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Thread: Two Sicilies, AA Realm between past and future

  1. #201
    ui. i finally finished reading your aar so far. it only tooks me the most of the saturday, but it really was worth. Amazing. I love your writing style and your Italy is really not bad, i am looking forward to read the next parts, like the conquer of Africa...but i have a question to the french-prussian war. Although Prussia never was in Paris, the chance for the foundation of the german empire after a victory war against Franceh would be very high. I think i would be more intresting, if Baden and Würtenberg would be annexed by Prussia, which then would became Germany. Funny also is that Bavaria didn't take part of the war*g* In real Baden wanted to became a part of the north german confederation after the victory against Austria but was not allowed by Bismarck. So a joining would be only fair now.

    I want Germany^^...

    Although, great AAR.

  2. #202
    Colonel Dr. Gonzo's Avatar

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    I've always thought the Three Hurrahs event flawed. While playing a Prussian game, I had a 10 division army situated one province from the border and +200 relations with France, as such when the Franco-Prussian War fired, the frontier was open. Having a 'speedy' general, the army marched straight for Paris and occupied it before anyone knew what had happened. Suddenly the German Empire is formed within a month

    Still, interesting to see Italy spread down the Dalmatian coast, I concur that a Croatian puppet would be an excellent future option to piss off the Austrians.

    And now a little internal development and then colonialism? the Africa/Asia colonial ban ends in only 10 years!

  3. #203
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Ahura Mazda, stnylan: you're right, all these wars have left behind financial management. I will dedicate the rest of '70s to build up and consolidate industry.

    RGB, Dr. Gonzo: scramble for Africa is only seven years from now...

    McMacki: Bavaria didn't join because it's not ally with Prussia (Baden and Wurtemberg yes). The situation is quite peculiar because Bavaria is evolving into a Great Power status (8° ranking) and is not dependent on Prussia or Austria. Unfortunately, Prussia needs another war against France to become Germany and by 1880 there hasn't been.
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  4. #204
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    The Seventies, a contradictory decade

    After the short and elusive involvement in the Franco-Prussian conflict, a six-year period of continuing warfare closes and a decade of consolidation starts for Italy. Nevertheless, internal difficulties are always there and social instances evolve quite rapidly, seldom matched by the political and institutional bodies.

    The narration style will change a little bit now that the unification process is almost complete: I will be as much "historical" as I can, trying to depict with likelihood the situation of real Italy in the post-unification years (being the main difference here the continual rule of the progressive liberals while in actual history the conservatives ruled since 1861 to 1876) in different areas of interest; for example, the Seventies will be analysed in four different sections:
    • Today, demography and society;
    • How politics and cultural environment react to the changes;
    • Industrial evolution;
    • Foreign policy and colonialism.
    Demography and society

    The Italian population is growing at impressive pace: it was 28 million only in the unification year (1852), exactly half the number of 56 million residents observed by the census officers in 1876, less than a quarter of century later. Certainly the addition of South Tyrol, Istria, Tunisia and Zadar has contributed to this noteworthy demographic expansion, but if you compare Italian 1876 figures with those of other European peers a clear sign of general improvement emerges: with roughly half the provinces of United Kingdom and France (including their respective colonial dependencies, except for British India), Italy has almost the same population. Thanks to the massive investments committed by the ruling progressive liberal party, also the literacy rate, which used to be miserably lower than peers' in the first half of XIX century, is now well above 50% and in line with those of France, Spain or Netherlands. The 1877 Coppino Law [RH] extends and improves the compulsory primary schooling provisions established by the 1855 Saffi's reform.


    1876 census: an international comparison


    Maybe in these 25 years has occurred to Italy what specialists call the "demographic transition": in the first half of the century, society in the Italian states still featured high birth and death rates (features typical of rural economies). In the recent past, birth rates are still high but the improvements in food production, public hygiene and medicine has dramatically reduced death rates. We have already written about the diffusion of antiseptics and prophylaxis in war medicine during the Sixties: by mid Seventies, such applications are widely adopted also in the civil field and a law is passed in 1875 that makes compulsory the smallpox vaccination (however, in March 1876 before the vaccination campaign closes a last outbreak of smallpox kills four thousands people in Catania).


    One of two Italians is still a "contadino" (farmer)


    The rapid increase of population brings other problems, like the necessity for land reform, which has been a long-standing issue after the unification: with almost 43% of population still living of farming, it can affect the lives of half Italian families. The various Depretis/Cairoli cabinets, which incessantly rule along the decade, gradually implement the sale of the public, municipal and ecclesiastical lands to private owners. Generally, the sales create a virtuous network of small, dynamic landowners finally able to confront with the market economy, but land reform does not succeed everywhere: somewhere, intense exploitation of land resources results in soil erosion and deforestation. The abolition of traditional rights as grazing and wood gathering precludes to millions of households the obtainment of energy and pasture for domestic animals. In Sicily, few big landowners manage to recapture – sometimes with illegal and obscure means – big chunks of properties. An enlightening episode happens in 1875 [RH], when police issues the first report mentioning Antonio Giammona as leader of a secret criminal organisation, called mafia, which "convinces" peasants to sell their properties through menaces, beatings or even murders.


    Simply brigands or mafiosi? Don't ask!


    Elsewhere, distressed farmers are forced by mortgage creditors (or by greedy usurers) to sell back their lands for little money. This is particularly true in central Italy and causes the so-called 1876-79 "farmers' riots". Exasperated by tax and loan burdens (particularly harsh is opposition to the grist tax introduced in 1869 [RH]), reduced rights on common lands, instigated against the liberal institutions by the traditionalism/paternalism of the Church (the Seventies witness a great deal of antagonism between the Italian Republic and the Papal State), these ever-increasing masses of farmers turn to violence against the public officials. The very first episodes occur in Perugia (1876), Salerno (1877) and Pola (1878 – here the ethnic question has also a role), but the worst phase is the winter/spring 1879, when strikes and lootings spread through several provinces and require the commitment of three Army divisions to suppress the disorders, sometimes resulting in hurried shootings of rebellious peasants without regular process. The network of rebellions is contained only in June 1879.


    Worst period of the farmers' riots (1879)


    Due to industrialisation, in the Seventies begins also the diffusion of the very first local unions and mutual aid associations of craftsmen (still a minority, representing about 20% of workforce), which contributes to further interesting developments. Due to their political importance (a Revolutionary Socialist Party will join general elections for the first time in 1881) and diverse ideologies (initially Anarchical, then Socialist or Catholic) much more information will be given in the future. For the time being, the huge availability of workforce and the relatively low necessity for skilled labour – you know, a cement factory is not extremely different from a sulphur mine or a lumber mill from a timber lodge – does not produce radical changes or disorders, apart from urbanisation and emigration. Anyway, if a revolutionary ferment in the working classes is still embryonic, a small radical intelligentsia is already establishing contacts with international anarchists and socialists (the Neapolitan section of the First International dates 1869 [RH]), with Bakunin's followers unequivocally predominant over Marxists for the whole decade.


    Fourth from left is Giuseppe Fanelli, founder of the Italian section of the First International


    In fact, from depressed rural areas thousands of people begin a massive urbanisation (principally into Naples, Milano and Torino) looking for better jobs. The sudden influx of people provokes a great deal of problems to urban areas. Naples, for example, which was inhabited by 550-600.000 people only in 1836, exceeds 1,3 million in 1876. As London and Paris before, a complete reshuffle of the urban plan and mass transportation is often required to improve the living conditions in these cities.


    First Italian electric tramway in Milan (1876)


    People escaped from hopeless countryside and rejected by ruthless cities are left with the last option: emigration. In the Fifties and Sixties, Italy has been a land of immigration rather than the contrary: liberal institutions and the take-off of industrialisation attracted thousand of oppressed people from all over Europe. But in the Seventies the trend inverts and now it's thousands of Italians to leave annually their hometowns for better work opportunities abroad. The most popular destination is the American continent, particularly USA and Argentina, but also Canada and Central American countries receive some immigration. The bulk of this considerable outflow of people comes from the countryside and "illiterate farmer" is the most common mark you would find in the files of U.S. or Argentinean immigration offices. But also emigration from bigger towns and cities is not considerable, particularly because of continuing unemployment in several industrial sectors.


    Emigrants leaving for the Americas


    The overall image is that of a young people, still hurted by poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, but in a developing mood. Now, we can move to politics in order to see how Depretis and the liberal institutions handle these imbalances.
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  5. #205
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    So, from a social perspective a revolution is now most definintely underway. A slow, steady kind of revolution, but one with very far-reaching consequences nevertheless.
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  6. #206
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    There's more italians then I'd imaged

  7. #207
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    Argh! Look at the first picture in the previous post.
    What's that silly Savoy coat of arms in my Republican flag! I had never noticed it before.

    stnylan: it's the farsightedness of the ruling class that will determine the outcome of this impressive social evolution. Even if electors are limited by an electoral system based on census, a vast majority favours progressive liberal parties, and this should help a gradual reformation of the system. Until the Italian people do not urge for either electoral enlargment or social reforms, the situation should be under control.

    Ahura Mazda: you're right, that's too many. In real history, Italians were 25m in 1861 and 31m in 1900 (but emigration was massive in the last two decades). The game figures are no more realistic.
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  8. #208
    Lt. General Quirinus308's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hastu Neon
    Argh! Look at the first picture in the previous post.
    What's that silly Savoy coat of arms in my Republican flag! I had never noticed it before.
    ...Hey Now, That Coat of Arms has served me well
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  9. #209
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    It's never easy, getting things running smoothly, especially if you start from a slightly more challenging position like Italy's.
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  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hastu Neon
    Argh! Look at the first picture in the previous post.
    What's that silly Savoy coat of arms in my Republican flag! I had never noticed it before.
    What will it be replaced with?

  11. #211
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    The Seventies, a contradictory decade: politics and culture



    The graphs above are self-explaining: despite the difficulties and an electoral basis still limited by census, the Sinistra Costituzionale enjoys a strong support from voters and a large, self-sufficient majority in the Parliament. What the graphs do not say is that Depretis rules almost continuously over the entire decade, not without some Parliamentary worries and internal frictions.

    State of the ruling Sinistra Costituzionale


    The Palace ...


    The custom of "transformism" already practiced during the Sixties by Rattazzi is erected by Depretis onto a regular way to gain legitimacy and the vote of confidence necessary to form his cabinets. Claiming a direct inheritance from the liberal and democratic tradition that had shaped Italy in 1848-52, Depretis' Sinistra is therefore able to make itself the only valid political paradigm and effective government system. Opposition consent is paid off (or coerced, when needed), State bureaucracy is gradually politicised and the press remains under a soft form of censorship. Local authorities (remember that at the beginning Italy was built as a Federal Republic in consideration of the variety of its constituencies) are gradually discharged of real power and corruption thrives both at local and central level. All these practices and principles let Depretis govern changing its opponents into supporters [otherwise, how could you explain a 70% suffrage in 1871?], but will this support be fair and stable, in case the political institutions change adjust themselves to a rapidly changing society?

    The new legislature begins in January with the election of Aurelio Saffi (Mazzini's former associate in the 1848 Roman Republic and one of the ministers in 1852 Troya's first unitarian government) as President of the Republic. Depretis forms his new cabinet, which would last well after the end of the Parliamentary thanks to his strong grip on the current and next Parliamentary majorities (even if 1876 elections would show a slight decline in the number of seats gained by the governmental party). As a sign of changing times, both Giuseppe Mazzini and Urbano Rattazzi die in 1872 and 1873, respectively, removing from the political panorama to weighty personalities capable of challenging Depretis with Mazzini's morale stature and Rattazzi's conciliatory skills.

    Thus, only Francesco Crispi and Benedetto Cairoli remain to counterbalance Depretis among the progressive Liberals. Seated on two very visible chairs (authoritative Crispi as Interior Minister and esteemed Cairoli as Foreign Minister) and extremely influential with dominant constituencies, they repeatedly try to conduct autonomous political guidelines. Crispi's star is to be momentarily eclipsed because of his bigamy scandal in March 1878 [R], which even causes the fall of Depretis' cabinet. In fact, Crispi marries the lady who gave him a daughter, being still valid his previous marriage; being freemason, authoritarian and anticlerical, he is not clearly the most favoured statesman for the abundant traditionalists of Italy and a storm of indignation submerge with him the whole government. A period of instability ensues, with Cairoli forming another short-lived ministry (March-December 1878) that falls because of mismanagement of the aforesaid farmers riots and is followed by the so called "Cairoli-Bis" running (to be precise, wavering among the fluxes because it even loses support from the most leftist members of the Sinistra Costituzionale that flow towards the emerging Radical Party and thus can count on a thin Parliamentary majority) until the end of the legislature in June 1881.

    From a purely administrative standpoint, Depretis' long government is characterised by large state spending in all the fields (military, economic and education) that consolidate the financial standing of Italy in Europe [more details on this in the following chapter]. Yet, social and economic reformism, which had been one of the leading principles during the unification, slows down in this period: as in Victorian Britain, having a running economy is the must, wealth distribution comes after. Thus, apart from the really urgent measures (increase schooling, find a work for unemployed and expand infrastructure and factories), few achievements are pursued in the social and political field. One of these reforms in the widening of electoral basis for the 1881 elections, that would expand the State "supporting base", thus changing drastically the scenario for the Eighties. The voting age is reduced to 21 years (from 25) and the census requirement halved. Thus, even if not a universal suffrage, the reform multiplies by four the number of electors. This outcome produces a complete reshaping of existing parties and introduces new ones, being the Partito Radicale (liberal-radical) and the Partito Socialista Rivoluzionario (socialist) the major novelties of the new decade. Having introduced these new realities, let's move to the oppositions …

    The various oppositions


    ... and the People


    Until mid-Seventies, opposition is traditionally conducted in the Chambers, and relatively weak. Minghetti and Ricasoli still lead the consuetudinary factions of moderate/liberal Destra Consorterista and conservative Destra Permanente, but their Parliamentary groups add up to less than 30%. They would gain some more room in the Chamber after 1876 elections (reaching 40%) but their opposition keeps on as a frustrating – and frustrated – series of attempts to obstruct Parliamentary work and incite public opinion on Depretis faults (which sometimes cannot be doubted), remaining inconsequential as alternative government force. Similarly, on the extreme right a little band of Intransigenti Cattolici (15-20 deputies on average, out of 443) guided by Carlo Boncompagni generally team up with the conservatives when the interests of the strong clerical lobby are frequently touched by the laicist policies of the ruling party. Unfortunately, in the second half of the decade extra-Parliamentary opposition grows and becomes more dangerous than the Parliamentary one.

    The Catholic Church is maybe the most serious opposition: a list of insulting deeds made by Pius IX against the Republic that had deprived him of the territories out of Rome has been already revealed. Additionally, in 1871 with the encyclical Ubi Nos [R] Pius IX expressly prohibits to good Christians to vote for the liberals in the upcoming elections. Given the large number of people following its doctrine, this ban produces a large astensionism and reduces the representativity of the Parliament (that's also the reason why the elected Intransigenti Cattolici will always be few). A series of anticlerical reforms adopted in these years further exacerbate the divergence: the land reform privatises many ecclesiastical estates and converts into public buildings monasteries and convents; the schooling reform breaks the longstanding monopoly of the Church on education and science, some timid attempts to renew family law almost provoke an excommunication …

    Additionally, the "Roman Question" proves to be also a terrible deadlock from a diplomatic point of view: supported by other Catholic countries either resentful or cold against Italy (particularly Austria-Hungary, Bavaria, Spain and France), Pius IX keeps on with his intransigent stance of not renouncing to the rule over the Eternal City. Between the Franco-Prussian War and the eruption of the Balkan Question in 1876 a couple of times Foreign Minister Cairoli tries to call an international conference to settle the situation, getting only the British encouragement. Actually, among all those crises, is not simple to have a general agreement about an intricate matter like the temporal power of the Papacy. Pius IX's stubborn antagonism to Italy, liberalism and modernity would exasperate not only anticlerical persons, but also sincere Catholic ones inclined to reconciliation. Pius IX finally dies on 7th February 1878 after the longest papacy of modern times, succeeded by Leo XIII, which will be slightly more receptive to innovations of modern world. His 25 years of Papacy will speak for him in the following posts. An episode happening three years later when his body is moved into the Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura. The event ignites a violent clash among clericals and liberals and someone even menace to throw the corpse into the Tiber River, as last offence to this controversial Pope [R].

    On the left, the opposition takes two alternative forms: the dreadful one of anarchism and socialism that more appeasing of the Radical Party. During his permanence in Italy in the late '60s, Mikhail Bakunin would have a major role in the early development of the workers' movement making proselytes to the cause of anarchism. His friend Giuseppe Fanelli and later Carlo Cafiero and Errico Malatesta (all Southern Italians) would be the first distinguished leaders of the movement. Their first insurrectional attempts during mid-'70s receive limited support from the masses (the farmers' riots inspired by Catholic conservative movements are much more disrupting) and generally end with these leaders being arrested and exiled. These initial failures soon result in the split of the movement in three parts: the eternally idealists like Cafiero and Malatesta will always stick to a not-institutionalised anarchistic movement, their companion Andrea Costa will assume a "legalitarian" stance and found in 1881 the Partito Socialista Rivoluzionario and few others will move towards Radicalism.

    Thus, the Partito Radicale could be considered more as a mixture among the left of the institutional Sinistra and the right of the workers' movement. The goal of its leaders (like Felice Cavallotti and Giuseppe Zanardelli) is the extension of civil and social liberties at a pace higher than Depretis'; their ideology focuses more on rationalism, individualism and secularisation of the society through constitutional ways and institutional instruments rather than through revolution: the fact that they are mainly idealists and intellectuals (many important poets of this period, like Fogazzaro, Nievo, Carducci, are quite close to Radicalism) rather than peasants or craftsmen may have a role in their discreet approach. The electoral reform promulgated at the beginning of the new decade unleashes the evocative strength of all these new political movements and combines it with a much more higher number of electors; in the Eighties, Italian politics will not be the same …


    Reforms overview in 1876
    Last edited by Hastu Neon; 02-01-2008 at 12:33.
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  12. #212
    Tzar of all the Soviets RGB's Avatar
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    Then we're waiting for the 80s!

    The pope is a nuisance, as is Bakunin. I wonder which is worse.

    South Italy needs to be bought off! They seem kind of unhappy!
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  13. #213
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    A new Pope is probably just what Italy needs right now.
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  14. #214
    Ammiratus ammiratorum Hastu Neon's Avatar
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    The Seventies, a contradictory decade: economy


    Until the end of the Franco-Prussian War (February 1872), the pressure of defence expenditures restrains the possibility of public support to private economy, resulting in a period of economic stagnation. Only with Depretis' landslide victory and the appointment of his new government economy regains centrality in the political agenda, as stated in his inauguration speech of a furniture factory in Bozen (July 1872):

    "We believe in private enterprises like this one, but at the same time we understand the State has the moral duty to protect the lower classes and provide them with work and income, in order to let them improve their financial, intellectual and living standards [...] Furthermore, Italy standing among Great Powers needs continuous maintenance and investment: railways, ships, roads and mines do not only contribute to this standing, but their completion is another effort that brings money in the pockets to a vast number of workers."

    Apparently nebulous like the words of every politician, the "Bozen speech" is actually the prelude to a massive infrastructural and industrial expenditure program (the ratio of public spending to GDP for Italy is among the highest of the period), which will provide the country with an effective production based supply scheme.

    Industry is the government top priority: filled with mainly traditional labour-intensive factories, Italy still lacks a sizeable heavy industry for the innumerable purposes, including warfare and influence projection, of a great power. An unexpected shortage of steel, internally produced by a single foundry in Lombardy and supplied by an overheated world market, convinces Depretis to fund the construction of an additional steel factory in Trieste; shortly after, also the thriving activity of sulphur extraction induces him to push downstream, building a new explosive factory in Sicily and expanding the ammunition facility in Naples; on the brink of the upcoming decade, also the construction of a clipper shipyard is started in Tuscany.




    Specific industrial initiatives in the '70s


    The opening of the 13 km long Fréjus tunnel in 1871 [RH] connecting Italy and France is a mere example of the several railroad works carried out, but can be considered more a mutual tribute between two old friends – drilling works started in 1857, two years before Italy and France signed their alliance pact that still endures at its completion – rather than a fundamental public work. In fact, favoured by a new legal and financial framework, the "Strade Ferrate Italiane" is on the way to complete a less astounding but still important series of projects aiming at bringing everywhere the benefits of early railroads networks: the investment program is divided in two chunks: the development of early railroads along the Naples-Turin and Naples-Trento lines is scheduled and realised as first in the triennial plan 1875-77, while the Naples-Palermo is programmed for the triennium 1879-81 and executed correspondently.


    Opening of the Fréjus tunnel (1871)


    Extension of rail network in Northern Italy (1877)


    A specific area of governmental intervention is the mining and agricultural sectors, where Italy has always lagged behind other European countries: extra cash is dedicated to the expansion and improvement of iron and sulphur mines spread in Lombardy, Emilia, Sicily and Sardinia in order to increase the scale of operations and consequently efficiencies. In certain areas where unemployment is a serious social and economic issue, such extension of mining activity, combined with land reform and enlargement of farming estates and fisheries, with allows also the occupation of unskilled labour.


    Use of trains in a Sardinian pit


    Economic and infrastructural growth is furthermore helped by a series of innovations, particularly in the mechanical field: the first high and low pressure steam engines are introduced in early '70s and can be considered the main factor explaining the boost in mining activities, as the introduction of mechanical production (1873) and Millardet's Bordeaux mixture (1876) are for manufacturing and agribusiness.

    The Seventies are a period of both organic growth in production and newborn initiatives, which increase the regional economic diversification of the peninsula according to the comparative advantages of each region: the South stands out as the granary of the nation with its estates (even if large manufacturing plants keep on their activity), North-West and Tuscany become the industrial powerhouses with their modern industries, North-East and Emilia-Romagna experiment a diffuse capitalism of mid-small enterprises and the islands specialises in the extractive industry.

    As a consequence, even in presence of the troubles described here and in previous posts (large unemployment, farmers' riots and starting emigration), the Seventies still record an impressive increase in production. GDP stands at 138.000 £ in 1876 (compared to 60.000 in 1856 and 92.000 in 1866), a clear sign that the unleashed power of machines is sustaining a robust growth in productivity.
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    Wow. Impressive increase there.

    That's actually very few factories, you know. Especially for this late in the game.

    Lots of catch-up to do for you I imagine....
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    Definitely appears that industrialisation has now taken a firm hold on Italy.
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    interesting that you chose to build a clipper shipyard. By 1882 wouldn't a steamer shipyard be of greater value?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hastu Neon

    Specific industrial initiatives in the '70s
    Only clippers so far?!

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    All: I know, I've never been particularly able with industrialisation in Victoria. AI generally build hundreds of factories with sizeable Great Powers. At least, it makes the historically plausible sense of a young Italy that needs to catch up with UK, France and Germany...

    With regards to the clipper shipyard, I love to have at least one of every kind of factory; but don't worry: the steamer shipyard is in pipeline for 1882!
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    Actually clippers are a good money-maker, and clipper transports are cheap and efficient and really not much worse than steamer transports.

    So that's not a terrible decision at all.
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