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Luigi Pelloux

Luigi Pelloux
Prime Minister of Italy
In office
29 June 1898 – 24 June 1900
Monarch Umberto I
Preceded by Antonio Starabba, Marchese di Rudinì
Succeeded by Giuseppe Saracco
Personal details
Born (1839-03-01)March 1, 1839
La Roche-sur-Foron
Died October 26, 1924(1924-10-26) (aged 85)
Political party Liberal (Historical Right)

Luigi Gerolamo Pelloux (La Roche-sur-Foron, 1 March 1839 – Bordighera, 26 October 1924) was an Italian general and politician, born of parents who retained their Italian nationality when Savoy was annexed to France.

Early career

Pelloux was born in La Roche-sur-Foron, Savoy, then part of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Entering the army as lieutenant of artillery in 1857 he gained the medal for military valour at the battle of Custoza in 1866, and in 1870 commanded the brigade of artillery which battered the breach in the wall of Rome at Porta Pia. He was elected to the Chamber in 1881 as deputy for Livorno, which he represented until 1895, and joined the party of the Left. He had entered the war office in 1870, and in 1880 became general secretary, in which capacity he introduced many useful reforms in the army.

After a succession of high military commands he received the appointment of chief of the general staff in 1896. He was minister of war in the Rudinì and Giolitti cabinets of 1891–1893. In July 1896 he resumed the portfolio of war in the Rudinì cabinet, and was appointed senator. In May 1897 he secured the adoption of the Army Reform Bill, fixing Italian military expenditure at a maximum of 9,560,000 a year, but in December of that year he was defeated in the Chamber on the question of the promotion of officers.

Prime Minister

Resigning office, he was in May 1898 sent as royal commissioner to Bari, where, without recourse to martial law, he succeeded in restoring public order. Upon the fall of Rudinì in June 1898, after the Bava-Beccaris massacre, General Pelloux was entrusted by King Umberto with the formation of a cabinet, and took for himself the post of minister of the interior. He resigned office in May 1899 over his Chinese policy, but was again entrusted with the formation of a government. His new cabinet was essentially military and conservative, the most decisively conservative since 1876.[1]

He took stern measures against the revolutionary elements in southern Italy. The Public Safety Bill for the reform of the police laws, taken over by him from the Rudinì cabinet, and eventually promulgated by royal decree. The law made strikes by state employees illegal; gave the executive wider powers to ban public meetings and dissolve subversive organisations; revived the penalties of banishment and preventive arrest for political offences; and tightened control of the press by making authors responsible for their articles and declaring incitement to violence a crime.[1] The new coercive law was fiercely obstructed by the Socialist Party of Italy (PSI), which, with the Left and Extreme Left, succeeded in forcing General Pelloux to dissolve the Chamber in May 1900, and to resign office after the general election in June.

In the autumn of 1901 he was appointed to the command of the Turin army corps. Pelloux died at Bordighera in 1924.


  1. ^ a b Seton-Watson, Italy from liberalism to fascism, 1870-1925, p. 193
  • Seton-Watson, Christopher (1967). Italy from liberalism to fascism, 1870-1925, New York: Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-416-18940-7
Political offices
Preceded by
Antonio Starabba, Marchese di Rudinì
Prime Minister of Italy
1898 – 1900
Succeeded by
Giuseppe Saracco
Italian Minister of the Interior
1898 – 1900
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