Francesco Crispi

Francesco Crispi (fränchās´kō krēs´pē), 1819–1901, Italian premier (1887–91, 1893–96), b. Sicily. After participation in the Sicilian revolt of 1848 against the repressive rule of Ferdinand II of Sicily, he went into exile to Piedmont, then to Malta and England, where he met Mazzini, and to France. He returned to Italy and joined Garibaldi in his expedition to Sicily, which resulted in the proclamation of the kingdom of Italy (1861). A deputy to the Italian parliament from 1861, he was at first a republican, but later became an outspoken monarchist. In a letter to Mazzini he declared, "The monarchy unites us; the republic would divide us." He became minister of the interior (1877–78) in the Depretis cabinet. A charge of bigamy hindered his political career for the next nine years, but he returned to the Depretis cabinet in 1887 and became premier upon Depretis's death. He strengthened Italy's commitment to the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary, but thereby helped cause Italian relations with France to deteriorate still further, leading to a tariff war between the two countries from 1888 to 1892. He also pressed a forward policy in NE Africa and organized the colony of Eritrea. He was overthrown in 1891 by the Giolitti, but returned to power in 1893 when bank scandals and the labor crisis in Sicily led to demands that a strong person assume office. He was reelected by a huge majority in 1895. However, resentment over his reactionary policies and, above all, the terrible defeat that Italian forces seeking to expand into Ethiopia suffered at Adwa (1896) soon forced him from office. Colorful, controversial, and intensely patriotic, his attacks on Italian liberalism have led him to be seen by some as a precursor to Mussolini.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Francesco Crispi: Selected full-text books and articles

FREE! The Memoirs of Francesco Crispi
Mary Prichard-Agnetti; Thomas Palamenghi-Crispi; Francesco Crispi.
Hodder and Stoughton, vol.1, 1912
Francesco Crispi and Italy's Pursuit of War against France, 1887-9
Duggan, Christopher.
The Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 50, No. 3, September 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Nation-Building in 19th-Century Italy: The Case of Francesco Crispi
Duggan, Christopher.
History Today, Vol. 52, No. 2, February 2002
The Hunchback's Tailor: Giovanni Giolitti and Liberal Italy from the Challenge of Mass Politics to the Rise of Fascism, 1882-1922
Alexander De Grand.
Praeger, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Into the Wilderness: Giolitti in Opposition, 1894-1901: From Giolitti to Crispi"
Italy: A Modern History
Denis Mack Smith.
University of Michigan Press, 1959
Librarian’s tip: Section Five "The Troubled Period of Crispi, 1880-1893"
Modern Italy: A Short History
George B. McClellan.
Princeton University Press, 1933
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XIII "Crispi"
The History of Italy
Charles L. Killinger.
Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Francesco Crispi and the Crises of the 1890s" begins on p. 121
The Partition of Africa: Illusion or Necessity?
Robert O. Collins.
John Wiley & Sons, 1969
Librarian’s tip: "Francesco Crispi's Quest for Empire--and Victories--in Ethiopia" begins on p. 111
A Short History of Italy: From Classical Times to the Present Day
H. Hearder; D. P. Waley.
Cambridge University Press, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "Crispi and Social Reform" begins on p. 177
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