ITALY: After 1 ,995 Years

For the first time since Caesar crossed the Rubicon, in 49 B. C., the Italian peninsula was a republic. In their first free national election in a quarter century, 24 million men and women (these voting for the first time) decided five-to-four against continuing the monarchy. Simultaneously, they took a stand beside their French cousins (TIME, June 10) for Western democracy and against the advance of Soviet Communism.

Premier Alcide de Gasperi's Christian Democratic party—like France's M.R.P. a champion of reform without revolution —overwhelmed its leftist rivals; it drew over 8,000,000 votes, almost double those given either the Communists or the...

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