Il Mezzogiorno e la Grande depressione. Capitale straniero, imprenditori e trafficanti tra crisi e trasformazioni
N. 3, LUGLIO-SETTEMBRE
Southern Italy and the Great Depression. Foreign capital, entrepreneurs and trafficking between crisis and transformation
The long depression that affected Italy and Sicily between 1873 and 1896 exploded in Catania as a serious shortage of liquidity. This resulted in a long chain of economic failures that concerned the main import/export agencies created to market Sicilian agriculture and mining resources. This contribution attempts to introduce the history of the Peratoner family and to provide a second reading intended to examine in depth certain «revisionist» theses regarding the crisis that, far from being a long and still recessive period, appeared as a speculative explosion affecting both the banking and finance systems. However, what the long depression left as heritage to the south was the important development of the railway industry, which completely subverted the patterns of economic, social and political life, as well as people’s way of thinking.