Abstract and Keywords
Socialists, Republicans, and Radicals played important roles in the First Republic, albeit in different ways. Socialists were split between the Socialist Party, occasionally aligned with the Communists, and the Social Democratic party, a frequent coalition partner of the Democrazia Cristiana (DC). The Socialist Party was often involved in government, holding the post of prime minister twice. The Italian Republican Party, just to the left of the DC, was a favored coalition partner of the DC. With the exception of the Socialist Party, these parties won only a small shares of the vote, yet their position in the political spectrum made them crucial in coalition building, giving them considerable blackmail power, while allowing them to develop patronage networks. The Radicals were never involved in government, but managed to exert significant influence by organizing referenda on controversial issues. All four parties effectively disappeared with the end of the First Republic.
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