TL-191: Pax Romana - Neutrality for the Kingdom of Italy (1914-1944)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Alterwright, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    I see. So public opinion was toward to neutrality then? That's interesting. Why would the majority of the public in Italy support neutrality then in this case? What did the public think of Austria-Hungary at around this time when all of this was going on?
     
  2. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    For the same reason of OTL, nobody really wanted to fight a war for some neboulous motive and that the greater burden will be taken by the poor and their families. A-H was the friend that nobody likes and there were little love for her in the general pubblic and the political enstablishment, even if there were some pretty strong exception, in general we see the CP as an alliance with Germany with the necessity to suffer the presence of A-H
     
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  3. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    What do you think public opinion would be like by the time of the Second Great War in Europe then? With the Russians invading Ukraine, Britain and France invading Holland, Belgium, and Germany itself, the Austrians and Ottomans are bound to throw in with the Germans. Where would Italy stand? With no Mussolini in power how would things look for the people looking at this war unfolding?
     
  4. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Probably 'don't mess with us and we don't mess with you' attitude mixed with 'bring the popcorn the idiots are do it again' and 'how can we benefit of this situation without DoW anybody?', in a more serious tone Italy will go the Swiss way and actively defend her territory from anyone
     
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  5. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Right. It is a neutral empire at that at least. What's always fascinating me a bit is how Italy maintained control in its colonies in the Africa, the ones in Libya, Eritrea, Somaliland, as well as its very small possessions in China. Any insight as to how these places would fair in TL-191 with Italy being neutral for both wars?
     
  6. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    How would Italy's navy fair during neutrality in both wars? By this period after the Great War of 1914-1917 wasn't it Italy's best branch of the armed forces?
     
  7. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Moving forward, how would Italy's relationship with the Papacy fair without a fascist regime in control? How would King Victor Emmanuel III (if he's still in power) be viewed by the people and the popes in the Vatican?
     
  8. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    I can probably give some insight to this.

    First, we must understand the Real-Life relationship with the Papacy and the Italian government during that time. I will only give moderate details because both Catholic and Italian history is too big to digest in one post.

    After the Fall of the Papal States and despite assurances from the Kingdom of Italy that the pope is independent, there was major distrust from Pius IX-Pius XI. Reading the Law of Guarantees, Pius IX concluded that the idea of a completely independent pope was uncertain. Anyway, throughout the rest of the 19th Cent. all the way up to the early 20th Cent., the popes refused to recognize Italy and took great care to not grant any motion or word to its legitimacy. When Mussolini comes into the picture with his Fascist ideology, he wanted as much support from the Italian populace as possible. Despite his irreligious views and his active anti-theistic/anti-Catholic personality, he wanted to win the support of Catholics and set up a fa├žade that he wanted the Italian government to reconcile with the Holy See. Pius XI, at the time, also wanted an end to the "Roman Question" and sent his representative to create an official treaty. Mussolini represented Victor Emmanuel III and they came up with the Lateran Treaty on Feb. 11, 1929, giving birth to Vatican City State.

    Assuming that Italy does not get involved in the First Great War (an extremely unlikely scenario that I will never stop saying...), I suppose that Pius XI would still want to seek a reconciliation with the Italian government, given that it was one of the reasons why he chose the name Pius. It all depends on whoever is the prime minster during his reign. Would he have been another anti-clerical prime minister who would have kept the status quo or someone who also wanted to see the beginning of new relations with the Holy See?

    If it's an unsympathetic prime minister, then there would still be no diplomatic relations between Italy and the Papacy. It would probably remain so until after the Second Great War.
    If it's a sympathetic prime minister, then it would more or less end with the same results that the Lateran Treaty says. Same treaty, different names/people.

    I am inclined to go with the former, perhaps to give some variation to TL-191, even though I would like to see the Papacy gain its independence back. Now, a question that I do have is if a hypothetical papal state that is created in TL-191 would have different borders: Leonine City or Vatican City?

    [​IMG]
    Source: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/the-popes-in-leonine-city.304121/#post-8638361

    Victor Emmanuel would probably not lose the support of Italian citizens as it did in OTL and the monarchy would still be popular without the rise of Fascism. He probably would still make the same mistakes with Ethiopia and Albania. The popes would still pray for the King of Italy and hope that he would agree to seek reconciliation with them.

    Historical Sources:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonine_City
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1922_papal_conclave#Blessing
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner_in_the_Vatican
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateran_Treaty
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini#Religious_views

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Emmanuel_III_of_Italy#Loss_of_popular_support (Just read the entire article for a complete understanding of how he is/was viewed)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  9. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Yes I believe that even in TL-191 efforts for reconciliation would still be made. That it would be made in the 20th Century is also something I still see happening.

    I think if the Papacy does get its independence restored, perhaps a possible deviation point in TL-191 would be a more sympathetic prime minister allowing the Pope to have the Leonine City, just as the Law of Guarantees supposedly allowed for. Of course in this case the Pope would be leader of his own sovereign state, but with double the land within the city of Rome. I imagine that if the Leonine City were to be given to the Pope, a kind of plebiscite would be given to the residents within the borders of the Leonine City --- not sure really. I'm just speculating that if the rest of the city were to be given over to the Pope, what do you do with the people living within that border?

    Another point --- what would compel the Italians to give the rest of the Leonine City to the Pope? And would the Pope even want the Leonine City as a whole in the eventual Lateran Treaty? Given the situation in Italy in TL-191 would a more sympathetic prime minister even be elected to office to solve the "Roman Question"? I can probably see it happen.
     
  10. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    If Leonine City was given to the pope, a plebiscite is unlikely and unnecessary. Most of the people living in that region would probably consider it a great honor to be ruled by the Pope. They could move out if they don't want to. With an actual citizen population and a direct connection to the Tiber river, Leonine City would resemble more of a functioning country than OTL. Perhaps the popes would really want to have as much land as possible, but there could be some more difficulties with governing a piece of land in which a significant population are just average citizens. In OTL, most people who live in Vatican City are clerics who dedicate their lives to serve the Church. With an larger, ordinary citizen populace, the Pope might have to act more like a "secular" king (temporal ruler), in comparison to OTL.
     
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  11. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    I see then! Well, what kind of people would live within the Leonine City then, as average people? What would that mean for security of the Leonine City? Are we looking at an expansion for that as well?
     
  12. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    @Allochronian @Historyman 14 @lukedalton @cortz#9 --- Something interesting I found while finding info on the Vatican.

    To be very honest I'm actually quite fascinated with the Vatican's role in history here between the world wars and one aspect of it that find intriguing is the security forces the Pope raised for his defense. I've been trying to find relevant pictures of modern uniforms for the Palatine Guard and the Pontifical Swiss Guard around the time of World War II and after.

    These pictures are what I found!

    I did not know the Swiss Guards had a "regular duty" uniform, so that was a surprise. Furthermore, in TL-191 between the wars, other Papal units would have still been active --- the Palatine Guards and Noble Guards, which would have shared space with the Swiss Guards and Papal Gendarmerie Corps.

    5ec7f0f08b514c8064e4d152570c7a3c.jpg

    ^^^ --- US soldiers with a Papal Swiss Guard, armed with a Gewehr 98 with fixed bayonet, OTL

    vaticanpipers.jpg

    ^^^ --- Papal Swiss Guards with pipers of the British Army, OTL

    schweizer-garde.jpg

    ^^^ --- Modern Papal Swiss Guards in "regular duty" uniform, armed with halberds; former commandant Daniel Anrig is seen to the left in officers dress uniform.

    264414-Kommandant-der-Schweizergarde-in-Rom-Daniel-Anrig.jpg
    kipa_Kommandant_Anrig-1-Bild-Oliver-Sittel-2014-800x450.jpg

    ^^^ --- Former commandant Daniel Anrig in Papal officer's dress uniform.

    ITA_VAT_200311_38410_jpds_xgaplus.jpg ITA_VAT_200311_38415_jpds_xgaplus.jpg

    ^^^ --- New recruits of the Swiss Guards wear light blue overalls and a brown belt. This uniform is also worn by full-fledged guards during rifle practice. The black beret remains.

    palant10.jpg

    ^^^ --- Palatine Guard, most likely circa WWII era. During WWII the Palatine Guard adopted a more practical uniform consisting of gray overalls and red beret, along with red insignia.
     
  13. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    @Alterwright how very neat.

    On the whole issue with the Pope and the Vatican, I honesty would not give them Leonine City, and just OTL. Or even the Roman Question is never answer and the Prisoner in the Vatican is still a thing even today.
     
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  14. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Any reason why? That's the real reason I'm curious. Why would the Italians not give the Leonine City to the Pope? Why would the Pope want it --- or why wouldn't he want it? Why not solve the "Roman Question" in this timeline? Why solve it?
     
  15. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    I honesty find it more interesting of the 'Prisoner of the Vatican' being the thing today, of the Popes that go along with Italian nationalism and accepts the recognize the legitimacy of the Italian government and o recognize the right of the Italian king to reign over what had formerly been the Papal States. And that be it.
     
  16. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    And what circumstances would allow this to happen in TL-191? Perhaps a neutral Italy has more time to focus on itself? To sort out its internal affairs?
     
  17. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Probably, even in OTL by 1914 things were on the road of being patched up; the proibihition of the catholics to partecipate at the political life was unofficially lifted and there were a new batch of officials on both side that desired resolve the situation...basically Benny used their work as a basis for his treaty years later
     
  18. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    So a compromise was inevitable then. With officials sympathetic to the Catholic Church, you're saying a Lateran Treaty, regardless of who the prime minister is, was going to happen?

    What would compel the Italian government to give the Leonine City to the Papacy, if it were to happen?
     
  19. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Yes, a final resolution was bound to happen as both side wanted to resolve a situation that greatly impacted the italian political life...even more if the socialist will be a more 'mainstream and acceptable' political force due to the american experience. Regarding the Leonine city, well maybe it's a concession to sweet the deal regarding the church formally accepting the 'Law of Papal guarantee' and as compensation for the past decades
     
  20. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    What would need to happen in order to facilitate the Lateran Treaty being signed in TL-191 then? Considering that Italy is neutral, has not gone to war, and does not have Benito Mussolini as prime minister?

    If funny because this discussion on the Vatican in TL-191 seems to go two ways --- either the Pope remains a "prisoner of the Vatican", leaving the "Roman Question" unresolved, or regains his sovereignty as the ruler of a city state with double the land, effectively having the whole of the Leonine City.