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Mussolini's cult of Personality.

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by

Kristel Toomsalu

on 23 January 2013

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Transcript of Mussolini's cult of Personality.

Fascism is a religion. The twentieth century will be known in history as the century of Fascism.
-Benito Mussolini Mussolini's cult of Personality. Why was it created? What forms of propaganda were used? Sources After becoming PM, Mussolini became known as the saviour of Italy and was given names like “The Chief” or “Il Duce”. Il Duce was already used when Mussolini led the PNF and he was keen to perpetuate the idea of iconic leadership. Mussolini’s personality cult filed a gap created by the lack of a ruling elite in Italian political and administrative. How did it present Mussolini? Which features of the leader did it highlight? Mussolini never missed a photo opportunity. With his fully shaved head he projected the image of a vigorous Italian man. Photos were taken at an angle to make him look taller than 5’6’’. A press law in 1925 meant only registered journalists could write for newspapers. Mussolini’s talents as an ex-newspaper journalist were shown in his complete manipulation of the Italian press.

[1]Grolier Encyclopedia. "Benito Mussolini." http://www.grolier.com/wwii/wwii_mussolini.html

[2]Whittam, John. Bristol University. "Mussolini and the Cult of the Leader." http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~semp/mussolini2.htm (1998)


[3]Wikipedia. "Cult of Personality." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_personality

[4]Melograni, Piero. The Journal of Contemporary History. "The Cult of the Duce in Mussolini's Italy." http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-0094%28197610%2911%3A4%3C221%3ATCOTDI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-9 Mussolini had ultimate control over all key institutions and by 1933 held 14 cabinet posts. He had full control of his Fascist Grand Council and its members. Inter party elections had been fully abolished and Mussolini personally selected all posts. Mussolini was portrayed as the saviour of Italy who would protect the country from the chaos of liberal democracy and the threat of socialism and lead Italy to greatness. He was also portrayed as the father figure he was, and a sporting man who took part in race driving, fencing and swimming. The cult emphasised Mussolini’s devotion to Italy, thus the light in his office was always left on (even though he had 9 hours sleep per night). He was a charismatic orator and liked standing in front of a crowd under his office balcony to pronounce his latest policies. Mussolini seemed more interested in creating an illustrious image of himself rather than addressing and dealing with Italy’s problems. He credited any notable Italian achievement (such as the 1934 & 38 World Cup) as a result of Fascism. In media: films, newspapers,radio, slogans, posters, exhibition, marches,songs etc. Curriculums for schools were immediately overhauled for Fascist purposes, in a manner that Nazis later admitted to imitating, so that elementary schools were soon spending twenty percent of their time teaching children to be good Fascists.[115] Teachers were removed if they did not conform, and textbooks were required to emphasize the "Fascist soul." March on Rome. Propaganda Poster from Mussolini's Italy. It reads, One for all, all for the Duce. Posters like this, with Mussolini's image were all over Italy By Kristel Toomsalu

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