Section Eight: Domestic Policy

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  • Created by: naomi
  • Created on: 23-04-13 20:05


  • Mussolini wished to create a domestic policy that would boost his power and position but which would also transform Italian society
  • wanted to get rid of 'bourgeois mentality' for which he held so much contempt and create a race of disciplines and obedient Fascists who would place the regime above all else
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Catholic Church

  • Mussolini created much policy to do with the Catholic Church as he knew that in order to secure his position he needed their support
  • upon assuming power he restored religious education in state schools, banned contraception and paid priests out of state funds 
  • by 1923, the Pope had withdrawn his support from Popolari
  • the Lateran Treaty saw the Pope's agreement to recognise the Italian state, while the state acknowledged the Pope's right to rule Vatican City
  • Financial Convention gave the Pope £30 million compensation for the land he had lost during the unification of Italy
  • Concordat established Catholicism as the state religion
  • are of domestic policy was largely a success as, though it was at te expense of exercising total control, the Duce had gained the support of a highlt influential institution and had effectively ruled out another opposition group when the Pope relinquished support for the Popolari
  • however, by the late 1930s this support was beginning to wane with the implementation of anti-Semitic measures with whih the church disagreed
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Battle for Births

  • the battle for births was another domestic policy which aimed to increase the Italian population from 40 million to 60 million by 1950
  • Mussolini specified a figure of 12 children per family and introduced various measures to try and achieve this target
  • marriage loans were offered with parts of the repayment being cancelled for every child born
  • married men with over 6 children were exempt from taxation
  • penalties were introduced to bachelors, raising 230 million Lire in 1939
  • only married men with children received promotion
  • women were pressured into taking a traditional domestic role and a quota was introduced in 1933 to limit women to 10% of the workforce - this policy was UNSUCCESSFUL
  • as well as irritating Italians, marriage rates stayed he same and the birth rate of 102 per 1000 women was less than that of in 147 in 1911
  • by 1950 the population was only 47.5 million and in 1936, women still made up 33% of the workforce
  • Mussolini had NOT succeeded in changing the social attitudes of his citizens
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  • education was another part of Fascist domestic policy
  • teachers had to swear an oath of loyalty and those suspected of anti-fascist views were sacked
  • Mussolini aimed to create a generation of young fascists, with portraits of the Duce in all classrooms and new courses like military training and fascist culture being introduced
  • the Libro Unico told children to "obey because you must"
  • the ONB was set up to indoctrinate the youth even outside of school with parades and propaganda lectures and activities to emphasise the greatness of the Duce
  • BUT this policy did not quite create the generation of tough warlike fascists which Mussolini had dreamed
  • once ONB membership became compulsory, membership actually dropped and it was even admitted that "the masses in the universities are not yet what the Duce wants"
  • the ONB was also somewhat undermined by Catholic Action, which was protection from state interference by the Lateran Treaty
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Social Life

  • the Dopolavoro was set up in 1925 to organize fascist leisure activities and by the mid 1930s controlled all soccer clubs, 2000 drama societies and 8000 libraries
  • by 1935 membership was 2.4 million
  • however, though it was successful in terms of numbers, it did not necessarily achieve Mussolini's aims
  • Dopolavoro lacked fascist propaganda as seen by the fact that none of the 7 plays performed in Rome during 1938 had any direct relevence to fascism
  • nor did social domestic policy drastically increase support for the Duce as many other policies interfered in people's lives like clothing instructions and the replacement of the handshake with the fascist salute
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Corporate State

  • to secure his position further, Mussolini created the corporate state
  • this repressed workers by allocating them fascist representatives and augmented industrialists' power by allowing them to represent themselves
  • did not increase Mussolini's popularity with the working classes BUT did fulfill his main aim of cementing his position
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