History of Italy’s Economy
Italy was a divided kingdom before 1861. Habsburg Empire controlled most of the minor kingdoms in 1861, during this time Italy was united. Count Cavour wore many hats in Italy. He was the Minister of Marine, Commerce and Agriculture in 1850, the Minister of Finance in 1851, and the Prime Minister in 1852. There was a major regional division between the Northern and Southern parts of Italy. The northern region dominated in politics and in the economy. Northern Italy created high tariffs upon importing wheat, one of the Souths most popular product. The tariffs helped Southern Italy; the southern farms were producing products sold in France. When France could not sell its products of Italy then the farmers of southern Italy could not sell crops. These tariffs ended up creating more economic problems for southern Italy than intended on. Soon farmers could not keep upfloat and the living conditions became unbearable. Many fled the south migrating to Northern Italy or to America.
When he died the Kingdom of Italy experience a decline in its progress toward industrialization creating a long pathway for the country until 1890 when Italy slowly began to industrialize. After WWI socialists and communists created turmoil in Italy. These groups won most of the city governments organizing the Fascist Party to take control of the Italian government. Mussolini the operator behind the party became ruler of Italy as a dictator in the late 1920’s an allied with Hitler during WWII. When the war was over, and Italy was defeated, their transportation and housing was destroy. Besides the poor economy in natural resources and agriculture land not being very productive, Banca d’Italia added inflation through extensive issue of paper money. The Italian Government owned 80 percent of the shipbuilding industry, 60 percent of the pig iron industry and 40 percent of the industry for the building railway rolling stock. In 1940’s the country focused on communications, electricity, shipping, shipbuilding, steel, and engineering.
After WWII Italy lost most of its industrialization and manufactures. Italy remained as a lower economy country and each time it started to succeed through the economic world, something would happen to create a recession.
One of the most important pillars of the economy is the production of high-quality products such as in the machinery, textiles, industrial designs, alimentary and furniture sectors. Artisans became part of the growth through the backbone of the economy. As technology has embraced the future and the world has developed ways to make mass production, these breadwinner jobs are decreasing. Technology is replacing many jobs, machines replace workers, and mass productions from corporations are putting ma and pa businesses out into the streets.
Credits: Tanya Hamner
"Academy of Art University, Photography Study Abroad Class, Summer 2018"