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Mussolini & Fascism
Transcript of Mussolini & Fascism
Italian poet Gabriele D’Annuzio marched and occupied the Fiume before Yugoslavia could
Became popular & soldiers deserted
New Prime Minister Giovanni Gioletti ordered army to obey to the government, so the poet left peacefully.
The poet became a hero and the government was disliked. The government had borrowed large sums (especially from the USA) for the war which they now had to pay back
Devaluation of the italian lire
Huge unemployment because all the men that had been hired in industry for the war effort were now jobless.
Population grew restless, need for jobs and were prepared to accept extreme measures The disastrous effect of the war Fear of a communist revolution Mussolini took power October 30th 1922 as the leader of a coaltion (fascist, catholics and social democrats): became Prime Minister. Because of the fear of a left wing revolution, there were lots of riots and strikes
Led by Mussolini, the fascists staged a "march on Rome".
Both of these gave Mussolini more power: The King Victor Emanuel gave Mussolini dictatorial powers in Novemebr 1922
This was meant to restore order and introduce reforms.
He was provided with an army of 300 000
All these elements permitted Mussolini to gain complete control and stay in power . Italian economy at its lowest in 1921/1922
Political instability because overall majority was hard to obtain which caused many unsuccessful coalitions
Although anti-fascist parties existed, they weren't organised or determined.
Failure of the general strike of summer 1922
Made the government look weak and Mussolini looked like the saviour of the state from communism & gained confidence to stage the March on Rome.
More people attracted to fascism: middle classes, property owners At the beginning of the regime, Mussolini had a lot of support, the fascist party was very popular before as well: allowed "march of Rome" and his rise to power.
People thought that his regime would be beneficial to Italy
He won popularity with his earlier successes in foreign policy.
Even though the persistent opponents of the regime were either exiled or murdered the Italian system not as brutal as Nazi, violence reduced after Mussolini gained confidence in power, 1926.
By 1930's he was unstoppable, few people opposed. A Fascist State Extreme nationalism
Military strength and violence People's support Similarities & Differences with Hitler Not as efficient (unemployment or self-sufficiency) More extreme in keeping one-party state Anti-communist The turning point came when he started following Hitler and entered WW2 on Germany’s side even though Italy could not afford another war (bad economy).
The Italians blamed Mussolini when they lost African territories and Sicily was occupied Totalitarian Attempted self-sufficiency Harsh foreign policy He was arrested July 1940 but the Germans rescued him and backed him up in his regain of Northern Italy. Anti-individualistic But in 1945 British and American troops were advancing through Italy and so he was forced to escape through Switzerland. He was captured and shot dead by his Italian enemies known as partisans After Mussolini's death, Italy was flung into a state of extreme poverty and disunity which led to the creation of a new government and constitution. The End Nationalist Encouraged war Cult of the leader Secret police Racist ("Manifesto della razza" in 1938) Mussolini Hitler More successful in religious policy Stronger & more strategic “Peace is absurd: fascism does not believe in it” (Mussolini) “Fascism is a religion. The twentieth century will be known in history as the century of Fascism.”
-Benito Mussolini 1923 - 1934 After 1934 Foreign Policy Dislikes Hitler Tension with France (allied to Yugoslavia)
Tried to protect Austria against Nazi Germany threat -> improved relations with them
Mussolini managed, thanks to economic and defense agreements to almost control Albania, this meant that it now had a strong position around the Adriatic sea.
Allied with USSR, Albania, (Hungary and Greece) Many problems, tries to deal with them trough diplomacy rather than violence Gained power & respect after initial successes but still not satisfied 1922 - 1943 Follows Hitler Began to admire Hitler instead of suspecting him for his plans with Austria
Thought an alliance with Germany would be more profitable than an alliance with Britain & France
Had military alliances together before WW2: Spanish civil war (bombed Guernica)
However, Mussolini was never an equal partner to Hitler - Hitler hid his military plans from Mussolini and often had to save him from defeat because of several failed attacks led by Mussolini Greece/Albania quarrels over boundaries
Italian delegates murdered on Greek border
Mussolini demanded expensive reparations and that the assassin executed, but Greeks unable to identify him
Occupation of island of Corfu & killed 15 civilians
Strategic position at the head of the Adriatic sea : murder of delegate was a good pretext First real act of Italian expansionism that Mussolini used to impress Hitler later on Corfu Incident 1923 Not as extreme as Stalin but still important to consider
He used political intelligence, charismatic behaviour and propaganda. Personality Cult Unemployement Like many other countries, Italy suffered from the worldwide depression of the 1930's.
Unemployment was not as high in Italy in the 1930s as it was in many countries however there were still 1.3 million unemployed in 1932.
Mussolini decided to relieve this unemployment with his public works program and so by increasing public spending and creating jobs.
From 1924 to 1939: drained the Pontine Marshes; building new roads and buildings; improving public transport and job opportunities
"The Italian economic battles", increased Italy's potential and power by reclaiming land, having a strong currency and placing emphasis on home grown produce. Reconciliation with the Vatican Dispute between Italian government and the Pope since 1870
Pope Pius 6 disapproved of Mussolini's regime
Began when Rome was declared the capital of Italy
The popes described themselves as "prisoners in the Vatican"
Mussolini was aware of power of the Catholic church and put himself out to win over the pope.
The Lateran Treaty, part of the Lateran Pacts signed in 1929 Beginning of the end Further rise to power