Nazione, Stato, Costituzione in Italia dall’Unità alla Repubblica

ANNO 52 2011
Francesco Barbagallo

Nation, State, and Constitution in Italy from Unification to the Republic
This article examines the organisation of the Italian state after political unification, amid peasant revolts and Hegelian intellectuals. It also examines the differences and the interdependence between the country’s north and south. In Italy, during the liberal period, statebuilding and nation-building went together with the centralization of the state and the rejection of political parties. After World War I, the crisis of the liberal state did not lead to a transition to a democracy based on organized parties, but rather produced the system of «national blocs» formed by Liberals, Conservatives and Fascists. The Fascist regime then achieved total identification of the state and the nation with the Fascist Party (PNF). Once this identification between nation and Fascism had occurred, the country’s unity was broken, because all of Fascism’s enemies were excluded from the country. This was stated by a nationalist like Federzoni and by a liberal like Croce. After World War II, the new constitution of 1948 established a democracy based on mass parties and a state of social rights. After the defeat in the War, over a fifteen-year period, Italy was to become a developed country and a welfare state.

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