1894 in Italy

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See also: 1893 in Italy, other events of 1894, 1895 in Italy.

Events from the year 1894 in Italy.

Kingdom of Italy[edit]



The heads of the Fasci Siciliani in the courtroom cage at the trial in April 1894
  • January 3 – Prime Minister Francesco Crispi declares a state of siege throughout Sicily to quell the revolt of the Fasci Siciliani. General Roberto Morra di Lavriano is dispatched with 40,000 troops. A solidarity revolt of anarchists and republicans in the Lunigiana was crushed as well.[1][2] The old order is restored through the use of extreme force, including summary executions. The Fasci are outlawed, the army and the police kill scores of protesters, and hundreds wounded.
  • January 18 – The Banca generale goes bankrupt.
  • January 23 – The Bank of Italy suspends advances throughout Italy as its circulation has exceeded the legal limits.


  • February 28 – Prime Minister Crispi reveals the "evidence" for a widespread conspiracy in parliament: the so-called "International Treaty of Bisacquino", signed by the French Government, the Czar of Russia, Giuseppe De Felice Giuffrida, the anarchists and the Vatican, with the goal to detach Sicily from the rest of the country and put it under a Franco-Russian protectorate.[3] The Radical deputy Felice Cavallotti ridicules the conspiracy of Crispi.



  • May 2 – The Banca Romana scandal trial against the directors of the Banca Romana for embezzlement and other fraudulent practices begins.[4]
  • May 17 – Testimony at the Banca Romana scandal trial reveals that former Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti had been aware of the financial disorder at the Banca Romana in 1889 already, but had held back that information. Gioltti also allegedly received money from the bank for election purposes.[5]
  • May 19 – The Banca Romana scandal trial is adjourned due to a fierce fist-fight between former Minister Luigi Miceli and a Bank Inspector, who testified against Miceli.[6]
  • May 30 – The leaders of the Fasci Siciliani are sentenced in Palermo: Giuseppe de Felice Giuffrida to 18 years and Rosario Garibaldi Bosco, Nicola Barbato and Bernardino Verro to 12 years in jail.[7]


The failed attempt to kill Crispi by the anarchist Paolo Lega on June 16, 1894
  • June 5 – Prime Minister Crispi resigns, but is ordered to reorganise his Cabinet.[8]
  • June 16 – Failed attempt to kill Prime Minister Francesco Crispi by the anarchist Paolo Lega. In this climate of increased the fear of anarchism, Crispi was able to introduce a series of anti-anarchist laws in July 1894, which were also used against socialists. Heavy penalties were announced for “incitement to class hatred” and police received extended powers of preventive arrest and deportation.[9]


  • July 17 – Battle of Kassala between Italian troops and Mahdist Sudanese forces. The Italians are victorious, and capture the town of Kassala.[10]
  • July 19 – A package of anti-anarchist laws and public safety measures is enacted.
  • July 28 – The former governor Bernardo Tanlongo of the Banca Romana, the main defendant in the Banca Romana scandal and several of his subordinates are acquitted by the Court.[11][12]


  • October 10 – Foundation of the Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI) as the successor of the Credito Mobiliare that collapsed during the Italian banking crisis of 1893–1894. The bank specializes in loans to industry, especially to companies in shipping, textiles, and electricity in Northern Italy.
  • October 22 – The Socialist Party is dissolved by Crispi applying the law of July against subversive associations.



  • December 10 – An agreement between the Government and the Bank of Italy about the liquidation of the Banca Romana is approved. The Bank of Italy is entrusted with the treasury services throughout Italy. To balance the budget Finance Minister Sidney Sonnino announces increased taxes on alcohol, sugar and cotton, as well as an increased tariff on cereals.[14]
  • December 11 – Giolitti presents a series of documents that testify to the relations of Crispi with the Banca Romana scandal at the Chamber of Deputies, known as the "Giolitti envelope". A committee of five was appointed to examine the new evidence, including Felice Cavallotti, one of Crispi’s main allies.
  • December 15 – The contents of documents submitted by Giolitti to the Chamber of Deputies are made public. Notes of the Banca Romana cashier implicate Prime Minister Crispi (with several drafts and a note for 1,050,000 lire), as well as the former president of the Chamber, Giuseppe Zanardelli, Giolitti's former Treasury Minister, Bernardino Grimaldi and other ex-Ministers. Some journalists received 200,000 lire and others 75,000 lire for press and election services. Letters from the former manager of the Banco Romana, Bernardo Tanlongo, explained that the deficit of the bank was due to disbursements to Ministers, Senators and members of the press.[15]
  • December 16 – In the Chamber of Deputies, Prime Minister Crispi denounces the Giolitt documents as a mass of lies. Deputy Matteo Imbriani wants the report be discussed at once. The motion was lost by a vote of 188 to 176. The Parliament is prorogated by decree amidst increasing protests, but rumours of the Cabinet's resignation are unfounded. Five battalions of infantry have been brought to Rome to quell eventual riots.[16]




  1. ^ The Italian Government Alarmed; More Troops Called Out for Service in Sicily, The New York Times, January 4, 1894
  2. ^ Martial Law Proclaimed In Sicily; Stern Measures Resorted To to Quiet the Anti-Tax Troubles, The New York Times, January 5, 1894
  3. ^ (in Italian) I contadini in ginocchio, La Sicilia, January 8, 2012
  4. ^ The Banca Romana Trials Begun, The New York Tomes, May 3, 1894
  5. ^ They Accuse Giolotti, The New York Times, May 18, 1894
  6. ^ Adjournment In An Uproar; Almost A Riot At The Trial Of An Italian Banker, The New York Times, May 20, 1894
  7. ^ Sicilian Rioters Sentenced, The New York Times, May 31, 1894
  8. ^ Crispi's Ministry Resigns; King Humbert Will Probably Recall His Premier, The New York Times, June 6, 1894
  9. ^ Seton-Watson, Italy from liberalism to fascism, pp. 165-67
  10. ^ Italian Victory In Africa, New York Times, 20 July 1894
  11. ^ (in Italian) Tanlongo, il maestro di Calvi e Sindona, Corriere della Sera, April 26, 1993
  12. ^ Tanlongo Not Guilty; Jury Acquits Him of Fraud in Managing the Banca Romana, The New York Times, July 29, 1894
  13. ^ Terror Reigns In Italy, The New York Times, November 18, 1894
  14. ^ Increased Taxation In Italy; Chamber of Deputies Approves the Scheme Outlined by Sonnino, The New York Times, December 11, 1894
  15. ^ Accusing Signor Crispi; The Banca Romana Chest of Documents a Pandora's Box, The New York Times, December 16, 1894
  16. ^ Soldiers To Guard Rome; Troops Ordered to the City in Anticipation of Riots, The New York Times, December 17, 1894