Keywords: Giovanni Giolitti; Italy; Liberal Policies; Socialists; Democrats.
Through an analysis of prime ministerial resignation in the first fifteen years of the twentieth century, the essay underlines the relationship between Giolitti and the "party of the majority". Giolitti rejected both Sonnino's scheme of "the great liberal party" and Zanardelli's scheme of the ruling class "division" between "liberals" and "democrats". On the one hand Giolitti tried to keep the great liberal majority united, on the other hand he aimed at integrating the lower classes into the State, mostly by seeking cabinet alliances with radicals and socialists. The study proposes a division of this period into four political and institutional phases: 1) The Crown-Prime Minister relationship and the turning point of liberal policies (1901-1903); 2) The conflict between the moderate majority and progressive policy (1903- 1905); 3) Attempts to build a bipolar political system (1905-1910); 4) Government changes originating outside Parliament and the key political role played by the Radical Party and the Crown (1911-1915).