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Humanitarian ImperialismThe Politics of Anti-Slavery Activism, 1880-1940$
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Amalia Ribi Forclaz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733034

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733034.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Italian Anti-Slavery, Colonialism, Catholicism, and Fascism, 1919–1933

Italian Anti-Slavery, Colonialism, Catholicism, and Fascism, 1919–1933

(p.108) 4 Italian Anti-Slavery, Colonialism, Catholicism, and Fascism, 1919–1933
Humanitarian Imperialism

Amalia Ribi Forclaz

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 details the evolution of Italian anti-slavery activism in the interwar years. In the 1920s and 1930s, Italian views on how to curb the existence of African slavery matured, shaped by continued Catholic and colonial lobbying and by new fascist endorsement of Italian colonial expansion. With the support of the Fascist government, Catholic promoters of anti-slavery policies launched a series of so-called freedom villages in Ethiopia, thus further identifying the country as a focal point of anti-slavery action. By advertising its self-declared humanitarian engagement in Geneva, Italy gained in international visibility at a time when the Fascist regime was increasing its hold over domestic affairs. This not only challenged Britain’s dominant position as a promoter of anti-slavery policies, it also prepared the ground for more decisive intervention in the Horn of Africa.

Keywords:   Italy, anti-slavery activism, interwar period, fascism, Italian imperialism, missionaries, Ethiopia

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