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UNIT E1E3: THE COLLAPSE OF THE LIBERAL STATE AND THE
TRIUMPH OF FASCISM IN ITALY, 18961943.

A: Weaknesses of the political system and attempts to stabilise it from 1903
under Giolitti social discontent and political disorder, 18961912.

Why was Italy politically unstable in the late nineteenth century?

Political life was…

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Why did stronger parties emerge in 19001914?

The Socialist Party (PSI), founded in Genoa in 1892, was based in the northern industrial towns.
By 1900, it had 32 seats in The Chamber of Deputies and published its own daily newspaper,
Avanti. But Giolitti found it difficult to include Socialist deputies…

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B: The impact of the First World War on Italy and its impact on the Liberal
State 191823: Mussolini and the message and appeal of Fascism, 191922.

In the years before World War One, Italy sided with Germany and AustriaHungary in the Triple
Alliance.

But, on 26th April 1915, she…

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The Fiume Crisis

The seizure of Fiume by Gabriele D'Annunzio in September 1919 attracted great public support.

D'Annunzio and 2000 followers seized the area and occupied it for fifteen months. Thousands of
supporters rushed to join him ­ throughout the occupation, D'Annunzio was constantly in the public
eye.

The Fiume…

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The rapid demobilisation of 5 million soldiers resulted in an unemployment figure of 2 millions.
Postwar inflation hit the economy ­ in 1919, the lira lost half its value.

These economic difficulties led to widespread social dislocation. By 1920, 3½ million workers
were in trade unions ­ 2 million in…

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Marinetti and Vecchi led an attack on the socialist newspaper `Avanti'. Mussolini took no part but
organised a private army of several hundred for whom he provided arms ­ the Arditi.

The early Fascist movement was based in the cities and was supported by exservicemen and
students. It spread from…

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The inclusion of Fascist candidates in Giolitti's government list in 1921 made Mussolini and the
party respectable.
In October 1921, the Fascist Party was established on a national basis (Partito Nazionale Fascista)
­ by mid1922 it had 300,000 members.

It stressed the importance of patriotism in contrast to the failures…

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The political weaknesses of the Liberal State were worsened by the extension of the franchise and
the growth of new parties. The trasformismo system of coalition politics could not cope with these
changes.

World War One created serious divisions within Italian society between those who supported
Italian involvement and those…

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C: Power and control in Fascist Italy: propaganda terror the PNF (Partita
Nazionale Fascista the relationship of the regime with the Church and the
old elites

Which social groups supported Mussolini?

When Mussolini and the fascists came to power in 1922, they enjoyed considerable support from
across the political spectrum.…

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