The Left found Italy still isolated internationally, still unsettled by the European repercussions of its dissent with the Vatican, overestimated in its effects and in its importance, but such as to provide weapons or pretexts to any possible adversary: to France, to Austria, even to the Germany of the Lutheran Bismarck. Nor were the memories of the hard experience of 1866 a reason for pride, indeed a reason for bitterness and mistrust. So no adventures, no jumping in the dark, no bumping into someone: clean hands for Cairoli, as yesterday for Minghetti, as before for Ricasoli. And English suggestions for Tunis are refused and Austrian and British purchases are accepted in Berlin. There was already little to do: Gorčakou was pleased with insulting ironies in the face of modest attempts to obtain compensation in Trentino for the enlargement of Austria. Italy was still unprepared to face a great crisis: it was seen when France with the Bardo treaty (12 May 1881) made the Bey of Tunis recognize its protectorate over her state. Thus ancient Italian aspirations waned, by now consolidated interests were hurt, the Italians living in the Regency threatened to be absorbed and, worse, the Mediterranean situation in Italy was disturbed and the status quo disturbed to its detriment .. Cairoli, who by leaving also paid for others, had tried to avoid the damage, but the situation had been compromised for some time, by the Italian refusal of 1878, by the scarce interest of public opinion (which is much more heated once things are done), from the concerns of his colleagues, first the Depretis. It would be unfair to make this renunciation weigh on only a few men, just as it was not only the fault of the Depretis-Mancini cabinet the other renunciation of participating alongside England in the repression of xenophobic agitation in Egypt (1882). The unpreparedness of the army, the difficulties of the budget, the fear of dissatisfaction with Germany and the worries of internal politics dissuaded from the enterprise, of which acute politicians such as Minghetti, S. Sonnino, N. Marselli were in favor.
According to Sportsqna, the friction with France, which caused fear of war, the worsening of the conflict with the Vatican, which directly or indirectly caused unpleasant and excessive manifestations on both sides, the restless internal situation (the young King Umberto just having ascended the throne, a sign had been made to the attack of Passannante, republican unrest still troubled the Romagna) made the experiences of government of the Left tiring.
To get out of political isolation and to guarantee peace, Depretis negotiated with Germany and Austria, already united with a treaty since 1879, for an alliance. The still scarce international importance of Italy and its internal conditions, Bismarck’s undisguised contempt and Austrian distrust made the agreements difficult and bitter: mutual promise of peace and friendship, commitment to exchange views on general problems, help military if a third power were to attack the ally already at war, benevolent neutrality in the case of unprovoked war, but not the hoped-for territorial guarantee for Rome. In no case, however, were the stipulations intended as revolts against England, a condition that protected Italian politics from a dangerous Austro-German vassalage (May 20, 1882). Overrated, for better or for worse,
But the alliance could not suppress the instinctive popular aversion towards Austria, rather, it rekindled it. The Triple to many, especially to the youngest, seemed to be the disavowal of the Risorgimento: in hatred of it, irredentism became a relevant political movement., which was increased by the Austrian errors towards Italian sentiment, by the oppression of Italian culture in the lands denied to Italy by the peace of Vienna, by the deliberate rudeness and provocative gestures. The sacrifice of Guglielmo Oberdan (December 20, 1882) will be a protest and a warning to the rulers and the Italian people for the unnatural alliance: the corpse of the young man from Trieste will henceforth constitute an insuperable obstacle to any more intimate agreement with the Habsburg empire. And Leone Gambetta will reassure his compatriots, fearful of Italy’s alliance with Germany, affirming, an easy prophet: “Everyone in Italy is irredentist. Trento and Trieste will always prevent a truly cordial understanding between Italy, Germany and Austria ”.
The renewal of the Triplice (February 20, 1887), the work of the new foreign minister of Robilant, improved the condition of Italy compared to the allies. Particular agreements guaranteed its interests in the Mediterranean and in the Balkans and the Vatican factor no longer weighed on the treaty and on Italy. Other collateral stipulations with England and Austria and with this and Spain will complete the defense of the Italian reasons.
For better or worse, Italy was slowly leaving minority, with little satisfaction for now and for having more serious disappointments tomorrow, but in the meantime it was acting, risking longer steps, getting used to looking a little beyond the circle and the habit. daily. And only by not forgetting the grandeur of the effort he had had to make to claim freedom and the conditions of his life and the difficulties of adapting to the new climate and the new needs of a country that was so different yesterday, we can realize I am aware of what this moving and acting meant. Yesterday still regional isolation, ignorance of the masses, backward economy, modest interests and small problems in most states, no participation in public life, fear of ideas and fear of novelty, and European countries felt distant and superior: today all this has changed or is changing.