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Francesco Crispi 1818-1901From Nation to Nationalism$
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Christopher Duggan

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206118

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206118.001.0001

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Minister of the Interior, 1887

Minister of the Interior, 1887

(p.473) 13 Minister of the Interior, 1887
Francesco Crispi 1818-1901


Oxford University Press

Like his great role model, Otto von Bismarck, Francesco Crispi saw emotions as weapons in the statesman's armoury. Fear, anger, uncertainty, jealousy, indignation, and hatred were tools of politics, as valid as reason, but potentially far more powerful given that in an age of democracy public opinion could be used to justify courses of action. Here was a dangerous legacy of democratic romanticism. Secretiveness was certainly an important element in Crispi's character. As prime minister this secretiveness was to reassert itself strongly, partly because he once again — certainly in foreign policy — felt himself to be an outsider surrounded by enemies: the court and much of the diplomatic corps distrusted him strongly; and he distrusted them. This chapter also examines the conflict between Crispi and the Roman Catholic Church regarding conciliation, with the influential deputy archivist of the Holy See, Padre Luigi Tosti, being caught in the middle.

Keywords:   Francesco Crispi, Italy, Ministry of the Interior, politics, Roman Catholic Church, conciliation, Luigi Tosti

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