Mussolini and Italy

AS level history; Mussolini; Italy 

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  • Created by: mehwisch
  • Created on: 12-02-12 16:13

Introduction chap1

- Italy became a unified kingdom with Rome as its capital in 1870.

- unified under the leadership of the northern kingdom of Piedmont and depended on foreign assistance rather than being the result of great national movement. 

- Loyalty was hindered by the very high property required before men could vote. even by 1900 only 1 man in every 15 men could vote.

-Internal cohesion was disturbed by the refusal of the catholic church to recognise the new state and catholics were forbidden to take part in any Italian politics. Because the unification took away church lands in central Itlay. 

* this was serious because majoirty of Italians were practising Catholics.

- the North and South divide economically and culturally. 

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Foreign policy chap1

Italy was one of the lesser European powers. 

- It established settlements in Eritrea and Somaliland but in 1896 suffered a humiliating defeat at Adowa when it attempted to expand control in Abyssinia.

- in 1912 gained the colony of Libya. In 1882, it joined triple alliance with austria hungary and and Germany. 

* This gave the country diplomatic security. 

- despite being members of the triple alliance - in the 1st world war Italy was neutral. 

- in 1915 in the hope of gaining territory on its frontier with Austria, it joined was on the Franco - British side. 

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Post war instability chap1

-from 1919 - 1922 Italy suffered from political instability and growing social and economic unrest. 

- In this period the fascist movement, led by Benito Mussolini emerged and established a small parliamentary presence. 

- It soon abandoned most of its socialist ideas and became right wing protest movement, gaining from support from those fearful of revolutionary communism and from those disillusioned by the aftermath of the war.

- By 1922, Mussolini had become prime minister in a coalition government and in 1925, impose himself as a dictator.  

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Benito Mussolini chap1

- In 1919 Mussolini led a loose organisation of discontented ex soldiers - the fascists

- In the 1919 elections Mussolini failed to win a single parliamentary seat.

- Yet in 1922 he became prime minister, due to a handful of prominent politicians.

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Italian Political weakness before 1914 chap1


- unification of Italy was a constitution based on the model of parliamentary monarchy  

  • parliamentary constitution was similar to the British one, with an upper house, the senate, an elected lower house and the chamber of deputies.
  • the senate, had it's members appointed on a lifetime basis by the king, and was usually less active because of the old age of most of it's members.
  • the chamber elected every five years, was the most powerful of the two houses, although ministers could be appointed and dismissed by the King, they were usually drawn from the chamber.
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Italian Political weakness before 1914 chap1


- The parliamentary system had many weaknesses and in the years even before 1914 became difficult to manage.

-  Since the creation of Italian state, political life had been the monopoly of a small social elite.

- The franchise was extended to only 2million men prior to 1912.

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Italian Political weakness before 1914 chap1


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