DBWI: What if Italy had become a republic

In 1946, right after WW2, the Italians held a referendum to decide whether to keep the monarchy or become a republic. The results were mixed: most people in the south voted for the monarchy, while in the north they choose the republic. In the end, the nation was divided in two countries: the People's Republic of Italy (comprising the north and part of the central regions, Rome included) and the Kingdom of Italy (comprising the rest of the territory, Sicily and Sardinia included).

So, my question is: what if the results of the referendum were different, and Italy had become a republic, staying united until the present day?
 
I mean, its not like Italy was united all that much before the referendum. The results offered a useful excuse to break the country up. I can't see Italy staying united, and considering what happened in the North, the South probably made the right move. In my mind the split was inevitable, the results just sped it up.
 
OOC: I’m assuming the split is at the regional line south of Rome, so Lazio and Abruzzo are in the People’s Republic while Campania and Molise are part of the Kingdom. Rome still makes sense as a Republic Capital while Potenza is probably the best spot for the Kingdom capital based on location.

IC: Maybe life would be different if the Republic hadn’t gotten so close with the Soviets. But that’s how it was - every country that divided had to be a Kingdom/Republic of Country whole the other side had to be a Democratic People’s Happy Fun Sunshine Cotton Candy Super Awesome Republic of Country, and the latter turned into a shithole every time. Even after the People’s Republic of Italy reformed into just the Republic of Italy in the 90s, they still couldn’t shake authoritarianism. Berlusconi just won’t go away. Ironically the Kingdom has a much better grasp on democracy, since the legislature makes all the decisions anyway and the King has only overruled a law three times since the referendum - and every time he was proven right in the end. I mean, we all know apartheid would have been shit there, and that tax cut? Thankfully the King knew what was best.

My wife and I spent a week and a half in the Kingdom six years ago, and it was lovely. Everything was just great, and Potenza is wonderful. So are Sicily and Capri. We didn’t dare go to Rome - it’s a fucking kleptocracy and we would have been robbed blind.
 
And what about foreign policy? Would a united Italy be more US-aligned, or would it be a soviet ally?
It's an interesting question, I mean as much as the Republic was linked to the USSR they were surrounded by NATO states and had to walk a fine line, and the South only went US crazy out of paranoia towards the North. My guess we might have seen a united Italy be more neutral than anything else, with the North in it there's no way in hell they join NATO.

We didn’t dare go to Rome - it’s a fucking kleptocracy and we would have been robbed blind.
Had to go to Rome once, never again. Sad to see the eternal city become what it has.
 
Had to go to Rome once, never again. Sad to see the eternal city become what it has.

Now that you mention it, how is it possible that Rome became such a hell on earth? My grandmother used to live there when she was young, and she said it was a good place.
 
Last edited:
Now that you mention it, how is it possible that Rome became such a hell on earth? My grandmother used to live there when she was young, and she said it was a good place.

Anything beautiful about Rome has been destroyed, allowed to rot or been turned into a nightmare. The Colosseum is a pile of rubble that staged executions under communism and I hear it’s being turned into apartments now. The Forum was razed and turned into monuments to communism and is now a gathering place for criminals. Berlusconi’s mansion looks like a shimmering palace among rubble - it’s like European Iraq or something.

Some of the history was recreated in Potenza’s Historic District, but it’s not the same. It’s like going through Beverly Hills - we paid like 300 euros for a meal there and the food was better in some of the quieter parts of the city.
 
It's an interesting question, I mean as much as the Republic was linked to the USSR they were surrounded by NATO states and had to walk a fine line, and the South only went US crazy out of paranoia towards the North. My guess we might have seen a united Italy be more neutral than anything else, with the North in it there's no way in hell they join NATO.

Had to go to Rome once, never again. Sad to see the eternal city become what it has.

It is possible that America being paranoid,about the rise of the iron curtain could ha decided to send agents to Italy to rig the referendum and following elections to ensure that Italy stayed both united and pro American.
 
I wonder if the Pope would've remained in Rome under a Republic; the Lateran Treaty was tainted with Fascism which gave the commies an excuse to cancel it, but the Papacy even after decades of near-exile still really wants to get back in there. I wonder if a normal Republic could've accomodated the Pope somehow (renegotiating the Lateran Treaty? Adopting it wholesale?).
 
I wonder if the Pope would've remained in Rome under a Republic; the Lateran Treaty was tainted with Fascism which gave the commies an excuse to cancel it, but the Papacy even after decades of near-exile still really wants to get back in there. I wonder if a normal Republic could've accomodated the Pope somehow (renegotiating the Lateran Treaty? Adopting it wholesale?).

It's possible. A non communist republic wouldn't be as anti-clerical as OTL.
 
It's possible. A non communist republic wouldn't be as anti-clerical as OTL.
This suggests all kinds of interesting butterflies with the ROTW too; the Roman Question persistently soured Catholic-Communist relationships, and without Church support a lot of South-American regimes wouldn't have been nearly as stable.

And who knows, Central-Eastern Europe might still be Christian rather than Atheist if the Communist hadn't been so aggressive in attempting to crush the Church.
 
Top