(13 Aug. 1853, d. 9 Dec. 1931). Prime Minister of Italy 1914–16 Born in Troia, he obtained a law degree from the University of Naples in 1872. He took up a chair in administrative law in Rome in 1879, where he came to believe in the necessity of the rule of law and the authority of the state. He entered the Chamber of Deputies in 1886 as an opponent of Giolitti. He was Minister of Agriculture (1899–1900), of Finance (1906), and of the Treasury (1909–10). As Prime Minister he initially favoured Italy's neutrality during World War I, but subsequently came to favour military intervention on the side of the Allies. Following a series of military disasters against the Austrian imperial army in 1916 he was forced to resign. He supported Mussolini's rise to power, but retired from active political life in 1925.
From A Dictionary of Contemporary World History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).