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Just before the outbreak of the Great War, Italy joined the Central Powers. This alliance allowed Italy to pursue their expansionist aspirations in the Balkans and Africa during the war, however these dreams would remain just that, dreams as the war would eventually result in little change for anyone, especially Italy. Change in the case of Italy's African colonies were less than beneficial for Italy as a failed attempt to colonize Ethiopia further, resulted in the country's armies fleeing back to Eritrea with their tails tucked between their legs. This was just one example of Italy's hard fought battles during the war in which many Italian men and boys lost their lives to sate their leader's quest for glory and power. The countless bodies that returned from these battlefields were the driving force of anti-war and anti-monarchist propaganda that was spread throughout the nation by the rising radical political party, Partito Communista Italiano (Italian Communist Party). The PCI would become a very big problem for the Italian government in the later stages of the war, eventually forcing the Italian government to peace out of the war early (15th of January 1920), just as Russia had, though with less dire consequences.
The party's revolutionary fervor eventually came to a head in the Revoluzione di dicembre (31st of December, 1921), in which communist revolutionaries revolted against the Italian government, led by Vito Verona, the head of the PCI. The revolution lasted nearly two years, it's killing blow coming in the form of the death of Verona who was killed during a confrontation between PCI forces and the bulk of the Italian Home Army resulting in a crushing victory for the Italian government and the end of the December Revolution.
After the war, and after crushing the short lived December Revolution, the Italian government focused their efforts on putting down any nationalist sentiments that might arise in Libya, their only remaining colony. These efforts would turn out to be for naught, however as in 1933 a large force of Nationalist rebels rose up in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. These rebels would successfully force what little Italian troops remained in the colony to the coast, forcing them, just as their compatriots had in Ethiopia, to flee back to Italy, defeated and demoralized. This loss solidified the end of Italian colonial ambitions in Africa as Italy agreed to cede the territory to the newly formed Libyan government.
This constant stream of defeats would stick with Italy, resulting in many Italians feeling as though the monarchy was weak and unable to keep Italy strong. This feeling has persisted long after the end of the war and the losses of Italy's colonies, resulting in Nationalist sentiment being widespread throughout the nation. This growing nationalist threat
, as the government refers to it as, would continue to grow in strength, eventually culminating in the assassination of King Nicola III (November 16th 1936). With his father's death, the newly crowned King Nicola IV, only nineteen when he took the throne, would make it his goal to see that these anti-monarchist and nationalists would pay for their treason. The perpetrators of the assassination, Gioachino Cuoco and Narciso Albini, would be put to death by hanging. Soon after their deaths Nicola IV would write into law that anyone associated with the rising nationalist movement, the Black Hand, would be arrested, put on trial and subsequently sentenced to hanging.
These threats did nothing to deter the members of the Black Hand, however soon after his declaration, an attempt on the King's life would be made. On the December 1st, 1936, King Nicola was in the city of Ancona, christening the newest capital ship in the Italian Navy, the Ancona
. Before this the king's advisers had warned him to take the utmost precaution during the event, as Ancona had been a hotbed for nationalist sentiment, nearly as much as Rome had been. Nicola, however, foolishly dismissed this advice, keeping his security for the event low as he believed that not doing so would be an act of cowardice. That afternoon, just as the Ancona would begin sailing away to patrol the Mediterranean, two shots would ring out. Within the crowd of people that gathered to watch the ceremony stood Lorenzo Tripani, an avid member of the Black Hand and a radical nationalist. The two shots he was able to fire before being tackled by a a member of the King's security force, would slam into Nicola's torso, one of them striking his shoulder and the other burying itself in his stomach. The young king would be rushed to the nearest hospital where doctors would begin working on saving the King's life, however they would be unsuccessful in their endeavor as eight hours after the shooing King Nicola Bencivenni IV would perish, leaving no heir and no direct claimant to the throne.
Word would spread of the king's death and soon after the Black Hand would claim responsibility. With the death of the King, the leader of the Black Hand, Gavino Nisi, took this as an opportunity to stage a fullscale rebellion that he and his nationalist companions had been planing for years. The Black Hand took to the streets, claiming that the death of King Nicola marked the death of the monarchy and that if Italy was to be strong in the coming years they would need to focus on Italy, not the monarchs that ruled her.
Unlike the December Revolution, this one was not short lived. The Black Hand's forces march on Rome, burning parliment and the king's palace to the ground and slaughtering anyone with close ties to the late king. When the day was done Rome was in shambles and Italy was left traumitized.
On the 3rd of December 1936, two days after the day that would become known as Gloria al giorno d'Italia (Glory to Italy day), Gavino Nisi was named the head of the new Italian government. He took full command of the nation and immediately began to work to achieve his dream of a Glorious Italy
. He began work programs that severely cut unemployment, created new trade with other European nations and began to mend the bonds between Italy and her European neighbors.
Nisi has maintained his control over Italy to the present day, keeping a firm but fair hold over the country. Since taking power, Nisi has helped Italy flourish, it's economy is booming and it's people are happy. However recently worries have begun to grow about Nisi's health and what would happen if he were to die. The country has depended on Nisi for nearly three decades and the thought of losing him, to many Italians, means losing Italy.
Nothing at this time.