Before the commotion caused by the death of Victor Emmanuel had passed away, the decease of Pius IX (7th February 1878) placed further demands upon Crispis sagacity and promptitude.
Crispis position was shaken by a morally plausible but juridically untenable charge of bigamy, ~ li while on the 8th of March the election of Cairoli, an a t~o opponent of the ministry and head of the extremer section of the Left, to the presidency of the Chamber, induced Depretis to tender his resignation to the new king.
The most successful feature of Crispis term of office was his strict maintenance of Order and the suppression of Radical and Irredentist agitation.
The rebuke infuriated the Conservative deputies, who, protesting against Crispis words in the name of the sacred memories of their party, precipitated a division and placed the cabinet in a minority.
The chief advantage derived by Italy from Crispis foreign policy was the increase of confidence in her government on the part of her allies and of Great Britain.
How great had been Crispis power was seen by contrast with the policy of the Rudini cabinet which succeeded him in February 1891.
Crispis so-called megalomania gave place to retrenchment in home affairs and to a deferential attitude towards all foreign powers.
Crispis methods aroused great outcry in the Radical press, but the severe sentences of the military courts were in time tempered by the Royal prerogative of amnesty.
On the 16th of June an attempt by an anarchist named Lega was made on Crispis life; on the 24th of June President Carnot was assassinated by the anarchist Caserio; and on the 3oth of June an Italian journalist was murdered at Leghorn for a newspaper attack upon anarchism a series of outrages which led the government to frame and parliament to adopt (11th July) a Public Safety Bill for the prevention of anarchist propaganda and crime.
At the end of July the trial of the persons implicated in the Banca Romana scandal revealed the fact that among the documents abstracted by Giolitti from the papers of the bank manager, Tanlongo, were several bearing upon Crispis political and private life.
These attacks were, however, unavailing to shake Crispis position, and in the general election of May 1895 his government obtained a majority of nearly 200 votes.
After being subjected to persecution for nearly two years, Crispis character was substantially vindicated by the report of a parliamentary commission appointed to inquire into his relations with Favilla.
True, the commission proposed and the Chamber adopted a vote of censure upon Crispis conduct in 1894, when, as premier and minister of the interior, he had borrowed ~1 2,000 from Favilla to replenish the secret service fund, and had subsequently repaid the money as instalments for secret service were in due course furnished by the treasury.
The situation thus became the very reverse of what it had been in Crispis time, when the French government, even when anti-clerical, protected the Catholic Church abroad for political purposes, whereas the conflict between Church and State in Italy extended to foreign countries, to the detriment of Italian political interests.