How important were the lateran treaties

An old essay from AS level. The question was 'How important were the Lateran Treaties of 1928 between the Italina State and Papacy in consolidating Mussolini's power in Italy?" I got 50/60 -- an A - I think

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Laura Allen 2008
How important were the Lateran Treaties of 1929 between the
Italian State and Papacy in consolidating Mussolini's power in
The Lateran Pacts of 1929 consisted of two sections. The political treaty, or Conciliazione, allocated
land, money, and state bonds, to the papacy as compensation for lands and power that was lost
during the time of Italy's unification, in exchange for the Church recognising Rome as the capital of
the new Italian state. The Concordat, however was a purely un-political agreement which focused on
the continuation of religious education into secondary state schools, church control over marriage
issues, and the acceptance of church groups (such as Catholic Action) by the State. However, just
how important were these efforts in consolidating Mussolini's power in Italy? The Lateran Treaties
were important, however, they were not the only factors in the consolidation of Mussolini's power in
Italy. Besides the Lateran Treaties, major aspects in consolidating Mussolini's Power in Italy included
terror and violence, art, architecture, mass media, and youth groups. Other lower impact attempts at
consolidating power included theatre, music, and philosophy.
The Lateran Treaties resulted in increased regulation of the Church by the state, and an overall larger
following and support base for Mussolini. This was mainly due to the fact that the Churches being
provided with land, which was recognised as a Sovereign State, meant that Mussolini, who brought
the Pacts about, was well-liked and supported by the Papacy. As the Church and Pope supported
Mussolini and agreed with many of his campaigns, they urged Catholics to take part in the State,
voting in favour of Mussolini, taking part in state run events, and generally supporting the regime.
This gained a large amount of support from those in the rural areas, as in these regions the only
sources of information were often the local priests. Further, the Church showed support of the
regime by taking part in the state run events and youth group activities. However, despite the
advantages of the Conciliazione and Concordat to Mussolini, there were also some effects that gave
the Church means to undermine his power. As a Sovereign State the Vatican (Church) had a more
political standing than they did before, the Church also achieved the teaching of Religious Education
in Secondary State Schools in addition to this in Elementary State Schools. This ensured that there
would be another generation of Italians dedicated to the Church, who would turn to the Church for
advice, this was furthered, by the Church's control of all marriage related matters which was another
aspect of daily life, besides education, that the Church was involved in. To the Italian people,
especially those in rural areas, the church would have seemed to take a more active role and concern
in their day-to-day problems, appearing to `care' about the individual more that the State. The
recognition of Catholicism as the State religion in Italy, while ensuring the cooperation of the Church
to some extent, also meant that a true authoritarian state could not be established, as the Church
offered an alternative ideology to that of the State.
Terror and violence was a major factor in the consolidation of Mussolini's power in Italy, however,
the threat of violence and the terror that it caused was more a factor, than actual violence and the
terror that this brought. The accumulation of the Fascist Squads into a new and more disciplined
Militia in 1923 was the beginning of terror and violence (and the main source of violence found in
Fascist Italy); the Militia were considered Fascism's `bully boys' by the general public. They were

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Laura Allen 2008
fanatic forces who strove for a truly fascist state. The Militia generally intimidated the public,
patrolling the streets and collecting as gangs in pubs, often getting into brawls with their equivalent
from other political parties, these were however, gang fights between fanatics, not a political
statement.…read more


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