Mussolini's Italy (1925-1943)

Problems facing Mussolini in 1922.

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Problems facing Mussolini in 1922.

  • He was 1 of only 4 facist in the Cabinet.
  • Only 35 facists in the 535 member Chamber of Deputies.
  • Facism = 7% of supporters
  • Previous Italian governments only lasted for 2 years, Mussolini faced the same.
  • Mussolini had no detailed programme of policies and little experience of running anything.
  • Mussolini's supporters were split between moderates and radicals, so he had to satisfy two sphere's of political beliefs in order to obtain votes.
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How he overcame his problems.

  • Mussolini achieved a balance between radicals who favoured violent seizure of power.
  • And the facist movement who wanted power to gained through legal means.
  • To gain support and popularity he used force and bribery.
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Mussolini's success.

  • July 1923 the chamber passed the Acerbo law by 303 to 40. Henceforth, the party gained most votes in an election ( 25% of votes, 2/3 of the seats)
  • 1924, Socialist opponents had been weakened by their failure to exploit their strength in 1920-21 and violent facist onslaught in 1921-22.
  • Socialists and Catholics were reduced by 50 deputies.
  • Some facists were allowed to vote several times each.
  • Lyttleton: The use of violence, police repression and electoral fraud was on such a large scale that the expression of popular will was radically falsified.
  • The RAS had free hand in intimidating the opponents in the small towns.
  • November 1922, Parliament granted him limited emergency powers for 1 year to deal with the Italy's problems.
  • His 1st political action was the he moved Italy to an Autoriatarian society.
  • He made some concessions to the church and passed measures favourable to industrialist and agrarians.
  •  Created 2 new facist bodies: 1. Facist Grand Council.
  •                                                 2. New Militia.
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Historian's view of Mussolini's success.

  • The political opponents of Mussolin did not act as they were waiting for the King's permission to do so.
  • Socialism in italy was not extreme
  • Despite his depression, he had support from key groups: Industrialists, Church and the king
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Why did Mussolini come to power so much more quick

  • Mussolini had been appointed prime minister of Italy on 29 October 1922, Hitler achieved equivalent ( German office of Chancellor) on 31 January 1933.
  • Due to facisms new ideologies it made it difficult for italian politicians to understand it and appreciate the danger it posed to existing  parliamentary institutions in Italy
  • In 1921, Facists managed to win 25 seats in Parliament.
  • Germany was a defeated nation, humiliated by imposition of the treaty of versailles peace settlement and econmic and territorial losse which it entailed.
  • Germany who went through 'traumatic'  political change, from rule by Kaiser Wilheim II to a 'fully-fledged' democratic republic.
  • The fear of Bolshevism grew and there were several attempts by communists to seize power in Germany.
  • Hyper-inflation of 1923 made money virtually worthless in Germany.
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