Culture

Italian Unionist Movement, the political party that defended the annexation of their country and the world by the United States

Although they have a certain tendency to simplify their demonym by referring to themselves as Americans, in reality Americans are only citizens of the United States of America, since Americans can be applied to the inhabitants of all the other countries of the continent. There are some territorial exceptions such as Hawaii and other Pacific archipelagos. And there could have been more if certain bizarre proposals for incorporation that were made in Europe, such as the Italian Unionist Movement, had been consummated.

It was a political party that emerged in a specific context, the Second World War, when Italy was occupied by Allied troops, especially Americans, awakening among the population a certain fascination for the contrast of customs and the air of modernity that the Italians displayed. soldiers. At least in theory, since there was another powerful reason to launch such a peculiar project: the fear that the fall of the Mussolini regime would open the doors to communism -strong at the time- in the country during the post-war period.

The forces commanded by Eisenhower landed in Sicily on July 10, 1943 and had it dominated in a month. The entry of the enemy into his territory led King Victor Emmanuel III to order the arrest of Mussolini and his replacement at the head of the government by Marshal Badoglio, who opened negotiations with the Allies, reaching an agreement with them on September 3. It was the same day that the invading army made the continental jump and advanced through Calabria in a northerly direction with hardly any resistance.

Hitler tried to stop this unexpected setback by rescuing Mussolini and making the Wehrmacht assume the defense of Italy by organizing the Gustav Line, a series of fortifications southeast of Rome that changed the previously placid landscape and led to heavy fighting to overcome it. Finally, the Allies succeeded in May 1944 and entered the capital, continuing their advance. This is how things stood when on October 12 of that year, a date deliberately chosen for its symbolism, the Italian Unionist Movement was founded.

Three brilliant professionals were its promoters. The first, Corrado Gini, was a prestigious lawyer, sociologist and natural economist from Veneto who directed ISTAT (Istituto Nazionale di Stadistica) since 1925, although he resigned in 1931 due to interference by the fascist executive, which would allow him to be exonerated of his recognized adherence to the regime at the end of the war. The second, Ugo Damiani, born in the Lazio region, had also worked for that organization. And the third, Santi Paladino, was a Calabrian journalist specializing in the work of Shakespeare (whose true authorship he attributed to the Florentine humanist based in England, Michelangelo Florio). The word Unionist that appeared in the name of the movement did not refer to Italian unity but to the unheard-of objective they had: to request the incorporation of the transalpine country into the United States of America.

As surprising as it may seem, the idea had precedents and also in Spain seven decades earlier. During the government of Pi y Margall, in the ephemeral First Republic, the Constituent Courts defined the regime as federal with fifteen united states under a Fundamental Code. But they did not have time to approve the new constitution because the situation broke out in the form of cantonalism, a radical conception of federalism that, following the theory of synallagmatic pacts (sovereignty staggered from the base to the State), sought full autonomy for the municipalities and He also drank from the increasingly widespread Bakuninist anarchism, very popular in the country.

Cartagena became a cantonalist model for its military power, since the base of the fleet was there, leaving it in the hands of a local government thanks to the collaboration of the crews, whose discharge had been delayed. The regiment sent to put down the insurrection joined them and soon a multitude of towns, especially in the Mediterranean arc, followed in the footsteps of Cartagena, which even created its own flag. Harshly bombarded by forces loyal to the Republic, now commanded by Castelar after the resignation of Pi y Margall first and Salmerón later, in November 1873 the Cartagena canton threatened to separate from Spain and raise the flag Anglo-Americanreaching the grotesque extreme of requesting accession to the United States as a federated state.

The Italian case was quite different because it did not aspire to subtract but to add. To the rest of the world, to be exact, since what was conceived by those three utopians was for the United States to annex all the nations of the free world (that is, the western democracies), creating a world state under his leadership that would guarantee a definitive peace on Earth. And they wanted Italy to take that first step, which was evident in the shield or logo they designed for the match: a globe with crossed American and Italian flags and the motto Peace and work (Peace and work) plus a border alluding to the Stati Uniti dil Mondo.

The party presented itself to the elections that were held in the country on June 2, 1946, once the war was over but with the Allied soldiers still occupying the northeastern part, to elect a Constituent Assembly. They were the first elections since Mussolini came to power in 1922 and also the first in which women had the right to vote in national suffrage. The three main forces were the Christian Democracy, the Italian Socialist Party and the Italian Communist Party; these last two enjoyed a special vigor after their fight against fascism. There were more parties, although in practice they all tended to come together in two blocks, one conservative monarchist and the other liberal republican.

The second won, despite the fact that the Christian Democrats were the ones who obtained the most votes (207 seats compared to 115 for the PSI and 104 for the PCI). The Italian Unionist Movement, which had already presented itself in local elections in the south a few months before without the slightest success, failed again with only 71,021 votes, which led to a single deputy, the head of the list, Ugo Damiani. He took office and participated in parliamentary life defending a center-right, liberal and federalist ideology, accrediting his declared Americanism. However, he did it practically alone because the proposal was not only of no interest to anyone (it was equivalent to 0.3% of the votes) but not even the United States itself supported it.

Thus, reality ended up prevailing and in the following electoral call, held on April 18, 1948 to elect the first Parliament of the Republic, it no longer participated because two and a half months earlier, on January 31, 1948, it had been dissolved. officially the match.


Sources

Parties, elections and party systems in Italy and Spain (Alberto Spreafico)/Corrado Gini. Demographer, statistician, sociologist, university professor (Savina Deotto in Friulani Biographical Dictionary)/The Murcian canton (Antonio Puig Campillo)/Italy of the Republic – June 2, 1946 – April 18, 1948 (Indro Montanelli and Mario Cervi)/Wikipedia


Back to top button