Alessandro Fortis - Encyclopedia




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"ALESSANDRO FORTIS (1841-1909), Italian statesman, was born in 1841. He joined Garibaldi in 1866 as a volunteer and fought under him in the Trentino, in 1867 at Mentana and in 1870 in France. Under the influence of Aurelio Saffi he became a Republican, and was arrested as a Mazzinian conspirator in 1874. In 1876 he abandoned the Republican party, although still adhering to Democratic ideals. Elected deputy for his native town of Forli in 1880, he helped the royal visit to Romagna, hitherto regarded as a hot-bed of anti-monarchical views. He made a reputation as a parliamentary debater, but lost favour with his constituents who were largely Republican, and only held his seat with the help of Livio Quartaroli, mayor of Forli, and Saffi; when they died his position became untenable and he was not reelected. He then won a seat at Poggio Mirteto, which he continued to represent until his death. He became Minister of Agriculture in the Pelloux Cabinet (1898-9), and in 1905, on the fall of the Giolitti Cabinet, became premier. But his administration fell after seven months over the commercial treaty with Spain, which aroused the violent opposition of the Italian vine-growers. He reconstructed the Ministry, but was beaten at once and had to resign, Jan. 30 1906. He died Dec. 4 1909.

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