More ambitious/aggressive policies 1934-39

Mussolini's foreign policies 1934-39

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Austria 1934.

  • wanted Italian support against the threat of Germany.
  • Dollfus: set up anti-Nazi right wing authoritarian regime in Austria.
  • Troops taken into Austria to ward off attack.
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Stresa Front 1935.

  • Britain, France and Italy protest over German rearmament: went against the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Resisted activites against peace.
  • Mussolini took role of major European statesman.
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Abyssinia 1935-36.

  • Higer profits and new products: but cost 2 years normal spending and started spiralling state debt.
  • Only 3,500 families moved there: failed to provide trade/settlement opportunity.
  • League of nations: Italian people supported the war and donated gold rings - however, war divided public opinion and promoted racism.
  • Neither British nor French opposed too vigorously, but it deteriorated relations between Italy and UK/France.
  • Only 1500 men lost out of 400,000 men: but early use of Fascist Militia ineffective.
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Spanish Civil War 1936-39

  • Italy supplied 100s of artillery tanks, transport, and 100,000 'volunteers'
  • Wanted to have a greater influence in the Mediterranean, to cultivate an ally, to prevent left-wing influences in Spain, and to gain an ally.
  • Mussolini also wanted to keep up with his image of a mighty Italy.
  • However, the war 'bled Italy white'. It cost half a year's tax revenue, and the lira was devalued.
  • It used up much-needed weapons and ammunition.
  • Made the government unpopular.
  • Unprepared for major war in 1939.
  • Italy gained little of real value.
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