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The Collapse of the Liberal State & the Triumph of

Fascism in Italy 1896-1943
Political unification complete 1870
Constitutional monarchy based on UK model – King could appoint & dismiss PM & other ministers but
gov’t could survive if commanded a maj in parl
King concerned with mil & foreign affairs and stayed out of domestic affairs
Only 2% pop could vote – new state dominated by middle classes & wealthy
70% of pop were illiterate
Lack of Italian identity
Only 2% of pop spoke Italian – dialects
Only small proportion had a role in bringing about unification
Hostility of Church
Pope refused to recognise new state & instructed Catholics to boycott elections (ban lifted in 1890)
Syllabus of Error 1864 – condemned Liberalism
Agr country – 68% dependent on land – most peasants lived in poverty
Undeveloped industry – lack of natural resources e.g. coal & iron ore
Mountainous geography made communications diff
Poor harvest of 1897 – combined with high duty on imported wheat pushed up the price of food this
led to street demoes in 1898 – gov’t crushed them with army
Political System
No clearly defined political parties – few differences of opinion
Urban & rural poor didn’t have the vote – politicians drawn from the profs, wealthy middle classes
TRANSFORMISO: Instead politicians clustered around prominent politicians and formed factions
A number of factions would agree to support one another & form a gov’t & divide up ministerial posts
Such alliances were fragile – when leading politician felt aggrieved over something, he’d withdraw his
support & the gov’t would fall
This lead to 29 PM 1870-22
This gave the impression that Liberal politics was not about the people or good of nation, just the
pursuit of power
Giolitti’s reforms:
Resp for passage of leg. Forcing employers to grant 1 rest day per week
Outlawing employment of children under 12
Increased gov’t expenditure on public works – 1907 gov’t spending 50% more than it had done in 1900
– improving roads, farming, quality of drinking water in the south
Reduced taxes on food & supplied drug quinine to malaria affected areas
Gov’t should be seen as neutral in strikes – believed employers should be prepared to negotiate with
Managed to strike up a working relationship with moderate Catholics

Challenges to Liberal dominance
1. SOCIALISM: rapid ind. of N 1880s led to sizeable w/c – attracted to socialist ideas
concerning pay, working conditions & ownership of industry – Liberal reform of 1881 allowed 2
mill more to vote – this gave socialists incentive to org. a single socialist party. At Genoa
Congress 1892 it divided into 2 groupings – rev dedicated to strikes & more moderate group –
had to be involved in local pol first (PSI 1895 – 27,000 in 1897) 1900 PSI won 32 seats with
200,000 votes. PSI wanted universal suffrage, 8 hr day, income tax & women’s rights – little
CATHOLICISM: Fear of socialism made him remove ban of Catholics participating in
politics and in 1909 they could be candidates – now impossible to ignore Catholics – qu = how
liberals deal with them and anti-clerics within own party
3. NATIONALISM: m/c intellectuals – support in media – accused libs of putting own career
before good of the country. Condemned them for failing to make Italy a great power. They
wanted a larger empire & increased mil spending as well as a more aggressive foreign policy.
Italy on eve of WW1
Nat mil service & free primary ed – creating sense of nation
Rapid ec progress – nat income raised from 61 bill lira in 1895 to 92 bill lira in 1915
- 6 fold increase in foreign trade in 50yrs up to 1913
- Taxes on food reduced
- Improved roads, railways & supply of drinking water
Joined the Triple Alliance with Germany & Austria-Hungary
Built up an empire in East Africa – Libya 1911
Stable pol syst – vote extended from 1912 effectively universal male suffrage
Giolitti (PM for all but 3 yrs 1903-14) co-opted socialists & moderate Catholics into his coalition
Socialists complained:
Capitalist exploitation of workers – wages low, hrs long, poor relative to w euro welfare benefits,
army used to crush strikers and other pol parties
Wealth of country squandered on imperialist adventure sin E Afr & Libya
Severe poverty still widespread
5 mill emigrated to USA & S Amer 1871-1915
Nationalists complained:
Claimed they lacked the will to make it a great nation – humiliating defeat at Adowa 1896
Emigration = disgrace – losing vital energy for the ec or army
They hadn’t crushed socialism or provided an alternative creed for workers to believe in
No ‘national spirit’
Politicians only concerned with careers e.g. Giolitti allied with socialists & Catholics & attempted to
manipulate results of elections
Catholics complained:
Found it diff to supp Liberals who had trampled over Pope’s territorial rights in 1870
Increased suffrage encourage cath groups dedicated to helping cath poor – funds provided by gov’t
inadequate – Sicily 0.01% pop owned 50 % of the land
Cath looking for social reforms would form part of the Poplari est. After WW1
Cons cath saw regime preferably to socialism
Pope still not prepared to permit a Cath pol party

poor rations and low pay War of attrition on alpine north border – heavy body count Defeat at Battle of Caporetto 700. Istria. Negot in 1915 with Austria – clear wouldn’t give up Trentino or Trieste but Entente offered these & Austrian lands – Tyrol.000 taken prisoner – Commander in Chief blamed it on the cowardice of the troops – executed several thousand as retribution & then sacked by gov’t Battle of Vittoorio Veneto . fall in real wages & ban on industrial action .000 men died & 1 mill seriously injured Financial cost of keeping army had led to borrowing from US and printing of more money – prices quadrupled during war years Inflation hit middle classes – destroyed savings Purchasing power of wages fell by 25% 1915-1918 But industrialists did well as increased prices – Pirelli tyres. Cath & Socialists thought Italy was not ready for war but gov’t feared Triple Alliance victory would only strengthen Austrian borders against Italy & if Entente won they would not be sympathetic to Italian ambitions in Mediterranean – believed they had intervene on the side which would offer them the best terms.000 Italians retreated in disorder over 100 miles – 300.000 prisoners of war – Austria called for armistice Economic legacy: INFLATION War increased anticipation of territorial gains – but never materialised 650.000 killed or wounded – Austrians collapsed & Italians gained 500. Mass of pop didn’t welcome news – Catholic Church made clear Catholics shouldn’t denounce enemy as Catholic country 5 mill conscripts – mainly from rural areas – appalling conditions.Oct attacked Austrians – heavy death count – 40. Fiat – largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in Europe in 1918 but profits fell as war ended and demand dropped. INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES End of war led to labour militancy as wartime discipline in factories relaxed Vented frustration of longer hrs. Dalmatia to allow Italy to dominate the Adriatic Coast – therefore May 1915 entered on side of Entente.Political Divisions: Ec division – ind n & poor s Divisions between urban w/c and m/c employers Coalition between socialists. System – had infl amongst industrialists & landowners ITALIAN POLITICS WAS POLARISING WW1 – libs remained in power but basis of support was now shallow – now vast maj had vote. libs & cath ended by Libyan war 1911 – Socialists condemned it & the revs of party displaced the moderates in the dom faction of the party – Socialist newspaper Avanti (headed by Muss) called for abolition of private property & advocated violent strikes to overthrow the state The right was appalled & began to listen to those who criticised Giolitti & whole liberal system – wanted a return to some sort of auth. support for nats & socialists was growing Diff exacerbated by divisions amongst liberal leaders – thought victorious war would reunite Italy Italy at War: Initially neutral despite Triple Alliance – gov’t declared it defunct – claimed Austria had broken the terms by attacking Serbia without consulting Italy –most Italians welcomed this decision (as Austria had resisted unification & still occupied Trentino & Istria inhabited by Italian speakers) Former PM Giolitti.

they had little in common except hatred of liberal state & contempt for class struggle rhetoric Programme: New nat assembly set up Italian republic – monarchy abolished Suppression of all major companies Control & taxation of private wealth Workers to have sig.000 in 1914 60 200. landowners. anarchists & radical poets & painters. shopkeepers Peasants had started occupying uncultivated land & farming it for themselves – joining socialist trade unions MUTILIATED VICTORY Nationalists believed gov’t failed to defend nations interests at peace conference – they wanted territories agreed plus the city of Fiume Treaty of St Germain ceded land in south Tyrol.socialists won 32. Trentino but refused to hand over Fiume as vital to ec of new Yugoslav state Italy denied Dalmatia as few Italians lived there & would not share in divisions of German colonies in Africa Her sacrifices had only won them ‘mutilated victory’ Demobilised soldiers saw peace treaty as further humiliation – blamed Liberal gov’t SEIZURE OF FIUME Sept 1919 Gabriele D’Annunzio led 2000 armed men to city of Fiume & occupied it in defiance of It gov’t Nat. farmers & factory workers.000 in 1919 Calling for overthrow of liberal state – dictatorship of the proletariat – private property confiscated & wealth distributed 1st election with manhood suffrage 1919. Hailed him of the embodiment of the Italy they wanted to create – he showed way to achieve results was through action rather than talking Gov’t lacked courage to end the occupation – D’Annunzio ruled for over 1 year – he became a public hero. March 1919 called inaugural meeting of a new movement – Fasci di Combattimento (combat groups) – 100 came to Milan – rep wide range of views – nationalists. & ex-sold. republicans.1919 mill plus workers took part in strikes Socialist trade union membership shot up from ¼ mill in 1918 to 2 mill 1920 UNEMPLOYMENT Returning soldiers found it diff to find jobs 1919 – 2 mill unemployed Poor reward for their sacrifices SOCIALIST THREAT As ec worsened increased membership of Socialist party (from 50. ‘Red Flag’ Gov’t under Nitti was urging industrialists to make concessions to workers – this angered conservatives. his dramatic style & eye for publicity copied by Mussolini BIRTH OF FASCISM Benito Mussolini – 36 yr old editor of Il Popolo d’Italia – newspaper of combatants & producers – soldiers.4% vote & 156 seats – largest single party in parl Middle classes fearful – socialist deputies interrupted King’s speech shouting ‘Long live the socialist republic’ & marched out singing socialist anthem. Share of profits businesses they work in .

000 workers from n cities involved Employers demanded gov’t crush strike by Giolitti wanted to use old technique of sitting it out & urged them to make concessions to the workers Enraged industrialists who saw gov’t as weak & believed some of factories being used to produce weapons for the strikers. tried to set up a coalition – socialists hostile & he as an anticleric had to rely on cath support OCUPPATION OF THE FACTORIES Sept 1920 engineering workers engaged in wage dispute occupied factory to prevent employers from locking them out – within days 400. SOCIALIST ADVANCES IN THE COUNTRYSIDE Agr strikes & land occupations increasing Emilia. Po Valley. Strike collapsed w/in 1 month but industrialists & conservatives would not forgive him.FAILURE: Lacked cohesion to form disciplined pol party General election 1919.Muss failed to become a deputy got only 5000 of 270.000 votes cast in Milan. Umbria & Tuscany Socialist TU expanding – mill members – gaining stranglehold over agr employment Unions in Emilia demanded higher wages & guarantees workers wouldn’t be laid off in quieter times of year In Ferrara & Bologna a labourer could only gain employment through a job centre run by the Socialist Labourers’ Union. 1920 Socialists found themselves in control of 26 of the 69 provinces – Emilia Socialists controlled 80% of local councils Fear from middle classes taxes would be waged on the better off / shop keepers feared being squeezed out by the new co-operative shops ANTI-SOCIALIST BACKLASH Right though they had been abandoned by the gov’t & fought back Emilia & Tuscany landowners turned to Fascist groups who shared their hatred of Socialists & needed little encouragement to attack them Adept at burning down socialist offices & beating up trade unionists Enemies could be forced to drink castor oil – trademark for Fascist thugs Violence winter & spring 1921 destroying 80 trade union offices. Fascism did badly everywhere – didn’t win a single seat Only 4000 declared Fascist supporters in the whole of Italy! LIBERAL PROBLEMS IN PARLIAMENT Libs & allies could only muster 180 of 508 seats in Parl & still lacked cohesion & discipline Chamber of Deputies contained Socialist Party 156 seats & Catholic Popular Party (PPI – set up 1919 – cons cath & cath determined to improve lot of peasantry. prepared to support liberal gov’t in return for concessions on policy) 100 seats Nitti survived but relieved on Catholic deputies to maintain fragile majority Nitt’s gov’t discredited by Fiume – Cath support decreased. 200 dead By Spring Emilia & Tuscany = strongholds of Fascist squads Police had looked the other way as squadrismo had crushed socialist power . so maj collapsed therefore he resigned Giolitti returned as his replacement.

Salandra. Grandi all dedicated to violent squadrismo – Fascism remained a revolutionary movement MUSSOLINI’S CONTROL OVER FASCIST SQUADRISMO Muss hadn’t been the guiding hand behind fascist violence – Balbo. Facta & Orlando all disliked each other Therefore the 3 gov’t May 1921-Oct 1922 were fragile & unable to intro decisive measures to cope with industrial disruption Collapse of law & order . shopkeepers. sharecroppers End of 1921 – 200. landowners. Workers in the squads but leadership = middle class 10% members were students & 25% below the voting age Fascism was an exciting contrast to Liberal politics Many prev cons end of Liberals turned to Fascists Farinacci. teachers. Grandi built up their own power He drove to reassert himself as sole leader – reluctance on Ras to surrender independence – he argued his dom personality & newspaper was vital as it presented the national image of Fascism – he could present squadrismo as anti-Socialist crusade ELECTORAL BREAKTHROUGH: MAY 1921 Muss suggested to libs squadrismo nothing more than bluster – Giolitti taken in & believed Fascist were mere ‘fireworks: they’ll make a great deal of noise but only leave smoke behind’ He assumed they’d be another pol party absorbed into the liberal system.Squadrismo con’t 1921 – socialists attacked – socialist deputy even beaten up on the fall of the chamber by fascists! MUSSOLINI INCREASES HIS CONTROL OVER THE FASCIST MOVEMENT Est National Fascist Party Oct 1921 – fascism no longer just a movement but a recognised political party.000 active supporters – 50% ex-service men. Fascists & Giolittian Libs co-op elections 1921 (Fascist violence con’t – killing 100 socialists sympathisers) BUT socialists remained largest party – 123 seats. in the next month the party formally accepted Mussolini at party congress as the leader. Popolari 107 Fascists had secured 7% of total vote & 35 seats. Balbo. MUSSOLINI SEIZES THE INIATIVE: MAY 1921-OCT 1922 Elections gave Muss an air of respectability & foothold in parl Announced Fascists would not support Giolitti’s gov’t – demoing Liberalism was finished To appeal to middle classes & conservatives he had to downplay radical ec and social reform ideas Without muss imposs for gov’t to survive & collapsed w/in a month Popolari withdrew supp when gov’t introed tax which would have had side affect of hitting Vatican’s financial investments – now virtually impossible for any gov’t to survive Liberals divided amongst themselves as well – Giolitti. farm managers. Mussolini was now a deputy.FASCIST SUPPORTERS Squads = m/c students. FArinacci. ex-army officers & more junior ranks As proved ability in intimidating socialist they attracted more followers – small farmers. Party to be run & org. demobilised soldiers. by men from Milan faction BUT control over provisional Fascism by no means total . clerical workers.

He now refused to authorise martial law – showed king lacked confidence in gov’t. expansionist Italy. didn’t rep the masses Fear of Socialism – Alexander de Grand claims fascism grew out of the fear of the rapid rise of socialism post WW1 Role of Mussolini – Denis Mack Smith – Muss made political capital of the disorder. he could make the fascists respectable Yet still encouraged fascist violence – squads rampaged through north-central Italy – drove out the town council of Bologna Street fighting – police unwilling to get involved to protect socialists & in some areas they even loaned weapons to the fascists GENERAL STRIKE End of July 1922 Socialists called a general strike to force gov’t to act against the fascists Muss used this to demo left still a threat & that only fascism could deal with it He publicly declared if gov’t would not stop the ind action. Early 28th gov’t acted & persuaded King to declare state of siege – police & troops prepared to disperse Fascists but by 9am King had changed his mind. prepared to settle Roman question on terms acceptable to the Pope He deplored gov’t conciliatory approach to labour. helped convince them the fascists could be trusted with a share in gov’t MARCH ON ROME Negotiated with Liberal factions over which ministerial posts fascists could have Talked to party of org coup d’état (they had wanted to seize power after abortive strike & took his full authority to dissuade them) Oct – started to org Fascist march on Rome – squads org into militia & plans drawn up to seize major towns & cities of northern & central Italy. badly org. An aberration – result of the times –Benedetto Croce Failure of the state – it had be foisted on Italian people. within days it collapsed Muss could present fascists as sole defenders of law & order – impressed the middle classes. peasants deserved a better deal. reassured the liberals as well . disliked liberals – this led the gov’t to resign – Salandra approached by King – he tried to negotiate with the Fascists but Muss accept nothing less than post as PM. astute political awareness that route to power lay through the conservatives. his fascists would do it for them Fascists took over running of public transport & ensured postal system still functioned If strikers protested they were beaten up Strike = fiasco.REASSURING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH & CONSERVATIVES Nov 1921 direct appeal to Caths – Fascists opposed divorce. dropped left-wing policies of 1919 (he had already done so in 1920 – 35 deputies were from the right wing of movement) From 1921 his speeches focused on what Fascism was against – persuading conservative they had nothing to fear Muss wanted a strong. hated socialism & democracy & despised pal FASCIST VIOLENCE When to talking to cons he disassociated himself from worst excesses of fascist violence suggesting he could curb it – used it as pressure to get them to work with the fascists – if shared power. Even other libs didn’t support Salandra – King asked Muss on 29 th Oct to head the gov’t.000 fascists would converge on capital & install themselves in power –Muss used this as ultimate piece of political blackmail as well as stressed nothing to fear from fascist gov’t and would work with the monarchy Night of 27th Oct Fascist squads seized town halls. & only attracted partial support from the workers. telephone exchanges. railways stations throughout northern Italy. may have feared a civil war. Around 30.

convinced them to support his premiership – convinced by his decision not to attack widespread tax evasion (proved he wasn’t a radical) CHURCH – confirmed he intended to ban contraception & re led compulsory in schools – Pope started to withdraw support from the Popolari – instructed its leader. Giolitti & Facta MPs convinced until 1924 that Muss could be transformed into a respectable politician Tried to increase power over party Created GRAND COUNCIL OF FASCISM (Dec) – supreme body within the movement which discussed policy proposals & made all key appointments within the party Muss gave himself right to make all appointments to the Grand Council of Fascism – this meant he controlled policy Converted Fascist squads into NATIONAL MILITIA to decrease power of local leaders – he now had army of 30. Don Sturzo to leave Italy! BY 1923 Popolari dropped from the coalition ACERBO LAW Proposal = party winning most votes in general election (provided at least ¼ of votes cast) would win 2/3 of seats in chamber of deputies Idea = produce a gov’t that could count on maj support In reality mean fascists would dominate & make it difficult to vote then out July 1923 it got maj support but armed black shirts roamed the chamber – but MPs turned blind eye to arrests & beatings of socialists & welcomed end to coalition gov’ts Still believed he wanted to work with parl as he was head of a coalition gov’t 1924 ELECTION – April 1924 Fascists campaigned with right-wing liberals (Salandra) Won 66% of vote – seats increased from 35 to 374 out of 535 But despite vote rigging and violence socialists & comms still got 2.Liberal failings – Gramsci rise of Fascism was the deliberate attempt of liberals to crush the growing power of workers MUSSOLINI’s ICREASING POWER 1922-4 30th Oct 1922 Muss appointed PM – black shirts permitted to enter city & paraded in triumph Complete fascist gov’t not poss yet – no majority & King controlled army 1st gov’t 14 senior minister 4 fascists (maj = Popolari & Libs) Libs thought could use Fascists to crush socialists and then co-opt them into liberal syst – though fascist had no coherent ideology Muss used threat of violence to intimidate parl – working to convince MPs if gave him dictatorial powers he would act in interests of Italy – played on threat of Socialist rev (in reality non-existent) Demanded rule by decree for 12 months to restore law & order – speech to parl Nov 1922 Only socialists & communists opposed the notion – prominent libs gave support – Salandra.000 men Support CONFINDUSTRIA – employers’ org.5 mill votes – Milan & Turin (2 major cities of the north) failed to produce fascist majorities Creation of the Fascist Dictatorship 1924-8 Limits to power = parl still needed to approve laws Opposition parties still existed .

King could still sack PM MURDER OF MATTEOTTI When parl reopened opp MPs tried to publicise illegal fascist action at polls Socialist Giacomo Matteotti was prominent spokesman – produced evidence of fascist terror Within days of allegation he was abducted in broad daylight by fascist thugs & stabbed to death SHOCK – fascist gone too far – links between Muss & crime came out although he denied it Opposition MPs walked out of parl in protest – communists. they would withdraw their support PM 3rd Jan 1925 told parl he accepted responsibility for all fascist actions up to date & that he would now take measure to increase his own power – speech as cheer in chamber Jan 1925 established a committee to reform the constitution LEGGI FASCISTISSIME (Dec) passed – banned opposition parties & free trade unions Press censorship tightened New secret police set up Special court set up to try political crimes Control of local gov’t increased – replaced mayors with nominated officials – PODESTAS Jan 1926 – Muss granted right to issue decrees carrying the full force of law – he could make laws without consulting parliament – personal rule enshrined in law 1928 – King lost right to select PM – list of potentials to be drawn up by Grand Council of Fascism & King select from the list Personal Dictatorship 1926 Muss = dictator Issue decrees Parl under his control – not a forum for debate Liberals & Popolari divided & socialists under constant attack Technically could still be dismissed by the king PROPAGANDA 1926 opposition newspapers suppressed Journalists & editors made aware they could be arrested if published anything derogatory towards the regime Muss press office issued ‘official’ versions of events 1924 radio network was run by the state – radios given to schools & by ‘30s party was trying to ensure even people in rural areas were listening to communal radios Newsreels before films CULT OF THE PERSONALITY Media = key . socialists & Popolari – ‘Aventine Secession’ in hope to encourage king to dismiss Muss King refused to dismiss him – feared it would strengthen the rev left & libs convinced him this was an opp to control Muss – Giolitti & Salandra still supported Muss as PM Muss moved to prevent further opposition PRESS CENSORSHIP – July 1924 – this lead prev supporting liberals to move to the opposition August – he banned meetings by opposition political parties Dec 1924 – ultimatum presented to Muss from party – if he didn’t end Matteotti affair & more to dictatorship.

promoted senior generals to field marshal & demoed that loyalty would be rewarded – some resentment at status of the fascist militia Judges – purge of undesirable elements – dozens sacked Ensured legal system could be relied upon to carry out gov’t orders Prison without trial became commonplace Muss occasionally intervened on some verdicts & sentences Local gov’t – abolished – replaced with officials appointed from Rome MUSSOLINI & POWERFUL GROUPS WITHIN FASCIST SOCIETY Church – disavowed his earlier anti-clericalism Emph their common enemies – socialism & comm. man of culture. just assent of policies. Lateran Treaties 1929 Industrialists – Vidoni Place Pact 1925 – all Socialist & Catholic TU banned .Stress his superhuman talents ‘Il Duce’ Italy’s saviour not a mere politician – chosen by destiny to save country from the socialist menace The new Caesar – genius. interior & 3 armed services. world statesman Newspapers quoting comments by foreign statesmen. driving fast cars. ceased to vote – free elections ceased to exist Electorate was reduced to exclude most of w/c who had supported the socialists All parl candidates had to be approved by the fascists Results were rigged Jan 1939 Parl abolished itself altogether to be replaced by meaningless Chamber of Fasces & Corporations Civil Service – didn’t dismiss personnel from state institutions – most cons sympathetic to him – used power of patronage to reward loyalty & rooted out opposition – no fascist rev in gov’t Armed forces – stressed their common ground – expansionist policies. MUSSOLINI & GOV’T Muss overawed the King – followed protocol of visiting King twice a week but he never asked for advice No cab gov’t – role of ministers was to follow instructions.Chamberlain – ‘a wonderful man working for the greatness of his country’ Churchill – the Duce’s ‘sole thought was the lasting wellbeing of the Italian people as he see it’ Rumour was he worked for 20 hrs a day – would leave light on in study when had gone to bed! ‘Mussolini is always right’ became a popular phrase – infallible Athletic – photos of him horse riding. and flying Became known he had digested 35 vols of Italian encyclopaedia & read classics of euro lit including complete works of William Shakespeare Accomplished musician – idea man of culture Muss believed public were stupid & preferred to be told what to do ‘ one must know how to strike the imagination of the public: that is the real secret of how to govern’ Helped to convince some that there was no alternative to Muss. man of action. Parl – no debate. Muss held most imp ministerial posts – foreign affairs.

g. ban on political activity. Confusion.g. Principle that all Party posts should be appointments made from Rome PNF totally subservient Only Muss held party together – not united movement – broad. Squadristi demanded con’t violent raids ex-socialists wanted reorg of industry nationalists wanted revision of WW1 peace settlement conservative hoped for the restoration of law & order as well as normality Party became dominated by white collar state employees wanting career progression – workers & peasants who had made up 30% of support became a tiny minority No serious rival ever emerged – potential rivals moved from centre of power e. BUT this made gov’t slow & inefficient. smuggled in leaflets – few thousand supporters but full attention of fascists – Roselli murdered 1937 Opp was divided & failed to create a common anti-Fascist front Set up prison camps on remote islands – Lipari & Lampedusa – 5000 (diff scale to Nazis) Regime encouraged coop Loyal journalists received extra pay in gov’t grants. delay & incompetence below Muss SUPPORT & OPPOSITION Opp diff – fear due to Matteotti. ONB control by party or min of ed? Rivalry in armed services between army & militia. D’Annunzio give large pension & palatial villa Duce created Fascist Academy gave plum jobs & fat salaries to leading professors Teachers had to join a Fascist Teachers’ Association to keep jobs Musicians required to join Fascist Union of musicians Regime provided moderate prosperity without demanding too much from public . They looked to Muss to solve disputes & therefore this gave him power – could transfer power from one to the other e. uneasy coalition of groups with differing priorities & onions e. Balbo post in Libya. Dino Grandi despatched to London Party & state rivalry over who should have control e. ONB taken off party & given to min of ed in 1929. Marconi the inventor of radio was made marquis.g.g. delays unavoidable Fact Muss occupied most imp ministerial posts made sit worse – decisions made without proper consultation e. imprisoned without trial Comm = underground – newspaper L’Unita – 7000 active supporters Justice & Liberty – Carlo Roselli (escaped from fascist jail in 1929 – Paris) hoped to create an alliance between Socialists & Liberals – kept international press informed of repression & injustice within Italy. local govt’ local party secretaries rivalled with provisional prefects. dissidents spied on OVRA secret police beat up.1926 – strikes outlawed CONTROL OF THE PARTY Grand Council of Fascism Fascist Militia 1923 local parties were purged of dissidents June 1925 party congress – demanded party should heal internal divisions & listen to their leader – congress lasted a few hrs instead of days End of 1928 – purge of Fascists suspected of disloyalty & est. new fighter plane with only cursory glance at docs.g.

It was careful not to alienate vested interests. All sides looked to Duce for a solution.. The corporations would org. Rossoni head of Fascist TU saw a big role for TU but he was opposed by employers org.Foreign adventures excited public interest Renzo De Felice argued Muss genuinely popular esp 1929-36 De Grand ‘ Fascism managed to develop a broad. Bottai had to write Labour Charter – nothing in it to threaten industry Rossoni’s influence reduced further when his union was divided into 6 federations & his followers removed Min of Corp claimed success in 1929 .. armaments. He came down on side of industry & Bottai. Mid 1930’s priority shifted to Abyssinian war – autarky 1922-7 Came to power at beginning of boom period – exports x2 1922-5 – took credit Appointed ec prof as Treasury Min – Alberto de Stefani – policy was to reassure industrialists as limited gov’t spending which helped to fight inflation Reduced state intervention in industry – telephone network taken out of gov’t control. Textiles went into depression Unemployment x3 1926-8 Even Fiat was exporting fewer cars in 1930s than it had in 1920s It should have helped consumer as foreign goods became cheaper but Duce prevented this by placing tariffs on them Only winners = steel. shipbuilding that needed cheap tariff free imported raw materials Corporate State Rev method of running the ec. Corporations would be set up in each sector of the economy & within in each would be employers & fascist TU to rep the workers. if only passive. Giuseppe Bottai headed Min of Corporations – he distrusted Rossoni. If they could not agree. consensus after the elimination of any real alternative in 1925 & the integration of the Catholics into the regime after 1929’ Martin Clark – ‘The Fascist regime seemed tolerable & was even popular until 1937-8. it would go to a labour court administered by the Ministry of Corporations Looked like provide more rights for workers but reality rivalries within the party ended this. pay & working conditions in each industry. production.Active resistance seemed pointless’ Economy Muss = no economist Initially policies to make position secure ‘Corporate State’ Transformation of the ec. reduced taxes & abandoned some on companies that had made huge profits in the war Outlawing of Catholic & Socialist TU 1925 Battle for the Lira 1926 boom ending & exchange rate of lira falling – 150 lira to the £ Announced the Battle for the Lira – notion = a vibrant country should have a vibrant currency – set new rate of exchange of 90 Lira to the £ Dec 1927 (the value it had been the month he came to power) Increased prestige with foreign bankers & at home BUT not beneficial as foreign buyers found Italian goods twice as expensive – export industries esp.

Unemploy. Of companies collapsed Car production fell by 50% 1933 – 2 mill unemployed Introed public work schemes – building of motorways & hydroelectric plants to provide work – increased circulation of money which stimulated demanded and jobs Fascist gov’t bailed out the banks who had given loans to industries who could no longer afford the repayments Creation of Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (IRI) 1933 – took control of shares of the banks they bailed out. Gov’t employed 1 mill Muss not committed to raising the standard of living Agriculture Battle for Grain 1925 – promote fascist power & self sufficiency Traditionally Italy had to import large amount of grain to feed pop = weakness Push to increase grain production Provided farmers with grants for tractors. IRI took over responsibility of giving loans to companies from banks. allowed near monopolies to dev – Pirelli dom rubber. therefore expenditure exceeded income by late 1930s Muss refused to recognise prob & it remained unsolved Impact on Living Standards Wage cuts in 1920s & 1930s price rises 1925-38 real wages fell by 10%+ Falling consumption of meat. The gov’t in guise of IRI became effective owner of many of the top companies. iron ore Italy unable to match enemies’ levels of production & couldn’t replace losses in aircraft & shipping Gov’t was spending huge amount on rearm programmes & fund mil adventures in Abyssinia & Spain but didn’t want to increase taxes. coal. Fiat car manufacturing. Rose – 2 mill 1933 Middle classes less likely to suffer unemploy.By 1934 there were 22 corporations covering nearly every area of the economy – but workers unable to choose their own reps in the corporations – fascist candidates foisted on them & they tended to rule in favour of the employers Only on issues of sick pay & paid holidays did the corporations further workers’ interests. Industrialists were allowed to keep their non Fascist employers’ organisations & largely ignored the corporations Regulations issued by the corporations were only advisory Depression Large no. fruit & veget. Expanded state control – 80% of ship building & 50% of steel prod directed by state BUT 1940 still importing oil. Italy weathered the depression better than her democratic neighbours (but it cost the taxpayer a great deal of money) Preparing for War Believed war was inevitable & Italy had to be prepared Italy must become self-sufficient – autarky – proved his point with ec sanctions imposed by League of Nations in Abyssinian Crisis Muss encouraged heavy industry. fertilisers – free advice on efficient techniques .

changes made – communications – motorways were done for propaganda purposes Fascism & the Catholic Church Recognised accommodation with church could bring him great support & prestige 1922 – Muss posing as alt. Backwardness Failed to look after south – only visited Sicily once in 1924 Little ec change. godless liberals & atheist communists Secured confidence of Pope by restoring cath ed to school & increasing gov’t payments to priests Pope withdrew support of Popolari in 1923 – neutralised opposition Lateran Agreements Officially ended church / state conflict of 60 yrs Pope agreed tor recognise the Italian state & its possession of Rome State recognised Pope’s control over Vatican City as independent from the Italian state & gave £30 mill compensation for surrendering claim o Rome Catholicism est.5 mill tonnes per year in early 1920s to over 7 million tonnes 1930s Grain imports fell – 75% 1925-35 Surface = success BUT much of land in central & southern regions turned to wheat was unsuitable – more suited to citrus fruit.Average grain harvest increased from 5. as state religion Pope could appoint all bishops but state could veto nay politically suspect candidates State would pay salaries of the clergy Clergy could not belong to political groups Cath re led compulsory in schools No divorce without the consent of the church End to compulsory civil ceremony – church wedding had full legal recognition Clerics could not become the focus for opp but ‘marriage of convenience’ Tensions Relations cooled in the ‘30’s 1931 – row over Catholic Action youth groups – gov’t tried to suppress it – Cath Action had to be restricted to rel activities Cath Church made it very clear regime shouldn’t try & close rel schools Church declared the creed of Fascist Balilla blasphemous Radio Vatican broadcasted alt news & info – limit to Fascists totalitarian claims But support wars in Abyssinia & Spain as ‘Christian Crusades’ Under Pope Pius IX disquiet over anti-Semitism voiced . wine & olives as a result traditional exports decreased Land Reclamation (2nd initiative) Muss expanded prev gov’t schemes of draining & irrigating farmland Pontine Marshes (50km from Rome) showpiece for media – malaria swamps drained & small farms set up owned by ex-servicemen Improved public health & provided thousands of jobs in depression But amount of land reclamation was limited Impact on Living Standards Agr workers suffered even heavier wage cuts in 1930s Usual route out was emigration but USA stopped immigration. therefore left countryside for towns – ½ mill & 1921-41 pop of Rome x2 Muss dropped law to break up large landowners estates & distribute to farmers – failure to break landowners cemented the agr.

claimed Italian victories in WW1 had saved UK! BUT substantial number left school at 11 so avoided full programme of indoctrination In private & cath schools full curr & ONB never enforced Opera Nazionale Balilla (ONB) 1926 to org youth movements Early 1930s membership was compulsory from 8yrs of age By 1937 7 million + had joined Focus = moral & physical ed – transform Italian body & soul – military training & fascist ideology Uni level = GUF (Gruppi Universitari Fascisti) Social Life Doplavoro – 1925 provide leisure activities to influence workers towards a Fascist view of life & compensate for defunct TU .5 mill! Duce was bitter & claimed unpatriotic Italians lost him 15 army divisions in WW2! Despite pressure to exclude women. athletic & discipline Fascists Schools From 1925 teachers of suspect politics dismissed & from 1929 had to take oath of loyalty 1931 Fascist Teachers’ Assoc to regulate prof & membership compulsory by 1937 Promoted cult of the personality Duces portrait hung alongside the King’s Italian history & lit became priorities – unpatriotic books banned 1936 a single official text compulsory View = Italy cradle of European civilisation. woman’s place was in the home & role was a mother Banned contraception & education emphasised traditional gender roles Battle for Births 1927 Designed to increase pop from 40 to 60 mill by 1950 12 children per family was specified as ideal! Marriage loans – part of repayment cancelled with each child born Married man with at least 6 children was exempt from taxation Improved healthcare for mothers & infants Propaganda suggested all Italians had a duty to produce children Prizes given to prolific mothers Bachelors were taxed – gov’t raised 230 mill lira in 1939 Late 1930s jobs & promos in c/s only open to married fertile men Pressure for women to stay at home – state railway company sacked all women appointed since 1915 except war widows 1933 quota system in public service only 10% of jobs to women. they still made up 33% of workforce Youth Dream = millions of aggressive. 1938 extended to large & medium private firms – exceptions being cleaners & waitresses Rate of marriage remained unchanged Birth rate decline until 1936 – 102 live births per 1000 women of childbearing age compared to 147 in 1911 1950 pop = 47.Women Fascist & Cath views coincided Contraception & abortion unnatural.

2000 drama societies. 8000 libraries Virtually every town & village. had own doplavoro club house 1926 membership = 300. 1939 4 mill Italians quick to take adv of subsidised sports. Locarno Treaty & anti-war 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact Italy & UK agreement over location of borders of their N African territories – but took little care of details. expand empire in Africa & have Balkans as own sphere of influence No clear plans 1922-32 Secure position n Europe – threat to northern borders removed with friendship of France & dismemberment of Austro-Hungarian empire BUT UK & Fr dom forces. and advised army – 1926 Treaty of Friendship – Albania nothing more than a satellite state Italy posed threat to Yugoslavia – Muss occupied it in WW2 Relations with UK & France Member of LofN. 1350 theatres. any changes to Euro status quo would require their support Greece & Corfu Aug 1923 Italian general & 4 of staff assassination in Greece – working for international boundary commission set up by the peace settlement & advising on location of Greek-Albanian border Muss blamed Greek gov’t & demanded an apology & %0 mill Lira compensation – Greeks refused – he ordered the bombardment & occupation of Greek island Corfu – UK & European powers demanded he withdrew – but he did get his 50 mill Lira but no apology Hailed as dip success – showed could bully smaller powers but showed unable to stand up to big powers Yugoslavia & Albania 1924 Pact of Rome Italy received Fiume – prestige Wanted to push Yugoslavia around – resented Fr infl there Opp = 1924 when Italian sponsored local chieftain Ahmed Zog took power in Albania on Yugoslavia’s border Fascists supplied Zog with money. diplomacy & need be war Wanted Italy to dominate the Mediterranean. 3000 brass bands.000. more concerned with dramatic entrances to international conferences that could be shown at home Treaty of friendship with Hungary Funded right wing pol groups in Germany – trained air force Claimed create Italian air force large enough to ‘blot out the sun’ Aggressive f. respected & feared’ Rejected earlier anti-imperialist & anti-war views Italy regain greatness through mil build-up. entertainments & excursions Only lip service paid to Fascist ideas – emphasis was on having a good time Failures 1937 Fascist salute instead of handshake made compulsory 1938 told to stop using ‘lei’ polite form of address & use ‘voi’ a more Italian word Attempts to change calendar so ear 1 would be 1922 Duce condemned women for wearing makeup & tried to ban them from wearing trousers! Fascism didn’t penetrate the psyche of most Italians – outward conformity but little inner conviction Italian Foreign Policy Aim = ‘to make Italy great. 1935 2. even in south. encouraged Italian companies to invest in Albanian ec.Mid 1930s controlled all football clubs.4 mill.p a means to distract attention from dom pol/sit .

’ Impact on UK & Fr Relations Outrage from public at use of gas & support of ec sanctions Ec sanctions symbolic no ban on oil. He has created a new Italy. neighbours Eritrea & Somaliland were Italian therefore made attack easier – uncertain borders of Abyssinia could make an border incident an easy justification & revenge Italy’s humiliating defeat at Adowa in 1896 Despite sponsoring Abyssinia’s entry into LofN 1923 & Pact of Friendship 1928 by 1929 Italy was drawing up plans to annex it Dec 1934 oasis Wal-Wal skirmish between Italian & Abyssinian troops – 30 It soldiers killed Muss demanded apology & hefty compensation Abyssinia requested a League of Nations invest. battle for grain & births Part of heritage – Roman Empire had dom N Africa Mil success on cheap Abyssinia lacked means for modern war. coal & steel & Suez Canal was not shut to them – could have cut off supply route to Italian troops Irritated Muss but didn’t hinder war effort Convinced League & UK & Fr weak – Hoare – Laval Pact 1935 – handed over greater part of Abyssinia leaving Haile Selassie a small & unviable state . Muss sent ½ mill men to area Talks with UK & Fr showed prepared to see at least part of Abyssinia acceded Victory Oct 1935 invasion – Abyssinians suffered effects of modern war with their inadequate weapons – Italians used aerial bombing & poison gas April 1936 Abyssinian army heavily defeated at Lake Ashangi & next month capital Addis Ababa occupied Emperor Haile Selassie fled to UK – guerrilla campaign con’t Public Opinion Initially uncertain but condemnation by LofN caused public to rally around the cause When war won quickly with only 1000 casualties. muss popularity soared Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile claimed ‘Muss today has not just founded empire in Ethiopia. He has made something more.German-Italian Relations 1922-35 Fearful of Austro-German union as would threaten northern borders Austrian chancellor visited Rome 3 times in 1933 – relived when Italy offer protection against German aggression Feb 1934 Muss encouraged Dollfuss to set up right wing anti Nazi regime but assassinated by Nazi sympathisers in July – Muss dispatched troops to border to prevent Germany from attempting union Stresa Front March 1935 Nazis revealed dev air force in breach of Versailles & into-ing conscription to create army x 5 size permitted Italy met UK & France to come up with a joint response – Stresa Front – collaborate to prevent anymore breaches in treaties that might threaten peace Gave him protection against Anschluss Convinced UK & Fr would be more sympathetic to Italian ambitions to avoid a It-German alliance Abyssinia Enhance Italy’s claim to be a great power Distract from failing domestic policies – corporate state.

said Italy only join if supplied with unrealistic quantities of war material. When Hitler when to war with UK & FR he claimed Hitler had been ‘treacherous’ & pact was defunct – announced Italy would be non-belligerent & majority of Italians relieved. Troops withdrawn 1939 when Republican efforts collapsed 1937-8 Nov 1937 Anti-Comintern Pact – Italy joined Japan & Germany Anschluss relations cooled as Hitler didn’t consult Muss first 1938 UK asked Muss to act as mediator at Munich Conference over Sudetenland Crisis – Muss enjoyed the publicity – hailed as architect of peace – but confirmed his view of the west as weak 1938 increased demands – talking of annexing Nice.O took fright convinced Duce at end of May that needed 3 years to rearm fully – Hitler didn’t even bother to reply Non-belligerence Didn’t attempt to delay Hitler’s preps for attack on Poland. Germans reached coast & pushed UK troops back Concerned of facing a Europe dominated by Germany.Euro & Baltic Spanish Civil War Both Germany & Italy supported conservatives & Fascists against elected Republican gov’t Muss reluctant to get involved sent transport planes – when 2 crashed over Morocco & Italy’s involvement criticised by the French.000 troops – officially they were vols. Entry into WW2 Embarrassed by neutrality Appeared western world on brink of defeat – Netherlands surrendered. Corsica & Tunis and making Albania Italian – clear war necessary to achieve these March 1939 – furious Hitler didn’t tell him about plan to invade Czechoslovakia Invasion of Albania April 1939 – ignored fact in had been a virtual satellite for over 10 yrs Victory without any major fighting – put Italy back in lime light Pact of Steel May 1939 Invasion of Albania prompted UK & Fr to give guarantees of mil assistance to Greece & Turkey – saw this as aggressive as Greece clearly in his sphere of influence – may have convinced him of alliance with Germany Pact of Steel committed each nation to join the other in war even if that nation had caused the war through aggression F. an angry Germany – June 1940 declared war on UK & Fr Success? Expanded African empire Albania seized . end of Aug reasserted needed several years to rearm – Hitler demanded he stand by the pact – Muss attempting to wiggle out of it.Alliance with Germany Rome-Berlin Axis Jan 1936 Hitler agreed not to carry out Anschluss & Muss agreed not to object to his interference in Austrian politics Foreign Min Ciano visited Berlin Oct & Nov Muss announced ‘Rome-Berlin Axis’ – public declaration of friendship Secret understanding Muss direct expansionist ideas to Med & Hitler E. he was determined to ensure Fascist victory With no real planning he committed 40.

committed populace & industrialised ec geared for war – didn’t have any of these things Failed to prise major concessions from UK & Fr UK & Fr didn’t fear or respect Italy & Germany didn’t take it seriously as a military power WW2 Brought destruction of the Fascist state & death of muss War revealed inefficiency & incompetence of regime Exposed fragility of support for Duce Military Unpreparedness No preparations for a sustained war – expected war to be over by Sept 1940 1935-8 11.000 troops sent to Russian front but too poorly trained & equipped to be of any value . expand colonies & ec dom Balkans all at same time – needed a modernised army. sweeping through Yugoslavia & defeating Greece Italy a minor partner to Germany Loss of Italy’s east African empire to UK troops April 1941 was final proof of mil failure 200.5 mill tonnes Military Defeats Sept 1940 – campaign to increase empire in north Africa – targeting Libya & Egypt as well as opening up a front in the Balkans by invading Greece Army didn’t have the resources to fight 2 campaigns simultaneously – offensives ground to a halt Armies pushed back into Libya & Albania Lost half of naval fleet to UK air attack at port of Taranto Feb 1941 Muss persuaded to accept German General Rommel as Axis commander in North Africa In April Germans ended stalemate in the Balkans. meant losses in tanks and aircrafts couldn’t be replaced Food prod dropped as peasants drafted into the army – wheat prod decreased 1.% in UK) but spent on inadequate weaponry & providing luxurious living quarters for officers Air force = 1000 planes but of inferior quality – Fiat CR42 biplane was slow & under-armed & grounded in large numbers in north African campaign Claimed 8 mill bayonets ready but army outdated – June 1940 fewer than 800.000 ready to fight & equipped with rifles & artillery dating back to WW1 Lacked tanks -only 1500 armoured cars & light tanks Inadequate Leadership Soldiers were poorly trained & badly led 600 generals steeped in defensive traditions of WW1 Navy reluctant to risk new battleships against UK navy in Med – defensive strategy Muss concentrated all power in his hands – added to poor leadership Economic Weakness Ec far from self-sufficient in 1940 Raw resources for armaments would need to be imported – Germans reluctant to divert their resources – 20% fall in steel production 1940-2.Pro-Fascist regime taken control in Spain UK & Fr had accorded Italy some respect as a great power Abyssinia generated a lot of support for the regime BUT Too ambitious Unrealistic to dom Med.5.8% of national income spent on armed forces – a lot (5.

structure Spawned a militia Partisans (armed anti-fascist groups) fought the fascist militia – Northern Italy fell into a bloody Civil War Death of Mussolini 1943-4 UK & US forces pushed northwards 1945 Nazi forces in full retreat – Muss disguised as German soldier but stopped at Lake Garda by Italian Communist Partisans Duce & his mistress Clara Petacci were killed 28 th April 1945 Bodies taken to Milan publicly strung up by heels from the roof of petrol station in Piazzale Loreto Aftermath Revenge killings & executions June 1945 various anti-Fascist groups set up first free gov’t – dominated by a resistance hero – Ferruccio Parri but replaced by Alcide De Gasperi of Christian Democrats in Nov – party to dom for 40 yrs . ministers & grand council – seeking a way to get rid of Muss – Muss didn’t defend position 25th July Duce visited King to ask to name new ministers but King told him he was now the ‘most hated man in Italy’ & Marshal Badoglio would be PM to make peace. May 1943 whole Axis army in Africa surrendered July 1943 Amer forces landed in Sicily. Dismissal of Muss led to collapse of Fascist regime – no public protests – fascists tried to ingratiate themselves with new regime – Poplo d’Italia just replaced Muss picture! Armistice 8th Sept 1943 No peace because Germany couldn’t afford to let it go – occupied northern & central Italy Hitler ordered the rescue of Duce from alpine ski resort in glider 15th Sept 1943 Muss announced creation of a German sponsored Fascist state – Italian Social Republic Controlled small part of N. Libya abandoned Jan 1943.1942 – Germany on brink of defeat in Stalingrad. full retreat in Africa.g. Duce was arrested.Italy – lacked real support & rejected by cons & industrialists – lacked a capital city. invasion of Italy looked imminent Fall of Mussolini Opinion over entry into the war had been divided Returning soldiers told stories of the unpreparedness – e. army. attack of Greece in rainy season Food shortages due to UK blockade – prices rose as no rationing until 1941 – bread ration of 150g of bread per person a day Italians sick of war by end of 1940 – faith in Duce shattered Opposition groups emerged – Catholics & Communist 1943 shortages led to wave of strikes Late 1942 industrialists & even Duce’s own son in law was inclined to make peace – belief Duce must go as he would not agree to this & allies wouldn’t negot with him – views echoed by conservatives & king’s court Invasion of Sicily = last straw Senior Fascists – Farinacci & De Bono persuaded Muss to call Grand Council of Fascism to discuss mil sit – sat 24-5th July voted 19-7 to ask King to restore powers to parl.