Department of Public Information of Montevento
Portrait of Spalla in 1934
Doge of the Republic of Montevento
1921 to 1933; 1953 to 1957
28 July 1921 - 27 July 1933
Proceded by: Lisandro Bartone (Ind)
Succeeded by: Cristaldo Corra (PR)
28 July 1953 - 27 July 1957
Proceded by: Rufino Vaccaro (NUA)
Succeeded by: First Triumvirate
Honourable Member of the Triumvirate
1957 to 1961; 1965 to 1969
1st Triumvirate: 28 July 1957 - 27 July 1961
Proceded by: Position established
Succeeded by: Leandro Mortara (PR)
3rd Triumvirate: 28 July 1965 - 27 July 1969
Proceded by: Leandro Mortara (PR)
Succeeded by: Mariano Barretto (PR)
First Councillor of the Republic
1933 to 1937
Doge: Cristaldo Corra (PR)
Proceded by: Raimondo Bisso (PR)
November 19, 1893.
November 18, 1979. (aged
Cause of death
San Giovanni Central
Universitŕ Pubblica di
Adalgisa Tierno (m. 1934)
He remains as one of the most popular and successful doges of the history of the Republic of Montevento and is widely praised for his role as a social reformer and the introduction of the political system of "Spallanism" which dominated the Republic from 1920 to 1970 and still has great influence in the government and the Partito Rosso.
During his governments, many state policies were promoted that still remain in force in Montevento to this day, some of which even are considered central and indispensable in the way of thinking of the modern citizens of the Republic, such as the secularisation of the state, universal suffrage, free education and the implementation of various labor rights like the eight-hour workday and unemployment benefits. In general, he is considered as a great promoter of the welfare state model and state interventionism in basic aspects of the economy.
He died on November 18, 1979 at the age of 85 after falling and hitting his head on the floor during a political rally of the Partito Rosso. He was quickly hospitalised, and underwent surgery to stop a cerebral hemorrhage. The operation failed, and he died just one day shy of his 86th birthday. Montevento declared a one week mourning after his death, offering a state funeral attended by thousands of people. His remains rest in the Central Cemetery of San Giovanni in the Crypt of Honour of the Republic.
• Private Life
Spalla was the son of Bruno Spalla and Natalia Rodríguez. During his first years of life he continuously travelled to Europe because his father was a successful businessman who maintained a series of investments in Italy, a place to which he had to travel regularly to manage his possessions, usually being accompanied by his wife and children. During these trips, and thanks to his father, he learned a lot about how to run companies and finances in general, igniting his passion for the understanding of economics.
When he turned 17, his mother became seriously ill with yellow fever, dying soon after, forcing Spalla to stay in Montevento to take care of his father's possessions in the Republic. However, he took advantage of this to begin his studies at the Public University of Montevento, being an excellent student and obtaining a degree in economics at the young age of 24 and later another one in law.
However, he never got to officially exercise these professions, because together with a friend he created the newspaper "La Repubblica", becoming a journalist, specialised in politics. This resulted in him getting closer with the Partito Rosso, for which he soon began to work, turning his newspaper into a political tool to support the party, which even today remains functioning under the name of "Il Giorno".
He married Adalgisa Tierno in 1934, one year after finishing his third term as Doge of Montevento. The couple had three children: Enzo, Federico and Etor. All of which continued his legacy and went on to become successful politicians like his father, occupying various different positions within the government. Nowadays the Spalla family is still influential in Montevento's politics, with his grand grandson Emilio Spalla currently being one of the highest ranking members in the Partito Rosso, and Marianella Spalla, his grand granddaughter holding the position of Rector of the Public University of Montevento.
• First dogeship (1921 - 1933)
Spalla's political career took a great leap forward when he managed to successfully negotiate with former dictator Lisandro Bartone to step down from his position, reestablishing democratic elections in the Republic in 1921, which, in part thanks to the support of Bartone himself, he managed to win with a slight margin, defeating Tommaso Scalzitti, the candidate of the Partito Nazionale di Montevento.
His first term as Doge (1921 - 1925) was dedicated more than anything to the reestablishment of the democratic institutions of the Republic after the end of the dictatorship, the empowerment of the National Council as the only institution capable of creating laws, the creation of the Supreme Court of Justice as the maximum judiciary authority and a total electoral reform, enabling universal suffrage allowing all of the citizens of the country, regardless of their sex, race, education or economic position, to exercise the right –and the obligation– to vote. His electoral reform also made the vote of every individual a secret, finally ending the tradition held by the Republic prior to Bartone's coup of making public who each citizen voted for, and establishing a second round of voting to be held if no candidate managed to achieve more than 50% of the public vote during a first round, in order to ensure that all Monteventani Doges ascended to the power with a majority of the population supporting them.
Divorce laws were also established during this time, making them available at the sole wish of any of the two involved parties. He also changed marriage laws, establishing that only the ones performed by the State would be recognised and making a religious ceremony unnecessary to officially become married. While he did not make same-sex marriages or civil-unions legal, he made the first steps towards them, abolishing several laws that could be used to block them in a future.
In addition to his religious reforms, he pursued an educative reform, making education free, compulsory, and secular at all levels. Thanks to this reform, education was placed under total control of the State, who had the responsability to provide it to every citizen of the Republic. During his administration, the Public University of Montevento also saw great increases in its budget, allowing for its expansion and the improvement of its services.
After initially rejecting the offer for a third term, Spalla ran for the 1929 election, winning with landslide. His third term (1929 - 1933) focused on the economy of the Republic. During this time he fought for things as unemployment compensation (1930), eight-hour workdays (1929), the right to strike (1931) and the prohibition of work of minors under the age of 13 (1932). During all his first dogeship, and specially during his third term, state interventionism in the economy was common, usually creating state-controlled monopolies in the areas of essential services (running water, telephone, electricity, etc), as he, despite being a firm believer of capitalism, feared that private investors would not be adequate for those kinds of business, as they would be more interested in generating profits than ensuring the well-being of the people. Some of those monopolies are still functioning today.
According to the laws enacted by himself during his first term, he was unable to present himself as a candidate for re-election for a fourth consecutive term, as he limited the amount of times a person can be consecutively elected as Doge to three (or a period of 12 consecutive years) in order to prevent someone from perpetuating into power for too long. He nonetheless accepted being the First Councillor of the Republic (leader of the Legislative Power) after Cristaldo Corra was elected as Doge to ensure the continuation of his policies.
• Second dogeship (1953 - 1957)
Spalla's second dogeship was characterised by the continuation of the policies carried out during his first dogeship that had managed to survive until now (most of them due to the almost uninterrupted mandate of Partito Rosso during these years). Some minor laws were also created during this period, such as the prohibition of bullfights and other forms of animal abuse, several laws against discrimination of minorities by the state and various austerity measures.
However, the most relevant aspect of this period was the complete reorganization of the government, in which the figure of the Doge as head of state and government was replaced by a collegiate government named as Triumvirate made up of 3 people, all with exactly the same powers which had to be democratically elected during elections.
According to him, this measure guaranteed the plurality of ideas in the government, since the 3 members did not necessarily have to be from the same political party, which, in theory, would make the government much more representative. There were a total of 6 triumvirates with Mauro Spalla being a member of two of them (the first and the third).
In total, this form of government managed to remain standing for 24 years, from 1957 to 1981, when it was dissolved by the Nuova Unione Alternativa as it perceived the Triumvirate as a way of keeping them out of power.
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