Mussolini from Prime Minister to Dictator: 1922-8

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When did Mussolini become Prime Minister?
30th October 1922
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Tactics Mussolini used to increase his power in 1922
Aware that a completely Fascist government was not yet possible- did not have majority and King was still an obstacle, thought they could use Fascism to crush the left, Many thought Fascism lacked a coherent ideology and wasn't going to last
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How many senior ministers were there in Mussolini's first government?
14 senior ministers - only 4 were fascists - others were liberals and popolari
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Rule by decree
Able to create new laws without consulting parliament, MPs gave Mussolini a massive vote of confidence and granted him emergency powers for 1yr (Giolitti, Salandra and Facta) - only ppl who opposed were communists and socialists
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How did Mussolini justify the rule by decree?
Said that only a strong gov could take the stern measures that were necessary to restore law and order and put the country back on its feet
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Which key positions did Mussolini keep to himself in government?
Minister of the interior - control over the police, Minister of foreign affairs
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Mussolini's power as PM in 1922, at the start of his prime-ministership?
Not yet able to secure supreme power but used Fascist violence to intimidate parliament - Dictatorship largely in place, parliament increasingly irrelevant and open opposition extremely dangerous
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What did Mussolini promise parliament in 1922?
Argued that once the condition of the country had been stabilised, he would give up his powers and revert to normal parliamentary rule - Conservatives and Liberals believed him
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Grand Council of Fascism
Supreme body within the Fascist movement which discussed policy proposals and made all key appointments within the Fascist party, Mussolini controlled all appointments to council, Reduced influence of Fascist leaders
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How did Mussolini reduce the influence of Fascist leaders in the localities?
Converting Fascist squads into a national militia paid for by the state
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Mussolni's private army
30,000 men to intimidate potential opponents
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Support from big businesses
By early 1923 had persuaded Confindustria to support him, Didn't attack widespread tax evasion - support from industrialists
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Support from the Church
Ban contraception + make religious education compulsory in state schools - Pope began to withdraw support from Popolari and instructed Don Sturzo to leave Italy, Mid 1923 the Popolari dropped from the coalition
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Mussolini's actions to extend his power in 1922-4
Increased control of Fascist movement, New sources of support, Increased power over parliament, Weakened opposition
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How did Mussolini increase control over the Fascist movement?
Militia and Grand Council
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New sources of support for Mussolini
Industry and Church
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How did Mussolini increase power over parliament\?
Emergency Decree law, Electoral reform - Fascist majority in parliament 1924
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How did Mussolini weaken opposition?
Press censorship and Squadrismo
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Acerbo law 1923
Mussolini proposed party with most votes should get two-thirds of seats in chamber of deputies-Reform supported by majority of MPs-Deal decisively with problems,Promoted Fascist sympathisers to positions in local gov,Assured he won't rid parliament
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The involvement of Fascist squats in electoral reform
Fascist squads would smash up the offices of hostile newspapers and would physically prevent opposition voters from reaching the polling booths, Mussolini told the police to stand by
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How do Giolitti and Salandra react to Mussolini's declaration of Acerbo law in 1923?
Pledged their support for the reform
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1924 election
Acerbo law in action,Fascists campaigned with right-wing liberals including Salandra,Fascists secured 66% votes,Fascist MPs increased from 35 to 374-clear majority out of the 535 seat chamber - Mussolini grew in popularity
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When was the Acerbo law put into action?
April 1924
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Was there still widespread support for Socialism in the 1924 election?
Socialists still managed to get 2.5 million votes
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In the 1924 election, where did Fascism fail to produce majorities?
Two major cities in the North - Milan and Turin
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How did Mussolini win the 1924 election?
Blackshirt violence, Ballot-rigging, Campaigned with right wing liberals, Acerbo law 1923
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Was Mussolini able to make himself dictator by 1924?
Parliament was still needed to approve laws, opposition parties still existed and the King could still sack his Prime Minister
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How was democracy destroyed?
Press censorship, Banning of trade unions and opposition parties,Podestà,Secret police,Parliament lost right to debate,Special court political crimes
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When was press censorship introduced?
July 1924
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When were political meetings by opposition banned?
August 1924
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How did Liberal leaders react to press censorship?
Joined opposition in November in protest against press censorship
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What was the ultimatum presented to Mussolini by Fascist leaders in December 1924?
Fascist leaders were frustrated by the government's lack of radicalism - if he did not end the Matteoti affair immediately and move decisively towards the establishment of a dictatorship, they would withdraw their support
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Mussolini's speech in Jan 1925
Accepted responsibility for all Fascists
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Leggi Fascistissime
December 1925 - banned opposition political parties and free trade unions
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Podestàs
Nominated officials in local government that replaced elected mayors
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When was Mussolini granted the right to issue decrees and parliament lost the right to debate?
Jan 1926
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When did the King lose the right to select the prime minister?
1928
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When was Mussolini appointed prime minister in a coalition government?
October 1922
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When did Parliament allow Mussolini to rule by decree for a 12 month period?
November 1922
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When was the Grand Council created?
December 1922
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When were the Fascist squads converted into a national militia?
January 1923
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When did the Acerbo law change the electoral system to ensure that the most popular party won a majority of MPs?
July 1923
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When was the first general election under the Acerbo law?
April 1924 - gave Fascists a majority in parliament
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When was Matteotti murdered by Fascists?
June 1924
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When was press censorship introduced?
July 1924
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When did Mussolini announce his intention of creating a dictatorship?
January 1925
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When were opposition political parties and free trade unions banned?
December 1925
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When did Mussolini gain the right to make laws without needing the approval of parliament?
January 1926
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What were the causes of the Matteotti crisis?
Opposition MPs tried to publicise illegal Fascist actions at the polls,Prominent Italian Socialist spokesperson Matteotti exposed Fascist violence during election campaign
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When was Matteotti abducted and murdered in broad daylight by Fascist thugs?
10th June 1924
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Mussolini's reaction to the murder of Matteotti by Fascists?
Tried to distance himself from the crime but the personal assistant to his press secretary was a chief suspect
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Public reaction to the murder of Matteotti
Public opinion turned against Mussolini, opposition MPs walked out of parliament and set up their own breakaway parliament called the Aventine Sucession
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Aventine Sucession
Opposition MPs walked out of parliament to protest the murder of Matteotti - set up their own breakaway parliament - they hoped this would encourage the king to dismiss Mussolini
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How did Mussolini react to public outrage after the murder of Matteotti?
Put more blackshirts on the streets to deter opposition, but also distanced himself from crime, ordering the arrest of the Fascist suspects. He also appointed a conservative as Minister of the Interior in charge of police in order to not lose support
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How did Victor Emmanuel react to the murder of Matteotti?
Feared that sacking the PM would only strengthen the revolutionary left and lead to civil war
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How did Giolitti and Salandra react to the murder of Matteotti?
Still supported Mussolini as there seemed to be no viable alternative
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Mussolini's actions to create a fascist dictatorship: Controlling government and parliament
King lost right to select Prime Minister, Rule by Decree
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Mussolini's actions to create a fascist dictatorship: Destruction of opposition
Trade unions banned, Opposition parties banned, Stronger press censorship
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Aware that a completely Fascist government was not yet possible- did not have majority and King was still an obstacle, thought they could use Fascism to crush the left, Many thought Fascism lacked a coherent ideology and wasn't going to last

Back

Tactics Mussolini used to increase his power in 1922

Card 3

Front

14 senior ministers - only 4 were fascists - others were liberals and popolari

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Able to create new laws without consulting parliament, MPs gave Mussolini a massive vote of confidence and granted him emergency powers for 1yr (Giolitti, Salandra and Facta) - only ppl who opposed were communists and socialists

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Said that only a strong gov could take the stern measures that were necessary to restore law and order and put the country back on its feet

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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