In Italy, the third sector should probably be called the “first sector”, as it appeared well before the late-blooming modem democratic state and also before the free, competitive market. Over the centuries, both the state and the church discouraged spontaneous, voluntary associations because they were regarded as potential usurpers of government power. This is one of the most important differences between the Anglo-Saxon and Latin traditions. Italian social services have traditionally been the exclusive domain of the Catholic Church. In the period between the unification of Italy in 1861 and the early 1920s, the state rarely intervened in matters of social welfare. Its non-engagement was codified by a 1862 law that put the government in charge of health services, and left the rest of the country’s social services in the hands of church-dominated charitable associations. The rise of Mussolini in 1922 did not substantially change these relationships between church and state.