New Republic Movement (Etruria)
Romolo Arcangelo Quintiliani
|Founded||March 15, 1947|
|Dissolved||October 9, 1986|
|Merger of||National Solarian Party|
Etrurian Patriotic Worker's Party
|Succeeded by||National Democratic Party|
National League for Etruria
|Headquarters||Palazzo Maschera, Solaria|
|Youth wing||Nuova Gioventù Repubblicana ("New Republican Youth")|
849,500 (peak, 1958)
|Political position||Right-wing to Far-right|
The New Republican Movement (Vespasian: Nuovo Movimento Repubblicano), also known by the abbreviation NMR, was a far-right Etrurian nationalist party that existed from 1947 to 1986. It officially declared itself a "patriotic national conservative party" but espoused policies and ideologies closer to nationalism, Neo-Functionalism and Neo-National Solarianism. The NMR played a pivotal role during the Etrurian Third Republic and its support for the 1960 Etrurian coup d’état led to many of its promiment members being given positions in the subsequent military junta. It is widely accredited for the rehabilitation of the Etrurian far-right in the post-Solarian War period and the failure of Etruria coming to terms with its far-right past and historic war crimes.
Established in 1947 through the merge of the National Solarian Party and Etrurian Patriotic Worker's Party; two successor parties to the Revolutionary Legion, that ruled the Greater Solarian Republic (1938-1946). The establishment followed other parties who formed the same year in anticipation of the dissolution of the Community of Nations-led provisional government, and elections in late 1947. The establishment of the NMR caused controversy, owing to thread connecting the party with the Revolutionary Legion, despite this, the party was permitted by the provisional government in anticipation and expectation it would be exiled to the political fringe due to the legacy of the GSR and the Solarian War.
In the 1947 Etrurian general election, the NMR under leader Giorgio Garafola won 19 seats, coming fifth in the vote, by advocating mostly a more statist approach to reconstruction and combatting the rise of far-left politics. Between 1948 and 1950, the NMR under Garafola restrained from following the immediate culture of opportunism and vicious inter-party fighting, regularly denouncing the chaotic legislature as “condemning Etrurian recovery.” The policy of the NMR “acting responsibly and respectably” in comparison to the other parties, greatly aided the party in securing soaring popularity. The endemic corruption of the Third Republic coupled with the crippling instability and weakness of successive governments led to the NMR rising to be one of the most powerful and influential entities in Etrurian politics by 1953.
In 1954, the NMR became the second largest party in that year’s election, winning 84 seats. In one of the most pivotal moments of the Third Republic era, the NMR entered into coalition with other right-wing parties under President Coriolano Virgillio Rapisarda, and oversaw the dissolution of the National Tribunal for Historic War Crimes and Incidents, a body established in 1946 to prosecute mid and low-level GSR officials for crimes against humanity. It also led revision of history textbooks, whitewashing the Solarian War, passing a law criminalising accusation of crimes against humanity made by Etrurian citizens and lifted the ban on GSR-era symbols and images, and issued a general amnesty for GSR officials still at large. The coalition government would fray and collapse by the time of the 1959 election, resulting in the NMR losing seats and support.
Garafola led the NMR in becoming outspoken hawks on the Western Emergency and by 1958 began secretly advocating military rule. The pro-junta approach of Garafola secured the NMR’s leadership positions of power within the military government (1960-1984). However, their allegiance and participation in the junta would lead to its rapid decline and eventual collapse following the restoration of democracy in 1984. In the elections held that year, the NMR failed to win a single seat. The same year, it fractured into the National Democratic Party, Social Party-Caccio, National League for Etruria.
- 1 History
- 2 Organisation
- 3 Ideology
- 4 Legacy
- 5 Electoral history
In wake of the collapse of the Greater Solarian Republic in 1946 and the ruling Revolutionary Legion, many of its mid-level officials went into hiding, just as the highest-ranking members who survived the collapse, were arrested for war crimes by the Community of Nations. The near exclusive focus of the CN Coalition on apprehending high ranking officials, essentially preserved the Revolutionary Legion through its surviving members, many of whom established splinter parties in 1947.
These parties became rallying points for former Revolutionary Legionnaires, war veterans and sympathetic urban and rural workers. In an effort to avoid undue attention from the CN-Provisional government, these parties were outwardly national conservative or Sotirian Democratic. The two main parties to emerge in 1947 as viable entities on the far-right were the National Solarian Party and the Etrurian Patriotic Worker’s Party, led by Viktor Buzolic and Giorgio Garafola respectively. The establishment of the United Socialist Worker’s Party in February 1947, as a umbrella party for the various hard-left and far-left parties in Etruria’s states, so deeply disturbed Buzolic and Garafola they overcame historical and personal animosity to establish the New Republican Movement on 17 March 1947 during a joint congress of both their respective parties.
The formation of a singular party though publicly centre-right, proved to be a lightning rod for former GSR supporters. Within a month, its membership exploded from 3,506 to over 100,000. In preparation for the 1947 elections, the NMR leadership formulated a strategy known as “Imitazione” (Imitation), which would see the NMR run in the year’s elections on a moderate platform, with focuses being on “equal and fair reconstruction, traditional values being restored and national unification from the anger and divisions caused by the GSR’s collapse.” Notably, both Buzolic and Garafola agreed to not put forward a presidential candidate, opting to focus on securing a foothold in the Senate.
During the 1947 election, the NMR campaigned on confronting the “moral and social decline brought about by defeat”, while also offering limited if near constant criticism of the constitution set to come into force on 1 January 1948. However, during the election several NMR candidates made comments or statements indicative of the party’s pro-GSR and neo-functionalist nature, while they were reprimanded, in some regions, it proved beneficial. The party, however, was harmed in terms of support with sporadic incidents of violence between its activists and those of the United Socialist Worker’s Party. In one incident in San Alessandro, two USWP activists were killed when NMR activists shot them with pistols, after the two USWP activists tore down an NMR poster.
The relative message discipline and the moderate platform while reducing the possibility of a crackdown by the provisional government, disappointed a large segment of what would be a fertile voter base, however, the party did succeed in reaching out strongly to Solarian War veterans who found themselves living in depravation and abject poverty, particularly in the cities of Veratia, Palestrina, Andora, San Francesco, Novalia and Torrazza. The party went on to win 6.6% of the vote (2.03 million votes) and 23 seats in the Chamber of the People and 2 seats in the Chamber of the States, one from Il Dogado and the other from Veratia. Overall, the party came sixth, ahead of the United Socialist Worker’s Party, which won 19 seats.
Throughout the First Senate of the Third Republic (1947-1953), the NMR played a relatively cooperative role with the Zaparella-led legislative coalition (comprised of Democratic Action, the Democratic Worker’s Party, with confidence and supply votes from Libertas). Though they often voted in support of the government, this was part of the wider Imitazione policy.
However, the NMR was the first party to lodge a vote of no confidence against Zaparella, when Libertas withdrew from his coalition following a personal scandal engulfing the President in 1950. The NMR vote passed 331-69, ending Zaparella’s presidency. The 1950 Etrurian presidential election resulted in the election of Gabriele Rumor (Democratic Worker’s Party), who failed to secure a coalition with a majority. With the 1950 budget needing to be authorised and fearing that a second government crisis would enable the far-left, the NMR under Garafola successfully rallied the support of the Popular Republican Party and the two Sotirian parties; United Catholic League and the National Sotirian Workers Party to declare their intentions to pass the budget. The NMR’s pragmatic approach to the Rumor-led government in name of the “national interest” resulted in a significant boost to its public image and popularity, which in turn led to the party abandoning Imitazione and only embracing its post-functionalist credentials.
Garafola was boosted also by the rise of a culture of party defections within the Senate. During the First Senate, lawmakers changed parties 119 times in total, often in exchange for monetary or personal benefit. As the number of seats held by the major parties fluctuated on a weekly basis, the stability and loyalty of the NMR, and to an equal extent its nemesis party, the United Socialist Worker’s Party, served to gain public trust. In a speech to supporters in April 1952, Garafola described the Senate as the “most vile place set upon this world, it is a gaping maw of the circles of hell, of which greed has unleashed its denizens, people we call Senators of the Federation.” However, when a group of Senators from the Farmers and Workers Union proposed a law prohibiting crossing-the-floor outright, the NMR conference was whipped to vote against it, owing to the party leadership seeing it as a benefit to its public image in comparison to the fluid opposition.
It was also during the first senate that the party’s links to the Custodes, a paramilitary group involved in often fatal violence against activists of the USWP and other far-left groups. In 1953, several NMR politicians at the state level in Veratia were investigated for supposed membership of the Custodes and the murder of Ronaldo Amate, the left-wing mayor of San Giovanni su Marzio. Though the NMR politicians were later exonerated of any involvement, the incident set the precedent that would long plague the party.
In late 1952, a series of corruption scandals implicating the Democratic Worker’s Party, Democratic Action and the recently established People’s Popular Party (from by a splinter group from Libertas) decimated the centre-left and centre. Within weeks, the NMR had agreed to a coalition agreement with Libertas, of which was likely to win the presidency. Garafola told NMR lawmakers that the coalition agreement would save “Etruria from ruin.”
In early 1953, a crisis erupted around the Rumor-government over the year’s budget. Facing growing tensions within his coalition, particularly his reliance on the USWP, Rumor opted to provide concessions in the budget to maintain his hold on the Senate. Among the proposals was the establishment of a second National Economic Reconstruction Council to be dominated by Trade Unions, the nationalisation all mining companies and the removal of the three-week notice for strike action by government employees. Fearing this to be Rumor’s surrender to far-left radicals, the NMR immediately rejected the proposals and demanded his resignation. In a much referenced and lauded speech, the NMR’s deputy legislative leader, Romolo Arcangelo Quintiliani demanded the resignation of Gabriele Rumor saying, “if the President wishes to confirm his innocence of being a far-left agitator, then he should resign. If he refuses to do so, then let God protect him, for a storm shall be unleashed that will strip the Palazzo Orsini bare of his presence.” Facing the threat of a no-confidence vote, Rumor resigned and was succeeded by Deputy President Nicolo Pazzi. Rumor's resignation before a no-confidence vote could be tabled and passed, maintained the presidential term limit, denying Libertas the opportunity to take the Palazzo Orsini in 1953.
As the 1953 election approached, the NMR departed entirely from its previous policy of Imitazione and began to focus much of its strategy on vociferous criticism of the culture of unrestrained corruption and instability gripping the Third Republic. The widespread resentment and popular anger toward the federal government over consistent failures relating to post-Solarian War reconstruction and the deeply held view of Etrurian society suffering a social and moral decline, fed directly into the NMR and other parties. During the early 1950s, tensions in the western states of Carinthia and Novalia were worsening as popularity for left-wing nationalist groups and movements increased. Garafola came under immense pressure to lift the party’s policy of not fielding a candidate in presidential elections, his own personal popularity was high, as was Quintiliani’s. During the 1952 Party Congress, Garafola and Quintiliani were forced to openly oppose calls for a presidential candidate, with Quintiliani tell delegates, “ours is not to rule, but ours is to protect. From the Senate we can protect the nation from the excesses of the rabid left, the criminally weak centre and the diabolically corrupt centre-right.”
Weeks before campaigning began in mid-1953, the NMR unleashed a torrent of criticism and vitriol both in public events and through a variety of printed materials, condemning the National Tribunal for Historic War Crimes and Incidents, established by President Pazzi. The task of the Tribunal was to arrest and prosecute mid-level officials of the Greater Solarian Republic regime and members of the Revolutionary Legion. While the NMR condemned it as an “attack on veterans”, in truth it was in response to a direct threat to many of its own members and even leader. Much to the NMR’s relief, it had secured the support of Libertas in opposing the Tribunal, with Libertas criticising the Tribunal as a “detriment to national unity during harsh times.”
The 1953 election was one of the most consequential of post-war Etrurian history. The election was defined by the widespread popular anger, resentment, and frustration at the entire political order of the Third Republic. Voters saw a state riddled with corruption, weakness, and impotence, both on reconstruction (economic development) and the rising political tensions in the western states. So severe was corruption in Etruria, that many public officials elected at the local and state level were outright members of the mafia and other organised criminal groups. At the federal level, Libertas was known to utilise its links with organised crime groups to fund its campaigns and to murder rivals or critics. The New Republican Movement, while having limited links to the mafia, was fuelling public anger and by the election, had all but abandoned any effort to avoid revealing its post-functionalist identity.
Garafola, eager not to endanger the coalition agreement with Libertas, focused much of his party’s vitriolic rhetoric against the Third Republic as a whole, the centrist and centre-left parties. Qunitiliani when dispatched to host rallies, defined the 1953 election as the “struggle between Etruria and God, against the Kirenian menace and its puppets.” In a series of posters and pamphlets, the NMR stated that any sizeable vote for the USWP and other far-left parties, would lead to “the inevitable coup by red agents, with the backing and nefarious finances of Amathia and Kirenia. Be brave and beat back the red tide.” Coupled with Libertas’ depiction of Etruria besieged by radicalist leftist groups, the NMR saw a colossal influx of funding and support from Etruria’s wealthy industrialist class.
The NMR’s reach expanded beyond its base in 1947, to now include religious working class and elements of the middle class, who saw the rise of far-left parties as a major threat to national stability. So pronounced was the fear of the far-left, coupled with unbridled anger at the state of the nation, that even as street violence between NMR-linked groups and those of the far-left clashed a daily basis, often with fatalities, its support didn’t decline or waver.
The NMR went into the election championing, anti-corruption, political reform, centralisation and a hard-line crackdown on far-left groups and movements. The NMR remained steadfast despite the controversy it caused with the slogan, “ten years ago this would never have happened!” in reference to the Greater Solarian Republic. In post-election analysis, many then and historians later agreed, that the failures of the Third Republic, the rise of radical leftist groups and the “obscene” level of corruption, gave way to a widespread yearning for the previous regime.
The 1953 legislative election transformed the Etrurian political landscape. The NMR came third with over 20% of the popular vote and gaining 50 seats in the Chamber of the People, gaining 83 overall. It won eight seats in the Chamber of the States bringing its total to 10. With 6.94m votes, it was the largest result for a far-right political party in Etruria until 2016, when the Tribune Movement won over 15.7m votes.
Following the election, the NMR found itself as the third largest party and the second largest party of the right. President Niccolò Pazzi, Democratic Worker’s Party, saw his legislative coalition vanish. Garafola, together with Libertas leader, Coriolando Virgilio Rapisarda warned Pazzi not to establish a coalition with the left, including the United Socialist Workers Party, or the right would table a no-confidence vote. In exchange, the right offered Pazzi support for the 1954 budget.
Unlike the previous Senate, the degree of party defections declined significantly, mostly owing to the considerable gains made by left-wing parties, Libertas lawmakers felt compelled to remain loyal to the party through fear repeats of the 1947-53 senate would feed further into their rise. The NMR for its part, boasted the most disciplined and cohesive senatorial cohort of all the parties and used its position to exert significant legislative pressure on the National Tribunal for Historic War Crimes and Incidents and engineered the sacking of Director of ARE, the public broadcaster, after it removed the airing of the national anthem at set hours.
The NMR outside of the Senate coalesced around its newfound base, establishing various sub-groups and sub-societies. Notably, during this time, a large and growing number of police officers, military personnel and judges joined the party. Its links to the Custodes was regularly displayed in the left-leaning press, while the party issued attacks on those newspapers. As the political tensions in the Western States escalated, the NMR in Carinthia and Novalia joined numerous loyalist societies and groups in confronting the rise of separatism with often violent repercussions.
The Prefect of Veratia during the 1950s, Enrico Loredan, officially an independent, though linked to the NMR, officially declared himself a member of the NMR on 4 July 1953, securing the NMR control over Etruria’s largest state. Following this, Loredan instituted a series of anti-trade union and anti-leftist reforms, expelling over 1,200 civil servants for links to the USWP. When this was taken to the Supreme Court of Cassation, the right-wing judges ruled in favour of the Prefect. Anti-Loredan protests erupted shortly after and were violently crushed by police and auxiliary army units.
From late 1953 until mid-1954, the NMR was directed by Garafola to assist Coriolando Virgilio Rapisparda in being elected President. On 1 July 1954, Rapisparda was elected, defeating the USWP’s candidate with 53% of the vote.
On 2 July 1954, President Rapisarda announced his cabinet. For the first time since its founding in 1947, the NMR had obtained positions in the federal government. In accordance to the coalition agreement between Libertas and the NMR, the latter was given the Ministries of Defence, Justice and Education, efforts by the NMR to secure the Interior were rebuffed by Rapisarda, who handed the position to the Popular Republican Party. Achille Galan, who was appointed Justice Minister as served as the main intermediary between Rapisarda and the NRM leadership.
Within days of the government forming, Galan secured the backing of Rapisarda in shutting down the National Tribunal for Historic War Crimes and Incidents and securing presidential pardons for 44 GSR-era officials sentenced by the Tribunal. Galan was equally swift in producing a bill granting a general amnesty to every Solarian War veteran. On 18 September 1954, the law was passed by the Chamber of the States, officially coming into force on 19 September 1954. The amnesty law effectively guaranteed an end to the public reckoning with the Greater Solarian Republic and is considered one of the most pivotal events of the post-Solarian War period. With the amnesty, a number of Solarian War veterans, many of whom still held the ideals of the GSR, would go on to serve in positions of influence and power. The law also depicted the “reckoning” as an afront and insult to “Etruria’s war heroes.” This coupled with the actions of the NMR Education Minister, further double down on the whitewashing and rehabilitation of the GSR within Etrurian society. The dissolution of the Tribunal coupled with the presence of the NMR in government provoked widespread protests across Etruria. Organised by both trade unions and the various left-wing parties, an estimated 600,000 protested in Tyrrenhus alone, on the 10 July, with most demanding the expulsion of the NMR and the resignation of Rapisarda as president. The president retaliated, condemning the protests and subsequent occupations of universities as an attack on “Etrurian decency and good virtues.” The protests escalated when the government revealed the NMR-led plans for education reform, which drew widespread condemnation from left-wing students and educators alike. On 15 July, the government ordered nationwide police crackdowns on protests and the university occupations, with the subtle promise of protection should “forcible eviction be required in the moments of heat.” The 15 July events were dubbed a police riot by the press, with over 3,500 people arrested and almost 1,300 injured, the severity of the police response deterred further protests and Etrurian universities would see heavy police presences until the end of the Libertas-NMR coalition in 1957. In the days following 15 July, the Rapisarda government issued an emergency decree permitting the surveillance of university classrooms and libraries, this was followed on July 22, with a further decree enabling law enforcement to detain an individual without charge for a week.
Several months later, Galan followed this with a lifting on the ban on the depiction of GSR-era symbols or images. This essentially allowed GSR supporters to display flags, banners and numerous shops and museums began to once again, sell busts of prominent GSR officials, including Co-Leaders, Ettore Caviglia and Aldo Tassanari. Within weeks, Etruria was flooded with GSR memorabilia, iconography, and goods, as many Etrurians saw such purchases and displays as a means of condemning the far left. As the historian, Franco Gugliuzza described it in 2001, “the NMR succeeded in not only ending any discernible, de-functionalisation, but instituted a culture were displaying a yearning for the GSR was necessary to prove you weren’t a support of the Socialist Workers Party.”
In 1955, Galan with the backing of Rapisarda, passed another law, dubbed the National Anti-Defamation Law, which criminalised Etrurian citizens who accused the GSR of committing atrocities against their family or ancestors. This law would be repealed in 1985 under the Etrurian Fourth Republic.
This was followed by Education Minister Ferdinando Salvucci’s complete overhaul of the national curriculum and textbooks, in what became known as the Salvucci Controversy. Eager to erase any element from education that would inform students of the Greater Solarian Republic’s crimes in the Solarian War and to promote a “patriotic anti-leftist generation”, the Salvucci ministry whitewashed the textbooks, going as far as to depict the Solarian War as a defensive war against “expansionist and aggressive neighbours.” The Salvucci ministry also instituted a new law enabling the Education Ministry to mandate the sacking or removal of teachers who opposed the curriculum based on “weeding out of leftist radicals.” The Salvucci reforms would remain untouched for over 30 years, with the policies being retained by the military junta. It would not be until 1986, that textbooks would be rewritten again to depict the GSR accurately, even though it was done in a far less direct manner as found in textbooks from 1946 until 1955.
Despite failing to secure Interior Ministry during coalition talks with Libertas, NMR efforts to secure a strong federal response to the emergence of armed separatist groups in Novalia and Carinthia in 1954 and 1955, were regularly blocked by Rapisarda. The Libertas ministers, backed by the President, feared a federal response would escalate the situation and instead wished to focus on support state responses. In late 1955, when several left-wing nationalist groups began attacking federal property, the NMR’s presence in the coalition almost came to an end, which would have brought about its collapse, this was only averted when President Rapisarda purportedly agreed to direct federal law enforcement away from investigating violent actions conducted by loyalist groups in Carinthia and Novalia. This decision was key in the emergence of the National Volunteer Defence Force. In 1956, the NMR began to established a series of links with prominent members of the Etrurian Defence Force. The same year saw the NMR led government in Veratia and Tarpeia (though the latter was through a 50/50 coaltion with Libertas) institute a series of draconian laws aimed at inhibiting the trade union movement and the rising influence of far-left parties. In Veratia this sparked Bloody November, during which 13 people were killed in protests against the measures.
Through the NMR's holding of the Defence Ministry, little in the way of legislation or active policies, however, Antonio Scalba who served as Defence Minister from 1954 to 1957 and was the Deputy President of the NMR Congress, used his position to establish deep links with the military leadership, which was known to be supportive of the NMR. In documents released in 1984, it was revealed that Scalba organised meetings between the NMR leadership (Garafola, Quintiliani, Ordierno and Scalba) with members of the Commando Supremo in 1956 and 1957. The NMR leaders during these meetings, made repeated references to the near fanatical level of support for the party among the soldiery and officer corps. It was also revealed that one meeting in late 1956, saw the NMR pressure the Commando Supremo to consider a coup in the event that the centre-right and far-right lost power to a left-wing coalition, which duly happened in 1957 and consolidated with the 1959 legislative elections. The EDF staged a coup on 4 May 1960, removing the DWP-led coalition from power.
In February 1957, President Coriolando Virgilio Rapisarda was accused of ordering the murder of Luigi Saletto, the rumoured lover of his wife in a near-cataclysmic mafia trial. Within days, further mafia suspects revealed significant evidence indicating that not only had the President used his links to the Brisighełi mafia to murder at least six people by contract killing, but utilised his links with them to secure considerably lucerative financial agreements. Among the six were three journalists who were investigating the President’s personal ties to numerous criminal enterprises in his hometown of San Marco di Giovan in Veratia. By July, this had snowballed into revelations of bribery, influence peddling and blackmail. Fearful of the government’s collapse and rapidly growing protests across the country, Giorgio Garafola urged for Rapisarda to resign.
On, 9 September 1957, Rapisarda stepped down as president and was succeeded by Deputy President Maurilio Mariani, who was a notably weaker personality than Rapisarda. So severe was Mariani’s perceived weakness, that many began to refer the Right-Coalition government as being the “NMR government.” Garafola and Quintiliani did respond to Mariani’s weakness by exerting considerable influence. The centrist and centre-left parties, held in place by the sheer force of Rapisarda’s style government and the strength of his coalition, were now actively agitating against the government as they feared that the NMR would use its outsized influence to return Etruria to National Solarianism. While some senior members repeatedly called for the removal of civil liberties to confront the rising crisis in the western states, others called for a law banning parties of the far-left, Garafola opted for restraint.
In October, Justice Minister Galan authorised the establishment of the National Criminal Investigation Service (NSIP), a federal law enforcement body dedicated entirely to political matters. The NSIP was established by NMR member and jurist, Ronaldo Aurelio Gamelli and within two months began investigations into numerous trade unions, workers clubs and the United Socialist Workers Party. While this succeeded in breaking up numerous activist unions and groups, it only further fuelled anger among left-wing voters toward the government and the NMR, leading to a marked uptick in political violence. This uptick led to the assassination of President Mariani on 1 December. He was succeeded by Fiorino Bianco, the Deputy President and leader of the Popular Republican Party, who saw himself as a caretaker until the presidential election set for 1958. Bianco blindsided the Libertas-led coalition by announcing he intended to table a no-confidence vote in his presidency to spark an election, which he thought was necessary in the current climate.
The Bianco announcement was reluctantly backed by his party and Libertas, while the NMR under Garafola fiercely opposed the move. In a radio interview, Garafola compared the announcement to “loading the bullet into the gun and handing it to the rabid leftist.” On 3 January, the Chamber of the People passed the vote of no-confidence 317-83, with the entire NMR caucus voting against the measure. Immediately after, Garafola vowed not to support any right-wing coalition that included Bianco as a prominent figure.
On 1 July 1958, Garibele Viviano of the centre-left Democratic Workers Party won the presidential election, brining an end to the right-wing government that lasted for four years. The Libertas-NMR dominated coalition would remain the longest lasting government of the Third Republic. With the DWP now in control of the presidency, Libertas under the moderate centrist Vittoriano Magliozzi entered a purple coalition with the DWP, alongside all right-wing parties with the exception of the NMR. The coalition was struck due to Bartolucci's concern around rising political tensions and saw a purple coalition as a means of presenting a united front against the political extremes.
Fall of the Third Republic
Following its ejection from power, the NMR returned to its trusted platform of anti-elitism and demanding the “complete abolition of the so-called Third Republic.” By 1958, the violence in the western states had evolved into a low-level insurgency, with ever increasing physical attacks on federal property, personnel and officials. It was also in 1958, that the first terrorist incidents took place in the Vespasian states. On 13 September 1958, a bomb exploded outside the NMR’s state headquarters in Chiastre, killing 8 people and injuring 10 others. As the crisis escalated, so too the NMR’s involvement with various military circles escalated. Notably, Romolo Arcangelo Quintiliani, had met with senior members of the Etrurian Defence Force during the final weeks of the coalition government to discuss the political situation. At the local and state levels, NMR politicians were openly calling for a military overthrow of the Third Republic and temporary military rule.
In anticipation of the 1959 senate elections, the NMR began to formulate its platform. The 1958 congress agreed to present the party as the only “viable option for security, stability and unity.” And listed a series of highly draconian proposals, including restrictions on habeus corpus, freedom of the press, freedom of speech and mandating the Etrurian Defence Force to “occupy resistive regions.” The NMR also broke tradition to propose increases to the minimum wage, the introduction of maternity leave and an end to the punitive taxes placed on single-parent families.
Despite the expansive big-tent platform, the NMR alongside the USWP suffered significantly at the hands of the DWP and Libertas, which together took 65% of the vote. The party 10.43% of the popular vote, 44 seats in the Chamber of the People and 6 in the Chamber of the States. The NMR was marginalised in the Chamber of the People, with the Democratic Worker's Party and Libertas joining to form the Grande Alleanza in the name of national stability and moderation. Fearful of being marginalised into submission, the NMR took to a legislative insurgency against the coalition under President Gabriele Viviano, while condemning Libertas for being "weak and cowardly for abandoning the cause of national security."
The political situation in Etruria worsened throughout 1959, as the Etrurian Defence Force began to deploy units to Novalia and Carinthia without authorisation of the Senate. Viviano, hoping to use the support of Libertas to pursue a negotiated settlement to the secessionist insurgency in the two states, opposed deployments outright. The NMR for its part regularly accused Viviano of “sympathies for the far-left terror movement”, and by late 1959, was making regular calls for a military coup behind closed doors.
On 3 February 1960, the Viviano led coalition announced its intentions to open negotiations with the Combatant Front for Carinthian Liberation (CFCL) and the Novalian People’s Liberation Front (NPLF). This resulted in the NMR tabling a no-confidence vote against Viviano on 9 February, which was defeated by the DWP-Libertas coalition. The Coalition’s commitment to talks, its opposition to military deployments and the failure of the NMR confidence motion to draw any Libertas senators is widely perceived to have been the final catalyst for the EDF’s plan to overthrow the government.
In diary entries published following the restoration of democracy in 1984, it was revealed that the senior leadership of the NMR met with the Commando Supremo on 22 April, where they were informed of the EDF’s plan to overthrow the government and establish a national security state. The NMR leadership welcomed the plan and notably held its Party Congress on 3 May 1960.
In the early hours of the 4 May, EDF units surrounded Povelia and troops arrested President Gabriele Viviano and other senior DWP and Libertas figures, that morning the EDF announced on state radio that had seized control of government and would be suspending the constitution and shuttering all political parties and the Senate.
Role within the Military Junta
Within days of the coup and the institution of the military dictatorship, the newly formed Government of National Unity and Security invited members of the NMR to assume positions within its structure to assist in “governance and mobilising Etrurian society against the far-left terror movement.” Alessandro Scelba, the Deputy Leader of the party was invited to serve as Chief Counsellor to the GNUS and Giorgio Garafola was appointed head of the Consultative Assembly, a rubber stamp body comprised of select former politicians, business leaders and nationalist figures. A number of NMR senators would be appointed to serve as federal ministers, such as Romolo Arcangelo Quintiliani, who would head the Federal Ministry of State Media and Culture for twelve years, orchestrating national censorship and propaganda efforts. While officially the NMR was banned along with every other political party, it was still permitted to maintain its network of clubs and offices and even hold public events.
The Junta’s various purges of the federal civil service between 1960 and 1962 resulted in numerous NMR members being employed to replaced permanent officials. This was replicated at the state level, essentially wedding the entire political party to the near totalitarian political system. Further to this was appointment of NMR politicians as the Civilian Prefects of Etruria’s states. By 1964, NMR politicians governed 10 of 15 states in Etruria, with the remaining 5 being drawn from supportive elements within Libertas. In 1966, Luciano Di Rapadello, the long serving Federal Secretary of the NMR was appointed Foreign Minister and played a key role in facilitating closer cooperation between the Junta and several Euclean countries during the 60s and 70s.
Throughout the military period (1960-1984), the NMR served to provide the junta as a link to general society, though this was ultimately limited by the NMR’s own lack of widespread support by the time of the coup in 1960. Many historians agree that the NMR also influenced some junta policies and decisions, including the seizure of Piraean territory and further useage of education to whitewash and distort Etrurian history. The dictatorship’s further rehabilitation of the Greater Solarian Republic and key figures that survived the war is also blamed on the NMR’s involvement with the junta.
The deep involvement of the NMR within the military dictatorship would have disastrous consequences for the party and the Etrurian far-right for years to come. In 1975, the Western Emergency was declared over and the Etrurian Federation was preserved and by 1978, negotiations began between the junta and the pro-democracy movement to end the dictatorship. During the negotiations, the military secured immunity from prosecution for all uniformed officers and soldiers who held political power or engaged in operations. This guaranteed an amnesty for the military over the various human rights abuses and atrocities committed during its reign, though notably, civilian figures within the dictatorship were not included.
On 1 January 1983, it was announced by Chief of State Alessandro Galtieri that the junta had negotiated a planned end to the military government and the restoration of democracy, set for 1 January 1984. The new constitution carefully crafted since 1975 restored the parliamentary system of the Second Republic and as such, a federal election was penned for 10 November 1983. Over the course of the year, numerous parties were formed and organised, with the NMR being the only party from the Third Republic to reform as it existed prior to the 1960 coup.
Three days before the Congress to mark the party’s reconstitution, Giorgio Garafola was assassinated outside his home in Solaria by a former prisoner of the Junta. At the congress, Romolo Arcangelo Quintinliani was elected party leader. However, the party was immediately wracked by division and in-fighting over the future direction it would take. Without an existential crisis facing the country, one NMR official remarked, “what are we to champion?” Many in the party were further conscious of the fact that the party was now widely condemned as “collaborators” and tainted by the violent repression of the junta. Other elements of the party wanted to head into the 1983 election championing their pre-coup record of “preserving Etrurian heritage and pride”, while others sought to use the election to depict themselves as restraints on the Junta. Although the 1983 Congress succeeded in electing a new leadership team, it fell into chaos over divisions and it concluded with the party lacking a cohesive platform.
By the Summer, the major parties (the Social Democratic Party, Etrurian Federalist Party) both pledged to prosecute who they could for crimes committed against the Etrurian people. This swiftly led to an exodus of members from the NMR who feared association would implicate them in any future trial of senior NMR officials who served the junta. By September, the NMR splintered outright with the emergence of the National Democratic Party, Social Party-Caccio and the National League for Etruria; all three were established by NMR officials who refused to take up roles with the Junta following the coup. Efforts by Quintiliani to preserve the party failed and he ultimately withdrew from personally running for a Senate seat in either chamber, this in turn led to remaining NMR members refusing to do so also.
On the day of the election, the NMR was listed on the ballots in every state, as many candidates withdrew too late to be removed from the list. It secured 2,492 votes out of an estimated 44 million votes cast.
On 3 January 1984, President Miloš Vidović authorised the prosecutions of civilian junta officials. The next day, Quintiliani, Scelba and over 35 other NMR figures were arrested and tried for crimes against the people. The televised trials gripped the nation for over three years and all 37 were sentenced to life imprisonment, while the Etrurian far-right was exiled to the fringes for the first time since its rehabilitation in the late 1940s and early 1950s. However, in the late 1990s following several corruption scandals, it returned and would remain relatively small feature of Etrurian politics, until the 2010s, when the Tribune Movement was swept into power in 2016 in a landslide.
Unlike the other parties in Etruria during the Third Republic, the NMR did not operate an internal federal structure, with autonomous branches in all fifteen states. The NMR’s opposition to federalism during its existence was displayed in the highly centralised top-down nature of its structure, with offices located in each state capital, though without any semblance of autonomy or independence.
The party was headed by an National Executive Council (Consiglio Esecutivo Nazionale), comprised of the Leader, Deputy Leader, Federal Secretary and fifteen other members who served as Regional Chairmen. The Federal Secretary was a misnomer, and the position was tasked with organising the implementation of the CEN’s decisions. The CEN selected every candidate for federal office, while regional offices selected state-level candidates with lists being confirmed or rejected by the CEN. Despite the CEN’s extensive powers, all decision making in relation to party platforms at federal elections was decided by the annual Party Congress (Congresso del Partito), which involved the CEN proposing a raft of policies to the congress, which were then debated and voted upon by simple majority. The Party Congress was open to every paying member of the party and in comparison, to other Third Republic parties was the most democratic in practice.
The lack of any state-level autonomy is considered key to the party’s message discipline during its Imitazione phase and later when it openly expressed its neo-functionalist credentials. While other parties in Etruria during the Third Republic, often faced serious contradictions in policies and positions state to state, the NMR’s position was identical in every state. Throughout its existence, the CEN regularly instructed party offices across the country to focus on recruiting police officers and military personnel as party members, who they saw as the “ultimate barricade against the Left.” It is estimated that by the time of the 1960 coup, over 36% of Etrurian military personnel were members of the party, while it stood at almost 46% for law enforcement.
Links to the Custodes
Throughout its existence, the party was dogged by accusations of direct or indirect links to the Custodes, a far-right street movement renowned for violent confrontations with far-left activists. Several local and state level NMR politicians were named indirectly in police investigations, including murder investigations. However, the party repeatedly denied any links to the group or any other far-right gang. In 1989, one NMR official who took part in a documentary into the killing of Maurillio Abate, a senior judge in Carvagna, claimed the party and Custodes were one in the same. “We knew them very well, we had links to them in every state and city. If we had some left-wing scum who wouldn’t budge from office, we asked them, kill this guy, he won’t leave office and he’s turning our kids communist.” Post-restoration investigations during the 1980s and 1990s failed to discover any concrete connection between the NMR and Custodes. And during the trial of the 37 officials who served under the Junta, no connection could be made.
Throughout its existence, the NMR proclaimed itself to be a national conservative party and rejected accusations it was far-right or that it endorsed Neo-Functionalism, Neo-National Solarianism or nationalism of any kind. It purposefully maintained vague election manifestos, opting for ill defined themes centred around traditional social and family values, law and order, anti-corruption, patriotism and harsh views toward select minorities (particularly Miruvians).
In every election (1948 and 1954 federally), it advocated a strong federal government and a return to the parliamentary system. It was the harshest critic of the 1948 constitution, regularly decrying it as a “creation of the foreign victors”, and depicting the political chaos caused by its clauses, as the intention of the CN, which intended to use the 1948 constitution as another post-war punishment on Etruria. As part of its advocating of traditional social values, it promoted censorship and strict laws on music, theatre and the emerging television medium. It rejected certain civil liberties, including the abolition of capital punishment, corporal punishment and criticised the freedom of the press as a tool for “socialist extremists to spread lies.” It advocated the banning and prosecution of far-left politicians, activists and hard-line trade union leaders, whom the NMR claimed constituted an existential threat to the Etrurian nation. As the chaos and instability of the Third Republic became manifest further into the 1950s, the party turned toward more populist anti-establishment rhetoric and policies, openly advocated by 1956, for a new constitution outright.
As the Western Emergency began in the mid-1950s, the NMR became the harshest force in the Senate in relation to its daily demands for military deployments and internment. The NMR blamed the 1948 constitution and federalism for the crisis and violence, going as far in 1957 to also begin advocating the abolition of the federal system. The NMR's criticism of federalism would become a staple element of the Etrurian far-right even after the restoration of democracy in 1984. The NMR also promoted the use of Vespasian in all official business across the country, while still protecting Novalian and Carinthian at the state level – in turn rejecting the natural tri-lingualism of Etrurian political discourse. By the late 1950s, so fierce was the NMR’s condemnation of the separatist movements that it openly called for emergency laws permitting the return of torture, detention without trial and some members began to advocate the mass expulsion of the entire Miruvian population from Etruria. The party also became a source for conspiracy theories, blaming the entire emergency on the Miruvian population, who they claimed were taking orders from the Amathian Equalist Republic and Kirenia.
While it rejected claims of supporting Functionalism or National Solarianism many of figures within the party advocated elements of both ideologies. Integral to this was the positive or at least partially positive view of the Greater Solarian Republic and the Revolutionary Legion. This came because of many founding members of the party being former members or officials of the RL, notably, Giorgio Garafola served as the District-Leader of the Revolutionary Legion in Etrurian occupied-Piraea. The party also viewed the Solarian War as a defensive war and propagated lies and misconceptions of the war throughout its existence and rejected claims of war crimes, arguing such accusations were further attempts to punish defeated Etruria. This further fed into the party's veneration of Etruria's war dead and the near constant praise for Etruria’s war effort during the Solarian War. It promoted a policy of “respectful reflection” in which it accepted the need to discuss the GSR’s policies that led to widespread devastation and economic collapse in wake of its defeat, but in practice meant focusing on its successes, policies and key figures. It believed that the display of GSR symbols and imagery was part of reflection and saw the ban on such as incompatible with Etrurian patriotism.
During its first few years, the NMR’s position on foreign policy was erratic and poorly defined. Several prominent members advocated rapprochement with Eastern Euclea, others promoted a Solarian-Centric policy (focusing on Gaullica, XX, Montecara and Emessa) and others who advocated neutrality and limited international engagement.
Following the 1954 general election and the dominant position of the Garafola faction, the party’s foreign policy was defined more succinctly. The party advocated for membership of the burgeoning Euclean Community and reintegration into Euclea’s order. For a far-right political party in 1950s Euclea, the NMR notably included several key figures who promoted a “union of patriotic and sovereign Euclean nations.” Garafola himself claimed this would be the best protection against “socialism and radicalism.” One reason the NMR abandoned its far-right partners in endorsing the EC was the success of the bloc in rebuilding nations devastated by the Solarian War and the Great War, both of which, Etruria was struggling to do so after two decades.
One prominent faction that maintained itself throughout the party’s life was that advocating a Solarian-centric foreign policy. This faction, led by Arcangelo Adriano Odierno did not necessarily oppose Etrurian membership of the EC, but wished for a regional “focus and new system built around the Solarian World.” The Odierno faction reportedly supported the Gaullo-Etrurian union, though the rest of the party was fiercely opposed. The one thread that united NMR internal factions on foreign policy was the vociferous opposition to socialism and the socialist states of Euclea, notably the Amathian Equalist Republic and Kirenia. Numerous NMR figures would regularly call for an alliance between Eastern Euclea and Soravia against the socialist bloc, leading to strong links between the NMR and Soravian Nationalist and Revivalist Party.
Following its collapse in 1984, much of the NMR’s legacy was rooted in its direct involvement and support of the military dictatorship, rather than any specific issue or achievement. As the historical study in the 1990s progressed began to focus on the Etrurian Third Republic, there was a wave of studies into the lasting influence of the NMR.
In 1994, the historian Franco Gugliuzza wrote in his book covering the party, “while so much of the Third Republic can be recognised as a failure of statecraft, the New Republican Movement was the only success story, insofar that it achieved its aims – it halted reconciliation with the horrors of the Greater Solarian Republic, distorted history to protect the GSR and rehabilitated almost certainly guilty war criminals.” The same year, Ferdinando Franceschi, who served as Deputy President under Vincenzo Biava wrote, “the NMR, a most vile party that did more than any entity to facilitate the totalitarian dictatorship of recent times, also did more than any other entity to ensure Etruria was denied the right to de-functionalise, Gaullica took the right path, ours was barricaded shut by enemies of democracy.” The NMR's success in shutting down the National Tribunal for Historic War Crimes and Incidents and lifting the ban on GSR symbols and images played significant roles in the survival of the Etrurian far-right for decades. It's greatest success according to historians, was its brief tenure in running the Federal Ministry of Education, in which it instigated a nation-wide revision of textbooks and teaching guides, whitewashing topics around the Solarian War. The revisionist approach to education was continued under the military government (1960-1984), which was also done in state sanctioned media.
The extent the party succeeded in rehabilitating the far-right, barely a decade after it led Etruria into the death and destruction of the Solarian War was further debated in the 2000s, during which time numerous smaller parties inspired by the NMR grew in popularity. Gugliuzza again wrote a second book on the NMR saying, “as time progresses, we further understand the lasting impact the party had on this country. Where in Gaullica is disgraceful to deny crimes, in Etruria, its disgraceful to suggest them. Where in Gaullica they see their history clearly and with the lasting intention of avoidance, in Etruria, we look to our darkest chapter with reverence and at times, a mournful longing. The NMR is to blame for this, it kept the stain of the GSR where it should not be, in our hearts.”
To right-wing Etrurians, the NMR is viewed more positively. Francesco Carcaterra, when serving as a senior history lecturer at the University of San Michele wrote in 2001, “many can condemn the NMR for its rehabilitation of certain individuals, but many can also thank it for keeping so many weak-willed and often cowardly governments’ feet to the fire. If it were not for the NMR, perhaps the Western Emergency would have been shorter and more successful for the separatist.”
The party’s ideology and electoral strategies were emulated by its successor parties and future far-right parties, including the Tribune Movement. While some far-right parties sought to distance themselves from their own inspiration, many leaders of the Etrurian right would praise the NMR. Gianfranco Galizia in 2018, called it an inspiration for all “patriotic parties in Euclea.”
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