The growth of Italian fascist regime I Origins of fascism Italy before 1914 1859: unification of Italy by the rebel

nationalist Garibaldi Problems: 1. economy : this of South of Italy = based on agriculture, land of a poor quality => rural population increased quickly by the end of the 19thC and the gap between north and south increased 2. weak democratic system of government after 1870, weak sense of national identity and loyalty to the state 3. Industrial expansion : creation of a urban working class : they felt expoilted 4. Catholic church : opposition to the unification • church lands confiscated and redistributed to peasants farmers • Pope banned Catholics from taking part in politics  more tensions between state and Church 5. Nationalists : wanted the regions of Trentino and Trieste (possessed by Austria)  there were a lot of Italian speakers  Referred as unredeemed Italy ( Italia Irredente)  Those problems lead to a crisis

The First World War 1914 : Italy divided : some wanted enter the war, some wanted to remain neutral But, the Italians failed to secure Trentino and Trieste from Austria-Hungary so : 1915 : Treaty of London (alliance with Britain, France and Russia Casualties : 600 thousand died One million were wounded Debt : increased from 16 to 85 billion lire Unrest : Unemployment Shortages of food The Paris Peace Conference 18 January 1919 Negotiations dominated by the leaders of the more important leaders : France (Clemenceau) Britain ( Lloyd George), USA (Wilson). No place for the defeated nations. Prime Minister of Italy Orlando : excluded Italy’s gains :  South Tyrol  Trentino  Istria  Trieste Italy’s failed gains :  North Tyrol  Dalmatia

Because it was not conform as principle of self-determination, even there were promised lands.

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Fiume No German colonies as compensation Not allowed to expand their African colonies

Orlando : felt his country had been betrayed Withdrew from the negotiations  This lead to unpopularity for the government Harsh critic: Gabriel d’Annunzio(author and political critic, seized Fiume with followers, his rule was full of parades, uniforms and raised-armed salutes) Post-war unrest 2 millions unemployed people => Strikes and demonstrations => Some workers occupied the factories => Peasants in some areas seized land from large landowners Fear of a communist take-over ( situation was like this of Russia before revolution) People were losing faith in a democratic system and they looked for a strong leader to solve the problems: then Benito Mussolini entered the politic life. Mussolini: • editor of a socialist journal • 1912: became editor of Italy’s official Socialist newspaper Avanti • His own newspaper: Il Popolo d’Italia • 1915: joined the army, got injured in 1917 Birth of Fascism Mussolini called for a dictator to remedy the dire economic situation and recover the promised lands 1919 : foundation of a “combat group” Fascio di Combattimento => Roman salute => black shirts => skull-embroidered flags => patriotic songs => nationalist slogans The fascist programme (Mussolini, Nazis, Falangisrs in Spain, Leagues in France, Mosley’s supporters in Britain = fascists) • Ultra-nationalism => gain lands => More colonies => glory the ancient past • Totalitarianism  Mussolini’s definition : “everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state”  Individuals worked for the benefit of the state  One-party government • Cult of the leader • Racism

=> belief in the superitity of one’s own race • Anti-communism  Fascism was a response to the Communism  Supporter anti-communist of the fascism : capitalists, industrialists, landowners Early difficulties  1919 : poor results at the elections Mussolini blamed the extreme leftist section of his party, the strident anti-clericals  disowned all forms of extreme socialism Wealthy capitalists supported the party as a bulwark against socialism. Their financial support helped them to survive. Squadristi = paramilitary groups  aim: intimidation for the trade unions, political foes and newspapers editors Now the fascism programme was : monarchism, free trade and anti-socialism March on Rome Economic conditions deteriorated 1922 ; general strike called by the socialist in August to protest against government policies The Squadristi posed as the unique protection against a communist takeover. 25 000 blackshirt squadristi rassembled around Rome The Prime Minister Luigi Facta asked the King, Victor Emmanuel III to use the army but he refused, the prime minister resigned and Mussolini took his place March on Rome turned to be a victory parade. II Mussolini’s Italy Move to dictatorship • • • first moves : slow and careful image of a possible respectable leader right to rule by decree Acerbo law : reserved 2/3 of the seats in Parliament for the party wich gained most votes in future elections

 1924: Fascists duly gained control of Parliament in the 1924 election
Mussolini : minister for the Interior and Foreign Minister Appearance of Democracy Mussolini’s Opponents arrested Blackshirts : converted into national militia (paid by state and allegiance to Mussolini) 1924 : Matteotti (an opponent) murdered OVRA : secret policy