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By Lane, Christine Sharon

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But they would not consider Italy as a member of the Council of Four holding equal rank. Italy’s fiasco at Versailles was the result of Sonnino’s inflexibility, Orlando’s opportunism, and the inability of the two to work out a common program. Forgotten in the humiliation that Italy suffered for being treated as an adolescent nation that was addicted to egoistic, petty intrigue were the nation’s substantial gains. Its hereditary enemy had been destroyed, 14 Italian Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period Italia irredenta was completely fulfilled, and predominance, if not outright hegemony, had advanced in the Adriatic region.

The pendulum of power had clearly swung westward. As a result, the enforcement of the peace treaties fell to the Atlantic Powers. In principle, the victorious allies maintained that Germany should never again be allowed to renew expansion, and all, save Italy, strove in the 1920s to implement more or less coherent policies toward that end. 20 Italian Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period But Allied consensus by no means reflected equal degrees of commitment. S. Congress had repudiated Wilson’s European promises by rejecting his treaties and refusing to join the League of Nations.

During the interAllied conference on that matter in December 1922, the Duce presented a comprehensive proposal stressing the connection between reparations and inter-Allied debts. But he was stepping into a tenacious feud. Britain, to revive its own economy, wanted to reincorporate Germany into Europe’s economic revival by revising reparations downward, while France wanted to punish German noncompliance with its Versailles Treaty obligations by a military occupation of the Ruhr. Initially, Mussolini supported the French position on reparations.

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