Charter of Carnaro
The Charter of Carnaro (Carta del Carnaro in Italian) was the constitution of the Italian Regency of Carnaro, a short-lived government in Fiume (Rijeka), proclaimed by Gabriele D'Annunzio on 8 September 1920. Following the Treaty of Rapallo the regime of D'Annunzio was ousted by Italian military forces at Christmas 1920, and by 31 December the Free State of Fiume had been established. The Charter of Carnaro is sometimes also referred to as the "Constitution for the free state of Fiume", even though it has no relation to the Free State.
The constitution combined anarchist, proto-fascist, and democratic republican ideas. D'Annunzio is often seen as a precursor of the ideals and techniques of Italian fascism. His own explicit political ideals emerged in Fiume when he coauthored with syndicalist Alceste De Ambris. De Ambris provided the legal and political framework, to which D'Annunzio added his skills as a poet. The charter is notorious for designating "music" to be the fundamental principle of the state.
The constitution established a corporatist state, with nine corporations to represent the different sectors of the economy, where membership was mandatory, plus a tenth corporation devised by D'Annunzio, to represent the "superior individuals" (e.g. poets, "heroes" and "supermen"). The other nine were as follows:
- Industrial and Agricultural Workers
- Industrial and Agricultural Technicians
- Private Bureaucrats and Administrators
- Teachers and Students
- Lawyers and Doctors
- Civil Servants
- Co-operative Workers
The executive power would be vested in seven ministers (rettori):
- Foreign Affairs
- Police and Justice
- Public Economy
The legislative power was vested in a bicameral legislature. Joint sessions of (Arengo del Carnaro), would be responsible for treaties with foreign powers, amendments to the constitution, and appointment of a dictator in times of emergency.
- Council of the Best (Consiglio degli Ottimi) - Elected by universal suffrage for a 3-year term - 1 councilor per 1000 population Responsible for legislation concerning civil and criminal justice, police, armed forces, education, intellectual life and relations between the central government and communes
- Council of Corporations (Consiglio dei Provvisori) - 60 members chosen by nine corporations for a 2-year term - Responsible for laws regulating business and commerce, labor relations, public services, transportation and merchant shipping, tariffs and trade, public works, medical and legal professions
Judicial power vested in the courts
- Supreme Court, (Corte della Ragione, literally "Court of Reason")
- Communal Courts, (Buoni Uomini, literally "Good Men")
- Labour Court (Giudici del Lavoro)
- Civil Court (Giudici Togati, literally "Judges in toga")
- Criminal Court (Giudici del Maleficio)
Benito Mussolini was influenced by the Fascist portions of the constitution, and by D'Annunzio's style of leadership as a whole. As the Fascist movement came to power in Italy, D'Annunzio moved towards it, and became close with Mussolini. De Ambris, however, was a staunch opponent of Fascism, calling the movement "a filthy pawn."
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