Why did the Italians want Libya?


Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
Gaillimh (Ireland)
There are still some italian schools in Lybia, but I don't think that Italian is studied as a second language, the elders sure know italian because it was the official language during their youth.
Until the Lybian Civil War relationships between Italy and Lybia were mixed: Italy paid a very big compensation to Ghaddafi for the invasion, but from what I heard in tv, the Lybian people regards us italians as friends
Dec 2009
As you might know , in the 20th century, the Italians conquered Libya. But why ? I mean, there was no oil discovery back then (I assume), and besides offering a coastline and some ports, I see no extra points as to why they'd even be there ?

Couple that with Libyan resistance...
1)Mainly for prestige reasons: Libya was the unique region still free(except for Ethiopia which defeated Italy at Adua) and because French "stole" us Tunisia inspite of the presence of thousands of italians over there.
2)It was tought to be a "rich" region, instead we had to build everything (nowadays the railways and road system is based on italian buildings).
3)It was a strategic place anyway(though less than Tunisia) basing on the fact it allowed Italy to control the access to Sicily Channel.
4) It was thought as "quarta sponda" ("fourth shore") a place where italian immigrants could go in, instead of emigratin in USA,UK,France or Australian where they were discriminated and treated very bad like lynching or murdering.
Essentially the same of what our Xander so wonderfully explained on the OP could have been stated about 95% of the colonialism of this Planet.

Prestige (or whatever may be understood by such noun) has always been the first (and often the only) reason.
The truly economically productive colonies have always been the exception.

In plain English, the objective tragedy of the conquered nations more often than not didn't even become any self-sustainable business for the colonial powers.
Oct 2011
In my opinion the reason for Italy to invade and colonize Libya was very simple: more land equals more power and an expanded empire.