Italian Nationalist Association

The Italian Nationalist Association (Associazione Nazionalista Italiana, ANI) was Italy's first nationalist political movement founded in 1910, under the influence of Italian nationalists such as Enrico Corradini and Giovanni Papini. Upon its formation, the ANI supported the repatriation of Austrian held Italian-populated lands to Italy and was willing to endorse war with Austria-Hungary to do so.[1] The party had a paramilitary wing called the Blueshirts.[2] The authoritarian nationalist faction of the ANI would be a major influence for the National Fascist Party of Benito Mussolini formed in 1921. In 1922 the ANI participated in the March on Rome, with an important role, but it was not completely aligned with Benito Mussolini' party[3]. Nevertheless, the ANI merged into the Fascist Party in October 1923.[4]

Italian Nationalist Association

Associazione Nazionalista Italiana
SecretaryEnrico Corradini
Other leadersGabriele D'Annunzio,
Luigi Federzoni,
Alfredo Rocco,
Costanzo Ciano
Merged intoNational Fascist Party
HeadquartersRome, Italy
NewspaperL'Idea Nazionale
Paramilitary wingCamicie Azzurre
IdeologyItalian nationalism
Political positionRight-wing to Far-right
National affiliationNational Blocs (1921–23)
Colours     Blue


The ANI's ideology remained largely undefined for some time other than it being nationalist. The ANI was divided between supporters of different kinds of nationalism - authoritarian, democratic, moderate, and revolutionary.[5][6]

Corradini, the ANI's most popular spokesman, linked leftism with nationalism by claiming that Italy was a "proletarian nation" which was being exploited by international capitalism which had led to Italy being disadvantaged economically in international trade and its people divided on class lines, but instead of advocating socialist revolution, he claimed that victory against these oppressing forces would require Italian nationalist sentiment to succeed.[6]

"We are the proletarian people in respect to the rest of the world. Nationalism is our socialism. This established, nationalism must be founded on the truth that Italy is morally and materially a proletarian nation." Manifesto of the Italian Nationalist Association, December 1910.[7]

"We must start by recognizing the fact that there are proletarian nations as well as proletarian classes; that is to say, there are nations whose living conditions are the way of life of other nations, just as classes are. Once this is realized, nationalism must insist firmly on this truth: Italy is, materially and morally, a proletarian nation." (Report to the First Nationalist Congress, Enrico Corradini, Florence, December 3, 1919)

Corradini occasionally used the term "national socialism" to define the ideology which he endorsed. Though this is the same term used by the movement of National Socialism in Germany (a.k.a.Nazism) no evidence exists to indicate that Corradini's use of the term had any influence.[6]

In 1914, the ANI began to tilt towards authoritarian nationalism with its endorsement of the creation of an authoritarian corporate state, a radical idea created by Italian law professor, Alfredo Rocco.[5] Such a corporate state led by a corporate assembly rather than a parliament, which would be composed of unions, business organizations and other economic organizations that would work within a powerful state government to regulate business-labour relations, organize the economy, end class conflict, and make Italy an industrial state which could compete with imperial powers and establish its own empire.[5]


A large number of the ANI supporters were wealthy Italians of right-wing authoritarian nationalist background, in spite of efforts by Corradini and left-leaning nationalists to make the ANI a nationalist mass movement supported by the working-class.[5]

Prominent members

(In alphabetical order.)

Electoral results

Italian Parliament

Chamber of Deputies
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
1921 with National Blocs
20 / 535
Enrico Corradini


  1. ^ Payne, Stanley G. 1996. A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Routledge. Pp. 64
  2. ^ John Whittam. Fascist Italy. Manchester, England, UK: Manchester University Press, 1995. Pp. 45.
  3. ^ Fonzo, Erminio (2017). Storia dell'Associazione nazionalista italiana (1910-1923). Naples: Edizioni scientifiche italiane. ISBN 978-88-495-3350-7.
  4. ^ Associazione nazionalista italiana
  5. ^ a b c d Payne, Pp. 65
  6. ^ a b c Payne, Pp. 64
  7. ^ Talmon, Jacob Leib. The Myth of the Nation and the Vision of Revolution: The Origins of Ideological Polarization. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA: University of California Press Pp. 484.
1910 in Italy

See also:

1909 in Italy,

other events of 1910,

1911 in Italy.

Events from the year 1910 in Italy.

Alfredo Rocco

Alfredo Rocco (born 9 September 1875 in Naples – died 28 August 1935) was an Italian politician and jurist. He was Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Urbino (1899–1902) and in Macerata (1902–1905), then Professor of Civil Procedure in Parma, of Business Law in Padua, and later of Economic Legislation at "La Sapienza" University of Rome, of which he was rector from 1932 to 1935.

Rocco, as an economist-minded politician, developed the early concept of the economic and political theory of corporatism which, later adapted, would become part of the ideology of the National Fascist Party.

Rocco began his political career as a Marxist in the Radical Party but eventually turned to the "proletarian nationalism" of the Italian Nationalist Association (ANI), a political party that he had major influences on. Rocco was critical of Italy's weak material and economic power which he said was responsible for Italian dependence on the European "plutocracies" of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Rocco also denounced the European powers for imposing foreign culture on Italy and criticized the European powers for endorsing too much individualism. In 1920 he became director of the newspaper L'Idea nazionale, official organ of the Nationalist Association. He later joined the National Fascist Party once they merged with the Italian Nationalist Association. In a 1925 speech Rocco interpreted the ideology of fascism as the means by which the individual is sacrificed for the good of society, declaring: "For Liberalism, the individual is the end and society the means… For Fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends."Elected in 1921 at the Chamber of Deputies, of which he was President in 1924, from 1925 to 1932 he was Minister of Justice and promoted the criminal codification, by signing in 1930 the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure (with the help of Vincenzo Manzini), and reconciling Classical and Positivist school with the system of so-called "double track". From 1925 to 1935, Rocco was the italian representative in the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations. From 1932 to 1935 Rocco was rector of the University "La Sapienza" of Rome.

Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890

The Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890 is a reference book by Philip Rees, on leading people in the various far right movements since 1890.

It contains entries for what the author regards as "the 500 major figures on the radical right, extreme right, and revolutionary right from 1890 to the present" (publisher's blurb).

It was published, as a 418-page hardcover, in New York by Simon & Schuster in 1990 (ISBN 0-13-089301-3).

In the introduction Rees discusses his criterion for inclusion in the book. He describes the extreme right as "opposed to parliamentary forms of democratic representation and hostile to pluralism."(xvii)

Among those it covers are Argentinian nationalists, Mexican sinarquistas, American nativist demagogues, Brazilian Integralists, German National Socialists, Portuguese National Syndicalists, Spanish Falangists, and Belgian Rexists.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Blueshirts (Italian Nationalist Association)

The Blueshirts (Camicie Azzurre) was the paramilitary wing of the Italian Nationalist Association.

Costanzo Ciano

Costanzo Ciano, 1st Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari (30 August 1876 – 26 June 1939) was an Italian naval officer and politician. He was the father of Galeazzo Ciano.

Enrico Corradini

Enrico Corradini (20 July 1865 – 10 December 1931) was an Italian novelist, essayist, journalist and nationalist political figure.

Ezio Maria Gray

Ezio Maria Gray (born 9 October 1885 in Novara, Piedmont – died 8 February 1969 in Rome) was an Italian politician and journalist.

Francesco Coppola

Francesco Coppola (September 27, 1878 – 1957) was prominent Italian journalist and politician in the twentieth century who associated with Italian nationalism and later Italian Fascism.From 1904 to 1908 Coppola wrote for Il Giornale d'Italia, a Rome newspaper in which he was known for expressing anti-democratic and anti-socialist sentiments. In 1908, Coppola moved to writing for the Rome newspaper La Tribuna where he began to strongly support Italian nationalism and imperialism. Two years later Coppola became one of the founders of the nationalist political party called the Italian Nationalist Association and with the support of two other prominent nationalists, Enrico Corradini and Luigi Federzoni, he launched the party's official newspaper, L'Idea Nazionale. Coppola strongly supported Italy's actions in the Italo-Libyan War which resulted in the capture of Libya from the Ottoman Empire.During World War I, Coppola demanded that Italy join the war. In 1916, Coppola fought on the front in the Italian army. From 1917 to 1918 he undertook various nationalist propaganda missions. Coppola attended the Paris Peace Conference and was enraged with the territorial settlement that Italy received, accusing the Italian government and the Allies of giving Italy a "mutilated victory".In the aftermath of World War I, Coppola joined Benito Mussolini's Fascist movement in 1919. Coppola by this time was known for advocating racist philosophy within the Fascist movement. In 1923, Coppola participated in influencing the Italian Nationalist Association to join the National Fascist Party. In 1923 and 1925, Coppola served the Fascist government as an Italian delegate to the League of Nations. In 1929 when he was made a professor at the University of Perugia, Mussolini made him a member of the Royal Academy of Italy in 1929.

Gabriele D'Annunzio

General Gabriele D'Annunzio, Prince of Montenevoso, Duke of Gallese (Italian pronunciation: [ɡabriˈɛːle danˈnuntsjo]; 12 March 1863 – 1 March 1938), sometimes spelled d'Annunzio, was an Italian poet, journalist, playwright and soldier during World War I. He occupied a prominent place in Italian literature from 1889 to 1910 and later political life from 1914 to 1924. He was often referred to under the epithets Il Vate ("the Poet") or Il Profeta ("the Prophet"). Some of his ideas and aesthetics influenced Italian fascism and the style of Benito Mussolini; he has been described as "the father of Fascism".D'Annunzio was associated with the Decadent movement in his literary works, which interplayed closely with French Symbolism and British Aestheticism. Such works represented a turn against the naturalism of the preceding romantics and was both sensuous and mystical. He came under the influence of Friedrich Nietzsche which would find outlets in his literary and later political contributions. His affairs with several women, including Eleonora Duse and Luisa Casati, received public attention.

During the First World War, perception of D'Annunzio in Italy transformed from literary figure into a national war hero. He was associated with the elite Arditi storm troops of the Italian Army and took part in actions such as the Flight over Vienna. As part of an Italian nationalist reaction against the Paris Peace Conference, he set up the short-lived Italian Regency of Carnaro in Fiume with himself as Duce. The constitution made "music" the fundamental principle of the state and was corporatist in nature.

Giovanni Papini

Giovanni Papini (January 9, 1881 – ibid. July 8, 1956) was an Italian journalist, essayist, literary critic, poet, philosopher and writer.

L'Idea Nazionale

L'Idea Nazionale (Italian for "The National Idea") was an Italian political newspaper associated with the Italian Nationalist Association (ANI), which merged with the National Fascist Party in 1923. The paper was published between 1911 and 1926.

Luigi Federzoni

Luigi Federzoni (27 September 1878 – 24 January 1967) was a twentieth-century Italian nationalist and later Fascist politician.

Maurizio Maraviglia

Maurizio Maraviglia (15 January 1878, Paola, Calabria – 26 September 1955, Rome) was an Italian politician and academic.

Mussolini Cabinet

The Mussolini Cabinet is longest-serving government in the history of united Italy. The Fascist dictator ruled the country from 31 October 1922 to 25 July 1943 for a total of 7572 days, or 20 years, 8 months and 25 days.On taking office, the government was composed by members from National Fascist Party, Italian People's Party, Italian Social Democratic Party, Italian Liberal Party, Italian Nationalist Association and other independent politicians. However, since 1 July 1924, all other parties were purged and the government was composed exclusively of Fascists, except for a few military officers.

National Blocs

The National Blocs (Italian: Blocchi Nazionali) was a right-wing coalition of political parties in Italy formed for the 1921 general election.

Proletarian nation

Proletarian nation was a term used by 20th century Italian nationalist intellectuals such as Enrico Corradini and later adopted by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini to refer to Italy and other poorer countries that were subordinate to the Western imperialist powers. These powers were described by Mussolini as "plutocratic nations" (nazioni plutocratiche). Corradini associated the proletariat with the economic function of production and believed that the producers should be at the forefront of a new imperialist proletarian nation. Mussolini considered that the military struggles unfolding in Europe in the mid-20th century could have revolutionary consequences that could lead to an improvement in the position of Italy in comparison with the major imperialist powers such as Britain.

Nazism rejected the Marxist concept of internationalist class struggle, it identified "class struggle between nations" and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation while it identified Germany as a proletarian nation fighting against plutocratic nations.


Proto-fascism refers to the direct predecessor ideologies and cultural movements that influenced and formed the basis of fascism. A prominent proto-fascist figure is Gabriele d'Annunzio, the Italian nationalist whose politics influenced Benito Mussolini and Italian Fascism. Proto-fascist political movements include the Italian Nationalist Association (Associazione Nazionalista Italiana, ANI), the German National Association of Commercial Employees (Deutschnationaler Handlungsgehilfen-Verband, DHV) and the German National People's Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei, DNVP).Precedence to modern fascism can be seen in the culture and government of older nations based heavily on law and order, such as the Roman Empire and the anciens régimes of Europe.

Other people that have been labeled proto-fascist are Edgar Julius Jung, Patrick Pearse, Charles Maurras and Ion Dragoumis (by John Mazis in his book A Man For All Seasons: The Uncompromising Life of Ion Dragoumis).

Roberto Forges Davanzati

Roberto Forges Davanzati (23 February 1880, Naples – 1 June 1936, Rome) was an Italian journalist, academic and politician. Initially a syndicalist, he later became a nationalist and fascist.

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