Italy and the Rise of Mussolini

            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 country                         (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

            2.    In local government elected town councils and mayors were abolished and towns run                         by officials appointed from Rome. In practice the local fascist party bosses, known as                         ras, often had as much power as the government officials.

            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.

           5.    Corporate State - The government tried to promote co-operation between employers                     and workers and to end class warfare in what was known as the Coporate State. Fascist                     controlled unions had the sole right to negotiate for the workers and both unions and                     employers' associations were organized into corporations and were expected to                     co-operate to settle disputes over pay and working conditions. Strikes and lockouts were                     not allowed. By 1934 there were 22 coporations each dealing with a seperate industry,                     and in this way Mussolini hoped to control the workers and direct production. To                     compensate for their loss of freedom, workers were assured of such benefits as free                     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.

           2.  Battle of Wheat - encourages farmers to concentrate on wheat production in a drive for               self-sufficiency; by 1935 the wheat imports had been cut by 75 per cent.

           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.