Lanza, Giovanni

(1810–1882)
   By training, a doctor of medicine, Giovanni Lanza’s historical legacy was the stiff and painful cure that he gave to the Italian economy during his premiership from 1869 to 1873. Elected to the Piedmontese Parliament for the first time in 1849, he served as minister of education and minister of finance under Camillo Benso di Cavour in the 1850s. After reunification he became one of the leading figures of the parliamentary right. He was minister of the interior in 1864 in the La Marmora government but resigned in opposition to the grist tax (dazio sul macinato) imposed by Quintino Sella.
   Lanza became premier in 1869. In economic policy, he and his treasury minister, Marco Minghetti, struggled to put the nation’s accounts in order; in foreign policy Lanza successfully persuaded King Victor Emmanuel II not to side with the French in the Franco–Prussian War. Instead, Lanza took the opportunity to complete the unification of Italy by occupying Rome and proclaiming it the capital on 27 March 1871. Lanza unsuccessfully tried to put relations with the Church on a firm footing after the occupation of Rome. The guarantee laws, though not recognized by the Church, served as a modus vivendi between the spiritual and temporal powers within the Italian state until the Lateran pacts in 1929. Lanza was forced to resign in 1873. He continued to serve as deputy for his native Casale Monferatto (Piedmont) until his death in 1882.
   See also Catholicism.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

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