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Mussolini in Power_ From PM to Dictator

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					Mussolini in Power:
From PM to Dictator
  Mussolini in Power:
  From PM to Dictator



                             Consensus,
                             Feb. 1929-
             Dictatorship,   Oct. 1935
             Jan. 1925-
             May 1928
Consensus,
Oct. 1922-
Jan. 1925
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 November 1922: Problems Facing Mussolini


 He was 1 of only 4 Fascists in the Cabinet


 Only 35 Fascists in 535-member Chamber of
   Deputies

 Fascists had won only 7% of vote—power came
   partly from violence & threat
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 November 1922: Problems Facing Mussolini


 Mussolini had no detailed policies & little
   experience as a leader

 Mussolini’s coalition faced same problem as earlier
   ones

 Fascist supporters split between moderates &
   radicals
             Mussolini in Power:
             From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Why had Mussolini become Prime Minister?


 Fascist Revolution or Effective Government?


 Radical Changes or Moderate Normalization?
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Nov. 1922: Parliament passes vote of confidence in
 new govt.; grant Mussolini emergency powers, 1 yr.

 Dec. 1922: Mussolini creates Grand Council, cabinet-
 like org. w/in Fascist Party—way to increase control

 Jan. 1923: creates new militia paid by state—many
 from Fascist squadristi
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Oct. 1922 – Jan. 1923:
1. Strengthening power in Fascist Party
2. Moving towards authoritarianism instead of radical
   changes—passed policies favoring industrialists,
   agrarian landowners & few for Church
3. European econ0my improving
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Feb. 1923: Nationalist Association joins Fascist
 Party—strengthens moderate elements of party

 Mussolini knew support of elites more important
 than support from radical elements of party

 Use the powers of the state to reduce & eliminate
 enemies
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Despite early successes his position as PM still weak


1. King could dismiss him at any time
2. Parliament likely to cooperate w/a successor (small
   rep. of Fascist in parliament)
3. Needed to control parliament
4. Needed to change election laws to end proportional
   representation
             Mussolini in Power:
             From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 ACERBO LAW, July 1923


 Chamber of Deputies meet to vote on Acerbo Bill—
 give 2/3 of seats to party w/ most votes in election &
 having at least 25% of vote

 Chamber of Deputies—surrounded by blackshirts—
 passed the Acerbo Law, 303 - 40
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Corfu Incident, Aug. 1923: foreign policy success
 demonstrating Italy’s growing strength

 Fiume, Jan. 1924: Italy gains control of Fiume


 Major foreign policy successes helped Mussolini’s
 reputation & support
               Mussolini in Power:
               From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 April 1924 Election (Acerbo Law in effect)
1.   Govt. list of approved candidates, non-Fascists
2.   Leftist opposition remained split
3.   Heavy govt. influence in election process
4.   Militia violence v. Socialists
5.   Opposition meetings disrupted & voters
     intimidated
6.   Fascist voters often allowed more than 1 vote
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 April 1924 Election


 A. Lyttleton, The Seizure of Power:
“the use of violence, police repression and electoral
  fraud was on such a large scale that the expression of
  popular will was radically falsified.”

 Fascist won 66% of vote w/275 Deputies (100 others)
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 April 1924 Election


 Fascist now have control & full power of State at
 their disposal

 Official critics would be targeted; violence &
 intimidation by squadristi continues along w/ govt
 sanctioned violence; Socialist meetings, buildings,
 publications, members attacked
               Mussolini in Power:
               From PM to Dictator

“Italy has never been so united as she is today… Fascismo
  has abolished the game of parliamentary chess; it has
  also simplified the taxation system and reduced the
  deficit to manageable proportions; it has vastly improved
  the public services, particularly the railways; it has
  reduced the superfluously large bureaucracy without any
  bad results in the way of hardships or unemployment; it
  has pursued a vigorous and fairly successful colonial
  policy. All this represents hard and useful work, but the
  chief boon upon Italy are national security and national
  self-respect…
Fascismo has had a great deal of courage, very considerable
  wisdom and immense luck… it has deserved the sincere
  birthday greetings of the world.”
—The Times, 31 October 1923
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Murder of Giacomo Matteotti, June 1924


 Leader of the Socialists


 Member of the Chamber of Deputies


 Leading opponent of Mussolini & Fascists
               Mussolini in Power:
               From PM to Dictator
 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Matteotti to Chamber of Deputies, 30 May 1924:


“No one has been free because every citizen knew… that
  even had he dared with majority support to express his
  opposition the government had a force at its disposal that
  would have nullified his words… We are defending the
  sovereign freedom of the Italian people… by demanding
  the nullification of the elections.”

 “Now you can prepare my funeral oration.”—to
 colleagues as he left the chamber
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Mussolini in Il Popolo, 31 May 1924:


“Matteotti made a speech of an outrageously
 provocative nature which should deserve some more
 concrete reply than the label scoundrel.”
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 1o June 1924: Matteotti forced into a car


 License plate number of the car (55 12169) belonged
  to a leading Fascist
 Investigation led to leader (Dumini) of a secret hit
  squad called Cheka
 “Nine Homicides” Dumini, was personal asst. to
  Cesare Rossi, Mussolini’s press secretary
             Mussolini in Power:
             From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Did Mussolini order the murder? Did he know about
  it? Was he involved in any way?
 Widespread outrage in Italy: newspapers,
  demonstrations, torn up Fascist membership cards
 Was Mussolini head of a terrorist regime?
 Was he the head of a strengthened form of
  parliamentary govt. that operated w/in law?
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 June 1924: Aventine Secession


 Most opposition deputies walked out of Parliament
 in protest to Mussolini’s govt.

 Met elsewhere & declared themselves the true
 representatives of the Italian people

 Expected the King to dismiss Mussolini
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Mussolini’s Position June 1924-Dec.1924:
o repression & concession—press censorship
  increased; militia mobilized & integrated into
  army; loyalty oath to King; Rossi & chief of police
  fired; Mussolini steps down as Interior Minister
o Ras & radicals wanted Mussolini to seize power in
  dictatorship
o Dec. 1924 evidence implicated Mussolini in
  Matteotti’s assassination
             Mussolini in Power:
             From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 Mussolini’s Position June 1924-Dec.1924:


o radicals in Fascist Party saw power slipping from
  them unless Mussolini acted
o 31 Dec. 1924: tense meeting of Fascist Party
o Mussolini vacillation ended
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1922-1924


 3 Jan. 1925: Mussolini addresses Chamber of
 Deputies

 Mussolini takes responsibility for Fascism
 not for Matteotti’s murder
 Dictatorship to go into effect in 48 hours


 Process of Dictatorship Began (completed
 May 1928)
                Mussolini in Power:
                From PM to Dictator
 How did Mussolini survive the Matteotti Crisis?


a.   King Victor Emmanuel III unwilling to act—safer to
     keep Mussolini in office & had learned lesson
b.   Elite not completely happy, but thought had done a
     good job—esp. given alternatives
c.   Church—Mussolini had saved Italy from Socialism
d.   Army—would obey the King
e.   Moderate Deputies—saw Mussolini weakened &
     thought could control him
f.   Opposition unable to cooperate
g.   Ras wanted dicatorship
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 How did Mussolini survive the Matteotti Crisis?


“Mussolini panicked and would have resigned had the
  King required it. The King did not demonstrating
  the unwillingness of conservatives even now to
  abandon Mussolini, partly from fear of a left-wing
  revival and partly in the hope of exploiting
  Mussolini’s vulnerability to increase their influence
  over him.”
  —M. Blinkhorn, Mussolini and Fascist Italy
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 How did Mussolini survive the Matteotti Crisis?


“The reluctant attitudes of the King and Pope
   summarized the problems in a nutshell: the Italian
   power structure was slow to admit that its creature,
   Fascism, was out of control, and without leadership
   from the power structure, the anti-Fascist
   opposition remained fragmented and embryonic.”
   —A. Cassels, Fascist Italy
               Mussolini in Power:
               From PM to Dictator
 How did Mussolini survive the Matteotti Crisis?

“His victory, once again, owed much to the militant squads
   and to their power in the provinces; and, once again, it
   owed much to the King’s unwillingness to use the army
   against the Fascists. Yet once again, it was not
   inevitable. If the opposition parties had been present
   in the Chamber… or if the Rossi memorandum had not
   been published when it was [during holidays]… or if the
   militia ‘consuls’ had not put pressure on in late
   December, or if the elder statesmen… had shown more
   initiative, then Mussolini might have fallen… the King
   had decided, and Mussolini was safe.”
   —M. Clark, Modern Italy 1871-1982
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1925-1928


 Arrests of opponents


 Increasingly repressive decrees & laws


 Fascist Movement into a personal dictatorship—
 centralized control of party into a govt. ministry then
 fired the Ras leader in charge of the ministry
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1925-1928


 Jan. 1925: arrests & closing of hostile organizations
 All Fascist Cabinet
 Dopolavoro, mass leisure org., established
 Oct. 1925: Battle for Grain—make Italy self-sufficient
  (economic policy)
 Dec. 1925: greater press censorship
 Dec. 1925: Law on Powers of Head Government—
  gives Mussolini great executive power—rule by
  decree
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1925-1928


 Feb. 1926: elected mayors replaced by appointed
  podestas
 April 1926: strikes forbidden; youth organization,
  Balilla, created
 July 1926: Ministry of Corporations established
 Oct. 1926: opposition parties banned
              Mussolini in Power:
              From PM to Dictator

 Mussolini, 1925-1928


 Nov. 1926: Special Tribunal for the Defense of the
 State—wide admin powers including arrests w/o
 justification

 Nov. 1926: OVRA established—secret police


 Nov. 1926: all press freedom ended
                  Mussolini in Power:
                  From PM to Dictator
 Mussolini, 1925-1928


 Parliament: lost power to intiate laws; Mussolini responsible
    to King not parliament
   Local Govt: judges, civil servants & teachers purged; elected
    councils eliminated; podestas
   Judiciary: repressive administrative powers w/o need resort
    to former republican judicial system
   Trade Unions: strikes & lockouts illegal, Fascist unions
    recognized as only legal unions
   Fascists: Mussolini centralized Party under his leadership
   Opponents: all non-Fascist parties banned
   Electoral Laws: plebiscite system replaced individually elected
    MPs

				
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