Vittorio Emanuele Orlando

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Vittorio Emanuele Orlando

Vittorio Emanuele Orlando (born May 19, 1860 in Palermo , † December 1, 1952 in Rome ) was an Italian legal scholar and politician. He was President of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy from 1917 to 1919 . At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 he was a member of the Council of Four .


At the age of 25, the lawyer received a chair in constitutional law at the University of Modena in 1885 , in Messina in 1886 and in Palermo in 1888 . In 1897 he entered parliament as a liberal member of parliament . In 1901 he was appointed professor of public and constitutional law at the University of Rome .

Vittorio Emanuele Orlando (2nd from left) during the negotiations in Versailles with David Lloyd George , Georges Clemenceau and Woodrow Wilson (from left)

In the years that followed, Orlando held ministerial offices in various governments. From 1903 to 1905 he was Minister of Education, 1907 to 1909 and 1914 to 1916 Minister of Justice and 1916/17 Minister of the Interior. When the defeat at the Battle of Karfreit in the First World War in 1917 led to the resignation of Prime Minister Paolo Boselli , Orlando was elected as the new Prime Minister and took office during a serious political crisis in Italy on October 29, 1917.

Together with Woodrow Wilson , Georges Clemenceau and David Lloyd George he was on the Council of Four , the highest body of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 . The four heads of government played a key role in shaping the Paris suburb agreements . Due to his weak political position and his lack of English skills, Orlando played only a subordinate role and could not prevail against his foreign minister Sidney Sonnino . When he temporarily left the conference in protest in order to enforce Italian territorial demands, he temporarily won approval in Italy, but had weakened his position at the conference decisively. After a vote of no confidence in parliament, Orlando resigned as prime minister in 1919.

In the following years he worked on the League of Nations Act . After the assassination of the General Secretary of the Social Democrats, Giacomo Matteotti , Orlando joined the small parliamentary opposition to the fascists in parliament in 1925 . A short time later he resigned his mandate and from then on no longer appeared politically. However, he refused the oath of fascism required for university lecturers and was retired in 1931 at his own request .

After the fall of Mussolini , Orlando returned to his chair in 1944. In 1946/47 he was a member of the constituent assembly, in 1948 he was appointed senator on the basis of the 3rd transitional provision of the constitution . He was an honorary member of the Accademia dei Lincei since March 9, 1919. Since he refused to take the oath of allegiance to fascism, he was expelled in 1935, but in 1945, like the other expulsed persons, according to the law of April 12, 1945, n. 178, he was reinstated.


La riforma elettorale , 1883


Web links

Commons : Vittorio Emanuele Orlando  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Entry in the Portale storico of the Camera dei Deputati


  1. Scheda d'attività on the website of the Italian Senate
  2. Annuario della Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 1993, p. 366