Fascism By Mr. Gunther BOHS Benito Mussolini Mussolini was a troubled child and bully, he was kicked out of school for stabbing another student. He then became a vagrant for years wandering around and getting arrested. In his youth Mussolini was a socialist, bordering on Communism. But he eventually was kicked out of the Socialist party. He was wounded serving Italy in WWI. After the war he founded a newspaper, Il Popolo d’Italia. He became very poltical active among conservative nationalists, and founded the Fascist Party. Defining Fascism Traits of Fascism: Nationalism- Fascists are extremely patriotic and they want their nation to triumph over all others. They also believe the individual is unimportant compared to the state. Racism- Fascists believe that the nation is defined by race. Fascists believe that races different then their own are inferior. Militarism- Fascists believe in glorifying the military. Fascist leaders often wear military uniforms. They also use their military to solve international disputes. Defining Fascism con’t Misogyny- Fascists believed that women were clearly inferior to men and legally limited the rights of women. Paramilitary- Fascist political parties had their own private armies of thugs. Mussolini= Blackshirts, Hitler= Brownshirts Corporatism- Fascists allied themselves with powerful factory owners and outlawed unions. But they expected corporations to serve the state. Indoctrination- Fascists control all media and also set up youth organizations to brainwash young people. The Fascist Party: The Early Years The first Fascists were discharged Italian soldiers who were unhappy with Italy’s treatment at the end of WWI. Mussolini wanted to make Italy as strong as it was during the Roman Empire. He saw himself as a new Julius Caesar. Their often violent opposition to Communists made them popular with the upper and middle classes, who were afraid of a repeat of the Russian Revolution. By 1921 the Fascists were one of the most powerful parties in Italy. The March on Rome On October 28, 1929, Mussolini and 30,000 Blackshirts marched to Rome. The democratically elected gov’t asked the military to stop Mussolini. The army refused. Mussolini declared himself dictator with the support of King Victor Emmanuel III. From this point on he refered to himself as “Il Duce.” (The Leader) Mussolini then rewrote the Constitution to make himself dictator for life. The League of Nations International Aggression Mussolini immediately set out to challenge the League of Nations, to see if they really could maintain the peace. 1923 Mussolini sent his army to invade the Greek island of Corfu. The League ended up forcing Greece to pay Italy to leave the island. Mussolini decided that the international community would not stop him. Later he went on to invade Ethiopia, Albania and mainland Greece. Other totalitarian regimes would get the idea that the democracies were too weak and decadent to go to war and stop aggression.
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