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© Archivio di Stato di Biella© Archivio centrale dello Stato© Archivio di Stato di Cremona

A pupil disciplined by his teacher. Picture from a board game known as the Game of the Goose
19th century
State Archives of Biella, Biella, Italy

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The trademark for Chocolat des Pyramides produced by the company Talmone, based in Turin (Italy)
31 July 1894
Central State Archives of Italy, Rome, Italy

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Flag of the Female Workers Friendly Society (Società di mutuo soccorso femminile) of Cremona, bearing the motto All for one and one for all
Unknown (probably end of the 19th–beginning of the 20th century)
State Archives of Cremona, Cremona, Italy

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Italy from 1861 to 1922

In 1861, when Italy became a nation state under King Victor Emanuel II, most Italians were poor, illiterate, disenfranchised peasants. In the following 60 years, the country experienced a late but intense industrialisation, mass migration, the development of a vibrant trade union movement and the beginning of social legislation; primary education became compulsory. Life expectancy rose from 29 in 1861 to 49 in 1921.

The era of mass politics began: in 1892 the Socialist Party was founded, in 1919 the Catholic Popular Party and in 1921 the Fascist Party. In the 1910s, male franchise became universal.

Wars enabled Italy to annex Venice (1866), Rome (1870), Trento and Trieste (1918).

The traumatic experience of World War I caused social and political upheavals and paved the way for the Fascist rise to power in 1922.