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ITALIAN FASCISM

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					ITALIAN FASCISM
                   AIMS
• To look at a brief history of Italian Fascism.
• To build up enough information on Italian
  Fascism to allow a comparison with
  German Fascism in the same period.
• To investigate the nature of Mussolini and
  how his „brand‟ of Fascism operated.
BENITO MUSSOLINI
             EARLY LIFE
• Born July 1885 to a blacksmith and a
  school mistress.
• Poorly behaved at school – expelled.
• Decided to become a teacher! He
  experienced the humiliating struggle of the
  lower middle class.
• Started political life as a Socialist.
• Forceful & authoritative speaker.
            INFLUENCES
• Marx (Socialism)
• Sorel (need for an elite; role of violence)
• Nietzsche (role of a superman who can
  impose his own laws)
• Le Bon (how a brave leader could channel
  power of the crowd)
• Prezzolini (need to create a modern
  assertive Italy)
                  TASK
• What kind of a person was Mussolini?
• Using the information on his early life and
  his influences, do you think he would have
  been closer to the left or to the right?
• Read the quotations from Mussolini on
  your handout. Say whether he was closer
  to the left or to the right.
 The national flag is for us a rag          Let us have no more talk of
  to plant in a dunghill. Let us          battleships, barracks, cannon,
 show that the fatherland does             at a time when thousands of
 not exist just as God does not              villages have no schools,
               exist.                    roads, electricity or doctors, but
                                           still live tragically beyond the
                                                  pale of civilised life.



      Down with War!
    Down with arms and                To offer the same kind of opposition
     up with humanity.               to all wars… is stupidity bordering on
                                       the imbecile. Do you want to be a
                                      spectator of this great drama or do
                                           you want to be its fighters?




 Who has iron has bread.
Revolution is an idea which             From today we are all Italians,
   has found bayonets.                      nothing but Italians.
 HOW FASCISM DEVELOPED
• 23rd March, 1919 – foundation of Fascist
  party.
• 118 people present.
• Conceived as a movement appealing to all
  Italians – not a traditional political party.
• It had little support – until Mussolini
  repositioned the party to the right and
  began to exploit the fears of the upper and
  middle classes.
    SUPPORTERS OF FASCISM
•   Petty bourgeoisie – insecure.
•   Ex-soldiers – let down by government.
•   Farmers – feared rural socialism.
•   Industrialists – feared Socialism.
•   Students – resented their lack of prospects.
•   Youths – wanting excitement.
•   Workers – Fascism kept some social
    radicalism, eg fair wages, land to peasants.
                        What did Fascism offer?

                               Strong leadership

   Unite all Italians                                        Law and order




  National greatness                                       Smash socialism




   “Fascism had elements of both [Left and Right]… It was revolutionary, but
   could also sometimes claim to be conservative. It was monarchist but also
republican, at different times. It was catholic, but also anti-clerical; it claimed to
be Socialist, but could also be strongly capitalist whenever it suited the Duce…
  Fascism was not a doctrine, not ideas, not ideology, but was really a means
           for winning power by a single man.” D. Mack Smith, 1990.
                  TASK
• Read through the fascist programmes for
  June, 1919 and November, 1921.
• What similarities and differences are
  there?
• Which points would be most likely to gain
  support? Why?
• What were the similarities with Hitler and
  the Nazis?
     THE USE OF VIOLENCE
• Fascism depended on violence for its growth.
• Attacks against Socialist movement – attacks
  on buildings and members.
• Elite condemned violence in politics but
  came to see the Fascists as a party who
  could restore law and order to Italy.
• Many supported it because it was anti-
  Socialist.
• Some thought bringing the fascists into
  government would tame them.
                  TASK
• Compare the use of violence by the Italian
  Fascists with the use of violence by the
  Nazi party in Germany.
• How did both use it to gain power and
  support?
• Who were the targets of their violence?
• How did the elite and the authorities react?
  MUSSOLINI GAINS POWER
• 1922 Liberal politicians divided about
  bringing Mussolini into government.
• August – Socialists called general strike –
  failed. Fascists seen as saviours.
• 24 October – march on Rome announced.
• 28 October – King agreed to impose
  martial law to protect Rome. Changed his
  mind 7 hours later!
• 30 October – Mussolini proclaimed PM by
  King.
                ANALYSIS
• March on Rome only happened after
  Mussolini was declared PM.
• Fascist seizure of provincial cities was more
  important in the King‟s decision.
• Fascism was not hugely popular – only won
  7% of vote in 1921 (compare with Hitler).
• Mass popularity only came later.
  FASCIST ITALY - OVERVIEW
• Read through the handouts.
• Pick four different colours and highlight the
  following information:
  Mussolini‟s dominance of Italy.
  The nature and aims of Fascist propaganda.
  Collaboration by the elite with Fascism.
  The unattractive aspects of Fascism.
                       Special Tribunals applied
                       summary justice outside
                       the normal court system.

   Censorship                                            MSVN and squads.
                                                        50,000 armed militia.
                                                       Opponents intimidated
                                                           and attacked.
OVRA (secret police)
 20,000 actions per         How repressive
 week – arrests and        was Fascist Italy?
     informers.                                          Political Prisoners:
  Independent of                                            about 5,000.
   regular police.                                        About 10,000 in
                                                           internal exile.


      Exiles
                                                Controls – internal
                            Deaths              migration had to be
                                                    approved.
ECONOMIC POLICY
FOREIGN POLICY

				
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posted:4/29/2010
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