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Italian Communist Party

The Italian Communist Party was a communist political party in Italy. The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party. Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played a major role in the Italian resistance movement, it changed its name in 1943 to PCI and became the second largest political party of Italy after World War II, attracting the support of about a third of the vote share during the 1970s. At the time, it was the largest communist party in the West, with peak support reaching 2.3 million members, in 1947, peak share being 34.4% of the vote, in 1976. In 1991, as it had travelled from doctrinaire communism to democratic socialism by the 1970s or the 1980s, the PCI evolved into the Democratic Party of the Left, which joined the Socialist International and the Party of European Socialists; the more radical members of the organization formally departed to constitute the new Communist Refoundation Party.

The roots of the Italian Communist Party date back to 1921, when the Communist Party of Italy was founded in Livorno on 21 January, following a split in the Italian Socialist Party on their 17th Congress. The split occurred after the socialist Congress of Livorno refused to expel the reformist group as required by the Comintern; the main factions of the new party were L'Ordine Nuovo, based in Turin and led by Antonio Gramsci, the "maximalist" faction led by Nicola Bombacci. Amedeo Bordiga was elected Secretary of the new party. In the same year, PdCI participated to its first general election, obtaining 4.6% of the vote and 15 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. At the time, it was an active yet small faction within Italian political left, led by the Socialist Party, while on the international plane it was part of Soviet-led Comintern. In 1926, the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini outlawed the Communist Party. Although forced underground, the PdCI maintained a clandestine presence within Italy during the years of the Fascist regime.

Many of its leaders were active in exile. During its first year as a banned party, Antonio Gramsci defeated the party's left-wing, led by Amadeo Bordiga, becoming the new Secretary during the party's congress in Lyon and issued a manifesto expressing the programmatic basis of the party. However, Gramsci soon found himself jailed by Mussolini's regime and the leadership of the party passed to Palmiro Togliatti. In 1930, Bordiga was expelled from the party on the charge of Trotskyism; the same fate had occurred to members of the party's right-wing. On 15 May 1943, the party changed its official name in Italian Communist Party shortened PCI. After the fall of Mussolini's regime on 25 July 1943, the Communist Party returned formally legal, playing a major role during the national liberation, known in Italy as Resistenza and forming many partisan groups. In the April 1944 after the so-called svolta di Salerno, Togliatti agreed to cooperate with King Victor Emmanuel III and his Prime Minister, the Marshal Pietro Badoglio.

After the turn, Communists took part in every government during the national liberation and constitutional period from June 1944 to May 1947. The Communists' contribution to the new Italian democratic constitution was decisive; the so-called "Gullo decrees" of 1944, for instance, sought to improve social and economic conditions in the countryside. During Badoglio and Ferruccio Parri's cabinets, Togliatti served as Deputy Prime Minister. During the Resistance, the PCI became popular, as the majority of partisans were communists; the Garibaldi Brigades, promoted by the PCI, were among the more numerous partisan forces. The PCI took part in the 1946 Italian general election and referendum, campaigning for the "republic". In the election, the Communists arrived third, behind the Christian Democracy and the Socialist Party, gaining 19% of votes and electing 104 members of the Constituent Assembly. While the popular referendum resulted in the replacement of the monarchy with a republic, with the 54% of votes in favour and 46% against.

In May 1947, the PCI was excluded from the government. The Christian democratic Prime Minister, Alcide De Gasperi, was losing popularity, feared that the leftist coalition would take power. While the PCI was growing fast due to its organizing efforts supporting sharecroppers in Sicily and Umbria, movements which were bolstered by the reforms of Fausto Gullo, the Communist Minister of Agriculture. On 1 May, the nation was thrown into crisis by the murder of eleven leftist peasants at an International Workers' Day parade in Palermo by Salvatore Giuliano and his gang. In the political chaos which ensued, the president engineered the expulsion of all left-wing ministers from the cabinet on 31 May; the PCI would not have a national position in government again for twenty years. De Gasperi did this under pressure from US Secretary of State George Marshall, who'd informed him that anti-communism was a pre-condition for receiving American aid, Ambassador James C. Dunn who had directly asked de Gasperi to dissolve the parliament and remove the PCI.

In the general election of 1948, the party joined the PSI in the Popular Democratic Front, but it was defeated by the Christian Democracy party. The United States spent over $10 million to support anti-PCI groups in the election. Fearful of the possible FDP's electoral victory, the British and American governments undermined the quest for justice by tolerating the efforts made by Italy's top authorities to prevent any of the alleged Italian war criminals from being extradited and taken to court; the de

Thomas Leavitt House

Thomas Leavitt House, a brick house built in the nineteenth century in Bunkerville, United States, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Thomas Leavitt House was built by Thomas Dudley Leavitt, born in Santa Clara, the son of Lemuel Sturdevant Leavitt and his wife Laura Melvina. Thomas Dudley Leavitt settled in Bunkerville, Nevada called Mesquite, in 1877 with 22 other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Leavitt's group harked back to church pioneer Joseph Smith, founding a utopian community based on an economic system based on cooperative labor and communal property ownership, principles that Mormon leader Brigham Young had set aside in favor of the tithing system, but Young permitted the settlement to proceed despite his differences with the utopian ideals of the United Order settlers. Thomas Leavitt built a two-story brick home in Bunkerville for his first wife Louella. Leavitt subsequently married a second wife Ada; the prosperous Leavitt, who had thrived growing grain, raising cattle and selling molasses, built another home for the family.

The T-shaped house, two stories high and one room deep, had chimneys at each end. The design was typical of the homes of Mormon settlers dispersing from Salt Lake northward to Idaho and southward towards Nevada; the house featured multiple exterior doors, which in a Mormon polygamist community meant that the house would allow circulation while allowing some interior privacy. The house had no hallways, was surrounded by large wooden porches on the exterior; the large home couldn't contain the Mormon settler's entire brood. He had gone on to father some 22 children—11 with each wife. So Leavitt built a house next door for his wife Ada; the original brick house today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It sits on a large lot surrounded by a picket fence, with honey locust trees, chicken coops and the house's original stone granary out back; the house retains the character of the early Mormon utopian settlement. Thomas Dudley Leavitt Park in Bunkerville is named for the early Mormon pioneer

Rauheneck Castle (Ebern)

Rauheneck Castle is a ruined administrative castle of the Bishopric of Würzburg in the Haßberge in the county of Haßberge, Lower Franconia, Bavaria. The site, badly in need of repair, was closed until 2006 due to the danger of collapse but has been accessible again since the start of, as yet unfinished, emergency repair work; the ruins of the hill castle lie on a western hill spur of the Haubeberg, situated north of the village of Vorbach, in the west of the former county borough of Ebern. It is surrounded by mixed forest stands of the Haßberge Nature Park. According to legend, Rauheneck Castle had been built around 1180 the Brambergs after the destruction of their nearby castle had forced them to leave. Thereafter the family named itself after their new castle. In 1231, the free knight, Louis of Ruheneke, placed himself, half the castle and other sundry estates under the lordship of the Bishopric of Würzburg; this was certainly not by choice. The family of Raueneck appears to have died out a short while later.

The Lords of Rauheneck mentioned in the written records were designated as "nobiles" and it is probable that they are genealogically connected to the free knights of Bramberg. Frederick of Rauheneck bore the nickname "of Bramberc", he became involved in an inheritance dispute between House of Andechs-Merania and the Bishopric of Bamberg. To protect their barony, the Rauhenecks allied themselves with numerous lesser noble families in the surrounding area and enfeoffed their own estates to vassals. In 1841/42, Georg Ludwig Lehnes, in his History of Baunach Valley, counted the lords of Lichtenstein, Kößeln, Gemeinfeld, Brünn, Ostheim, Kotzenwinden, Breitenbach, Mehried, Neubrunn and Kliebern amongst the retinue of the Rauhenecks; the names of some of these vassals evince that, in the High Middle Ages, a local noble family was resident in every village. However, all these families died out again or returned to the ranks of the commoners fallen or the peasantry, it is possible that its approach to the Bishopric of Würzburg was a response to intra-family conflict.

Because of a dispute with his nephew, Louis of Rauheneck placed his estates under the Bishopric in 1244 for a second time as a feudal possession. In return, he was appointed as the castellan at Rauheneck. After the Lords of Rauheneck had died out, the Bishopric appointed reeves and castellans to the castle. In 1300, Conrad Staudigel held this office. In 1304, a Wolvelin appeared as a public official. In 1338, Henry of Sternberg is recorded as a hereditary castellan at Rauheneck; the same year, Albert of Aufseß is noted as a hereditary castellan at Rauheneck. In 1341, Henry of Wiesen lived at the fortress and, in 1346, Hans Truchseß of Birkach. In 1364, Apel Fuchs was mentioned in a document. Before 1378, Gecke of Füllbach was bailiff at Rauheneck. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Marschalks of Raueneck lived at the castle as Würzburg vassals. In 1378, Dietz Marschalk appeared as the first member of his family at the fortress. Dietz invested 280 guilders in expanding his castle seat, money that he was to receive back from the Bishopric.

He had to pay 120 guilders for the castle estate. Since he had taken office, the Burggut was connected with the office of Amtmann; until 1379, the Kemmerers lived at the castle as joint owners. Dietrich Apel and Bernhard Kemmerer sold their shares to the Marschalk family. In 1430, the Marschalks invested another 200 guilders in the modernization of the fortress in light of the threat posed by the Hussites. In 1445, the Bishopric enfeoffed William Marschalk with Rauheneck again. In 1476, Heinz Marschalk gave the fief back to Würzburg. At that time the castle was sold for hard cash by the bishopric. After this pledge, the administrative districts of Ebern, Sesslach and Rauheneck began to merge gradually. Christoph Fuchs, hitherto bailiff of Ebern and Sesslach, now managed the Amt of Rauheneck. In 1483, the lordship was again enfeoffed for 1,000 guilders. After Hartung of Bibra had redeemed the fee with the Bishopric in 1486, the castle was assigned to him as a seat, he had to undertake, always to have three armed horsemen and their horses ready for service.

After the Marschalk family became extinct in 1550 with the death of Frederick Marschalk, the castle returned to the Roman Catholic Bishopric of Würzburg. During the Thirty Years' War the Amt was used as a recruiting base for twelve companies of infantry. In 1633/34, two mounted units camped at the castle, under Swedish administration; the Swedish bailiff, Lorenz Scheffer, had to stand down a little for the Catholic officials from Würzburg. In 1829, the Barons of Rotenhan became the new owners of the castle, but since it has been left to fall into decay without interruption. July 2006 saw the start of the emergency safety work at the castle after the county of Haßberge was able lease the area for the next few decades; as a preparatory measure an educational archaeological excavation took place under the guidance of a medieval archaeologist. As early as 1232 a chapel was recorded at the castle, incorporated into the parish of Ebern. In 1428 a chaplain is noted; the population of the surrounding villages of Jesserndorf and Bischwind attended the chapel for church services and had to pay the pastor of Ebern five pounds in Heller coins annually.

The chapel was consecrated to Saint John the Baptist an