Sonnino, Sidney, Barone

Sonnino, Sidney, Barone

(bärô`nā sōn-nē`nō), 1847–1922, Italian foreign minister instrumental in Italy's entry into World War I. A member of the diplomatic corps (1867–73), he later became interested in social and economic problems, particularly in the conditions of the peasants, and founded an economic review, later converted into a political daily. Sonnino entered parliament in 1880 and as minister of finance (1893–96) under Crispi took drastic measures and succeeded in balancing the budget. Perhaps the most important conservative leader after the fall of Antonio Starrabba RudinìRudinì, Antonio Starrabba or Starabba, marchese di
, 1839–1908, Italian political leader. A Sicilian revolutionist, he was mayor of Palermo (1864), prefect of Naples (1868), minister of the interior (1869),
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 (1898), he was the chief rival of Giovanni GiolittiGiolitti, Giovanni
, 1842–1928, Italian public official, five times premier (1892–93, 1903–5, 1906–9, 1911–14, 1920–21). He entered parliament in 1882 and served (1889–90) as minister of finance before becoming premier.
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 in the prewar period. He was twice briefly premier (1906, 1909–10). As foreign minister during World War I, he negotiated (1915) the secret Treaty of London, by which Italy entered the war on the Allied side in exchange for promises of vast territorial gains. The opposition of President Wilson to the fulfillment of the secret treaty caused major difficulties at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, where Sonnino represented Italy with Vittorio Emanuele OrlandoOrlando, Vittorio Emanuele
, 1860–1952, Italian statesman and jurist. He held several cabinet posts from 1903 to 1917 and was premier from 1917 to 1919. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, he demanded the fulfillment of the secret Treaty of London of 1915, by which the
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. Sonnino retired from politics in 1919.
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