Italy Between 1948 and 1960

The political elections of April 18, 1948 were marked by the confrontation of the cold war. Funded by the USA, supported by the Church, flanked by a network of civic committees and Catholic Action, the DC achieves a clear victory, obtaining 48.5% of the votes against 31% of the Social Communist Popular Front. A serious crisis hits the country after an attack on Togliatti carried out by a student in July: there are violent clashes between police and workers, but thanks to the moderating action of the union leaders and the PCI, the unrest is contained.

Under the impulse also of the economic aid of the Marshall Plan, the process of reconstruction of the country begins. In the first legislature (1948-53), three De Gasperi governments succeeded each other, all of coalition. This period is marked by an economic and social reform effort. In 1950 an agrarian reform was launched, the results of which, however, were limited by the tenacious resistance to the projects drawn up by the government. In the same year the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno was established, an institution for the implementation of an infrastructure plan to stimulate the development of the South. In 1951 the tax reform was passed, introducing the income tax. In foreign policy, Italy actively participates in the first initiatives for European integration; in 1949 it entered NATO as a founding country.

After a series of defeats by the DC in the administrative elections, De Gasperi, in order to secure a firm majority in the future Parliament, approved a new electoral law (later repealed in 1954) which provides for a majority bonus to related parties that have exceeded 50 % of votes. In June 1953 the centrist coalition (DC, PRI, Italian Liberal Party-PLI, Italian Socialist Democratic Party-PSDI) obtained 49.85% of the votes, lacking the necessary quorum to trigger the majority prize. Compared to 1948, the DC has lost almost two million votes and the allied parties are also in decline. The second legislature (1953-58) is therefore characterized by the long crisis of the centrist formula. At the last, failed attempt by De Gasperi to form a government, 5 governments follow, of which 3 single-color and 2 with the contribution of liberals and social democrats. In 1954 an agreement was reached on the question of Trieste: Italy obtains zone A of the Free Territory. In 1955 the Italy joins the UN; the new President of the Republic, the left-wing Christian Democrat G. Gronchi, addresses an invitation to put an end to centrism by inaugurating a new season of reforms.

According to, the de-Stalinization first and then the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 have profound repercussions on the Italian left, leading to the break between the PCI and the PSI and the approach of the PSI to social democracy.

In 1957 in Rome a decisive step was taken in the process of European integration, with the signing of the founding treaties of the EEC (European Economic Community). In the country there is a need to give greater expression, involving them in government decisions, to the working masses who have borne the greater costs of reconstruction first and then of the intense economic development that began in the 1950s. Between the years 1950 and 1960 the THE. it is in fact the protagonist of an economic growth that transforms its social structure in depth. The apex of the ‘Italian miracle’ is recorded between 1956 and 1963, years in which the GDP growth rate reaches 6.3% per year, bringing in the Italy among the great industrialized nations. The factors behind this evolution,

Thus begins the march towards the center-left season, also favored by the election to the pontificate (1958) of John XXIII, who, with the turning point marked by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), opens the Catholic Church to new social and to relaxation.

Italy Between 1948 and 1960