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Word Count: 720
Only thirty years after the Piedmontese army marched into Rome to unite Italy under one government the country suddenly found itself on the brink of the twentieth century and a rapidly changing world The twentieth century would mark the beginning of great changes throughout Europe and Italy would not be left untouched What set the stage for these changes though were the years just prior to and directly after 1900 The decade before 1900 can be thought of in terms of its government leaders most notably Francesco Crispi Crispi attempted to lead Italy with administrative reforms and expansion abroad The 1890s however also marked a time of great crisis as riots over the prices of food grew increasingly common and government oppression became more and more blatant It was not uncommon for the prime ministers of the time to issue decrees without parliament by claiming royal authority or to dissolve opposition parties Even the end of the Sicilian fasci movement which carried out strikes and opposition demonstrations came when Crispi sent the military in on one of their strikes imprisoning all of their leaders Crispis attempts to turn Italy into a world power through colonialism failed as well In the 1890s the Italian governments various attempts at turning nearby African nation Ethiopia into a colony were met with heavy losses and crushing defeats Although Italy did manage to conquer Libya it did not help very much Libyas annexation in 1896 lowered living conditions for the lower class and increased prices across the nation Libya was a veritable economic sinkhole for Italy even as peasants from the South emigrated in large numbers to seek work there With the atmosphere of discontent present in Italy at the time this did not bode well for the countrys leaders and politicians Italians had the impression that their government was bumbling and ineffectual and that it was keeping Italy from realizing her potential When the final major political
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