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Liberal Italy
Mussolini and the Fascists

Italian unification (Risorgmento):
Cavour- Prime Minister of Piedmont 1852-61, wanted to create a liberal independent state in
the Northern half of Italy
Garibaldi- Radical nationalist guerrilla leader, popular with the masses. Aimed to liberate the
masses but trusted Victor Emmanuel. In 1860, 1862…

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South- Sicily- the price of land fell by 40% (late 1800's). Poverty stricken and alienated, the
peasants barely understood the new Italian (therefore they could not vote, have an
education etc.), Illiteracy in the South was over 80%. 1888, schooling become compulsory
but had little impact in the south. The…

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There was still a trade deficit, but the lire remained stable at approx. 5 lire to $1 and 25 lire to
£1. Partly due to rise in coal and steel, partly due to money sent home from those who had

Power becomes more based on hydroelectric power and less…

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3 points clashed with the Treaty of London

1) No more secret agreements

2) All decisions regarding colonies should be impartial

3) All Italians are to be allowed to live in Italy. Italy's borders are to be `along clearly
recognisable lines of nationality' ­ most the areas Italy wanted were…

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Area Y/N

Programme: a Marxist party, aiming for a socialist republic. There would be N
workers control of industry and the nationalisation of all land. Dictatorship It alienated
and religion would be destroyed (Russian style revolution). many people
Support: 300,000 people read the paper `Avanti' and they had over 200,000…

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2) August 1919, Nitti's government brought in PR.
What did this do?
Shifted democracy towards political parties with big resources, ending the importance of
traditional liberal elites and their local ties (this ended transformismo)
2 largest political parties:
1) PSI (socialists)
2) Catholic Popular Party, PPI (catholics)
Both were hostile…

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The drop in liberal popularity meant that they could not form a majority (even if Giolliti bribed
all the MPs)
The PPI and PSI would not join to agree on laws and bring down Giolitti
The government was paralysed
Giolitti had lost control of the government
June 1919- October…

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May 1921 elections; achieved 35 seats (PSI got 123, PPI got 107, communists got 15 and
Giolitti supports got 230.)
Mussolini was pleased with 35 seats they had only been a party 5 months
Growth in fascist membership:
Month (1921) No of Fasci (organisations) Total members
March 371 80,476

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2) Made an electoral pact with Giolitti from Autumn 1920,

Giolitti wants to use Mussolini to destroy socialists

Use popularity to support liberal Italy

Mussolini gain political power

Make them official

Then in 1921, Mussolini took further crucial actions:

3) Formed the PNF (national Fascist Party) which:
a) Gave him…

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How did the Fascists seize power?

Fascists take control of local councils:

Autumn 1922 Po delta, May ­ September Fiume, Bologna.

locally formed fasci under Ras, very important in growth, often had different ideas to
fascists broke local power of socialsts in many places in the North and centre,…


Hass Khan


Thank you, very good notes

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