The Many Homecomings. The Difficult Exit from the War of Italian Combatants, by Marco Mondini
The theme of transition from war to peace in the contemporary age is one of the most original topics of research developed in the last few years. The formalization of the notion of “exit from war” was suggested by specialists of the First World War gathered at the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Peronne. In this article I develop the concept of “failed transition” for the Italian case after World War I. In this essay I develop the concept of “failed transition” by applying it to the Italian case after World War I. In fact, after the 1918 the victory was not followed by a successful process of cultural demobilization: Italy was unable to truly exit the conflict, thereby collapsing into a civil war. I suggest that one of the most important factors of this “failed demobilization” was the impossible homecoming for several categories of veterans. Most of the combatants went through a collective experience of disillusion: after the victory, their bravery and the risks they took appeared to be soon forgotten by the rest of nation. Just like the POWs, who endured the ordeal of captivity in the Austrian and German Lager (100.000 died), they survived and came home only to be accused of cowardice and betrayal.
Keywords: First World War, Demobilization, Veterans, Homecomings, POW
In the name of His Majesty… The trials of military officers of the Veneto during the years 1915 – 1916, by Paolo Pozzato
The object of this article are the legal actions taken against the military officers from Veneto, limited to the first two years of the First World War: 1915 and 1916. From the study of individual cases it emerges, on one hand, a different method of judgement in case of a charged officer (and more favourable than for a private); on the other hand, the aspect of “inadequate severity” characterizes most of the verdicts. This for a partial correction or denial of what has often been said in relation to the Italian military justice. In the studied trials, the military judges demonstrate an independence much higher if compared to the directives coming from the High Command, than it was expected given the disciplinary regime established by General Cadorna.
Keywords: First World War, Officers; Veneto; Legal Actions
De Viti de Marco and World War I between liberism and democracy, by Francesco Martelloni – Manuela Mosca
This article re-examines De Viti de Marco’s position on the Great War, which in those years absorbed his commitment and that of the group around «L’Unità». It pinpoints two aspects still not adequately dealt with by the literature on De Viti de Marco. One concerns his interpretation of the war from a strictly economic viewpoint, his ideas on the conflict’s causes and its economic consequences for the various social categories, his economic proposals and what happened to these in the years immediately after the war. The other concerns the geo-political De Viti, always a careful analyst of the Euro-Mediterranean dynamics of the first twenty years of the twentieth century and their outcomes for equilibrium, especially worried by the Adriatic-Balkan and Albanian situation. His economic liberalism and consistently held democratic beliefs are shown to survive the exceptionally testing times.
Keywords: First World War, Democratic Interventionism, Marginalism, Economic History, Imperialism
The European War as a triumph of economic laws: the “historical materialism” of Achille Loria against the “pure economics” of Maffeo Pantaleoni, by Luca Michelini
The paper analyses and compares the reflection on World War proposal by two essential, economists in the history of Italian economic thought: Achille Loria and Maffeo Pantaleoni. Loria, in the name of an original interpretation of Marx’s thought, Pantaleoni, in the name of an equally original use of marginalist logic, propose radically different analysis of the origins and of the economic and social consequences of the conflict. Even politically their reflections are poles apart: while rejecting Bolshevik communism Loria hopes in a radical transformation of the capitalism, able to erode unproductive income, which fuels the war; Pantaleoni considers the war as an opportunity to defeat once and for all the socialist and liberal movement, becoming the Italian economist closer to nationalism and fascism.
Keywords: Economic History, History of Italian Economic Thought, First World War
The Great War in real time: Italian illustrated magazines in the period of neutrality (August 1914-May 1915), by Francesco Mineccia
August 9th, 1914, the publisher Casa Editrice Sonzogno, based in Milan, distributed the first issue of a periodical called La guerra europea (The European War), with which he proposed to the Italian readers to collect in weekly issues the “chronicle” of “military and political events” of the war which broke out just one week before. The publisher stated they have developed a magazine with, “despite the difficulties everybody can understand, rich and complex special reports made of relevant photographic documents coming from all the countries which will be likely theatre of the events; we entrust this publication to the same compilers of the previous magazines our readers appreciated so much”. The new magazine resumed a publishing model already experienced during other previous conflicts: from the Spanish-American War to the Russian-Japanese one or the Italian-Turkish and Turkish-Balkan wars. The illustrated war reports were those which most involved the audience. Because in wartime the circulation of newspapers and magazines climbed up, other publishers (Fratelli Treves, Bideri) fully aware of this fact, were all set to publish, in turn, weekly magazine about the current conflict. The aim of this article is to analyze the characteristics of these publications (text and images, the documentary and iconographic sources); the relationship between illustrated press and the war during the period of Italian neutrality (August 1914-May 1915); the changes in these periodicals (both qualitative and quantitative) when Italy went to war.
Keywords: First World War, Italian neutrality, Illustrated Press
The centenary’s commemorations of the First World War on Twitter (April 2014-April 2016), by Frédéric Clavert
During twenty-four months, we collected more than two million tweets in French and English about the Centenary of the First World War. In this article, we try to understand the differences between the French-speaking corpus and the English-speaking one, as well as discrepancies between the way the First World War is seen on Twitter and the renewal of the historiography of the Great War that has taken place since the 1990s. We conclude that the Francophone corpus is more centralized – around the account of the Mission du Centenaire – than the English one. We remarked differences in terms of content, with more public history and more tweets about battlefields in the English-speaking corpus, and more focus on the Poilus in the French-speaking tweets. In contrary to the current transnational historiography, Twitter users are still seeing the Great War as a national event.
Keywords: First World War, Centenary, Twitter, Digital History, Text Mining