Italy
Media
  • Economy
  • An overview
  • Public and private sectors
  • Postwar economic development
  • Later economic trends
  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  • Field crops
  • Tree crops
  • Pasture
  • Forestry
  • Fishing
  • Resources and power
  • Iron and coal
  • Mineral production
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Development of heavy industry
  • Light manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Finance
  • Trade
  • Services and tourism
  • Business services
  • Tourism
  • Labour and taxation
  • Transportation and telecommunications
  • Water transport
  • Rail transport
  • Road transport
  • Air transport
  • Telecommunications
  • Government and society
  • Constitutional framework
  • Constitution of 1948
  • The legislature
  • The presidential office
  • The government
  • Regional and local government
  • Justice
  • Political process
  • Electoral system
  • Political parties
  • The participation of the citizen
  • Security
  • Health and welfare
  • Housing
  • Education
  • Cultural life
  • Cultural milieu
  • Daily life and social customs
  • The arts
  • Visual arts
  • Architecture
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Film
  • Cultural institutions
  • Museums and galleries
  • Libraries
  • Cultural institutes
  • Sports and recreation
  • Media and publishing
  • History
  • Italy in the early Middle Ages
  • The late Roman Empire and the Ostrogoths
  • Fifth-century political trends
  • The Ostrogothic kingdom
  • The end of the Roman world
  • Lombards and Byzantines
  • The Lombard kingdom, 584–774
  • Popes and exarchs, 590–800
  • Ethnic identity and government
  • Lombard Italy
  • Byzantine Italy
  • Similarities between Lombard and Byzantine states
  • Carolingian and post-Carolingian Italy, 774–962
  • The kingdom of Italy
  • The role of Rome
  • The reign of Berengar I
  • The south, 774–1000
  • Literature and art
  • Economy and society
  • Socioeconomic developments in the countryside
  • Subsistence cultivation
  • The growing power of the aristocracy
  • Socioeconomic developments in the city
  • Italy, 962–1300
  • Italy under the Saxon emperors
  • The Ottonian system
  • Social and economic developments
  • The reform movement and the Salian emperors
  • The papacy and the Normans
  • The Investiture Controversy
  • The rise of communes
  • The age of the Hohenstaufen
  • Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa)
  • Papal-imperial relations
  • Institutional reforms
  • Northern Italy
  • Economic and cultural developments
  • Henry VI
  • Otto IV
  • Frederick II
  • Relations to the papacy
  • The kingdom of Jerusalem
  • The Sicilian kingdom
  • The war in northern Italy
  • The factors shaping political factions
  • The end of Hohenstaufen rule
  • Economic developments
  • Cultural developments
  • Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries
  • Characteristics of the period
  • Italy to c. 1380
  • The southern kingdoms and the Papal States
  • The popolo and the formation of the signorie in central and northern Italy
  • Venice in the 14th century
  • Florence in the 14th century
  • Economic change
  • Famine, war, and plague (1340–80)
  • Italy from c. 1380 to c. 1500
  • Political development, 1380–1454
  • The states of Italy in the 15th century
  • The southern monarchies and the Papal States
  • Venice
  • Florence
  • Milan
  • The first French invasion
  • Savonarola
  • The early Italian Renaissance
  • Humanism
  • The arts and intellectual life
  • Early modern Italy (16th to 18th centuries)
  • From the 1490s through the 17th-century crisis
  • French and Spanish rivalries after 1494
  • French loss of Naples, gain of Milan
  • Spanish acquisition of Naples
  • Tuscany and the papacy
  • French victories in Lombardy
  • The age of Charles V
  • New warfare
  • Spanish victory in Italy
  • Spanish Italy
  • The Kingdom of Naples
  • The kingdom of Sicily
  • Sardinia
  • The duchy of Milan
  • Principates and oligarchic republics
  • The duchy of Savoy
  • The duchy of Tuscany
  • The republic of Genoa
  • The Republic of Venice
  • The Papal States
  • Culture and society
  • Society and economy
  • The 17th-century crisis
  • Reform and Enlightenment in the 18th century
  • Society and economy
  • Political thought and early attempts at reform
  • The era of Enlightenment reform
  • Milan
  • Tuscany
  • Naples and Sicily
  • The other Italian states
  • The crisis of the old regime
  • Revolution, restoration, and unification
  • The French Revolutionary period
  • The early years
  • French invasion of Italy
  • Roots of the Risorgimento
  • The Italian republics of 1796–99
  • Collapse of the republics
  • The French Consulate, 1799–1804
  • The Napoleonic empire, 1804–14
  • Northern and central Italy
  • The Kingdom of Naples
  • Sardinia and Sicily
  • The end of French rule
  • The restoration period
  • The Vienna settlement
  • Economic slump and revival
  • The rebellions of 1831 and their aftermath
  • The Revolutions of 1848
  • Unification
  • The role of Piedmont
  • The war of 1859
  • Garibaldi and the Thousand
  • Condition of the Italian kingdom
  • The acquisition of Venetia and Rome
  • Italy from 1870 to 1945
  • Developments from 1870 to 1914
  • Politics and the political system, 1870–87
  • Forces of opposition
  • Land reform
  • Protectionism
  • Social changes
  • The Crispi era, 1887–1900
  • Domestic policies
  • Colonialism
  • Years of crisis
  • The Giolitti era, 1900–14
  • Domestic policies
  • Economic developments
  • Health and education
  • World War I and fascism
  • War and its aftermath
  • Conduct of the war
  • The cost of victory
  • Economic and political crisis: the “two red years”
  • The Fascist era
  • The rise of Mussolini
  • The end of constitutional rule
  • Anti-Fascist movements
  • Economic policy
  • Foreign policy
  • World War II
  • Military disaster
  • End of the regime
  • The republic of Salò (the Italian Social Republic) and the German occupation
  • The partisans and the Resistance
  • Italy since 1945
  • The first decades after World War II
  • Birth of the Italian republic
  • The Cold War political order
  • Parties and party factions
  • Foreign policy
  • The economic miracle
  • Industrial growth
  • Land reform
  • The south
  • Italy from the 1960s
  • Demographic and social change
  • Economic stagnation and labour militancy in the 1960s and ’70s
  • Student protest and social movements, 1960s–1980s
  • Terrorism
  • Politics in the 1970s and ’80s
  • Regional government
  • The economy in the 1980s
  • The fight against organized crime
  • Italy at the turn of the 21st century
  • Emergence of the “second republic”
  • Economic strength
  • A new political landscape
  • The rise of Berlusconi
  • Shifting power
  • Scandal and the struggling economy
  • The migrant crisis and the growth of populist movements
  • The Renzi and Gentiloni governments
  • The victory of populist parties
  • Immigration and foreign policy
  • Italy from the 1960s

    Beginning in the 1960s, Italy completed its postwar transformation from a largely agrarian, relatively poor country into one of the most economically and socially advanced countries of the world. One consequence of these changes was that migration from the south slowed after 1970 and, by the 1980s, even reversed, as jobs became scarcer in northern Italy and northern Europe. Other demographic, economic, technological, and cultural changes transformed Italian daily life and fueled social unrest. After the Cold War ended in 1989, pressures for political and economic reform, European economic unification, and globalization exposed Italy to a new range of challenges.

    Demographic and social change

    In general, population growth in Italy had slowed dramatically by the 1960s. The birth rate in the north had already been low in the postwar years and dropped below replacement level in the 1970s in most northern and central regions. Even in the south, birth rates fell sharply after 1964. By 1979 there were only 670,000 live births in all of Italy and by 1987 some 560,000. Italians had one of the lowest birth rates of any industrial country by the 1990s, and there was a growing tendency toward families having only one child and adults remaining single.

    The reasons for the dramatic decline in births are complex. Contraception became readily available after 1971, and most Italians were now urbanites living in apartments and thus not in need of a large number of children to help till the soil. Women were now better-educated. Girls in general began going to secondary schools only in the 1960s, and by 1972 there were a quarter-million female graduates. They could now pursue satisfying careers or at least readily find gainful employment that gave them financial independence from men and alternatives to lives as homemakers and mothers. In 1970, following a campaign led by the Radical Party and opposed by the church and Christian Democrats, Italy’s first divorce law was passed. It was confirmed in a nationwide referendum (called by the Christian Democrats) in May 1974 by 59.1 percent of the voters—a real victory for secular groups against church and Christian Democratic dominance of society. In 1975 many antiquated provisions in family law were altered or abolished, and in 1981 another referendum confirmed by 67.9 percent of the vote the 1978 law permitting abortion. Meanwhile, civil marriage became more common (almost 12 percent of all marriages by 1979), as did unmarried cohabitation.

    Legal contraception, divorce, and abortion provided dramatic evidence of a more secularized society. Regular church attendance fell sharply, from about 70 percent in the mid-1950s to about 30 percent in the 1980s. The membership of Catholic Action fell to about 650,000 by 1978, about one-fourth of its figure in 1966, and in the late 1960s Catholic trade unions allied with their erstwhile Communist rivals. Broadcasting in 1976 ceased to be a state monopoly dominated by the Christian Democrats. Furthermore, many church-controlled charities, especially at the local level, were taken over by regional governments in 1977 and 1978 and run as part of the state welfare system by political appointees. Although the Christian Democrats still held most government posts, Italy by the 1980s was indeed markedly “de-Christianized,” as Pope John Paul II said. In 1985 a new concordat that recognized many of these changes was ratified by the Vatican and (significantly) a government led by the Socialist Bettino Craxi. Roman Catholicism ceased to be the state religion, religious instruction in schools became voluntary, and the state stopped funding priests’ salaries.

    Italy
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