Peasant cooperatives and land occupations in the Sicilian latifundium (1944-1950)


1 July 2014


Volume 1 – Number 5

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Niccolò Mignemi



The peasant movement that emerged after the Second World War was one of the most important social mobilizations in Italy during the twentieth century. In a context where land inequalities and traditional mechanisms of exploitation persisted, rural social conflicts reappeared in this period in the context of specific political circumstances. The decrees of 1944-1946 played an essential role, allowing the peasants, associated in cooperatives, to demand possession of uncultivated lands. However, as the Sicilian example attests, the rule of law was applied according to the evolution of power relations, both at the local and national level. Appropriated by the peasant movement, cooperatives became key actors in the struggles for agrarian reform in Italy during the late 1940s.


Second World War, Sicilian latifundium, Peasant cooperatives, Land occupations