1901 in Italy

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See also: 1900 in Italy, other events of 1901, 1902 in Italy.

Events from the year 1901 in Italy.

Kingdom of Italy[edit]


The year was characterized by a strike wave that brought down the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Saracco in February. There were over 1,671 strikes involving 420,000 workers compared to 410 strikes and 43,000 workers in 1900.[1] There were many agricultural labour strikes in Emila and Lombardy.[2]


  • January 18 – Pope Leo XIII issues the encyclical Graves de communi re on Christian Democracy.
  • January 27 – Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, who symbolized the country's unification movement, dies at the age of 87.[3] While staying at the Grand Hotel in Milan, Verdi suffered a stroke. He was initially buried in a private ceremony at Milan's Cimitero Monumentale. A month later, his body was moved to the crypt of the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti. On this occasion, "Va, pensiero" from Nabucco was conducted by Arturo Toscanini with a chorus of 820 singers. A huge crowd was in attendance, estimated at 300,000.


  • February 6 – The Government headed by Giuseppe Saracco is defeated in the Chamber of Deputies by a vote of 318 to 102 on the dissolution of the Camera del Lavoro (Labour Exchange) at Genoa.[4] The Labour Exchange had been closed during a strike in the port of Genoa, when dock workers refused to unload cargo shifted from the neighbouring French port of Marseilles where another strike was going on.[5]
  • February 8 – Prime Minister Saracco resigns by a vote of the chamber condemning his weak attitude towards the general dock strike at Genoa.[6][7]
  • February 15 – Giuseppe Zanardelli forms a new government with Giovanni Giolitti as Interior minister.[8] Giolitti will dominate Italian politics until World War I, a period known as the Giolittian Era in which Italy experienced an industrial expansion, the rise of organised labour and the emergence of an active Catholic political movement.[9]


  • June 21 – Interior Minister Giovanni Giolitti delivers a statement in the Chamber of Deputies about the agricultural crisis. As a result of government mediation 511 strikes involving 600,000 workers had been settled by mutual concessions.[10]


  • August 11 – Former Prime Minister Francesco Crispi dies in Naples at 7:45 PM after an illness of several weeks.[11]


  • September 3 – A new emigration law is passed. Only from the ports of Naples, Genoa and Palermo, emigration is permitted.[12] A General Commission for Emigration is set up to provide advice to emigrants and supervise the conditions on the ships, to counter the exploitation of shipping agents.[13]
  • September 7 – Italy is granted a concession in Tientsin from the Chinese government after the Boxer Rebellion.


  • October 22 – The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Naples, presided by senator Giuseppe Saredo, that investigated corruption and bad governance in the city of Naples presents its report.[14] The inquiry unearthed a serious situation of corruption, clientelism and general inefficiency and an extensive political patronage system, the so-called "administrative Camorra" or "high Camorra"; the corrupt class of Neapolitan executive in charge of city governments between the 1880s and 1890s. The Commission was established in November 1900. The Saredo Commission's report discredited the Liberal politicians of Naples, who were voted from office in the local elections of November 1901.[15][16]
  • October 30 – The 5.5 Mw Salò earthquake shakes northern Italy with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII–VIII (Very strong–Severe) causing some buildings to collapse.


  • November 30 – Finance Minister Paolo Carcano announces a surplus of 41,000,000 lire (USD 7,800,000) for the past financial year and anticipated a surplus of 13,000,000 lire for 1901–02.[17] Italy is the only great power in Europe in a good financial position.[18]


  • December 13 – Prime Minister Zanardelli delivers a statement in the Chamber of Deputies, in which he showed how the efforts of the Government had improved the health and material prosperity of Naples and the southern provinces, announced that he hoped to conclude commercial treaties with Germany and Austria benefiting Italian agriculture. He also announced the establishment of two railroad lines between Rome and Naples.[19]




  1. ^ De Grand, The hunchback's tailor, p. 87
  2. ^ Clark, Modern Italy: 1871 to the present, pp. 165–66
  3. ^ Giuseppe Verdi Is Dead; He Passed Away at Milan Early This Morning, The New York Times, January 27, 1901
  4. ^ Italian Ministry Defeated; Premier's Course as Yet Undefined – Resignation of Cabinet Expected, The New York Times, February 7, 2016
  5. ^ De Grand, The hunchback's tailor, p. 88
  6. ^ Italian Ministry Attacked; Chamber of Deputies Angered at the Cost of Reforms, The New York Times, February 5, 1901
  7. ^ Italian Cabinet Resigns; The Young King Now Confronted with a Very Difficult Task, The New York Times, February 8, 1901
  8. ^ New Italian Ministry, The New York Times, February 15, 1901
  9. ^ Sarti, Italy: a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present, pp. 46–48
  10. ^ The Recent Troubles In Italy; Minister of the Interior Says Conditions Have Improved, The New York Times, June 22, 1901
  11. ^ Ex-Premier Crispl Dead; Potent Factor in Italian Politics Expires After Long Illiness, The New York Times, August 12, 1901
  12. ^ Italian Emigration Law, The New York Times, September 30, 1901
  13. ^ Clark, Modern Italy: 1871 to the present, p. 200
  14. ^ The Camorra Supreme in Naples, The New York Times, October 23, 1901
  15. ^ Sowden, Naples in the Time of Cholera, p. 254
  16. ^ Naples Camorra Defeated; Its Candidates Beaten in the Naples Municipal Election by a Small Majority, The New York Times, November 13, 1901
  17. ^ Italy Has Surplus of 41,000,000 Lire, The New York Times, December 1, 1901
  18. ^ The Financial Situation, The New York Times, December 22, 1901
  19. ^ Italian Ministry's Plans; Premier Zanardelli Says a New Tariff and New Railroads Will Be Proposed, The New York Times, December 14, 1901
  20. ^ Bresci Commits Suicide; Murderer of King Humbert Hangs Himself in Prison, The New York Times, May 24, 1901
  • De Grand, Alexander J. (2001). The hunchback's tailor: Giovanni Giolitti and liberal Italy from the challenge of mass politics to the rise of fascism, 1882–1922, Wesport/London: Praeger, ISBN 0-275-96874-X online edition
  • Sarti, Roland (2004). Italy: a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present, New York: Facts on File Inc., ISBN 0-81607-474-7
  • Snowden, Frank M. (1995) Naples in the Time of Cholera, 1884–1911, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521483100