Mussolini and the economy 1922-40

Mussolini's aims in the economy
Make his position secure(propaganda),'Corporate state',Autarky,Increase international prestige, 'Laissez faire', Cut gov red tape, Keep confindustria, Ban trade unions and strikes, Economic strength = strong Fascist support
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The state of the Italian economy in 1922
Going through a boom - meant they could sell their products abroad with ease, Exports, particularly of cars, textiles and agriculture produce, doubled in the period 1922-5
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Mussolini's goal in the corporate state
Every industry to be part of a Fascist led corporation that would sort out disputes between workers and management, and help to organise production, pay and conditions
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Mussolini's goal in autarky
Economic self sufficiency allowing a country to operate without importing food or other key materials from other countries - an economy capable of building and maintaining a modern war machine
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The 'battle for grain'
1925 - attempt to promote Fascist power and national self-sufficiency by increasing grain production, offered grants to enable farmers to buy tractors, fertiliser and other machinery, Farmers also granted a higher price for produce
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Successes in the 'battle for grain'
Incentives worked and avg harvest rose from 5.5m tonnes per yr to over 7m tonnes 10yrs later, Grain imports declined sharply-dropping by 75% 1925-35,Propaganda success-Mussolini claimed credit
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Failures in the 'battle for grain'
Much of the land in the central and southern regions was unsuitable for wheat crop, Traditional agricultural exports declined - citrus fruits, wine and olive oil
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The 'battle of the marshes' - Land reclamation
Providing money to drain or irrigate farmland, For eg Pontine marshes 50 km from Rome
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Successes in the 'battle of the marshes'
Improved public health and provided thousands of jobs during the depression
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Failures in the 'battle of the marshes'
The amount of land actually reclaimed was limited
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Impact of agricultural policy on living standards
Even heavier wage cuts than industrial workers, emigration, More benefit to large landowners, Inequality and north-south divide grew, 18th in European states in daily calorie intake, Fascism's failure to tackle rural poverty
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Agricultural policy and emigration
1900-1920: 200,000 Italians emigrated to USA each yr, USA decided to stop virtually all immigration in 1920, Workers left countryside for towns and cities, 1/2 million ppl left the land 1920s and 30s, 1921-41 population of Rome doubed
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Mussolini's aims in agricultural policy
To maintain and increase his power and to promote autarky - Refusal to break up landed estates, 'Battle for grain', Land reclamation
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Mussolini's successes in the economy
Extended electrification of Italy,Heavy machine production thrived through state investment,Propaganda(international),Protected from depression,Modernisation of Italy,1922-39 Italian secondary schools ^by 20%,5000km of Railways/Autosrada built
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Mussolini's failures in the economy
Revaluation of Lira+return to gold standard ravaged export industries,N/S gap widened,Ruralization counter prod to expansion Italian industry,'Battle for Marshes''Battle for grain''Battle for births', Corporate state-workers/small firms exploited
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When was the Vidoni Palace Pact and what did it do?
1925 - banned independent trade unions
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When was the start of the 'battle for grain'
1925
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When were the rights to strike abolished?
1926
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When was the Ministry of Corporations set up?
1926 - start of corporate state experiment
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When did Mussolini revaluate the Lira and what were the effects?
1927-Damaged Italian economy
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When was the start of the global economic depression?
1929
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When did Mussolini increase drive for economic autarky?
1936
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Fascist economic policies on Italian industry 1922-7
Increasing company profits, Gained support of industrialists by appointing an economics professor -De Stefani as treasury minister, Limited gov intervention in order to fight inflation,Taxes on industries reduced,Outlawing of trade unions-Vidoni 1925
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Example of reduced state intervention in Italian industry
Telephone network was transferred from the government to private companies
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Corporate state: the theory
Employers and Fascist trade unions not agreed-labour court administered by Ministry of corporations, where disputes sorted out quickly and amicably, Employers+workers co-operating to maximise production,Remove class conflict,Ushering new economic era
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Did workers benefit from the corporate state at first?
At first, workers benefited as unemployment fell,Stefani's policies curbed inflation,
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'Battle for Lira'
Dec 1927 set new exchange rate of 90 lire to the pound- restoring the value to its value in Oct 1922
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Evidence that Mussolini took less interest to business interests after 1925
Dismissal of De Stefani and the revaluation of the currency
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Causes for the 'Battle for Lira'
By 1926 boom coming to end and exchange rate of Lira was falling-150 lire to the pound
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Consequences of the 'Battle for Lira'
Increased Mussolini's domestic and international prestige-restrict gov spend-propaganda victory, unemployment trebled 1926-8,Export industries went into depression,
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Why did export industries go into depression?
The 'Battle for Lira' and the revaluation of the lira - Foreign buyers found Italian goods nearly twice as expensive
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Example of export industry in depression
Fiat exporting fewer cars in 1930s than 1920s
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Why did imports not get cheaper as a result of the 'Battle for Lira'
Imports should have became cheaper but the Duce put high tariffs - healthy profits from the protected domestic market while export industries neglected
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Corporate State: the reality
Rivalries within party,Mussolini reluctant to alienate big business,Fascist trade movement opposed by Confindustria,Private ownership declared most efficient,Regulations only advisory
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Corporate State: the reality for workers
Employers not obliged to provide annual paid holidays and could alter working hours,Workers unable to choose reps, Fascist officials tended to side with the employer's representatives
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Conclusion on the corporate state
Corporate revolution never materialised - not solved only suppressed
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How did workers benefit from the corporate state?
Furthered workers interests in sick pay and paid national holidays 1938
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Rossoni
Head of Fascist trade movement opposed by confindustria, Rossoni's radical influence reduced in 1928 - Fascist trade unions split into 6 smaller federations and his followers removed
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Giuseppe Bottai
Ministry of Corporation headed by Bottai wanted to see corporations dominated by partnership of employers and technical experts from his own ministry - Mussolini supported this view
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Effects of global economic depression in Italy
Large number of companies collapsed, car production fell by 50%, Unemployment risen to 2m by 1933 (1/2m 1928),Banks didn't have enough money to pay investors-Fascist gov bailed them out,Cost tax payer a lot-but weathered depression better than others
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What did the Fascist government do to reduce the effects of the global depression?
Public work schemes-building motorways and hydroelectric power plants which put unemployed in work,Increased money supply-stimulated demand and created more jobs,Bailed out banks,Institute for Industrial Reconstruction
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Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (IRI)
Set up Jan 1933-took control of shares. Italian state thus became the major shareholder and owner of many Italian companies. Attempted to promote the latest managerial techniques
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The limits of autarky
Far from self sufficient when joined war in 1940,Key materials had to be imported,Italy unable to match enemies-couldn't even replace lost ships/aircraft
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What key materials still had to be imported, thus limiting the goal of autarky?
Oil, Coal and Iron for steel had to be heavily imported
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Effects of the policy of autarky on the Italian economy
Worsened financial difficulties, Huge sums on contracts related to the autarkic and closely related rearmament programme and also had to fund expensive military adventures in Ethiopia/Spain,Gov exp greatly exceeded rev-Duce didn't want to^tax
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How did Mussolini react to the economic situation?
Refused to recognise the seriousness of the economic situation and did not want to bring in tax increases to annoy big businesses
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How were Italy preparing for war?
Involvement in foreign affairs, Heavy industries such as steel,chemicals and shipbuilding had large gov contracts,80% shipbuilding and 50% steel prod directed by gov,EoS looked for-near monopolies,Exports took low priority
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Duce's economic goals for preparing Italy for War
Italy to be self-sufficient - supply itself with food and material
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How did the League of Nations react to Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935?
Economic sanctions which banned trade in grain, steel and textile with Italy
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Consequence of Italy becoming increasingly preoccupied with foreign affairs
Living standards and the general welfare of economy suffered
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Which firms received government subsidies in Italian industry?
Fiat - Car manufacturing, Pirelli - Rubber, Montecatini - Chemicals
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Impact of industry policy on living standards
Conflict between employers and workers declined only because trade unions and strikes banned,Serious decline in living standards,Wage cuts,declining income,Unemployment 2m 1933,Prices^+import price,Duce not concerned-never his goal to improve ls
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How much did real wages for the Italian worker fall by between 1925-38?
Over 10%
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Impact of industry policy on the middle classes
Far less likely to suffer from unemployment, Number of employees in state services virtually doubled to a million, Explosive growth in Ministry of Corporations and Dopolavaro
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Mussolini's aims in industrial policy
To maintain and increase his power - De Stefani and orthodox economic policies 1922-7, 'Battle for Lira' 1926-7,Corporate state 1926, To transform the Italian economy-Autarky 1935 and Corporate state 1926
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Going through a boom - meant they could sell their products abroad with ease, Exports, particularly of cars, textiles and agriculture produce, doubled in the period 1922-5

Back

The state of the Italian economy in 1922

Card 3

Front

Every industry to be part of a Fascist led corporation that would sort out disputes between workers and management, and help to organise production, pay and conditions

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Economic self sufficiency allowing a country to operate without importing food or other key materials from other countries - an economy capable of building and maintaining a modern war machine

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

1925 - attempt to promote Fascist power and national self-sufficiency by increasing grain production, offered grants to enable farmers to buy tractors, fertiliser and other machinery, Farmers also granted a higher price for produce

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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