De Gasperi, Alcide

(1881–1954)
   Born in the Trentino while that province was still Austrian, De Gasperi studied in Vienna and was elected to the Austrian Parliament as a representative of the Italianspeaking minority in 1911. Despite his irredentist views, he was allowed to travel to Rome in 1915 when he was introduced to Sidney Sonnino, then Italy’s foreign minister. When, at the war’s end, the “unredeemed territories” formerly under Austrian jurisdiction were annexed by Italy, he took part in the founding of the Partito Popolare Italiano/Italian People’s Party (PPI) and became a member of its national council. He was elected to Italy’s Parliament in 1921. In October 1922, in opposition to the PPI’s leader, Luigi Sturzo, he successfully recommended that the PPI should take part in Benito Mussolini’s new government. He replaced Sturzo as leader of the PPI, but the increasingly dictatorial tendencies of Mussolini led him to oppose the regime. De Gasperi was one of the leaders of the Aventine Secessionafter the murder of Giacomo Matteotti. He was arrested and served a brief prison sentence in 1927–1928. De Gasperi spent the remainder of the dictatorship in the Vaticanlibrary, mediating between new Catholic movements and the remnants of the old PPI. He was elected secretary of the Democrazia Cristiana/ Christian Democracy (DC) in 1944 and authored the left-of-center party program published in occupied Rome by the DC’s clandestine paper, Il Popolo. He served as foreign minister in the second government of Ivanoe Bonomi and in the government formed by Ferruccio Parri in June 1945. In December 1945, with the concurrence of the Partito Comunista Italiano/Italian Communist Party (PCI), De Gasperi became president of the Council of Ministers. His ability to work with the PCI in the tense immediate postwar period testifies to his pragmatism. His leadership of the DC enabled the party to outdistance all others in the election of June 1946, whereupon De Gasperi formed a government in conjunction with the Partito Socialista Italiano/ Italian Socialist Party (PSI) and the PCI.
   On his first visit to Washington, D.C., in February 1947, he was able to negotiate considerable economic aid for Italy on the apparent condition that he would expel the two Marxist parties from his government. Inasmuch as he needed their support for the treaty of peace and in the continuing preparation of the 1948 Constitution, he could not free himself of them until May 1947, when he formed a new coalition in which the DC was supported by smaller parties of the center-left. The presence of these “lay” parties in the government enabled De Gasperi to prevent ecclesiastical dominance. Even following the DC’s huge victory in the April 1948 elections, he persisted with this strategy, which was known as centrismo.
   In the eight governments that he headed between 1945 and 1953, De Gasperi led Italy to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), consolidated its new democracy, undertook a measure of land reform, and took an active role in the moves toward integrating Europe both economically and politically. In many ways, he was the architect of both his party and its subsequent fundamental choices: Atlanticist, European, and—as Aldo Moro was to quote him as saying—“of the center moving toward the left.” Outside Italy, he was regarded as one of the primary inspirers of the new Europe that emerged in the 1950s. De Gasperi’s reputation has grown over the years; there is today a substantial body of Italian public opinion that believes he should be beatified.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • De Gasperi, Alcide — born April 3, 1881, Pieve Tesino, near Trento, Tyrol, Austria Hungary died Aug. 19, 1954, Sella di Valsugana, Italy Italian prime minister (1945–53). He served in the Austrian parliament (1911–19) and sought the annexation of his native region of …   Universalium

  • De Gasperi, Alcide — ► (1881 1954) Estadista italiano. Participó en la creación de la CECA (Comunidad Europea del Carbón y del Acero), primer paso hacia la CEE (Comunidad Económica Europea). * * * (3 abr. 1881, Pieve Tesino, cerca de Trento, Tirol, Austria Hungría–19 …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Alcide De Gasperi — 44th Prime Minister of Italy In office December 10, 1945 – August 17, 1953 Monarch Victor Emmanuel III Umberto II …   Wikipedia

  • Alcide De Gasperi — Presidente del Consejo de Ministros de Italia …   Wikipedia Español

  • Alcide de Gasperi — 42e président du Conseil des ministres italien …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alcide Degasperi — Alcide De Gasperi oder eigentlich Degasperi (* 3. April 1881 in Pieve Tesino bei Trient, damals Österreich Ungarn; † 19. August 1954 in Sella di Valsugana, Italien) war ein italienischer Staatsmann und Politiker. Er gilt als einer der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alcide de Gasperi — oder eigentlich Degasperi (* 3. April 1881 in Pieve Tesino bei Trient, damals Österreich Ungarn; † 19. August 1954 in Sella di Valsugana, Italien) war ein italienischer Staatsmann und Politiker. Er gilt als einer der Gründerväter der Europäischen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gasperi — (Alcide De). V. De Gasperi …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Gasperi — It. /gahs pe rddee/, n. Alcide De It. /ahl chee de de/. See De Gasperi, Alcide. * * * …   Universalium

  • Gasperi — Gạsperi,   Alcide De, italienischer Politiker, De Gasperi, Alcide …   Universal-Lexikon

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