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government was entirely lacking, were perhaps more valuable than
that he could have rendered had he been in the government.'
These first years of Italian unity were years of agitation and depression. When the people of the ex-Bourbon kingdom recovered from its revolutionary enthusiasm to find that unification had brought to it, as the first blessing of the millennium, the trebling of taxation, a natural outcry was raised; nor was it to be expected that men should recognise the Messiah in the taxgatherer. From 1862 to 1865 government receipts were but a little over half the expenditures, and in 1866, owing to the war with Austria, they were considerably less than half. The deficits were met by a succession of heavy loans, and the public debt of 1860 had trebled in 1867, and quadrupled in 1876. This burden of public debt, interest upon which constituted one quarter of the national expenditure in 1864, and had risen to more than one third in 1876, was a heavy handicap which told against Italian finances from the outset. An additional handicap lay in the deplorably backward state of public works; for the construction of railways alone expenditure amounted on an average for the first fifteen years to about one-twelfth of the entire national expenditure. But the greatest handicap of all was imposed by the international situation of Italy. There was no great power in Europe which viewed Italian unity with real favour, and the programme of completing unity by the acquisition of Venice and Rome, by conquest or negotiation, necessitated the maintenance of a large army and navy. For these reasons the cost of national defence amounted to one quarter of the entire national expenditure. When it is remembered then that interest on the public debt and the cost of national defence had so increased as to amount together to three-fifths of the total sum paid out by the Government, it is not surprising that statesmen for many years found it impossible to avoid an enormous annual deficit, and that the people were disheartened as they viewed the first fruits of Italian unity. Το avoid national bankruptcy, every form of tax imaginable was added to the burden of the labourer and the capitalist by the ministries that rapidly succeeded one another. In the first decade after the death of Cavour twelve different ministries governed the country
. The parliamentary opposition, except during the two brief ministries of Rattazzi, included the representatives of the old revolutionary party whose eagerness for the immediate conquest of Venice and Rome added to the parliamentary confusion. Their
The recent publication of a collection of Crispi's private letters, edited by G. Pipitone- Federico, under the title L'Anima di Francesco Crispi (Palermo, Ant. Trimarchi, 1910) revealed a reserve of patience and moderation in Crispi during these early years which had been little appreciated by the historian. Cf. pp. 70, 46, 47, 25.
efforts to force the government forward to military action were the occasion of riots in several parts of Italy, and the unfortunate Garibaldian attempts to march on Rome which ended disastrously at Aspromonte in 1862, and at Mentana in 1867, increased the bitterness of the Radicals. On the other hand the annexation of the portions of the Papal States incorporated in 1860 in the Italian Kingdom,, and legislative measures directed against the undue temporal influence of the Church, had called down the anathemas of the Pope and arrayed against the government the priesthood and the entire clerical forces of the country. To Crispi in the opposition it seemed that 'the ministers of the king were ruining the dynasty and preparing new catastrophies for Italy.' 'But,' he declared, in spite of the errors committed, the prevailing pusillanimity, and recriminations, Italy shall be. And it was this indomitable Mazzinian faith in the future of Italy, shared by statesmen alike of the government and of the opposition, which carried Italy through this dark period of reconstruction and rehabilitation. “Do not imperil with inaction and discord what we have won at the price of blood,' Crispi wrote at another time; and again, ‘Ministers go, and with them disappear the evils which they have caused. The nation remains, and we should work that it may establish itself and become powerful.' Patience and moderation were the virtues for which the situation called; patience in tax-paying ; patience in turning error to account as a lesson for the profit of the nation; moderation in seeking to destroy neither Conservative nor Radical, nor Monarchist nor Republican, nor Revolutionary, but to harmonise 'all the living forces' in the struggle for the eventual triumph of the nation.'
The first relief which was offered to over-burdened Italy came with the war of 1866 which brought the cession of Venice from Austria. Four years later followed the Franco-Prussian war which enabled Victor Emmanuel to occupy Rome, and lightened for ever the measure of French interference in the internal affairs of the peninsula. While ordinary annual expenditures for the army and navy were not decreased after the Italian entry into Rome which completed unity, the immediate menace of war was removed, and the country was able to settle down more securely to industrial and educational development. Cavour had said, * Taxes must increase, but the capacity of the country to meet taxation must at the same time increase through the stimulus given to production and the accumulation of riches.'l1 Slowly but steadily economic development had proceeded to the fulfilment of
10 The spirit of compromise that has so long characterised Italian public life has been well brought out by Professor Emilio Bodrero in a clever article entitled Italia nova ed antica, published in the new Italian review Acropoli. Firenze, Gennaio, 1911.
11 Ernesto Artom, 370.
Cavour's prophecy. In 1875 equilibrium in the national budget was reached for the first time. Since then, although expenditures have been greatly increased through educational, judicial, and other reforms, through important increases in the army and navy, and through large undertakings in public works, there have been but eight deficits in the budget.
It is unnecessary to follow in detail the course of events during the thirty-six years which have separated the Italy of the first budget-equilibrium from the Italy of 1911. It is enough to summarise the results of these years of development, which should be easily enough understood after what has been said of Italian patriotism and national constancy in sacrifice, of the determination of Italians to go forward on the path of reform, and either to make Italy with liberty or give up all idea of making her. A nation with these characteristics and this policy could not but succeed.
In the last twenty years Italy has made greater progress in foreign commerce than any country in the world—the United States and Germany not excepted. The following table, showing the increase in the foreign commerce of the leading countries from 1890 to 1910, has recently been prepared by the Italian Foreign Office. 12 Reckoning the imports and exports of 1890 in the different countries at 100 per cent., the figures in the table represent the comparative percentages of 1910 : Imports.
224 United States. 190
204 Great Britain. 162
From these statistics it is seen that Italy easily leads in the increase of imports, and is a close second to the United States and
a on a parity with Germany in the increase of exports. Both imports and exports have more than doubled in twenty years. In the imports the percentage of comparative increase has been about the same in raw materials and in manufactured goods, but lighter in foodstuffs. In the exports, on the other hand, the percentage of increase has been by far the greatest in manufactured goods; in 1892 manufacturers represented but 13 per cent. of the exports ; in 1909 they represented 25 per cent.
The rapid development of manufacturing which this increase in exports indicates has been due in part to the employment of electricity as motive power. Italy has been heavily handi
Circular No. 7, issued by the Director-General of Commercial Affairs for the royal Diplomatic and Consular agents.
capped in modern manufacturing by the almost total want of coal supplies in the peninsula. Coal has been in great part imported from England, and its high cost has added materially to the prices of manufactured goods. However, the water supply in Italy is as abundant as the coal supply is defective, and now that electrical engineering has been able to transform water power from the streams flowing from the Alps and the Apennines into electric power, conditions for many classes of manufactures have greatly improved. Any traveller returning to Italy after a decade of absence can observe for himself from the window of his railway carriage the immense increase in the number of factories, particularly in the north and centre of the peninsula. The silk industry may be taken as an example of progress, as it is the most important in Italy, with a production which in its sales abroad represents more than one-third of the national exports. Silk products have much more than quadrupled from 1876 to 1906, while exports in manufactured silks have likewise more than quadrupled from 1871 to 1909. Take as another example cotton manufactures. The value of the shares of corporations engaged in this industry has risen from 18,946,582 lire in 1882 to 249,810,000 lire in 1908, an increase of thirteenfold. The progress in these industries is fairly representative of the progress made in manufacturing throughout the country.
Large development is to be likewise noted in agriculture, in which about one-third of the population of Italy is employed. Agricultural products have increased to about 250 per cent. of what they were in 1864, the development being in part due to the improvement in agricultural methods, in part to the extension of the area under cultivation through the reclaiming of marsh ground, and in part to the extensive use of fertilisers, the manufacture of which has become one of the most profitable industries in Italy.
Contemporaneously with the growth of industry and agriculture has proceeded the development of railways already alluded to. While in 1860 there were barely 1,800 kilometres of railways, and these principally in Piedmont, there are now 16,989 kilometres of railways, besides about 5,000 kilometres of steam and electric tramways. In addition to these track systems there have been established during the last few years many private automobile lines with concessions from the Government. On the 30th of June 1910 there were sixty-two lines in operation over roads that aggregate 2,944 kilometres. This new means of public transportation promises rapid development, and should prove of considerable educational and industrial benefit to the country, bringing inaccessible towns and villages in the rural and mountainous districts into touch with the active life of the larger centres.
One of the gravest problems which Italy had to solve after its
unification was, as has been said, that of education, and this is perhaps the field of development where most yet remains to be done. In 1861, illiterates in the whole country numbered 75 per cent. of the population, in 1871 69 per cent., and in 1901 48 per cent. In the last few years as the result of new legislation ten thousand more schools have been established, principally in the strongholds of illiteracy, but it is estimated that thirty thousand additional schools must be provided before all Italians can be taught to read and write. For a half-century elementary education has been free and compulsory in Italy, but the great difficulty has been in providing sufficient schools for the more scattered and poorer population in many parts of the south, and in actually compelling attendance without arousing bitter hatred of instruction among the more ignorant. The eagerness with which Italian have set to work from the outset to grapple with the educational problem is evident from the steady increase in expenditures for education to be found in the national budgets, in addition to similar expenditures by the towns and villages. The national expenditure for education has nearly doubled in the last ten years, and is six times what it was in 1862.
Perhaps the most striking results in Italy's progress are those that have been obtained through sanitary improvements and regulations. Since 1863 the death-rate in Italy has been brought down from 3 per cent. to about 2 per cent., a decrease representing the saving of 250,000 lives annually. The natural effect of this enormous saving has been to secure a much larger increase in the population of Italy in late years, the excess of births over deaths now amounting to åbout 400,000 a year. In fifteen years the population of Italy will be greater than the population of France, and it is to Italy that the Latin races must look, if in the future the Latins are to maintain their proportion of the world's population in their immemorial rivalry with the Germanic races.
Emigration is Italy's most serious problem. Its rapid growth may be regarded as in part the result of the country's immensely improved sanitary conditions that have just been noted; the saving
l of 250,000 lives annually has so accentuated the increase in population, that emigration on a large scale relieving the glutted labour market has been the only means of avoiding a disastrous economic crisis. At the present day there are five and a-half millions of Italians resident in foreign countries, and in recent years this emigrant population has been a source of great economic advantage to Italy. It is estimated by the Commissioner of Emigration that savings amounting to not less than 500,000,000 lire are sent or brought back annually to their country by Italians working abroad. While Italians at home have been patiently paying taxes, Italians