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Benito Mussolini

Fascist ItalyBenito MussoliniRisorgimento was the Italian unification movementCavour wanted unification and didnt like the regionalism left after so he made moderately conservative reformsThe reforms allowed the north to prosper, gradually letting southern Italy fall behind.BackgroundBackground: Why was the government weak?Weak GovernmentTransformism: (Created by Depretis) Scattered political beliefs, brining men in that believed in their own individual view and not one of a part-Ministers grant favors to increase support in belief or legislative system,-Deputies lost jobs if didnt do favorsNo real party system; parliament corrupt and self absorbedCrown has most powerStill needs occasional suppression by military because instable3 good ministers:Agostino Depretis, Francesco Crispi, and Giovanni GiolittiSocialSouth is behind north90% south is illiterate11% illiterate in northMafia in SicilyCommon peasant risingsMany conscripts from south rejected due to poor health Still agrarianLittle industrial import or production (not fit for war)Priority to build railroads

Background: Social/Economic IssuesEconomicJust before 1914, industrial boom stagnates1896-1914: Industrial growthNational BankGiolitti increases orders for manufacturers & railwaysMotor industry (north)Protective tariffs helped agricultural prices in northBackground: 3 Opponents to DemocracySocialists:-Stimulated by uneven north and south-1890s tariff war; French put protective tariff, limiting Italian export, causing bread riots in Milan (1898) and general strikes (1904)-1904 liberal defeat in election, gave false sense of comfort-Electoral law by Giolliti 1912, universal male suffrage over 30-Wrong! Radicals got upper hand- Mussolini in officeCatholic Church:-Bad terms with Piedmont 1850 and worse 1879 by getting Rome-1900 Papacy encouraged boycott of elections-1904 Pope Pius X relaxed because of fear of socialists-Hated liberals and socialistsNationalistic People/Irredentism: (should claim all the land thought to belong to Italy, i.e. Nice, Savoy, Corsica)-Defeats in Adowa, Abyssinia (1896), they blamed parliament-Wanted to improve foreign policies by having one all powerful leader-1911-12 got Libya from Turkey and stimulated movementWhat is Italian Fascism?Based on the belief that there should be one all powerful ruler for Italy to succeed in nationalistic aimsNationalism and Irredentism supportedThought modern Italy was the heir to Ancient RomeBelieved foreign aggression/power would prove strength as a state

The symbol, fasces, is based off a symbol of Lictors of Ancient Rome, people who guarded magistrates. Shows power over life/ death. United as one nation under an all powerful ruler, like the twigs tied together, is strong, unlike single individuals, like each twig separate.Liberalism is weak-Right after WWI: a lot of media about unsatisfactory peace treaty, economic difficulties (2 million unemployed Nov. 1919)Mussolini formed first combat group March of 1919 (Its a Fascist group). They made left wing proposals:-abolition of monarchy, est. of a Republic-Decentralization of government-abolition of conscription-closure of all banks and stock exchange-profit sharing and management participation by workers-seizure of Church landsMussolinis Rise to PowerIn November 1919, Fascists only got a few votes and that is when they turned to be more conservativeFascism was about getting power for Mussolini, not really about unchanging beliefs. So he was only moderately conservativeMussolini was really aggressive growing up and that contributed to his desire for powerHe wanted revolutionary reform; hated socialists who wanted moderate reform and hated parliamentary governmentDidnt want Italy to be neutral in WWI and published his thoughts in Avanit! Oct. 1914Went to war and turned his back on socialistsMussolinis Rise to Power (Continued)Strong support-Squadristi was a paramilitary used to terrorize political opponents-Supported free enterprise so got the support of big companies/businesses which helped Fascists financially-Still got a lot of support from peasants and urban working class because they didnt like socialism or capitalism-Giolitti helped Mussolini to get parliament seats (35 out of 535) after overlooking the terrorist acts of the SquadristiMussolinis Rise to Power (Continued)Aug. 1922: Socialist strike-Squadristi crushed strike in just one day so they looked like a protector against red threat (socialism)Coup d'tat Oct. 27, 1922-March on Rome by Mussolini-King Victor Emmanuel III didnt sign the Prime Ministers proposal of a martial law, so Rome didnt have defense*The King just wanted to make firm decisions to fix the unrest in Italy*October 29, 1922, Mussolini became the youngest ever Prime Minister of ItalyMussolinis Rise to Power (Continued)POWER! Mussolini wanted personal powerMany of his reform/policies were vague to get as many supporters as possibleVery good with media. He over used propaganda and was good at public speeches. He wrote newspaper editorials before and after WWI. More talk than action.Domestic Policies: Overview

Dismantling of Parliamentarianism-First few years in office destructing parliament; hated all parties-Squadristi became a paramilitary force, Volunteer Militia for National Security (Dec. 1922)- violence important for electionsAcerbo Law: Proposed and accepted July 1932: any party getting majority of votes (at least 25%) gets 2/3 seats in assembly to create political stabilityMurder of socialist, Matteotti, and blame was put on Mussolini, but socialists left parliament in protest (event called Aventine Secession) leaving Fascists in more controlMini reign of terror 1925- house searches, newspaper control, and harassment to political oppositionDecrees Oct./Sept. 1926 banned all other parties and created secret police force OVRA, respectively, officially causing political dictatorshipDomestic Policies: PoliticalBy January of 1926, Mussolini had the power to decree laws without consent from parliamentSept. 1928: law for the entire composition of parliament to be chosen by Fascist Grand Council (headed by Mussolini)A list of 400 would be presented for approval/rejection*In 1929 many voters rejected list, but numbers dropped by 1939* Mussolini got power over most things and King got more limited powers (He could no longer select prime ministers after Dec. 1928)

Domestic Policies: PoliticalCorporativism: Trade or professional organizations, corporations, are the basis of societyRocco Law of April 1926: outlaw worker strikes and employers lockouts, and gave Fascist syndicates (unions) legal recognition-The syndicates were either workers or employers, but the law allowed them to find some sort of medianMarch 1930 National Council of Corporations created; 1934 corporations were actually set up.1936 there were 22 representing branches of industrial, agricultural, artistic, and professional life.1938-39, parliament was renamed to Chamber of Fasces and Corporations because it had no use with the party system gone.The corporations made it seem like there was representation/decartelization, but each corporation was joined by an official of the Ministry of Corporations to ensure govt.s view prevailed.

Domestic Policies: PoliticalMussolini hated it but was realistic and knew he needed it to ruleGentile Education Act (Feb. 1923)- Restored religious education abolished by liberal regime1924- Pope withdrew from Catholic Popular Party, bringing a large crowd with him, making Mussolinis rivals not a problemLateran Accords (Feb. 1929)- Created Vatican City, restored some temporal authority, confirmed Catholicism as the only religion, and gave financial support from the State. Mussolini got popularity from thisDomestic Policies: Catholic Church1922-25 most successful with liberal Minister of Finance, Alberto De Stefani who abolished price fixing and rent controls, and reduced govt. expenditure anywhere possible. At a surplus first time since 1918.Mussolini replaced him, possibly motivated by political prestigeItalian currency lire in Aug. 1926 was worth 90 to a pound. ~Artificial sense of strength~Italian economy fell before Wall Street CrashDomestic Policies: EconomicWanted autarky (1930): relying only on Italy, not other nationsSuccessful in electricity and motor production. Three straggles policy focused on:Battle for grain (1925): Successfully produced more grain, but output of other agriculture hindered and kept cost of grain production highBattle for land: Drained Pontine Marshes near Rome to gain new farmland, but most lost due to neglect of war 1943-45. More effective control on Mafia in south and construction of motorways.Battle for births: Support colonial claims. 1926, bachelors were taxed (except priests and maimed war vets) and parents of large families rewarded. Italy had limited resources, and population really only rose due to immigration limits imposed by US and lower death rates.Domestic Policies: EconomicEducation/media-Controlled students at a young age to support Fascists*When a student asks why, it is because you must.-Compulsory education system to raise young males in Fascist path-Didnt cause real big improvements in literacy-All media should support regimeSport-Dopolavoro (for the sake of labour) May 1925: workers leisure time-Sports centralized but successful; hosted and won soccer world cup 1934Limits on culture-Some writers, philosophers, physicists fled and some critical reviews were written in papers but tolerated (wouldnt be tolerated with Nazi Germany or USSR)

Domestic Policies: Social

Domestic Policies: SocialSocial ImprovementSocial Not So Much ImprovementYearly bonusesPaid HolidaysPaid redundancyStrike abolishedCharter of Labor (1927) didnt succeed in guaranteeing minimum wageUnemployment rose 1926-1933

Foreign Policies: 1879-1914Similar to France: based on other European countries (France and Alsace Loraine, It