A Political History of National Citizenship and Identity in Italy, 1861-1950

By Sabina Donati | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
The Birth and First Developments
of Italy’s Democratic Republican
Citizenship (1946–1950)

Following the psychological civic traumas that seriously put into question the unifying institution of national citizenship during the years 1943– 1945, the juridical link binding the people of the peninsula evolved again by going through additional major developments. The monarchical dimension of Italy’s status civitatis characterizing the liberal and the fascist periods came to an end and was replaced by a republican one, as a direct consequence of the fall of the Savoy monarchy and the birth of the Italian republic taking place after the controversial institutional referendum of 2 June 1946. In addition to this constitutional change, the metropolitan and nonmetropolitan facets of the Italian civic bond, as they had developed throughout the monarchical epoch, were upset through a gradual geographical juridical shrinking that originated from the loss of metropolitan and nonmetropolitan lands and populations by Italy, as a result of the Allied peace settlement of 1947. Republican and geographically truncated, post-1946 Italian citizenship was to be defined by a variety of antifascist and democratic tenets that marked a major historical break with the fascist past and an important civic advancement in comparison with the liberal era.

This final chapter, ending our historical journey, aims at exploring the first five years that followed the end of the Second World War (1946– 1950) by focusing on the genesis of Italy’s republican citizenship and on the most significant points of rupture and continuity regarding the corresponding fascist and liberal citizenship variants of monarchical Italy. As we shall demonstrate, the major civic developments that took place in the peninsula were determined by important factors of Italian domestic politics as well as by fundamental international pressures and political events

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