Statuto Albertino

The Statuto Albertino or "Albertine Statute" was the constitution that King Charles Albert I of Sardinia conceded to the Kingdom of Sardinia (including also most parts of north-western Italy, such as Piedmont) on 4 March 1848.

Historically, the Statuto was proclaimed only because of the concern of revolutionary insurrection which agitated Italy at the time (and Charles Albert was only following the example of other Italian rulers), but it was the only constitution to survive the repression that followed the First War of Independence (1848–1849). The Statuto remained at the basis of the Kingdom's legal system even after Italian unification was achieved and the Kingdom of Sardinia became the Kingdom of Italy. Even if it suffered deep modifications, especially during the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini (who, however, ruled with the tacit approval of King Victor Emmanuel III), it was never formally abrogated until Italy assumed the republican form of government in 1946.

In its original version it instituted a Parliament composed of the Senate of the Kingdom entirely nominated by the king and an elected House of Deputies. The King retained extensive powers, such as Article V which stated:—

The King alone has executive power. He is the supreme head of the state, commands all the armed forces by sea and land, makes treaties of peace, of alliance, of commerce, but giving notice of them to the two Houses as far as national interest permit. Treaties which demand any financial burden, or which would alter territoral boundaries of the state, shall not have any effect until the two Houses have consented to them.

The King also appointed ministers of state, who were solely responsible to him. With time, it became virtually impossible for a Cabinet to stay in office (let alone govern) against the express will of Parliament. As a result, notwithstanding the letter of the "Statuto," it became a well-established convention that ministers were responsible to Parliament. In fact, this convention was so strongly established that in 1925, Mussolini had to pass a law which specifically stated that he was not responsible to Parliament.


*cite book|last=Mack Smith|first=Denis |title=Modern Italy: A Political History|publisher=Yale University Press, |year=1997

ee also

*Constitution of Italy
*Lateran Treaty

External links

* [ Lo Statuto Albertino] Il Prezidenza della Repubblica, Palazzo del Quirinale it icon
* [ Costituzione della Repubblica Sociale Italiana] Wikisource, La biblioteca libera it icon

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