- Nationalists and Facists blamed weakness on the ruling Liberal-Conservatives.
- Gabriele D'Annunzio led troops to seize the town of Fiume in Croatia in 1920.
- 4 years between end of war and Mussolini, Italy had 6 coalition governments. Dominant party's after 1919 elections were the Socialists and they Catholics people's party.
- Italians believed they had been cheated by their Allies at the Paris conferences of 1919.
- Communists made no serious attempt to seize power.
- Remained a constitutional monarchy with an essentially parliamentary form of government
- Victorious power of WW1.
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Problems in Italy
- Italy's 'Red two years' between Nov 1918 to Autumn 1920
- 1920's Italy suffered from serious economic problems
- High levels of unemployment due to demobilization of millions of troops.
- Levels of inflation hit middle class worse.
- Experienced a upsurge in militancy strikes, bread riots and occupation of land and factories and peasants and workers
- Failure to resolve these problems undermined the Italian's people's faith in the political parties and in democracy.
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- From autumn 1920-22, 1000's of men joined the movement.
- Working class had a lack of confidence in the Government.
- Mussolini and Fascists cashed in on these feelings particularly in Northern and Central Italy
- Fascist Fighting squads took the side of landowners and middle class in these area and defeated the peasant leagues and trade unions.
- Fascism seized power by force at local level.
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March on Rome.
- 24 October 1922.
- There was a serious opposition to the fascists.
- Mussolini warned the if fascist were not given power they would take it by force
- By this time, Socialist/ People's party were badly split
- As Fascist Squadristi marched on Rome, Mussolini remained at Fascist HQ in Milan.
- King representatives had to plead with Mussolini to journey to Rome for negotiation
- Called the 'Sleeping-car revolution' because Mussolini traveled overnight from Milan to Rome, in order to seize power.
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Consquences of sudden rise to power.
- This did not give quite enough time for fascists to build a a proper party machine complete with youth organizations and cadres of specialized officials.
- Fascist party depended on Italian establishment ( Lib- conservative, monarchy, armed forces, catholic churches and elites)
- Mussolini didn't have enough time to bring the provincial leaders of the Fascist movements firmly under his control ( Farinacci, Scarza and Balbo)
- Mussolini didn't have enough time to bring the institutions of the state under fascist domination.
- This not give the fascist enough time to fully develop a full-blooded ideology.
- Fascist party's lack of a strong parliamentary position meant that they were obliged to rely on other party's.
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Mussolini reign of terror.
- Mussolini used militancy groups as a 'police/ military' purpose and authority. most well know group were the black shirt.
- Like Matteoti, socialists opposed Mussolini
- Those who were opposed to Mussolini were severly punished to the point of fleeing Italy or Death.
- Despite terrifying threats from black shirts to dissidents they rarely used the murderous tactics that the SS and Gestapo used on a frequent basis to repress dissidents.
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