Andrea Ventura

Protests in the Countryside and the Crisis of the Liberal State (1919-1920)

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Agrarian struggles are pivotal in understanding the crisis of the liberal state in Italy after WWI. Historiography has focused on the revolutionary inadequacy of these movements, the lack of organisation capable of nationalising such a struggle, and the responsibilities of the parties of the Left, as well as trade unions, for the rise of fascism. Excessive focus on these topics has overshadowed richness and heterogeneity, while impairing the circulation of concrete proposals arising from so massive an agrarian mobilisation. The aim of this essay is to overcome these limitations by asking precise questions: what features, conceptual horizons, and objectives did the agrarian struggle have, and what results did it achieve during the two-year period from 1919 to 1920? What kind of violence did they express? How were they perceived by the police, the agrarians, and the liberal ruling class? These questions may be answered starting from the reconstruction of the emblematic case of the Tuscan peasant revolts


  • Post-WWI
  • Social conflict
  • Agrarian struggles
  • Fascism
  • Italy
  • Tuscany


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