Antonio Starabba, Marchese di Rudinì

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Antonio Starabba di Rudinì
Antonio Starabba di Rudinì 1908.jpg
12th Prime Minister of Italy
In office
10 March 1896 – 29 June 1898
MonarchUmberto I
Preceded byFrancesco Crispi
Succeeded byLuigi Pelloux
In office
6 February 1891 – 15 May 1892
MonarchUmberto I
Preceded byFrancesco Crispi
Succeeded byGiovanni Giolitti
Minister of the Interior
In office
22 October 1869 – 14 December 1869
Prime MinisterLuigi Federico Menabrea
Preceded byLuigi Ferraris
Succeeded byGiovanni Lanza
Mayor of Palermo
In office
August 1863 – April 1866
Preceded byMariano Stabile
Succeeded bySalesio Balsano
Personal details
Born(1839-04-16)16 April 1839
Palermo, Two Sicilies
Died6 August 1908(1908-08-06) (aged 69)
Rome, Italy
Political partyHistorical Right (1867–1882)
Constitutional (1882–1900)
Spouse(s)
Marie de Barral
(m. 1864; died 1896)

Leonia Incisa Beccaria di Santo Stefano
(m. 1896; died 1908)
ChildrenWith Marie de Barral:
Carlo
Alessandra
Alma materUniversity of Palermo
ProfessionLawyer

Antonio Starabba, Marquess of Rudinì (16 April 1839 – 7 August 1908) was an Italian statesman, Prime Minister of Italy between 1891 and 1892 and from 1896 until 1898.

Biography[edit]

Early life and patriotic activities[edit]

He was born in Palermo (then part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies) into an aristocratic Sicilian family.[1] However, his family was of a more cultured, liberal disposition than many of their contemporaries.

In 1859, he joined the revolutionary committee which paved the way for Garibaldi's triumphs in the following year. After spending a short time at Turin as attaché to the Italian foreign office, he was elected mayor of Palermo. In 1866, he displayed considerable personal courage and energy in quelling an insurrection of separatist and reactionary tendencies. The prestige thus acquired led to his appointment as prefect of Palermo. It was while occupying that position that he put down brigandage throughout the province. In 1868, he was prefect of Naples.[2][1]

In October 1869 he became minister of the interior in the Menabrea cabinet. The cabinet fell a few months later, and although Starabba was an elected member of parliament for Canicattì, he held no important position until, upon the death of Marco Minghetti in 1886, he became leader of the Right.[2][1]

Political career and premierships[edit]

Early in 1891, he succeeded Francesco Crispi as premier and minister of foreign affairs, forming a coalition cabinet with a part of the Left under Giovanni Nicotera. His administration proved vacillating, but it initiated the economic reforms by virtue of which Italian finances were put on a sound basis and also renewed the Triple Alliance.[2]

He was overthrown in May 1892 by a vote of the Chamber and was succeeded by Giovanni Giolitti. Upon the return of his rival, Crispi, to power in December 1893, he resumed political activity, allying himself with the Radical leader, Felice Cavallotti.[2]

The crisis consequent upon the disastrous battle of Adowa enabled Rudinì to return to power as premier and minister of the interior in a cabinet formed by the veteran Conservative, General Ricotti. He signed the Treaty of Addis Ababa that formally ended the First Italo–Ethiopian War recognizing Ethiopia as an independent country.[3] He endangered relations with Great Britain by the unauthorized publication of confidential diplomatic correspondence in a Green-book[definition needed] on Abyssinian affairs.[2]

Di Rudinì recognized the excessive brutality of the repression of the Fasci Siciliani under his predecessor Crispi. Many Fasci members were pardoned and released from jail.[4] He made it clear though that a reorganization of the Fasci would not be tolerated. Di Rudini’s minister of the treasury Luigi Luzzatti passed two measures of social legislation in 1898. The industrial workmen’s compensation scheme from 1883 was made obligatory with the employer bearing all costs; and a voluntary fund for contributory disability and old age pensions was created.[5]

To satisfy the anti-colonial party, he ceded Kassala to Great Britain, thereby provoking much indignation in Italy. His internal policy was marked by continual yielding to Radical pressure and by persecution of Crispi. During his second term of office, he thrice modified his cabinet (July 1896, December 1897, and May 1898) without strengthening his political position. By dissolving the Chamber early in 1897 and favoring Radical candidates in the general election, he paved the way for the outbreak of popular uprisings about rising prices in May 1898.[2] Rudinì declared the state of siege at Naples, Florence, Livorno and Milan, and the suppression of the riot resulted in a bloodshed in Milan. Indignation at the results of his policy left him without support of both the Left – who blamed him for the bloodshed – and the Right – who blamed him for the permissiveness that allegedly had promoted the uprisings and led to his overthrow in June 1898.[1]

Death and legacy[edit]

Di Rudinì retained his seat in Parliament until his death in 1908. Has reputed to be a thorough gentleman and grand seigneur. One of the largest and wealthiest landowners in Sicily, he managed his estates on liberal lines, and was never troubled by agrarian disturbances. The marquis, who had not been in office since 1898, died at Rome in August, 1908, leaving a son, Carlo, who married a daughter of Henry Labouchere.[2]

In many respects Rudinì, though leader of the Right and nominally a Conservative politician, proved a dissolving element in the Italian Conservative ranks. By his alliance with the Liberals under Nicotera in 1891, and by his understanding with the Radicals under Cavallotti in 1894-1898; by abandoning his Conservative colleague, General Ricotti, to whom he owed the premiership in 1896; and by his vacillating action after his fall from power, he divided and demoralized a constitutional party which, with more sincerity and less reliance upon political cleverness, he might have welded into a solid parliamentary organization.[2]

Many books have been written about his life, including La settimana dell'anarchia del 1866 a Palermo by Gaspare di Mercurio.[6]

List of Rudinì's cabinets[edit]

1st cabinet (6 February 1891 – 15 May 1892)[edit]

Portfolio Holder Party
President of the Council of Ministers The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Ministers
Minister of Foreign Affairs The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Minister of the Interior Giovanni Nicotera Dissident Left
Minister of Justice and Worship Luigi Ferraris Liberal-Conservative
Minister of War Lt. General Luigi Pelloux Military
Minister of the Navy Admiral Simone Antonio Saint-Bon Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Finance Giuseppe Colombo Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Treasury Luigi Luzzatti Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Public Education Pasquale Villari Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Public Works Ascanio Branca Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Post and Telegraph
Minister of Agricolture, Industry and Commerce Bruno Chimirri Liberal-Conservative

2nd cabinet (10 March 1896 – 15 July 1896)[edit]

Portfolio Holder Party
President of the Council of Ministers The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Ministers
Minister of the Interior The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Justice and Worship Giacomo Costa None
Minister of Foreign Affairs Onorato Caetani Liberal-Conservative
Minister of War Lt. General Cesare Ricotti-Magnani Military
Minister of the Navy Benedetto Brin Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Finance Ascanio Branca Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Treasury Giuseppe Colombo Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Public Education Emanuele Gianturco Democrat
Minister of Public Works Costantino Perazzi None
Minister of Post and Telegraph Pietro Carmine Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Agricolture, Industry and Commerce Francesco Guicciardini Democrat
Ministers without portfolio
Civil Commissioner for Sicily Giovanni Codronchi Liberal-Conservative

3rd cabinet (15 July 1896 – 14 December 1897)[edit]

Portfolio Holder Party
President of the Council of Ministers The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Ministers
Minister of the Interior The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Justice and Worship Giacomo Costa None
Minister of Foreign Affairs Emilio Visconti Venosta Liberal-Conservative
Minister of War Lt. General Luigi Pelloux Military
Minister of the Navy Benedetto Brin Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Finance Ascanio Branca Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Treasury Luigi Luzzatti Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Public Education Emanuele Gianturco Democrat
Minister of Public Works Giulio Prinetti Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Post and Telegraph Emilio Sineo None
Minister of Agricolture, Industry and Commerce Francesco Guicciardini Democrat
Ministers without portfolio
Civil Commissioner for Sicily Giovanni Codronchi Liberal-Conservative

Changes:

  • On 18 September 1897, Giovanni Codronchi became Minister of Public Education, substituting Emanuele Gianturco

4th cabinet (14 December 1897 – 1 June 1898)[edit]

Portfolio Holder Party
President of the Council of Ministers The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Ministers
Minister of the Interior The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Justice and Worship Giuseppe Zanardelli Democrat
Minister of Foreign Affairs Emilio Visconti Venosta Liberal-Conservative
Minister of War Lt. General Alessandro Asinari di San Marzano Military
Minister of the Navy Benedetto Brin Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Finance Ascanio Branca Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Treasury Luigi Luzzatti Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Public Education Nicolò Gallo Democrat
Minister of Public Works Giuseppe Pavoncelli Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Post and Telegraph Emilio Sineo None
Minister of Agricolture, Industry and Commerce Francesco Cocco-Ortu Democrat

5th cabinet (1 June 1898 – 29 June 1898)[edit]

Portfolio Holder Party
President of the Council of Ministers The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Ministers
Minister of the Interior The Marquess of Rudinì Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Agricolture, Industry and Commerce
Minister of Justice and Worship Teodorico Bonacci None
Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffaele Cappelli Liberal-Conservative
Minister of War Lt. General Alessandro Asinari di San Marzano Military
Minister of the Navy Vice Admiral Felice Napoleone Canevaro Military
Minister of Finance Ascanio Branca Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Treasury Luigi Luzzatti Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Public Education Luigi Cremona Democrat
Minister of Public Works General Achille Afan de Rivera Liberal-Conservative
Minister of Post and Telegraph Secondo Frola Liberal-Conservative

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sarti, Italy: a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present, pp. 534-35
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rudinì, Antonio Starabba, Marquis di". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 815.
  3. ^ Harold Marcus, The Life and Times of Menelik II: Ethiopia 1844-1913 (Lawrenceville: Red Sea Press, 1995), pp. 174-177
  4. ^ Pardon for Italian Socialists, The New York Times, March 14, 1896
  5. ^ Seton-Watson, Italy from liberalism to fascism, pp. 185-86
  6. ^ Di Mercurio, Gaspare (1991),La settimana dell'anarchia del 1866 a Palermo; Antonio Di Rudinì, primo sindaco contro la mafia, Palermo: I.L.A. Palma
Preceded by
Unknown
Member of Parliament for Canicattì
18671900
Succeeded by
Unknown
Political offices
Preceded by
Mariano Stabile
Mayor of Palermo
August 1863 – April 1866
Succeeded by
Salesio Balsano
Preceded by
Luigi Ferraris
Minister of the Interior
22 October 1869 – 14 December 1869
Succeeded by
Giovanni Lanza
Preceded by
Francesco Crispi
Prime Minister of Italy
6 February 1891 – 15 May 1892
Succeeded by
Giovanni Giolitti
Preceded by
Francesco Crispi
Prime Minister of Italy
10 March 1896 – 29 June 1898
Succeeded by
Luigi Pelloux
Party political offices
Preceded by
Marco Minghetti
Leader of the Right
1886–1898
Succeeded by
Luigi Pelloux
Public Security
Preceded by
Unknown
Prefect of Palermo
1866–1868
Succeeded by
Unknown
Preceded by
Unknown
Prefect of Naples
1868–1869
Succeeded by
Unknown