1905 in Italy

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See also: 1904 in Italy, other events of 1905, 1906 in Italy.

Events from the year 1905 in Italy.

Kingdom of Italy[edit]




  • March 5 – Pleading illness Giolitti resigns over the issue of national railways.[2]
  • March 12 – An interim government under Tommaso Tittoni takes over.
  • March 28 – On the recommendation of Giolitti, Alessandro Fortis forms a new government, he is the first Jewish Prime Minister of Italy. The government undertakes the nationalization of the railways, after confronting a railroad strike in April that could have paralyzed transportation in the country. Railroad workers became public employees, which deprives them of the right to strike.[1]


  • April – The Italian government acquired control (from a private Italian company called SACI) of the coastal area around Mogadishu, and creates the colony of Italian Somaliland.
  • April 17 – Railroad workers go on strike on the eve of the presentation of the new railway bill to the Italian Chamber of Deputies.[3]
  • April 22 – The strike of railway workers ends with an agreement over arbitration between the government and railroad men.[4] The Ferrovie dello Stato (State Railways) is instituted, taking control over the majority of the national railways, which were private until then, with a total of 10,557 km (6,560 mi) of lines.


  • June 11 – Pope Pius X promulgates the encyclical Il fermo proposito, which establishes Azione Cattolica as a non-political lay organization under the direct control of bishops. It was established after an earlier similar organization, Opera dei Congressi was disbanded in 1904 because many of its members were siding with modernism. Catholics were allowed by the Pope to vote "to help the maintenance of the social order".[5]


  • July 1 – The three principal railway companies in Italy are brought together with a number of private operators into the nationalised Ferrovie dello Stato.


  • September 8 – An earthquake strikes southern Italy with a magnitude of 7.2, damaging parts of Lipari Island and Messina Province, and killing between 557 and 2,500 people. The earthquake particularly affects the Calabria region, destroying as many as 25 villages,[6] and 14,000 homes.[7] Fortis visited the area and introduced a special law to aid these southern regions. This measure was the first real acknowledgment by the Italian state of the fundamental problems underlying southern underdevelopment.[8]


  • December 3 – Foreign Minister Tittoni resigns over his proposal to reduce the duty on Spanish wine in connection with an Italo-Spanish commercial treaty that created turmoil among the rural classes.[9][10]
  • December 17 – The government of Prime Minister Fortis resigns the proposal to reduce the duty on Spanish wine in connection with an Italo-Spanish commercial treaty.[11]
  • December 23 – Fortis forms a new government, without Tittoni.[12]




  1. ^ a b Ashley, Making Liberalism Work, p. 65
  2. ^ Italian Ministry Out; Whole Cabinet Resigns Owing to the Illness of Premier Giolitti, The New York Times, March 5, 1905
  3. ^ Italian Railroad Men To Begin Strike To-Day; Trains to be Run by Soldiers and Navy Engineers, The New York Times, April 17, 1905
  4. ^ Italian Strike Ended; Arbitration Between Government and Railroad Men Planned, The New York Times, April 22, 1905
  5. ^ Clark, Modern Italy: 1871 to the present, p. 176
  6. ^ "Italy's earthquake history". BBC News. October 31, 2002. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Today in Earthquake History: September 8". United States Geological Survey. February 18, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  8. ^ Fortis, Alessandro, Historical Dictionary of modern Italy
  9. ^ Italian Ministers Resign; Premier Fortis Asks for Resignation of the Entire Cabinet, The New York Times, December 4, 1905
  10. ^ Chisholm, Tittoni, Tommaso, Encyclopædia Britannica 1922
  11. ^ Three Cabinets Resign; Italian, Greek, and Montenegrin - Italy's Modus with Spain Rejected, The New York Times, December 18, 1905
  12. ^ New Italian Cabinet; Fortis Again Premier, The New York Times, December 24, 1905