The Political Career of Alcide De Gasperi
Master of Arts
Degree Granting Institution
Catholic University of America
At the end of the second World War, Italy was on the verge of dissolution. Economically, the country, which had been battlefield between two opposing forces, was devastated. Morally, civil strife ensued between those who had collaborated with Fascism and those who had engaged in organised resistance against it, especially in the north. Politically, instability an uncertainty reigned: the six major parties of the Comitati di Li= berazione Nazionale, which had temporarily put aside their ideological divergences, once peace was achieved, ceased any pretense of collaboration. An open conflict arose over the choice between the monarchy and the republic and over the new constitution.
The man who, more than any other, helped to save Italy and guided her on the democratic path was Alcide De Gasperi, who in December 1945 assumed the premiership of the Italian government. From then until 1953, De Gasperi was the head of seven governments and the leader of Democrazia Cristiana. His advent to power marked the beginning of Italy’s second Risorgimento. Who was this relatively obscure man?
In this paper I shall attempt to trace the political development and culmination of Alcide De Gaperi’s activity as premier and his role as leader of the new party of Catholics.