is the independent liberal E. De Nicola.

The second De Gasperi ministry (July 1946-February 1947) is still governed by a coalition between center parties (DC, Italian Republican Party-PRI) and left (PCI, PSIUP). However, the echoes of that ‘cold war’ that soon divided the Christian Democrats and the Communists with their respective allies into two opposing blocs began to be felt also in Italy The first rift is produced in the Socialist Party (PSI), from which those who are opposed to an agreement with the Communists break away on the initiative of G. Saragat (January 1947). De Gasperi resigns and forms a new transitional executive (February-May 1947); he then closes the coalition with the left by opening the season of centrist governments with a cabinet in which liberals and republicans such as L. Einaudi and C. Sforza enter.

Italy Between 1943 and 1948