Vittorio Emanuele Orlando


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Orlando, Vittorio Emanuele

 

Born May 19, 1860, in Palermo; died Dec. 1, 1952, in Rome. Italian statesman; a leader of Italian liberalism. Founder of the Italian school of public law.

Orlando headed the government from October 1917 to June 1919 and led the Italian delegation at the 1919–20 Paris Peace Conference. Underestimating the danger of Fascism for liberal institutions and seeing it only as a tool for suppressing the revolutionary movement, he collaborated with the Fascists until 1925.

After Mussolini’s speech of Jan. 3, 1925, on the destruction of the Italian constitutional government, Orlando went over to the opposition. In 1943 he played a prominent role in Mussolini’s downfall, effected “from above” by military and monarchical circles. In 1948 he became a senator. Orlando’s position on a number of issues of foreign and domestic policy was close to that of progressive circles.