Italian Empire (Kingdom of Italy)

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Italian Empire
Impero Italiano  (language?)
Motto"Fit vita vi" (language?)
Anthem"Giovinezza" (language?)
and largest city
Official languages Italian
Local languages * Amharic
Demonym Italian
Realms of the Italian Empire * Kingdom of Italy
  • Principality of Eritrea
  • Empire of Ethiopia
  • Kingdom of Albania
  • United Kingdom of Libya
  • Principate of Montenegro
  • Somali Social Republic
Government Fascist Monarchy
 -  Duce Italo Debalti
 -  Minister of Imperial Affairs Marco Ruzza
Legislature Parliament of Italy
 -  Upper house Grand Council of Fascism
 -  Lower house Chamber of Fasces and Corporations
 -  Establishment of the Italian Empire 9 May 1936 
 -  Charter of the Empire the Kingdom  
 -  3 January 1975  
 -  Total 4,179,145 km2
1,613,577 sq mi 
Currency Italian Lira
Date format dd-mm-yyyy
Drives on the right

The Italian Empire (Italian: Impero Italiano or simply "Impero") is the Italy-led association of semi-autonomous states, created after the Kingdom of Italy joined other European powers in establishing colonies overseas during the "Scramble for Africa". By the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Italy had annexed Eritrea, Somalia, Libya and the Dodecanese Islands; it was also one of the European concession holders in Tientsin. Italy was defeated in its first attempt to conquer Ethiopia in the First Italo-Ethiopian War of 1895–1896 with Ethiopia receiving modern weapons and support from Russia and France, but succeeded in occupying it in the Second Italian-Ethiopian War of 1935–1936. In 1936, the Italian East Africa was fused in a single General Governorate. In 1952, old colonies were reestablished, in order to prevent a en-masse independence. After 1963, when Italy granted to its colonies the status of "Special Government Regions", the legal status of the Italian Empire and of the "Imperial" lands changed several times.

Ideological assumptions

The Empire may be a purely political-legal character, or may also have a spiritual nature. Considering only the political-legal character, the Empire is a political-administrative organization. In this approach, the quality, the cultures and the specific traditions of different nations gathered by the empire are not injured, for the simple fact that the empire remains, with respect to them, indifferent and alien. This type of empire, in this respect, as has interest in the simple political-administrative organization and the mere legal sovereignty.
If the Empire also has a spiritual nature, in it the unit is determined by reference to something spiritually higher than individual ethnicity; it can only exist if it is animated by something that appeals to the same spiritual depth where the same religion arises. The Empire spirituality is not necessarily connected to a single religion, but the reference point is beyond that of an individual religious faith: the Empire characterized by the spiritual nature is conceived as a work of forces from above.
In this case, the Imperial Citizen is not a purely legal concept, but also and foremost an ethical reality, a human model universally viable. Within a spiritual Empire, the protection of subject populations, and their traditions and cultures are granted if a a Fealty (or Faith) of higher order is given: the subject of this Fealty is the very same transcendental and spiritual unity of the Empire. The Fealty and loyalty to this transcendental and spiritual unity and to its symbols from subject peoples is the basic condition for the preservation and protection. With this Fealty and Loyalty sworn in such a sacred way, any faith or particular tradition in those nations, provided no injures or offends the ethics and the general law, is accepted and respected.
The Western, capitalist Empire is an empire that lacks spiritual element; it guarantees freedom to the people to act as you see fit, provided certain general laws are respected. A characteristic example of this type of empire is the British Empire.
Fascism has its ethics, its spirituality, its own human type, its aspiration to translate, in terms of a dominant will, the sense of a permanent and universal reality. The Empire, in its Fascist conception, is the supranational organization such that in it the unit does not act destructively and leveller in regard to the ethnic and cultural diversity that it encompasses. The principle of the Italian and Fascist Empire guarantees the simultaneous recognition and overcoming of any particular religious faith of nations to organize in the name of the supreme Imperial Idea (Italian: Idea Imperiale). The Empire is based on a conception of Unity which should prevent any form of absolute elevation of the individual element; the Unity must then be essentially spiritual (but also political): a central guiding influence, an impulse that assumes the most varied forms of expression according to the individual realm.
A given people becomes the founder of a true Empire when the people is able to go beyond itself and its lust for its own national power. The "Imperial" people positions itself far away both its particularities and those of other peoples: not a particular against another particular, but the universal against particular. This approach implies that the Imperial (and higher) race has a sacred mission, but this mission is directly opposite to the self-centred expansion and power. It is particularly what is subjectivist, sentimental, "idealistic" or even utilitarian. It is universal what is pure from all these elements and which can be translated into terms of pure objectivity. A similar Empire is accomplished at the moment when, with the universality as knowledge, also the universality as an action is carried out. In the two conditions of the Empire (i.e. universal knowledge and universal action) the qualities that define the two upper castes, the wisdom and the warrior castes, found foundation.

General organization

The Imperial Community of Rome represents a new type of ordering of peoples. It is a new complex political organism, a new corpus misticum formed of different parts, which, however, while all contributing to the achievement of the same common goals and yet each gaining their own advantage, are not on the same level but instead scaled according their closeness to the Roman ideals.
No part of this "Imperial Community" has the function of a simple instrument, nor is it subject to exploitation; all participate in the common purpose and the common advantages, according to the tradition of Rome that associated the peoples with their destiny. It is simply because of the different geographical position, the race and the different stage of civil development of the various populations that the differentiation of their respective juridical status is established within the imperial community.

Member States

By 2012, the members of the Italian Empire are as follows:

  • Kingdom of Italy. All the inhabitants are Italian citizens. It includes the Italian Peninsula, Dalmatia, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Malta and Lampedusa;
    • Rhodes and Dodecanese: their administration and legislation is in principle those of Italy, but each of them could receive an individual constitution.
  • The Realms of the Italian Empire: they have their own individual organisation with a territorial assembly; the assembly cooperates with a governing Cabinet, its Chief being the President appointed by the central power:
    • Montenegro;
    • Albania;
    • Libya;
    • Ethiopia;
    • Eritrea;
    • Somalia.

The Imperial’s jurisdiction as a whole is limited to foreign policy, defence, currency, a common economic and financial policy and policy on strategic matters, control of justice, higher education, external and public transport and telecommunications. However, because all Realms are Fascist states, the Fascist party is able to actually unify the governance of all matters.

Imperial Institutions

The Imperial Institutions are as follows:

  • The Emperor and Duce of the Empire is the Duce of Italy. He is represented in each Realm by a Lieutenant General of the Duce (Luogotenente Generale del Duce).
  • The Executive Cabinet of the Empire meets several times a year, in Rome, on the summons of the Duce, who assumes the chair. It is composed of the chiefs of the governments of the different states and the ministers responsible for common affairs.
  • The Conference of Ministers of the Empire forms the technical support body of the Executive Cabinet.
  • A Court of Compensation, composed of seven judges appointed by the Duce, gives decisions in disputes between member states.

Executive Cabinet of the Empire

The Executive Cabinet of the Empire is the body tasked to give advice to the Duce of the Empire for giving political direction to the Empire. It convenes at least four times a year and comprises the Duce of the Empire and one representative per member State (either its head of state or head of government according each Realm's own decisions). It has been described by some as the Empire's "supreme political advisory body". It is actively involved in defining the policy agenda and strategies. Alongside the uncontested leadership of the Duce, the Executive Cabinet of the Empire uses its leadership role to sort out disputes between member States and the institutions, and to resolve disagreements over controversial issues.

Conference of Ministers of the Empire

The Conference of Ministers of the Empire forms the technical support body of the Executive Cabinet. It consists of a government minister from each member state and meets in different compositions depending on the policy area being addressed. Notwithstanding its different configurations, it is considered to be one single body.

Ministry of Imperial Affairs

The Ministry of Imperial Affairs (It: Ministero degli Affari Imperiali, M.A.I.) is the Ministry that, since 1986, has replaced the Ministry of the Colonies. The Ministry has the task of supporting the Italian general policy in respect of the Realms of the Italian Empire other than Italy and of acting as the Empire executive arm for common affairs and the day-to-day running of the Empire. Although it is not part, from a formal point of view, of the Council of Ministers and of the Government of the Kingdom of Italy, the Ministry is in all respects a key component of the Duce's government system. The main tasks of the M.A.I. is to prepare policy guidelines and to support the Executive Cabinet of the Empire, providing it of the bureaucratic structure.
The Ministry is divided into 19 Directorates-General and five offices directly dependent on the political direction bodies (Minister, Under-secretaries and Secretary General):

  • Directorate-General for Personnel Affairs;
    • Division for Personnel Selection;
  • Directorate-General for General and Administrative Affairs;
  • Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs;
  • Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development;
  • Directorate-General for Communications Networks and Technology;
  • Directorate-General for Industry and Intellectual Property;
  • Directorate-General for Environment;
  • Directorate-General for Italian Immigration;
  • Directorate-General for Public Security-General Command of Police Services;
  • Directorate-General for Financial Security;
  • Directorate-General for Justice Cooperation;
  • Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries;
    • Division for Adriatic Sea Fishery;
    • Division for Mediterranean Sea Fishery;
    • Division for Red Sea Fishery;
    • Division for Indian Ocean Fishery;
    • Division for Mediterranean Fischery;
  • Directorate-General for Customs Union;
  • Directorate-General for Transportations;
    • Division for Italian East Africa Railways;
  • Directorate-General for Energy industry;
  • Directorate-General for Statistics;
  • Directorate-General for Publications;
  • Directorate-General for Infrastructures and Logistics;
  • Directorate-General for Translation;
  • Fascist Colonial Institute;
  • Office for Research and Propaganda;
  • Military Committee;
  • Ministerial Central Accounting, Audit and Inspection Office;
  • Office for Schools and Archaeology;
  • Office of Civil Defence.

Office of Civil Defence

The Office of Civil Defence is Italian Empire’s principal civil emergency response mechanism in the Italian Empire. The Office functions as a clearing-house system for coordinating both requests and offers of assistance, mainly in case of natural and man-made disasters. It is active all year round, operational on a 24/7 basis, and involves all Realms of the Italian Empire and all partner countries.

Bureaucratic hierarchy

The Ministry is of course dominated by Italian cultural influence, including a strictly hierarchical organisation. Not only political figures, but also Directors-General are referred to by their title (in Italian) with greater prestige for those of higher ranks. Those at the top count for everything, while those at the bottom count for nothing.
Staff are divided into a set of grades: DIR (DIR = Direttivo, Executive), ASS (ASS = Assistente, Assistant, with implementing tasks), SEG (SEG = Segretario, Secretary, with secretarial tasks) and COM (COM = Commesso, Janitor, acting as drivers and messengers and the alike). DIR ranges from DIR-8, the most junior executive grade, to DIR-1, which is the Secretary-General. Alongside the DIR category is ASS. It is not possible for civil servants to be promoted from ASS to DIR grade, unless they win a specific internal competition; however in practice the grades remain entrenched. While promotion is in theory according to merit, many management posts are now taken by officials 'parachuted in' from powerful figures and member states.

Higher Council for the Empire

Within the Ministry, there is the Higher Council for the Empire (Consiglio Superiore dell'Impero), divided into 3 sections, comprising:

  • Minister of Imperial Affairs;
  • Under-secretaries of State of Imperial Affairs;
  • 2 representatives of the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations;
  • 2 representatives of the Grand Council of Fascism;
  • 2 members of the Italian State Council;
  • 1 Member of the Italian Corte dei Conti;
  • 1 Senior official for each Ministry: Imperial Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Finance, National Defence, National Economy;
  • 1 Senior official for the Imperial Central Bank and for each of the Central banks of the Realms of the Italian Empire.

The sections are:

  • Section I - Political, legal and administrative affairs;
  • Section II - Economic and Financial Affairs;
  • Section III - Military affairs, studies and propaganda, postal services and electrical and personnel.

Corporative Council of the Empire

The Corporative Council of the Empire (Consiglio Corporativo dell'Impero) is a consultative body of the Italian Empire established in 1968. It is an advisory assembly composed of "social partners": employers (employers' organisations), employees (trade unions) and representatives of other interests. The Corporative Council of the Empire was established in 1968 in order to unite different economic interest groups to establish an harmonized commercial system and to allow social partners to be heard by the Ministry of Imperial Affairs and the Duce.
It is mandatory for the Council to be consulted on labour issues and in all cases where the Duce deem it appropriate. Its influence ordinarily extends to matters such as social policy, social and economic cohesion, environment, vocational training, customers protection, industry and economic activities taxation.

Imperial Central Bank

The Imperial Central Bank (Italian: Banca Centrale Imperiale, Ba.C.I.) is the government-owned central bank for the administration of the monetary policy of the Italian Empire. The capital stock of the bank is owned by the central bank of Italy (67%) and by the central banks of the member States. The primary objective of the Imperial Central Bank is to support economic growth within the Italian Empire; its basic tasks are to implement the common monetary policy for the Italian Empire, to coordinate the internal monetary policies of the individual Realms of the Italian Empire, to conduct and oversee foreign exchange operations, to take care of the foreign reserves and operation of the financial market infrastructure. The Imperial Central Bank has the task to advice the Duce about the issuance of Italian Lire banknotes outside Italy; the Realms of the Italian Empire can issue their own Italian Lire coins, but the amount must be authorised beforehand.
Similarly to the Bank of Italy, also the Imperial Central Bank is strictly overseen by the Ministry of the National Economy, in order to enforce the government economic/financial policies without unwilled interference from the outside. The Governor of the Imperial Central Bank is appointed by the Duce at the proposal of the Italian Chief of Government and of the Minister of Imperial Affairs, after having heard all Chiefs of State and all Lieutenant Generals, for a five-year term. The most important decision-making body is the Consultative Council.

Organization of Central Banks of the Italian Empire

The Organization of Central Banks of the Italian Empire (Italian: Organizzazione delle Banche Centrali dell'Impero Italiano, O.Ba.C.I.I.) consists of the Imperial Central Bank and the national central banks of all seven member states of the Italian Empire. The O.Ba.C.I.I. is the monetary authority of the Italian Empire; the O.Ba.C.I.I.'s objective is support to productio growth throughout the Italian Empire.

Military Committee

The principal military member of each Member State within the Ministry of Imperial Affairs is the Military Representative, a senior officer from each country's Royal Guard branch (with the exception of Ethiopia and Italy), supported by the Imperial Military Staff (Stato Maggiore Militare Imperiale, STA.MAG.M.I.) Together the Military Representatives form the Military Committee (Comitato Militare), a body responsible for assisting and advising the Duce of the Empire on military policy and strategy. It provides guidance on military matters to the Chief of General Defence Staff, whose representative attends its meetings, and is responsible for the overall conduct of the military affairs under the authority of the Duce. The operational work of the Committee is supported by the Imperial Military Staff.
The Chairman of the Military Committee is appointed by the Duce of the Empire and is the Italian Chief of the General Defence Staff. He chairs all meetings and acts in an Empire-level capacity. In his absence, the Deputy Chairman of the Military Committee takes the chair.

Colonial citizenship

The fascist colonial legal policy is essentially characterized by the objective of isolating the native in its statutes. The colonial citizenship is primarily a mean to hierarchize the various groups in the colonies. Most Italianised peoples are the most deserving and this affects their political rights at the imperial and internal level. Both the colonial and the metropolitan citizenship are acquired through the jus sanguins criterion; all colonial citizens have certain political rights:

  • right to be subject to the relevant legal system, especially for what regards personal matters;
  • right to compete to civil and military offices in the relevant Realm of the Italian Empire;
  • right to bear arms in accordance with the rules for military conscription;
  • right to be registered with the relevant Fascist Party;
  • right to have managerial duties in trade union organizations in the relevant Realm of the Italian Empire.

Additional political rights are granted on an ethnic basis: each Realm of the Italian Empire has a place within the hierarchy and its autonomy degree, as well as rights granted to its citizens, vary according such a place. Within each Realm of the Italian Empire, furthermore, each ethnic/religious group enjoys of its own rights. However, all colonial citizens (of any Realm of the Italian Empire they are citizens) may require Italian citizenship under certain conditions:

  • being 21 years old;
  • not being a polygamist;
  • having served in the army beyond the conscription;
  • having earned a decoration without additional serving;
  • having no criminal record.

In addition, the applicant must take the Italian language as a language of use and give the guarantee to contribute to the maintenance of Italian good name and prestige. The Chief of the State and the Lieutenant General of the Duce may grant citizenship, after the opinion of the members of a commission that he appoints. Italian citizenship, if ever granted, does not entitle the transfer in Italy, but the new Metropolitan Italian citizen can enjoy the Italian additional political rights in its own country of origin.

Chief of State

The Chief of State is appointed by a decree of the Duce on a proposal of the individual Government concerned, after consultation with the Minister of the Imperial Affairs and after consultation with the Council of Ministers.
The Chief of State depends directly and exclusively by the Duce and, according to the instructions which he receives, directs the policy and administration of the Realm of the Italian Empire, provides for the safety of this and the protection of public order, care application the laws and regulations of the Realm. The security forces of the Realm, but not military forces deployed, depend on the Chief of State.
In case of absence or incapacity of the Chief of State and of the Lieutenant General of the Duce, the temporary administrative regent of the Government is General Secretary of the local Fascist Party. In case of absence or impediment of the Secretary-General, the Minister of the Imperial Affairs determine who should take the regency's government.

Imperial Commercial System

The Imperial Trading System (Italian: Sistema Commerciale Imperiale) is a common market that seeks to guarantee the regulated movement of goods, capital, and services within the Italian Empire The market encompasses all the Empire's constituent States. The market is intended to be conducive to regulated and increased production and increased specialisation, while not allowing goods and factors of production to move freely according to market mechanisms.

Free movement of goods

The Italian Empire is also a customs union; this means that constituent states have removed customs barriers between themselves for some goods and introduced a common customs policy towards other countries. By agreement between the Italian Empire and San Marino and Vatican City also participate in the Italian Empire customs union.
The customs union prohibits member states from levying duties on Italian Empire and goods crossing their internal border. Once a good has been imported into the Italian Empire from a third country and the appropriate customs duty paid, it must then be considered to be in authorized circulation between the member states. However, constituent states may impose systematic customs controls at the borders of member states.
Constituent States are prohibited not only to impose customs duties but also charges having equivalent effect: any pecuniary charge, however small and whatever its designation and mode of application, which is imposed unilaterally on domestic or foreign goods by reason of the fact that they cross a frontier, and which is not a customs duty in the strict sense, constitutes a charge having equivalent effect. Exceptions are made if the charge is not discriminatory or protective in effect and if the product on which the charge is imposed is not in competition with any domestic product. Furter exceptions are made if the charge relates to a general system of internal dues applied systematically and in accordance with the same criteria to domestic products and imported products alike, if it constitutes payment for a service (also if mandatory) in fact rendered to the economic operator of a sum in proportion to the service, or if it attaches to inspections carried out to fulfil obligations imposed by Empire law.

Quantitative and equivalent restrictions

The Italian Empire as a whole manages imports from non-member states, duties between member states are prohibited, and imports circulate freely. While the movement of goods is in principle free of charge, quantitative and equivalent restrictions may be imposed. Reasons to authorize a quantitative and equivalent restriction may be of economic nature or due to public morality, policy or security, environmental protection, protection of health and life of humans, animals or plants, national treasures of spiritual, artistic, historic or archaeological value, consumer and/or labour standards protection, fairness in commerce and more. If a constituent state does appeal to the non-economic justification, the measures it takes have to be applied proportionately.
Selling, advertising and marketing arrangements do not fall under the concept of quantitative and equivalent restrictions, if they apply equally to all sellers, and affected them in the same manner in fact. Under the Unfair Commercial Practices Law, the Italian Empire harmonised restrictions on marketing and advertising, to forbid conduct that distorts average consumer behaviour, is misleading or aggressive, and sets out a list of examples that count as unfair.

Free movement of capital

In principle, the capital flows are subservient to the production support and therefore they are free insofar they actually sustain the production. This means that crossing capital controls of various kinds are routinely enforced, including limits on buying foreign currency, limits on buying non-strategic or non-monopolystic company shares are carried out to a lesser extent against Imperial financial institutions than those carried out against foreign investors, while government approval for foreign investment is still required.<br By contrast, taxation of capital, including corporate tax, capital gains tax and financial transaction tax are not affected so long as they do not discriminate credit istitutions from States of the Italian Empire. A series of cases of the Court of the Compensation, regularly sanctioned by the Duce, held that government-owned golden shares are fully lawful. However, a policy generally held is that a government, if it sees public ownership or control, should nationalise in full the desired proportion of a company.
Capital within the Italian Empire may be transferred up to certain amounts from one country to another; all intra-Empire transfers are considered as domestic payments and bear the corresponding domestic transfer costs.

Colonial Lira

The Colonial Lira (in Italian: Lira Coloniale) is the name of two currencies, the Italian East Africa Lira, used in the Italian East Africa, and the Libyan Lira, used in Libya. Both currencies are guaranteed by the Italian treasury. Although separate, the two Colonial Lira currencies have always been at parity and are effectively interchangeable.
The currency has been criticized for making economic planning for the Realms of the Empire all but impossible since the Colonial Lira's value is pegged to the Italian Lira, whose monetary policy is set by the Bank of Italy. On the other hand, the Colonial Lira helps to facilitate the flow of exports and imports between Italy and its Empire.
Both Colonial Liras have a fixed exchange rate to the Italian Lira: 100 Colonial Liras = 1 Italian Lira.

Exchange rate

The Colonial Lira was created with a fixed exchange rate versus the Italian in 1938 (Italian East Africa) and in 1942 (Libya). This exchange rate was changed only once, in 1994, from 50 to 100 Colonial Liras to 1 Italian Lira.
The value of the Colonial Lira has been widely criticized as being too high, which many economists believe favours the urban elite of the African countries, who can buy imported manufactured goods at the expense of farmers who cannot easily export agricultural products. The devaluation of 1994 was an attempt to reduce these imbalances.


There are two different currencies called the Colonial Lira: the Libyan Lira, and the Italian East Africa Lira. These two Colonial Liras have the same exchange rate with the Italian Lira (1 Italian Lira = 50 Libyan Liras = 50 Italian East Africa Liras), and they are both guaranteed by the Italian treasury, but the Libyan Lira cannot be used in Italian East Africa countries, and the Italian East Africa Lira cannot be used in Libya.
The Libyan Lira is known in Italian as the Lira Tripolitina. It is issued by the Bank of Italy, for the Kingdom of Libya.
The Italian East Africa Lira is known in French as the Lira dell'Africa Orientale Italiana (or Lira A.O.I. for short). It is issued by the Bank of Italy, for the three Realms of the A.O.I. (Africa Orientale Italiana, i.e., Italian East Africa):

  • Ethiopia;
  • Eritrea;
  • Somalia.

Italian colonisation

Template:Infobox ethnic group

See also