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MUSSOLINI'S ITALY

Junior Cert History
by

Fintan O'Mahony

on 14 October 2015

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Transcript of MUSSOLINI'S ITALY

THE EARLY YEARS
Born 1883, father a blacksmith, mother a teacher
He became a teacher, then a journalist
Editor of Socialist newspaper
Split with Socialists over involvement in WW1
He was wounded and was one of the ex-soldiers who was deeply unhappy with Versailles
After WW1 an economic depression followed with high unemployment
Weak governments couldn't cope with riots and street violence
FASCIO
Mussolini founded the Fascio di Combattimento in Milan in 1919
they promised:
strong decisive leadership
law and order
a rebuilding of Italian power
an end to the threat from Communists
RISE TO POWER
The Fascists (Blackshirts) had little success in elections
Industrialists and businessmen backed him because he opposed Communism
In October 1922 Mussolini organised
The March on Rome
to seize power
The King gave in and asked him to be Prime Minister
A march
in
Rome followed to celebrate their victory
WORLD WAR II
Italy entered the war on Germany's side a year after it started
Repeated losses led to German help
Italy was invaded by the Allies in 1943
Mussolini went on the run
He was executed by parisans in 1945
MUSSOLINI'S ITALY
1919-1945

MUSSOLINI IN POWER
All opposition to Mussolini was eliminated
Giacomo Matteotti a Socialist leader and critic of fascism was murdered in 1924
All opponents were dealt with violently (totalitarian state)
Parliament was closed down
Trade unions and strikes were banned
He used newspapers, radio and film to promote the Cult of Personality (became Il Duce)
SOME SUCCESSES
Unemployment greatly reduced
Public works, motorways, railways, Pontine Marshes drained
Battle for Grain produced huge crop
Battle for births to increase population
Lateran Treaty signed bringing disagreement with the Vatican to an end

But...
FOREIGN POLICY
Military was very important
Mussolini wanted revenge for an Italian defeat in Ethiopia
Invaded Abyssinia in 1935
The League of Nations failed to act
Despite fierce resistance, the Italians won with heavy bombing and poison gas
By then Hitler was emerging in Germany and in time they became Allies
Full transcript