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Settimana Rossa

Franco Bertolucci

Subject History » Political History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Key-Topics army, revolution, socialism, strikes

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01342.x


Settimana Rossa (Red Week) is the name given to the anti-militaristic insurrectional movement that broke out in Italy from June 7 to 13, 1914, demonstrating the political sentiment of the country's popular masses in the months before the start of World War I and the subsequent intervention (May 1915) of Italy into the war. Settimana Rossa erupted at the end of the Giolitti era of liberal reform (1901–15) when anti-militarism was a central subject of the extreme left, unifying all subversive movements–republicanism, anarchism, socialism, and revolutionary syndicalism–that were deeply divided ideologically on other socioeconomic issues. The Settimana Rossa culminated in a period of Italian leftist unity around antimilitarism, anti-clericalism, and a strong aversion to the Savoy monarchy. The Savoy monarchy used the army as an instrument of its hegemony during the national unification of Italy, in opposition to the volunteer army model of the democratic movement. The Italian army played a primary role in resisting brigandage (or banditry) in the south of Italy, suppressing popular movements in Sicily and Lunigiana in 1893–4, and in putting down the bread riots of 1898. General Bava Beccaris received a medal for slaying citizens and workers in Milan. In the first part of the century the Italian army staged bloody massacres of peasants and workers during strikes and protests. The army ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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