Francesco Saverio Nitti

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nitti, Francesco Saverio


Born July 19, 1868, in Melfi; died Feb. 20, 1953, in Rome. Italian political and social figure; an ideologist of Italian liberalism. Professor of fiscal law.

Nitti became a deputy in parliament in 1904. From 1911 to 1914 he served as minister of agriculture, and from October 1917 to June 1919 as minister of finance. In June 1919 he became prime minister and minister of the interior. Nitti introduced a number of liberal measures in an attempt to surmount the postwar crisis. His government lowered the price of bread and transferred parcels of uncultivated or poorly cultivated land to peasant cooperatives. The planned intervention of Italian troops in Soviet Georgia was abandoned and an election reform that somewhat increased the number of voters was adopted.

Lacking support from the major groupings within the bourgeoisie, who leaned toward an alliance with the Fascists, Nitti left office in June 1920 and emigrated after the Fascists came to power in 1922. In 1943 he was arrested by the Nazis in France. Freed after the defeat of the Fascist powers, Nitti returned to Italy and became a leading left-wing liberal. In 1948 he became a de jure member of the Italian Senate. He was the author of works on economics, finance, sociology, and international relations.


Scritti politici, vols. 1–2. Bari, 1959–61.
In Russian translation:
Osnovnye nachala finansovoi nauki. Moscow, 1904.
Evropa nad bezdnoi. Petrograd, 1923.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.