1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Zanardelli, Giuseppe

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GIUSEPPE ZANARDELLI (1826-1903), Italian jurisconsult and statesman, was born at Brescia on the 29th of October 1826. A combatant in the volunteer corps during the war of 1848, he returned to Brescia after the defeat of Novara, and for a time earned a livelihood by teaching law, but was molested by the Austrian police and forbidden to teach in consequence of his refusal to contribute pro-Austrian articles to the press. Elected deputy in 1859, he received various administrative appointments, but only attained a political office in 1876 when the Left, of which he had been a prominent and influential member, came into power. Minister of public works in the first Depretis cabinet of 1876, and minister of the interior in the Cairoli cabinet of 1878, he in the latter capacity drafted the franchise reform, but created dissatisfaction by the indecision of his administrative acts, particularly in regard to the Irredentist agitation, and by his theory of repressing and not in any way preventing crime, which led for a time to a perfect epidemic of murders. Overthrown with Cairoli in December 1878, he returned to power as minister of justice in the Depretis cabinet of 1881, and succeeded in completing the commercial code. Abandoned by Depretis in 1883, he remained in opposition until 1887, when he again joined Depretis as minister of justice, retaining his portfolio throughout the ensuing Crispi ministry until the 31st of January 1891. During this period he promulgated the Criminal Code, and began the reform of the magistracy. After the fall of the Giolitti cabinet in 1893, Zanardelli made a strenuous but unsuccessful attempt to form an administration. Elected president of the chamber in 1894 and 1896, he exercised that office with ability until, in December 1897, he accepted the portfolio of justice in the Rudini cabinet, only to resign in the following spring on account of dissensions with his colleague, Visconti-Venosta, over the measures necessary to prevent a recurrence of the tumults of May 1898. Returning to the presidency of the chamber, he again abandoned his post in order to associate himself with the obstructionist campaign against the Public Safety Bill (1899-1900), and was rewarded by being enabled to form an administration with the support of the Extreme Left upon the fall of the Saracco cabinet in February 1901. He was unable to achieve much during his last term of office, as his health was greatly impaired; his Divorce Bill, although voted in the chamber, had to be withdrawn on account of the strong opposition of the country. He retired from the administration on the 2nd of November 1903, and died on the 21st of December following.