Establishing a fascist regime 1922-29


Coming to power of Fascists

1919: M sets up combat group movement, not party. Patriotic italians who followed socialist ideals welcome. failed  in vote.  Paper mouthpiece. Disputes between fascists+socialists.

1920: Some italians fear socialists. Look to Fascists. M shifts to right of spectrum.

1920-21: Fascism attracted agrarian elite, small landholders in North + central Italy. Local leaders set up squads (ras) used anti-socialist violence

1921: Original fascists concerned with membership  of petty bugeoise+M.'s change to right. Several ras protests. Many drop out, M's paper keeps them together.

1922: Socialist power broken by fascist squads. Assisted M under pressure from ras to sieze power. Used it to be appionted PM legally. Announced support for monarchy. Plan take over of local gov.s +M.O.R. Many elite arguing fascists should join gov. M. accepted being PM. King asks M to form Gov. Fascists M.O.R

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March On Rome

Background: Liberal politition split - some favoured M. , others D'Annuncio in Gov.

Summer 1922: Squads controlled several areas

Aug: Socialist strikes for 1 day 'Caporetto of italian socialism'. Raised spectre of social revolution. Allowed fascsts to protect state

March on Rome

16 Oct: M+other fascists agrees on inserrection.

24 Oct: Fascist congress Naples - publicly declares he will either be appointed or sieze power

27: M seemed on verge of accepting power. Told to hold out for more. Concentrated in 3 main areas within marching distance of Rome. Blackshirts instructed not to clash with army. Quadrumuirs at Perugia proclomation against political half class wits+idiots which in long years have been unable to give true gov. Seize control of tlephone exchanges+police stations, gov. offices - Milan fails. Pisa succeeds, then fails. PM Facta agreed to take military action.

28: King agrees to martial law, ordering M's arrest, then disagrees. Facta resigns. no government.

29: Salandra pursuades king to let M be PM. Phones+telegram. M arrives on night train.

30: M arrives in Rome and is appionted PM. squads arrive

31: Most squads arrive by train for parade before M+king

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Political changes and compromises

Controlled voting system - Rigged to get 98%

King gave Fascist Grand Council the right to choose PM

Acerbo Law - Over 25% of vote meant 2/3 of seats - passed to end coalition governments

Largest party in election 1924 - 66% of vote -Government by Decree, Jan1926 -  Pact of Rome & Corfu

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Matteoti affair

Socialist Matteoti murdered Jun 1924 after giving 3h long speech (supposed to take 30mins, but kept on getting interupted) over failures of Mussolini

Marked turning point in M's regime

Used it to set up dictatorship, under which liberal freedoms + safeguards replaced by system concentrated on power of 1 man

survived due to actions. Gained considerably from a potentially fatal setback

Jan 1925: adresses parliament, takes responsibility for violence (not death)

some unrest - series of arrests, most MPs withdraw in opposition (Aventine Session) M comes under attack from all sides

Dec 1925: M given great executive power. Greater control of press. Purge of Civil Service

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Repression of Political opponents

Fear of Communism -Fascism a solution - Anti-communism - Damaged Avanti offices (socialist newspaper) - 800 socialists injured

Weakness of Liberal Italy - 5 Prime Ministers in 4 years - Salandra failed to form coalition government

Militarism -D'Annunzio proved force was best option - Ras & Squad violence

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Content of Propaganda

Ideology including links to Ancient Rome - Extreme Nationalism - Want to return Italy to glory of Roman Empire- needed aggressive foreign policy/ racial superiority to justify massacres in Libya and Ethiopia

Importance of Image - One strong heroic leader - Stronger than New Italy - Seen as strong leader, an alternative to all the problems - Cult of Il Duce- Would transform nation- rather than a political manifesto, the leader would motivate the nation into action

Use of Propaganda to support domestic + foreign Policies - Mussolini believed war drove forward history - Corporatism - Alternative to capitalism and socialism- a 'Third Way'

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Instruments of Propaganda

Newspapers - Foreign reporter said Mussolini was a great man, Italian newspapers reported their leader to be held highly by the rest of Europe.

Radio - 'Italy will obey me as she has never obeyed before'

Cinema - films praising Mussolini  demonstrated him to be the great savior.

Posters - Regualtions on how to present Mussolini were made (speel his name with all CAPS). End of 1930's.

Rallies - Would transform nation- rather than a political manifesto, the leader would motivate the nation into action

Mass activities - children militarised through school,

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Catholic Church

Pope Pius IX (1846-70) - Asks for French help to defeat Roman Republic - 1846 - syllabus errors - condemns liberalism and progress - Excommunicates those involved in unification eg. Victor Emmanuel II - 1831-32 revolution Papal States - defeated by Austria at Popes request. Austrian garrison put in place of the pope. (Papal States military weak - Gioberti - Believed Pope could lead a united Italy - Popes 1815-46 known as zealous - very anti liberal - 1848 becomes revolutionary - Initially liberal - reduces censorship -frees prisoners - 1848 allocution - does not want to be involved in revolutions or unification

Pope opposed anti-semitic policies but died and so prevented a clash, new pope never spoke out publically against Mussolini. 1931- Pope opposed Mussolini's attempts to suppress the church. Catholic action confined to those with a religious nature. Mussolini recognised power of Church. Religious Education mandatory in school Pope supported him through Acerbo Act, Africa. Withdrew support from PPI in 1926

Latern Treaty- granted Pope over 108.7 acres of land in Rome. And payed him 750 million lire in cash.Allowed Mussolini to solve the dispute that had divided Italy for the past 60 years. Negotiations to ensure limited power - The Concordat

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