«I swear loyalty to the King and His Royal Successors».
Military discipline, civilization,
and nationalization in liberal Italy
The essay investigates the role of military discipline in civilizing and nationalizing Italian conscripts between 1861 and 1914 by intersecting strictly normative sources with suggestions coming from ego-documents. On the one hand, the essay focuses on disciplinary regulation in order to evaluate to what extent the military authorities’ disciplining effort theoretically coincided with (or at least was a prerequisite for) a genuine nationalization of the recruits. On the other hand, soldiers’ memoirs and personal papers shed some light on the concrete application of the rules and on the file and rank’s subjective perception of military discipline.