Κατεύθυνση Ευρωπαϊκή ιστορίαLibrary of the School of Philosophy
Κωνσταντίνος Ράπτης, Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας, ΕΚΠΑ
Μαρία Παπαθανασίου, Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας, ΕΚΠΑ
Δήμητρα Λαμπροπούλου, Λέκτορας, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας, ΕΚΠΑ
Οι Σοσιαλιστές και η Κόκκινη Διετία στην Ιταλία
The Socialists and the "Two Red Years" in Italy
This specific research aims to point out aspects of the crucial, for the Italian history, period of 1919-1920. Τhe years between the end of the First World War and the rise of the fascists in power. After the Great War the influence of the Italian Socialist Party was raised sharply and there was intense turmoil, because of the difficulties and the high cost of living of the working class and the big mass of farmers and because of dispersed sympathy for the Russian Revolution. The strikes came one after the other. The whole situation was completed by demonstrations, actions of violence and occupations of rural areas. A new trade union form of workers’ organisation was becoming to take shape inside the factories of Turin under the guidance of a group of members of the Socialist Party. These were the Factory Councils, which began to spread to the other cities, too. This research is following the attempts of establishing the Councils, their characteristics, their weaknesses and their potentials. The economic struggle of the workers about their working conditions became soon a struggle with intense political requests. In September 1920 the crisis in the country reached a peak because of the occupation of the factories by the workers. The decisiveness of the occupiers made the uprising to look like a possible scenario. At least, that was the people’s view in those days of September.
Also, this study aims to look into the features which formed the society and the events of 1919-1920. It searches the generative causes of this historical phenomenon starting on the economy and the evolution of the working class movement at the first decade of the twentieth century and the changes which took place as a result of the war. The two years have always been researched in close relation to the policy of the Socialist Party, which organized every important action in 1919-1920. Furthermore, I search the disagreements inside the party, which were originated by different opinions about the short-term goals and the domination of the socialistic society. Those disagreements came into conflict directly or indirectly in the “Red Years” and they were proved decisive for the ending of the struggle in the autumn of 1920.
In the final conclusion I try to evaluate the events of the two years. I express some thoughts about the Italian working class movement and the Factory Councils and I attempt to answer if the victory was possible in the struggle of the workers. My opinions are documented at the end, about the contradiction, which there was in Italy, to coexist a single Socialist Party with so many different fractions and goals and what role played this situation in the crucial months of 1919-1920.
Main subject category:
The Two Red Years, Biennio Rosso, Occupation of the Factories, Factory Council, Italian Working Class Movement, Italian Socialist Party, Socialism, PSI, CGL, History of Modern Italy, Italy, Gramsci, Turati, Giolitti, 20th Century, 1919-1920
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