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Italy During Inter

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Italy During the Inter-War Years
Italy had joined World War 1 on the side of the Allies after the promises at the secret Treaty of London signed in 1915. Via this treaty, Italy was promised large sections of the Adriatic Sea region – Istria, Dalmatia and Tyrol. During the war came the disaster of Caporetto. Italians -forced to fight the entire Austrian army and 7 German divisions- lost a total of 300,000 men. The defeat impacted heavily on the psychology of the Italian populace. By the end of the war, Italy was fewer by more than a million men and had spent more than it had in the last 50 years. The only consolation would be the achievement of the territories that had brought Italy to war in the first place.
After the victory, Italy sent its delegation to the Treaty of Versailles. Along with the promised territories, Italy also aimed to gain lands such as Fiume, which had a majority Italian population. Disaster struck when Italy’s demands were ignored by the Big Three. The promises of the Treaty of London were not kept -indeed Winston Churchill refused to even recognize the Treaty. The Italian government was humiliated in front of its public, as the public was dismayed at all the war costs amounting to nothing.
It was this feeling that led to a rise in irredentism in Italy and collected support for the notion of a ‘mutilated victory’. The public desired for Italy to rank alongside the Big Three powers. It was with this feeling that nationalist poet Gabriele D’Annunzio led 2600 troops in the “Fiume Exploit” forcing out the Allied troops there. The Italian government was able to drive D’Annunzio out but that only gave the impression of the government being anti-Italian. D’Annunzio thus made his mark by demonstrating how a nongovernmental military force could be used for political purposes.
Italy meanwhile was in the midst of internal social turmoil as workers occupied...

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