Mussolini And The Consolidation Of Power 1922 24

How does Mussolini maintain control after the March on Rome? Overview of his policies...for Edexcel AS History Modern, Italy and Fascism 1919-25 .

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Mussolini and the consolidation of power
(Nov. 1922June 1924)
30th October 1922
Mussolini was appointed PM of Italy, but his power was limited:
He still has to work with parliament to legislate (make laws) but he lacks a majority of
support (only 35 of around 600 seats) therefore coalitions are necessary
His position is dependent on the King's continued support, because the King can sack
Torn between 2 main groups of supporters the Ras and squads and the elites. The elites
are conservative however the Ras and squads are radicals
Cabinet is made up of 4 fascists, 4 liberals, 2 popolari and 2 independents
Moderate and radical pressures on Mussolini
A fascist revolution
To smash socialism
To make Fascist syndicates powerful
A new corporative state
Assertive foreign policy
Worries Mussolini might sell out to the elite. Overall, more radical left wing agendas
2Moderates and elite: voting for fascism to crush socialists and get rid of liberals
Wants "normalisation" (Italy to return to the way it was pre war)
To restore war and order
To smash socialism
To preserve the economicsocial status quo with powerful employers and weak workers
Assertive foreign policy
WorriesMussolini might give into fascist radicals
Steps to consolidate power
1. Emergency powers
November 1922 Parliament and the King agree to give Mussolini emergency powers to
"normalise" Italy. The only groups to oppose this were the PSI and the PCI (communist
party) and some of the PPI. Mussolini only made relatively modest use of these powers,
e.g. introducing press censorship in 1923 and bringing the fascists into government
2. Controlling the Fascists
A) December 1922 Creation of the Grand council of Fascism to advise on
government policy. (this was mainly to advise on government policy)
B) January 1923creates a Fascist National Militia to control the squads. 3000
strong and paid by the state, centrally governed. They were required to swear an oath
of loyalty to Mussolini himself, which gives greater control over the squads for
October 1922 July 1923
300 000 members 800 000
Mussolini also tries to make the fascists more manageable and reduce radicalism in the
Fascist party and so he sets up the "cheka" (secret police) in Bolshevik Russia
(inspired by Lenin). He uses it to intimidate his opponents or followers. Which is led by
3, Improving relations with the Catholic church
Relations were already good by October 1922Pope Pius XI advised the King not to use
troops against the fascists during the March on Rome. Pope Pius XI was
antisocialist because Marx was an atheist so lots of socialists were
also atheists.
However in 1923, Mussolini carried out a number of actions to further improve relations

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Children are baptised and Mussolini gets married in church
State gives money to increase clergy salaries
Compulsory RE in schools
Banning distribution or promotion of contraception (Catholics don't want extra
marital sex)
Dropping existing proposals to tax church property. By 1923, the PPI's position had
been significantly undercut, as the Papacy increasingly favoured the Fascists
4. Electoral reform
In July 1923, Mussolini proposed the Acerbo Law.…read more


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