The new state of Italy was far from being a great success in the years before 1914; the strain of the First World War on her precarious economy and the bitter disappointment at her treatment by the Versailles Treaty caused growing discontent. Between 1919 and 1922 there were five different governments, all of which were incapable of taking decisive action that the situation demanded. In 1919 Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist party which won 35 seats in the 1921 elections. At the same time there seemed to be a real danger of a left-wing seizure of power; in an atmosphere of strikes and riots, the fascists staged a 'March on Rome' which culminated in King Emmanuel III inviting Mussolini to form a government in October 1922. Mussolini remained in effective power until July 1943.
4. Economic self-sufficiency- (autarchy) was vitally
important in developing the greatness
of the state; the government must therefore direct the economic life of the
(though not in the Marxist sense of the government owing factories and land).
5. Military Strength and Violence - were an intergal part of the way of life. Mussolini himself remarked, "Peace is absurb: fascism does not believe in it." H
3. A strict press censorship was enforced in which anti-fascist nespapers were either suppressed or their editors replaced by fascist supporters. Radio, films and the theatre were similarly controlled.
4. Education in schools and universities was closely supervised, teachers had to wear uniforms, new textbooks were written to glorify the fascist system. Children were encouraged to criticize teachers who seemed to lack enthusiasm for the party. Children and young people were forced to join the government youth organizations which indoctrinated them with the brilliance of the Duce and the glories of war.
State - The government tried to promote co-operation between
and workers and to end class warfare in what was known as the Coporate State.
controlled unions had the sole right to negotiate for the workers and both
employers' associations were organized into corporations and were expected
co-operate to settle disputes over pay and working conditions. Strikes and
not allowed. By 1934 there were 22 coporations each dealing with a seperate
and in this way Mussolini hoped to control the workers and direct production.
compensate for their loss of freedom, workers were assured of such benefits as
Sundays, annual holidays with pay, social securtity, sports and theatre
facilities and cheap
tours and holidays.
6. Catholic Church - Mussolini left religion outside the control of the government. He had his children baptized and married their mother in the church. He passed laws to make swearing in public a crime and allowed crosses to be hung in public buildings. He made religious education compulsory in Italy. In 1929 he signed a treaty with Gasparri. The Lateran Treaty gave the Pope 750 million lire in compensation for the land taken from him when Italy was united in 1870. It made the Vatican City an independent state with its own army, police force, law courts, and post office. The ending of the long lasting breech between the church and Italian government was Mussolini's most lasting and worthwhile achievement.
1. Industry - gave government subsidies where necessary so that iron and steel production doubled by 1930 and artificial silk production tenfold. Hydro-electric power doubled by 1937.
3. Land Reclamation - a program was started and the Pontine Marshes around Rome were drained and reclaimed.
4. Public Works Program - this was designed to reduce unemployment. It included the building of motorways, bridges, blocks of flats, railway stations, sports stadiums, schools and new towns on reclaimed land.