Crispi, Francesco

   Almost alone of the major figures who created the Italian state, Francesco Crispi was a southerner, from Agrigento in Sicily. He took an active role in the Palermo uprising in 1848 and was subject to political persecution both in Sicily and then in Piedmont (to which he had escaped in 1849) as a consequence of his republican ideals. A Mazzinian, Crispi was forced to live in exile until 1860, when he returned to Italy to organize the voyage of Giuseppe Garibaldi’s “Thousand” redshirts to Sicily. It was Crispi, on 11 May 1860, who proclaimed Garibaldi’s dictatorship over Sicily.
   Crispi became a parliamentary deputy in 1861. In 1864, he broke with the republicans by declaring himself willing to accept the monarchy. His anticlericalism and pro-Garibaldi sentiments, however, ensured the continuation of his radical reputation, although his overweening ambition and violent temperament won him few friends. Following the victory of the constitutional left in 1876, Crispi became first president of the Chamber of Deputies, then minister of the interior. However, he was forced to resign from the latter post within three months, after he was charged with bigamy. He was later acquitted on a technicality.
   A scandal of this magnitude might have been expected to kill Crispi’s career. Crispi, however, became the leading backbench critic of Agostino Depretis’s policy of trasformismo. Nevertheless, when Depretis offered him the post of minister of the interior in 1887, Crispi’s lust for high office proved too strong. After Depretis’s death in July 1887, Crispi finally reached the top of the greasy pole and became prime minister, a post that he held until February 1891. Crispi, anticipating Benito Mussolini, also occupied the posts of foreign minister and interior. As prime minister, he followed a policy of close collaboration with Germany (Crispi had first met Bismarck in the 1870s and was a warm admirer of the German statesman) and of overt hostility to the Catholic Church. Relations between the Church and the Italian government became so bad during Crispi’s premiership that Pope Leo XIII thought seriously of abandoning Rome. Crispi’s second government (December 1893 and March 1896) was characterized by grandiose imperial ambitions, rising social tensions, and the violent repression of the Sicilian peasants’uprising in 1896. From December 1894 to May 1895, Crispi suspended Parliament rather than allow it to vote on a motion condemning his involvement in the Banca Romana scandal. Despite this undemocratic behavior, Crispi won a landslide victory in the eventual general elections. However, Crispi had been politically damaged as a consequence of having antagonized and alarmed every other important figure of the day. The calamitous defeat of the Italian expeditionary force in Ethiopia at Adowa in 1896 brought his career to an ignominious end. He died in Naples in 1901.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Crispi, Francesco — born Oct. 4, 1819, Ribera, Sicily died Aug. 12, 1901, Naples Italian politician. Exiled from Sicily for his revolutionary activities, he became an associate of Giuseppe Mazzini and encouraged Giuseppe de Garibaldi to conquer Sicily in 1860. He… …   Universalium

  • Crispi, Francesco — (4 oct. 1819, Ribera, Sicilia –12 ago. 1901, Nápoles). Político italiano. Exiliado de Sicilia por sus actividades revolucionarias, se asoció con Giuseppe Mazzini y alentó a Giuseppe Garibaldi a conquistar Sicilia en 1860. Fue diputado por Sicilia …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • CRISPI, FRANCESCO —    an Italian statesman, born in Sicily; co operated with Garibaldi in the Sicilian Revolution, and since active as a member of the Government in the kingdom of Italy; b. 1819 …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Francesco Crispi — 17th and 20th Prime Minister of Italy In office July 29, 1887 – February 6, 1891 Monarch Umberto I Preceded …   Wikipedia

  • Francesco Crispi — Mandats 17e et 20e président du Conseil italien 29  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Francesco Crispi — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Francesco Crispi Primer Ministro de Italia 29 de julio de 1887 –  …   Wikipedia Español

  • CRISPI (F.) — CRISPI FRANCESCO (1818 1901) Établi à Naples en 1845, comme avocat, Francesco Crispi est tout d’abord un patriote conspirant contre les Bourbons pour l’indépendance de la Sicile. Membre du Comité de guerre lors de la révolution de Palerme (1848) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Crispi — Crispi, Francesco, ital. Staatsmann, geb. 4. Okt. 1819 in Ribera auf Sizilien, gest. 11. Aug. 1901 in Palermo, studierte die Rechte, ließ sich in Neapel als Advokat nieder, nahm im Januar 1848 an dem Aufstand in Palermo Anteil und war 1849… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Crispi — Crispi, Francesco, ital. Staatsmann, geb. 4. Okt. 1819 in Ribera (Sizilien), Advokat in Neapel, beteiligte sich 1848 an der sizil. neapolit. Revolution, nach deren Unterdrückung flüchtig, nahm 1860 an Garibaldis sizil. Expedition teil, seit 1861… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Crispi — Porträt etwa 1893 Francesco Crispi (* 4. Oktober 1819 in Ribera auf Sizilien; † 11. August 1901 in Neapel) war ein italienischer Revolutionär, Staatsmann und Kolonialpolitiker. Biographie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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