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First World War - Essay Example

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First World War

Such were the changes wrought by the war. Throughout Europe, the 1920's were dominated by the after effects of World War I. Particularly speaking of the revolutions that took place after the First World War in Western Europe, many factors contributed to their failure.
To analyze the circumstances that led to the failure of the Italian revolution, we must take a look on the political, economical happenings on the Italian scene before, during and after the First World War.
That period of the Italian history presents in general a most melancholy spectacle (Modern European History, 153). This period was indeed marked by the failure in developing effective parliamentary institutions. Power remained in the hands of two coalitions of parties, the Left and the Right. No essential differences were to be found between the two parties so the odds of building a constructive debate or alternation of power were slim. In fact, the hostility of the church continued to embarrass Italian governments. Not until 1904 did the pope officially allow Catholics to vote and no Catholic party was founded until 1919. From the late 1880s national discontent showed itself in the growth of an extreme socialist movement (Modern European History, 154). The resort to violence in national life was distressing. In Milan, riots in Milan led to the death of 80 people on 1987, three years later, King Humbert was murdered. Between 1901 and 1913, Giolitti, an Italian statesman laid the foundations of a Welfare state and made genuine attempts to help the South, leading consequently to an improvement in the quality of life matched by the radical progress of the Italian economy.
On 2 August 1914 the Italian government announced that it would be neutral (Europe between the wars, 131). The government feared Germany's power and did not wish to antagonize Austria-Hungary to not decrease its chances of taking some territories in compensation for Trentino and Albania.The Italian public approved this decision. Neutrality, however, had its dangers. Whichever side won the war would have scent regard for Italian ambitions, especially the Central Powers, who felt that the Allied victory at the Marne was due to the removal by the French of 10 of their divisions from the Italian frontier (Modern European History, 154). Therefore Salandra's government negotiated with both sides to extract generous terms by which Italy might enter the war. The allies managed to get the deal and in April 1915 the treaty of London was signed, committing Italy to enter the war on the site of the Entente in return for south Tyrol, Trentino, Trieste, Istria, Dalmatia, Valona and the Dodecanese. The high hopes with which Italy went to war were soon destroyed having her armies fighting on Europe's most difficult front. Due to the many years of failure experienced by the Italian army, the United States refused to be bound by the treaty of London.
The impact of war on the standard of living and social stability undermined national life. The war has had strained government finances and the public debt has risen nearly sevenfold. The victims of the war were the middle class, it suffered from higher taxation and the cost of living rose sharply because of the decline in the value of the lira. The immediate post-war years were therefore characterized by social unrest. Millions of work days were lost by strikes indeed. On the political scene, neither the Socialist nor the Catholic party could, on its own, provide the nucleus of a stable ...Show more


World War I, the 'Great War' came to an end at 11:00 on the 11th day of the eleventh month of 1918. In four and a quarter years of fighting there had been more than 8 millions killed with a further 20 million wounded, and many permanently maimed (Battles of World War I, introduction)…
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First World War Essay essay example
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