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A major challenge for the prime ministers of the new Kingdom of Italy was integrating the political and administrative systems of the seven different major components into a unified set of policies.
The different regions were proud of their own historic patterns and could not easily be fitted into the Sardinian model.
Cavour started the planning, but died before it was fully developed—indeed, the challenges of administration the various bureaucracies are thought to have hastened his death.
They practically all followed the Napoleonic precedent, so harmonization was straightforward. The second challenge was to develop a parliamentary system.
Cavour and most liberals up and down the peninsula highly admired the British system, so it became the model for Italy to this day.
Harmonizing the Army and Navy were much more complex, chiefly because the systems of recruiting soldiers and selecting and promoting officers were so different and needed to be grandfathered in over decades.
The disorganization helps explain why the Italian naval performance in the war was so abysmal. The military system was slowly integrated over several decades.
The multiple educational system likewise proved complicated for there were few common elements. Shortly before his death, Cavour appointed Francesco De Sanctis as minister of education.
De Sanctis was an eminent scholar from the University of Naples who proved an able and patient administrator. The addition of Veneto in and Rome in further complicated the challenges of bureaucratic coordination.
Italian society after unification and throughout most of the Liberal Period was sharply divided along class, linguistic, regional and social lines.
On 20 September , the military forces of the King of Italy overthrew what little was left of the Papal States , capturing in particular the city of Rome.
The following year, the capital was moved from Florence to Rome. In , the dispute was settled by the Lateran Treaty, in which the King recognized Vatican City as an independent state and paid a large sum of money to compensate the Church for the loss of the Papal States.
Liberal governments generally followed a policy of limiting the role of the Roman Catholic Church and its clergy as the state confiscated church lands.
Common cultural traits in Italy in this time were social conservative in nature, including a strong belief in the family as an institution and patriarchal values.
In other areas, Italian culture was divided: After unification, a number of descendents of former royal nobility became residents of Italy, comprising 7, noble families.
Many wealthy landowners maintained a feudal-like tight control over "their" peasants. Italian society in this period remained highly divided along regional and local sub-societies which often had historical rivalries with each other.
In , Italy lacked a single national language: Illiteracy was high, with the census indicating that This illiteracy rate was far higher than that of western European countries in the same time period and also no national popular press was possible due to the multiplicity of regional languages.
Italy had very few public schools upon unification, so the Italian government in the Liberal Period attempted to increase literacy by establishing state-funded schools to teach the official Italian language.
Living standards were low during the Liberal Period, especially in southern Italy, due to various diseases such as malaria and epidemics that occurred during the period.
As a whole, there was initially a high death rate in at 30 people dying per 1, people, though this reduced to In addition, the mortality rate of children dying in their first year after birth in was The mortality rate of children dying in their first year after birth decreased to an average of In terms of the entire period, Giovanni Federico has argued that Italy was not economically backward, for there was substantial development at various times between and Unlike most modern nations that relied on large corporations, industrial growth in Italy was a product of the entrepreneurial efforts of small, family-owned firms that succeeded in a local competitive environment.
Political unification did not systematically bring economic integration, as Italy faced serious economic problems and economic division along political, social and regional lines.
In the Liberal Period, Italy remained highly economically dependent on foreign trade and the international price of coal and grain.
Advances in technology, the sale of vast Church estates, foreign competition along with export opportunities rapidly transformed the agricultural sector in Italy shortly after unification.
The overwhelming attention paid to foreign policy alienated the agricultural community in Italy which had been in decline since Both radical and conservative forces in the Italian parliament demanded that the government investigate how to improve agriculture in Italy.
The investigation, which started in and was released eight years later, showed that agriculture was not improving, that landowners were earning revenue from their lands and contributing almost nothing to the development of the land.
Lower class Italians were hurt by the break-up of communal lands to the benefit of landlords. Most of the workers on the agricultural lands were not peasants , but short-term laborers "braccianti" who at best were employed for one year.
Peasants without stable income were forced to live off of meager food supplies, disease was spreading rapidly and plagues were reported, including a major cholera epidemic which killed at least 55, people.
The Italian government could not deal with the situation effectively because of overspending that left Italy heavily in debt. Italy also suffered economically as a consequence of overproduction of grapes by their vineyards.
Italy prospered as the largest exporter of wine in Europe, but following the recovery of France in Southern Italy was overproducing and had to cut back, which caused greater unemployment and bankruptcies.
The Italian government invested heavily in developing railways in the s, more than doubling the existing length of railway line between and An census found that over 1 million southern day-laborers were chronically under-employed and were very likely to become seasonal emigrants in order to economically sustain themselves.
From the s onward, intellectuals, scholars and politicians examined the economic and social conditions of Southern Italy "Il Mezzogiorno" , a movement known as meridionalismo "Meridionalism".
For example, the Commission of Inquiry into the South indicated that the Italian government thus far had failed to ameliorate the severe economic differences and the limitation of voting rights only to those with sufficient property allowed rich landowners to exploit the poor.
In , Minghetti was ousted and replaced by liberal Agostino Depretis , who began the long Liberal Period. The Liberal Period was marked by corruption, government instability, continued poverty in Southern Italy and use of authoritarian measures by the Italian government.
Depretis began his term as Prime Minister by initiating an experimental political notion known as trasformismo "transformism".
The theory of trasformismo was that a cabinet should select a variety of moderates and capable politicians from a non-partisan perspective.
In practice, trasformismo was authoritarian and corrupt as Depretis pressured districts to vote for his candidates, if they wished to gain favourable concessions from Depretis when in power.
The results of the Italian general election of resulted in only four representatives from the right being elected, allowing the government to be dominated by Depretis.
Despotic and corrupt actions are believed to be the key means in which Depretis managed to keep support in Southern Italy.
Depretis put through authoritarian measures, such as banning public meetings, placing "dangerous" individuals in internal exile on remote penal islands across Italy and adopting militarist policies.
Depretis enacted controversial legislation for the time, such as abolishing arrest for debt, making elementary education free and compulsory while ending compulsory religious teaching in elementary schools.
In , Francesco Crispi became Prime Minister and began focusing government efforts on foreign policy.
Crispi worked to build Italy as a great world power through increased military expenditures, advocacy of expansionism  and trying to win the favor of Germany.
Italy joined the Triple Alliance which included both Germany and Austria—Hungary in and which remained officially intact until While helping Italy develop strategically, he continued trasformismo and became authoritarian, once suggesting the use of martial law to ban opposition parties.
Francesco Crispi was Prime Minister for a total of six years, from until and again from until Bosworth says of his foreign policy:.
Crispi pursued policies whose openly aggressive character would not be equaled until the days of the Fascist regime. Crispi increased military expenditure, talked cheerfully of a European conflagration, and alarmed his German or British friends with this suggestions of preventative attacks on his enemies.
Crispi, whose private life he was perhaps a trigamist and personal finances Crispi greatly admired the United Kingdom, but was unable to get British assistance for his aggressive foreign policy and turned instead to Germany.
It remained officially intact until and prevented hostilities between Italy and Austria, which controlled border regions that Italy claimed.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Italy emulated the Great Powers in acquiring colonies, especially in the scramble to take control of Africa that took place in the s.
Italy was weak in military and economic resources in comparison with Britain, France and Germany, but it proved difficult due to popular resistance and it was unprofitable due to heavy military costs and the lesser economic value of spheres of influence remaining when Italy began to colonize.
Britain was eager to block French influence and assisted Italy in gaining territory of the Red Sea. A number of colonial projects were undertaken by the government.
These were done to gain support of Italian nationalists and imperialists, who wanted to rebuild a Roman Empire. Italy had already large settlements in Alexandria , Cairo and Tunis.
Italy first attempted to gain colonies through negotiations with other world powers to make colonial concessions, but these negotiations failed.
Italy also sent missionaries to uncolonized lands to investigate the potential for Italian colonization. The most promising and realistic of these were parts of Africa.
Italian missionaries had already established a foothold at Massawa in present-day Eritrea in the s and had entered deep into the Ethiopian Empire.
The beginning of colonialism came in , shortly after the fall of Egyptian rule in Khartoum , when Italy landed soldiers at Massawa in East Africa.
In , Italy annexed Massawa by force, creating the colony of Italian Eritrea. The trade was promoted by the low duties paid on Italian trade.
Italy exported manufactured products and imported coffee, beeswax and hides. The Treaty of Wuchale , signed in , stated in the Italian language version that Ethiopia was to become an Italian protectorate, while the Ethiopian Amharic language version stated that the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II could go through Italy to conduct foreign affairs.
This happened presumably due to the mistranslation of a verb, which formed a permissive clause in Amharic and a mandatory one in Italian.
In response, Britain decided to back the Italians to challenge Russian influence in Africa and declared that all of Ethiopia was within the sphere of Italian interest.
On the verge of war, Italian militarism and nationalism reached a peak, with Italians flocking to the Royal Italian Army , hoping to take part in the upcoming war.
The Italian and British army failed on the battlefield and were overwhelmed by a huge Ethiopian army at the Battle of Adwa.
At that point, the Italian invasion force was forced to retreat into Eritrea. The war formally ended with the Treaty of Addis Ababa in , which abrogated the Treaty of Wuchale recognizing Ethiopia as an independent country.
The failed Ethiopian campaign was one of the few military victories scored by the Africans against an imperial power at this time.
On 7 June , the concession was taken into Italian possession and administered by an Italian consul. These provinces together formed what became known as Libya.
The war ended only one year later, but the occupation resulted in acts of discrimination against Libyans such as the forced deportation of Libyans to the Tremiti Islands in October By , one third of these Libyan refugees had died from a lack of food and shelter.
Giolitti had spent his earlier life as a civil servant and then took positions within the cabinets of Crispi. Giolitti was the first long-term Italian Prime Minister in many years because he mastered the political concept of trasformismo by manipulating, coercing and bribing officials to his side.
Italy was the first country to use the airship for military purposes and undertook aerial bombing on the Ottoman forces.
Giolitti returned as Prime Minister only briefly in , but the era of liberalism was effectively over in Italy. The and elections saw gains made by Socialist, Catholic and nationalist parties at the expense of the traditionally dominant Liberals and Radicals , who were increasingly fractured and weakened as a result.
In the lead-up to World War I , the Kingdom of Italy faced a number of short-term and long-term problems in determining its allies and objectives.
These islands had been formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire. Italy and Greece were also in open rivalry over the desire to occupy Albania. After the formation of the government of Prime Minister Antonio Salandra in March , the government attempted to win the support of nationalists and moved to the political right.
Militarist nationalists and anti-militarist leftists fought on the streets until the Italian Royal Army forcefully restored calm after having used thousands of men to put down the various protesting forces.
In Italy, society was divided over the war: Italian socialists generally opposed the war and supported pacificism, while nationalists militantly supported the war.
For nationalists, Italy had to maintain its alliance with the Central Powers in order to gain colonial territories at the expense of France.
For the liberals, the war presented Italy a long-awaited opportunity to use an alliance with the Entente to gain certain Italian-populated and other territories from Austria-Hungary, which had long been part of Italian patriotic aims since unification.
In , relatives of Italian revolutionary and republican hero Giuseppe Garibaldi died on the battlefield of France, where they had volunteered to fight.
Federzoni used the memorial services to declare the importance of Italy joining the war and to warn the monarchy of the consequences of continued disunity in Italy if it did not:.
Italy has awaited this since her truly national war, in order to feel unified at last, renewed by the unanimous action and identical sacrifice of all her sons.
Today, while Italy still wavers before the necessity imposed by history, the name of Garibaldi, resanctified by blood, rises again to warn her that she will not be able to defeat the revolution save by fighting and winning her national war.
With nationalist sentiment firmly on the side of reclaiming Italian territories of Austria-Hungary, Italy entered negotiations with the Triple Entente.
The negotiations ended successfully in April when the London Pact was brokered with the Italian government. The pact ensured Italy the right to attain all Italian-populated lands it wanted from Austria-Hungary, as well as concessions in the Balkan Peninsula and suitable compensation for any territory gained by the United Kingdom and France from Germany in Africa.
Italy joined the Triple Entente in its war against Austria-Hungary. The reaction in Italy was divided: Giolitti claimed that Italy would fail in the war, predicting high numbers of mutinies, Austro-Hungarian occupation of even more Italian territory and that the failure would produce a catastrophic rebellion that would destroy the liberal-democratic monarchy and the liberal-democratic secular institutions of the state.
The outset of the campaign against Austria-Hungary looked to initially favor Italy: However, this advantage was never fully utilized because Italian military commander Luigi Cadorna insisted on a dangerous frontal assault against Austria-Hungary in an attempt to occupy the Slovenian plateau and Ljubljana.
After eleven offensives with enormous loss of life and the final victory of the Central Powers , the Italian campaign to take Vienna collapsed.
Upon entering the war, geography was also a difficulty for Italy as its border with Austria-Hungary was along mountainous terrain.
In May , Italian forces at , men along the border outnumbered the Austrian and Germans almost precisely four to one. Their respective governments viewed the Adriatic Sea as "far too dangerous to operate in due the concentration of the Austro-Hungarian fleet there".
Morale fell among Italian soldiers who lived a tedious life when not on the front lines, as they were forbidden to enter theaters or bars, even when on leave.
However, when battles were about to occur alcohol was made freely available to the soldiers in order to reduce tension before the battle.
In order to escape the tedium after battles, some groups of soldiers worked to create improvized whorehouses. The Italian government became increasingly aggravated in with the passive nature of the Serbian army , which had not engaged in a serious offensive against Austria-Hungary for months.
In the spring of , Austro-Hungarians counterattacked in the Altopiano of Asiago, towards Verona and Padova , in their Strafexpedition , but were defeated by the Italians.
At the same time, Italy faced a shortage of warships, increased attacks by submarines, soaring freight charges threatening the ability to supply food to soldiers, lack of raw materials and equipment and Italians faced high taxes to pay for the war.
Finally in November , Cadorna ended offensive operations and began a defensive approach. In , France, the United Kingdom and the United States offered to send troops to Italy to help it fend off the offensive of the Central Powers , but the Italian government refused as Sonnino did not want Italy to be seen as a client state of the Allies and preferred isolation as the more brave alternative.
The Russian Empire collapsed in a Russian Revolution , eventually resulting in the rise of the communist Bolshevik regime of Vladimir Lenin.
The resulting marginalization of the Eastern Front allowed for more Austro-Hungarian and German forces to arrive on the front against Italy. Internal dissent against the war grew with increasingly poor economic and social conditions in Italy due to the strain of the war.
Much of the profit of the war was being made in the cities, while rural areas were losing income. After the disastrous Battle of Caporetto in , Italian forces were forced far back into Italian territory as far as the Piave river.
Orlando abandoned the previous isolationist approach to the war and increased coordination with the Allies. The convoy system was introduced to fend off submarine attacks, and allowed Italy to end food shortages from February onward.
Also Italy received more raw materials from the Allies. The year also saw the beginning of official suppression of enemy aliens. The Italian socialists were increasingly suppressed by the Italian government.
The opposing armies repeatedly failed afterwards in major battles such as Battle of Monte Grappa and the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. After 4 days Italian Army defeated the Austro-Hungarian Army in the latter battle aided by British and French divisions and the fact that the Imperial-Royal started to melt away as news arrived that the constituent regions of the Dual Monarchy had declared independence.
Austria-Hungary ended the fighting against Italy with the armistice on 4 November which ended World War I on this front one week before the 11 November armistice on the Western front.
The Italian government was infuriated by the Fourteen Points of Woodrow Wilson , the President of the United States , as the advocating national self-determination which meant that Italy would not gain Dalmazia as had been promised in the Treaty of London.
During the war, the Italian Royal Army increased in size from 15, men in to , men in , with 5 million recruits in total entering service during the war.
Italian society was divided between the majority pacifists who opposed Italian involvement in the war and the minority of pro-war nationalists who had condemned the Italian government for not having immediately gone to war with Austria-Hungary in The talks provided little territorial gain to Italy because during the peace talks Wilson promised freedom to all European nationalities to form their own nation states.
Furthermore, the British and French decided to divide the German overseas colonies into mandates of their own, with Italy receiving none of them.
Italy also gained no territory from the breakup of the Ottoman Empire , despite a proposal being issued to Italy by the United Kingdom and France during the war, only to see these nations carve up the Ottoman Empire between themselves also exploting the forces of the Arab Revolt.
Despite this, Orlando agreed to sign the Treaty of Versailles, which caused uproar against his government. Civil unrest erupted in Italy between nationalists who supported the war effort and opposed the " mutilated victory " as nationalists referred to it and leftists who were opposed to the war.
His popularity among nationalists led him to be called Il Duce "The Leader" and he used blackshirted paramilitary in his assault on Fiume.
The leadership title of Duce and the blackshirt paramilitary uniform would later be adopted by the Fascist movement of Benito Mussolini.
Italy annexed territories that included not only ethnically-mixed places, but also exclusively ethnic Slovene and Croat places, especially within the former Austrian Littoral and the former Duchy of Carniola.
They included one-third of the entire territory inhabited by Slovenes at the time and one-quarter of the entire Slovene population,  who was during the 20 years long period of Italian Fascism — subjected to forced Italianization alongside 25, ethnic Germans.
According to author Paul N. Hehn, "the treaty left half a million Slavs inside Italy, while only a few hundred Italians in the fledgling Yugoslav i.
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes renamed Yugoslavia in state". During the war, Mussolini served in the Army and was wounded once.
It was originally dominated by patriotic socialist and syndicalist veterans who opposed the pacifist policies of the Italian Socialist Party.
On 15 April , the Fascists made their debut in political violence, when a group of members from the Fasci di Combattimento attacked the offices of Avanti!
Mussolini changed his original revolutionary policies, such as moving away from anti-clericalism to supporting the Roman Catholic Church and abandoned his public opposition to the monarchy.
In , Giolitti had come back as Prime Minister in an attempt to solve the deadlock. Giolitti believed that the Fascists could be toned down and used to protect the state from the socialists.
He decided to include Fascists on his electoral list for the elections. In October , Mussolini took advantage of a general strike by workers and announced his demands to the government to give the Fascist Party political power or face a coup.
With no immediate response, a small number of Fascists began a long trek across Italy to Rome which was known as the " March on Rome ", claiming to Italians that Fascists were intending to restore law and order.
The King was forced to decide which of the two rival movements in Italy would form the new government: On 28 October , the King invited Mussolini to become Prime Minister, allowing Mussolini and the Fascist Party to pursue their political ambitions as long as they supported the monarchy and its interests.
At 39, Mussolini was young compared to other Italian and European leaders. His supporters named him "Il Duce" "The Leader". Upon taking power, Mussolini formed a legislative coalition with nationalists, liberals and populists.
However, goodwill by the Fascists towards parliamentary democracy faded quickly: Following the election, Socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti was assassinated after calling for an annulment of the elections because of the irregularities.
Following the assassination, the Socialists walked out of parliament, allowing Mussolini to pass more authoritarian laws.
In , Mussolini accepted responsibility for the Fascist violence in and promised that dissenters would be dealt with harshly.
This event is considered the onset of undisguised Fascist dictatorship in Italy, though it would be before the Fascist Party was formally declared the only legal party in the country.
Over the next four years, Mussolini eliminated nearly all checks and balances on his power. Local autonomy was swept away and appointed podestas replaced communal mayors and councils.
Soon after all other parties were banned in , parliamentary elections were replaced by plebiscites in which the Grand Council nominated a single list of candidates.
Mussolini wielded enormous political powers as the effective ruler of Italy. The King was a figurehead and handled ceremonial roles, though he retained the power to dismiss the Prime Minister on the advice of the Grand Council—which is what happened in When Germany invaded Poland on 1 September beginning World War II , Mussolini publicly declared on 24 September that Italy had the choice of entering the war or to remain neutral which would cause the country to lose its national dignity.
Nevertheless, despite his aggressive posture, Mussolini kept Italy out of the conflict for several months. In drawing out war plans, Mussolini and the Fascist regime decided that Italy would aim to annex large portions of Africa and the Middle East to be included in its colonial empire.
Hesitance remained from the King and military commander Pietro Badoglio , who warned Mussolini that Italy had too few tanks , armoured vehicles and aircraft available to be able to carry out a long-term war; Badoglio told Mussolini "It is suicide" for Italy to get involved in the European conflict.
Italy hoped to quickly conquer Savoia , Nizza , Corsica and the African colonies of Tunisia and Algeria from the French, but this was quickly stopped when Germany signed an armistice with the French commander Philippe Petain who established Vichy France which retained control over these territories.
This decision by Germany angered the Fascist regime. The one Italian strength that concerned the Allies was the Italian Royal Navy Regia Marina , the fourth-largest navy in the world at the time.
Although the Italian fleet did not inflict serious damage as was feared, it did keep significant British Commonwealth naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea.
But maybe the violence serves a purpose-it keeps your mind off the inanities of the plot. I think there was too much build up to most events; though the plot was interesting, everything developed so slowly that the sting had been taken out of the events before they occurred.
Ridley Scott takes it slow and steady with Kingdom of Heaven. It is no secret that this film goes to great lengths to tell its story.
The run time, for one, is a massive 3 hours. On the other hand, the costumes and set design are visually pleasing. The violence is bloody and the action is as it should be.
Nothing fancy when it comes to the choreography; just large clashes, especially in the final hour. The cast is solid. The supporting roles tend to outshine Orlando Bloom, but since the characters come and go, it is Bloom that ends up with the most to deliver.
An exhilerating and spectacular action-packed adventure epic. A stunning, stylish, deeply moving and jaw-dropping historical epic that ranks with Gladiator and Braveheart.
Director, Ridley Scott has crafted another fine masterwork. A truly magnificent cast. Orlando Bloom is teriffic, crafting a surprisingly enduring and compelling performance.
Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons are superb. Edward Norton is brilliant. Regardless, this is a sweeping epic that is beautiful to look at, has amazing costumes, sets, art direction, and cinematography, and features music that is a delight to listen to.
That is to be expected. I may be a historian, and although the events and time depicted are not my speciality, I have taken a class on the Crusades, and can weigh in more easily about what is right and wrong with the depictions.
Whether I have extensive knowledge of things in any historical film or not, I am generally very tolerant and understanding of things, and try not to do too much condemning.
The supporting cast is terrific, with major props going to Irons, Green despite murkiness with her character , the unrecognizable Norton, and the guy who played Saladin.
The battle scenes are terrific, and they are choreograped and executed quite well. Some of the dialogue is kinda bad, but the other great stuff makes up for it.
So yeah, this version is heavily flawed, but I still enjoyed it. When it comes to epic film making, Ridley Scott is a modern master. More Top Movies Trailers.
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Kingdom of Heaven Post Share on Facebook. Movie Info Kingdom of Heaven is an epic adventure about a common man who finds himself thrust into a decades-long war.
A stranger in a strange land, he serves a doomed king, falls in love with an exotic and forbidden queen, and rises to knighthood.
Ultimately, he must protect the people of Jerusalem from overwhelming forces - while striving to keep a fragile peace. Orlando Bloom as Balian.
Liam Neeson as Godfrey. Eva Green as Sibylla. David Thewlis as Hospitaler. Jeremy Irons as Tiberias. Edward Norton as King Baldwin.
Brendan Gleeson as Reynald. Ghassan Massoud as Saladin. Velibor Topic as Almaric. Iain Glen as Richard Coeur de Lion. Marton Csokas as Guy de Lusignan.
Martin Hancock as Gravedigger. Michael Sheen as Priest.