Mussolini - IB History.

Mussolini - IB History.

Mussolini Consolidation of Power How did Mussolini consolidate his power? The March on Rome gave Mussolini access to political power, but in 1922 his power was not yet consolidated: He had to devise the structure of the Fascist state His power was limited the king had the power to dismiss and replace him Had to prevent opposition from forming an alternative coalition He did not have undisputed control within the Fascist Party itself Mussolini implemented several policies to consolidate his

power, which gradually moved Italy away from a democracy towards an authoritarian state. How did Mussolini consolidate his power in the period 1922-24? Methods: coercion and intimidation Persuaded the king to give him extraordinary power for a year granted him relative freedom to introduce significant changes Months following Mussolinis appointment as PM, thousands of political opponents were arrested by the government the local ras also exercised violence against the opposition

Mussolini created Fascist militia, the Voluntary Militia for National Security (MVSN) to work with police and the army to defend Fascist Revolution. MVSN responded directly to Mussolini, and swore an oath of loyalty to Italy, not to the king. Methods: Reforming the state Even though Mussolini held the positions of the Prime Minister, foreign and interior minister, in 1922 Fascists remained a very small party in parliament (only 47 out of 535 seats). Acerbo Law the task of drafting a new electoral law to enable the PNF to gain a majority in parliament was handed to Giacomo Acerbo . The Acerbo Law proposed that the party gaining the largest number of votes in an election providing it had reached a minimum of 25

percent- automatically obtained two-thirds of the seats in parliament, while the remaining third were to be proportionally distributed among other parties. Mussolini claimed that the Acerbo Law would bring political stability in Italy by ending the problem caused by the collapse of coalitions. Fascists threatened to use force to pass the law; it was in that atmosphere of threat that the Acerbo Law was voted. During 1924 elections, the PNF gained over 65 percent of the votes, obtaining the largest electoral victory for a political party since unification. The significance of this election was the fact that Mussolini, who did not come to power by popular vote, was now being endorsed by it. Matteotti Crisis and the Aventine Secession

An independent and much respected socialist, Giacomo Matteotti, openly spoke in front of the parliament about fascist corruption and violence during the election. He was also an outspoken opponent of the Acerbo Law. 1924 Matteotti was kidnapped by Fascist thugs and beaten to death; his body thrown into the river. His murder constituted a political crisis for Mussolini. Men who murdered him were associated with fascists- therefore Mussolini bore the moral responsibility for the murder, even though there was no evidence of his direct involvement. Questionable whether Mussolini can control the most violent members of his own party it seemed that Mussolini could lose his position during this crisis Over 100 members of the parliament withdrew in protest, hoping their Aventine Secession ( a concept from ancient Roman History, when Romans

protested patrician aristocracy by withdrawing to Aventine Hill) would persuade the king to dismiss Mussolini and call for a new government. However, he survived the crisis because with the absence of opposition from the parliament, fascists gave him a vote of confidence, which kept him in the position of PM. Aventine Secession: After this incident, Mussolini used terror and intimidation to get rid of opposition in order to consolidate his power; his opponents were either killed or had to leave Italy, censorship strengthened, and anti-Fascist newspapers were taken under control or shut down. In addition, local elections were abolished and local representatives were appointed by Rome. By 1926, all opposition parties were banned. Italy had become an authoritarian state. Further changes in the constitution included: The Prime Minister (Mussolini) was answerable to the King, not Parliament. (1925). New press laws ensured that people heard only what Mussolini wanted them to hear. Newspapers

contained an exaggerated worship of Il Duce, which was particularly fostered in Il Popolo d'Italia, a newspaper that was edited by his brother in law. Radio, films and the theatre were all strictly controlled. The Prime Minister could rule by decree, which meant that new laws did not have to be discussed by Parliament. He had used this over 100,000 times by 1926. In 1927 a secret police, the OVRA, was set up which dealt with those who opposed the regime. It was helped by the existence of special courts that tried enemies of the state. Those accused of crimes were allowed no witnesses, no jury and no rights of appeal. The electorate was reduced from 10m to 3m (the right to vote became dependent on membership of a Fascist syndicate). What role was played by personality and propaganda in the consolidation of Mussolinis power? Mussolini took additional measures to secure his power methods of indoctrination and propaganda

Controlling minds: Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro (OND) important to influence the minds of adult population established organization to control leisure activities; it had a vast numbers of clubs, libraries, and sports grounds, it organized concerts, dancing and holiday activities. Main function of OND was to increase acceptance of Fascist ideology but most local organizers ignored the indoctrination aspects, and people by and large just enjoyed subsided sports, outings and holiday activities Linquadramento

Attempt to expand fascist party membership; 1931-37 the Fascist Party established its own welfare agencies to provide extra relief and focused on involving women - however, this wasnt very successful. According to some statistics, only 6 % of the population belonged to the party Romanita Movement: Propaganda ploy to build up the prestige and popularity of Mussolini linking them to the earlier greatness of ancient Rome and its emperors. Fascist writers, artists and scholars portrayed fascism as a revival of , and a return to ancient Roman civilization. Mussolini referred to as new Caesar. As part of this cult, Mussolini adopted the fasces as

the fascist emblem and it had it incorporated into the national flag. Talking about the New Man modern version of the idealized Roman centurion Ducismo: the personality cult of Il Duce Mussolini projected his own image and widely publicized the achievements of fascism Established press office to ensure that photographs and newspaper articles projected appositive image of Mussolini and his activities Established a state radio network and film agency to produce documentaries showing him addressing large crowds (he wanted to be filmed from below, to appear taller) 1933, Mussolinis son-in-law, Galeazzo Ciano, took over running of the office (later renamed to Ministry for Press and Propaganda, and again to

Ministry of Popular Culture - Minculpop) With time, the focus was to ensure that all films, plays, radio programs and books glorified Mussolini as a hero and the fascists as Italys saviors. However, their attempts to regulate the arts were not very successful, since traditional liberal culture proved too strong. Lights were left on in Mussolinis office to suggest that he worked 20hrs a day for Italy; posters and photographs of Il Duce appeared in public buildings, streets and workplaces. Did Mussolini create a totalitarian state? Totalitarian state is one in which the government has total control over all aspects of a citizens life: political, economic, cultural and social Under Mussolini there could be no overt opposition or criticism/ control

enforced by the secret police and militia , employees of the state had to swear an oath of loyalty to the regime However, there were limitations to the totalitarian nature of the Fascist Regime: fascists compromised with powerful non-Fascists, such as the Vatican and the King Mussolini still could be dismissed by the king Mussolini never fully gained control over the south Italy How far did foreign policy help Mussolini maintain power? What factors influenced Mussolinis foreign policy?

Mussolini did not take power with a clear set of foreign policy goals already in place. After 1925, he developed a program of action which included the following points: Increase national pride Consolidate domestic support for the regime Revise the post-war settlement of 1919-20 Dominate the Balkans Dominate the Mediterranean

Build and empire (gain spazio vitale or living space), expand its territories in Africa Foster the spread of Fascism in other countries Mussolini hoped that his foreign policy, acquisition of spazio vitale (living space), would strengthen his regime, it actually ended up becoming what is generally regarded as the main factor in his downfall. Peaceful diplomacy 1922-35 Mussolinis use of force in the Corfu Incident in August 1923 is an example of how foreign policy did help him to establish and maintain power. In 1920s, Mussolini was still not in the position to achieve his aim of great new empire by force, he followed a largely peaceful foreign policy for the next decade. However after 1929 and the Great Depression, Mussolinis foreign policy began to change; he called for the 1919-20 peace treaties to be revised and

plotted (unsuccessfully) with Hungary to overthrow the king of Yugoslavia. Mussolini was suspicious of Hitler when he came to power, so he blocked Hitlers attempted takeover of Austria in July 1934 and again in April 1935. How successful was Mussolinis foreign policy in the 1920s? Mussolini used foreign policy in the 1920s to consolidate his domestic control in Italy and by the 1930s his foreign policy becomes more Fascist in character In 1923 Mussolini invaded the Greek island of Corfu after an Italian official was killed on the Greek border with Albania. The LoN condemned this action and demanded that Italians withdraw. After Britain threatened to use their navy, Mussolini agreed to withdraw, but he also demanded payment of 50 million lire of compensation from the Greeks

Although the Corfu Affair was seen as a great success in Italy, Mussolini had learned that he could only bully smaller states In 1924 Mussolini scored a foreign policy victory when he gained control in Fiume through the Pact of Rome with Yugoslavia. He also established good relations with the new government in Albania, led by Ahmed Zog Mussolini invested in his rise to power, and helped trained their military. Relations with W. Europe Mussolini was hostile to France for several reasons: Italy had claims over the French territories of Corsica, Nice, and Sardinia Mussolini was jealous of French North Africa /supported opposition movements in Tunisia, Morocco Mussolini aimed to replace French influence in the Balkans and the Adriatic Mussolini wanted to present himself as a force for moderation in W. Europe met with

leaders from Britain, Germany, Belgium and France at Locarno (Switzerland), reached 7 agreements that aimed to secure the post-war settlement and normalize relations with Germany confirmed Germanys western borders with France and Belgium Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 denounced use of war a s a means to resolve disputes Italy was one of more than 60 signatories Despite all the agreements, Mussolini helped fund right-wing groups in Italy and trained German pilots in Italy; he also pursued his aims to expand Italys empire in Africa By the end of 1920s, Mussolini became frustrated with the failure of traditional diplomacy, but had to support the disarmament efforts of the LON due to the weakness of Italian military. What factors had an impact on Italys foreign policy in the 1930s? 1. The impact of fascism: Mussolini pursued more Fascist foreign policy: glorification of war for its own sake, pursuit of imperial expansion, and a move away from diplomacy and cooperation. 2. The impact of domestic economic issues:

Italy was affected by the Great Depression; investment from the USA was withdrawn, and Italian farmers were also badly affected by the collapse of grain prices. Bank of Italy had to be rescued from collapsing, industrialists had to be bailed out- as a result Italy developed the largest public sector in Europe 3. Changing diplomatic alignments in Europe after 1933 Four Power Pact , July 15 1933 Britain, France, Germany and Italy signed and stated they would adhere to the Leagues covenant, the Locarno treaties, and the KelloggBriand Pact Stresa Conference, April 1935 reaffirmed the Locarno Treaties, and confirmed the independence of Austria (Britain, Italy, and France met to discuss Hitlers rearmament) the Stresa agreement was so vague, it didnt even name Germany Stresa Conference Four Power Pact/Treaty Mussolinis Fascist Crusades 1935-39

Invasion of Abyssinia, 1935-36 Abyssinia lay between Italys two existing colonies in East Africa, Eritrea and Somaliland, and Mussolini has been making plans to invade since 1932 Italian forces clash with Abyssinians at the disputed Wal Wal oasis, which resulted in death of 30 Italians. Emperor of Abyssinia, Haile Selassie, requested an investigation by the LoN. Mussolini did not want an investigation by the Lon, and launched a total conquest of Abyssinia. Invasion began Oct. 2nd 1935 500,000 Italian troops invaded met little resistance (Italian weapons were superior); By May 1936 Abyssinia became a part of Italian East Africa During the war tensions between Italy and Britain reached crisis point; however GB and France wanted to foster good relations with Italy; they drafted a secret pact which would offer Italy half of Abyssinia ; however it leaked out to the press and they withdrew the deal On May 5th 1936, Italian forces took the capital, Addis Ababa, and Emperor Haile Selassie fled to Britain Negative effect: ended Stresa Front (close relationship with France and Britain), and increased

Mussolinis dependence on Nazi Germany Positive for Mussolini: it was his first successful attempt to create a new Roman Empire, which boosted his popularity. Gained popularity from the Catholic Church, because they saw the invasion as a Christian Crusade. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-39 1936 Mussolini no longer objected to German Anschluss with Austria; on March 6th, Mussolini followed Hitlers lead and withdrew from the League July 1936 Mussolini agreed to join Hitler in intervening in the Spanish Civil War to Help General Francisco Franco overthrow the democratically elected Popular Front government. Church supported this move; they supported this

move because they saw it as another Christian crusade this time against Communism. This intervention was also motivated by ideology; Mussolini responded to request for assistance from the militarist rebels to help fight against liberal democracy and socialism Negative effects: Mussolini committed over 70,000 Italian troops, 1000 tanks, and 600 planes; it cost them 10 billion Lire, and more than 6000 Italian soldiers lives. The Rome-Berlin Axis October 1936, Mussolini signed Rome-Berlin Axis with Hitler, which moved him closer to Nazi

Germany. It established cooperation and support between the two nations. In December 1937, Italy signed AntiComintern Pact with Germany and Japan, emphasizing that all three are anti-Communist and will support each other. These steps would soon prove a disaster for Mussolini and his regime. What was Italys role during the Sudetenland crisis in September 1938? During the Munich Crisis of 1938, Mussolini

wanted to be seen as a great broker of peace Chamberlain could not reach agreement with Hitler so Mussolini stepped in as a peacemaker However, by this time, he was subservient to Hitler; Mussolini just put forward Hitlers own plan for the Sudetenland. In March 1939, Hitler broke the Munich Agreement and invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia The Munich agreement highlighted the weakness of Britain and France, and Mussolini was determined to take advantage of the situation he wanted to annex Corsica, Nice and Tunis from France Why did Italy invade Albania in April 1939? Mussolini believed that Britain and France would never take any firm

action against German expansion (they did not with Anschluss of Austria or takeover of Sudetenland in 1938), therefore in April 1939, Mussolini attempted to annex Albania. Mussolini wanted to assert Italian strength in order to imitate Hitler's successful expansion King Zog of Albania refused to agree to Mussolinis ultimatum to Italian occupation of Albania; anti-Italian demonstration followed in Tirana King Zog broadcasted public statement saying that he would resist Italian occupation. By the afternoon of the very first day of fighting, all ports were in Italian hands, the King and his family fled to Greece On April 8, Italian forces entered Tirana and seized control of all government buildings Albania withdrew from the League of Nations on April 15 1939; the

Italians set up the fascist government under Shefqet Verlaci. King Victor Emmanuel, was crowned King of Albania. The Second World War: May 1939 Mussolini signed a Pact of Steel with Nazi Germany which was a formal military alliance that committed Italy to fight on Germanys side in the event of war however Mussolini clearly stated that he needed 3 years to prepare; he was shocked when Hitler attacked Poland on Sept. 1st 1939. Mussolini did not join Hitler due to Italys serious weaknesses; he promised to send agricultural and industrial workers which also was very unpopular in Italy. Why did Italy join the war in June 1940? Not to join the war was something of an embarrassment for the Fascist leader; it was contrary to

his fascist doctrine Mussolini did not want Italy to become a lesser power by staying neutral The war could give Mussolini the opportunity to radicalize the regime War could bring territorial gains and perhaps control over the Mediterranean Economic: Germany had been a principal buyer of Italys food and textiles; Italy in return became dependent on German coal and in March 1940 Britain blockaded all German coal ports Italy entered the war in June 1940, and engagement in the war resulted in food shortages and growing dissatisfaction with the fascist regime. It led to the reemergence of the first serious signs of opposition since the late 1920s. What was the nature and extent of opposition, and how was it dealt with? Opposition to Fascist Rule, 1925-40

Although all opposition was banned in 1926, some limited opposition remained Communist Party of Italy Antonio Gramsci became its leader and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies. He set up a newspaper called LUnita (Unity), and called for united front to defeat Fascism. Gramsci was arrested in Nov. 1926; he died in prison in 1937 During the late 1920s and 30s, opposition was very weak; it mainly involved isolated individuals, small clandestine groups, and remnants of the trade unions Fascist treatment of active opposition was brutal, but not as excessively repressive as in Hitlers Germany or Stalins Russia. Several anti-fascist groups went into self-imposed

exiles so that they could organize opposition from abroad many went to France; they smuggled antifascist literature into Italy Reemergence of Opposition at home, 194043 Germany was taking more from Italy than it was offering in military aid; Italy provided coal and iron ,as well as skilled workers. Food Italy was sending to Germans caused food shortages and rationing in Italy which was met with opposition at home By 1942, Allies started bombing Italy, which resulted in widespread destruction furthering peoples opposition to Mussolinis regime Axis troops in Africa had to surrender their territory which resulted in Italys loss of Libya

in 1943 Most Italians, including the industrialists and lower middle classes who had been the backbone of fascism , were disillusioned by the regimes inefficiency and corruption they strongly opposed Mussolinis use of Nepotism (promotion of relatives because of their family connection) Suffocate Fascism anti-fascist propaganda The End of Mussolinis Fascist State, 1943-45 Military setbacks of May and July 1943 finally triggered a coup against Mussolini on 24th of July, when the Fascist Grand Council voted 19 to 7 to

remove Mussolini from Power On July 25 the king formally ordered Mussolini to resign he was arrested and imprisoned - the ease with which his overthrow was achieved emphasized the fact that Mussolini had never been able to impose a totalitarian regime He was replaced by Marshal Pietro Badoglio, who, on Sept. 8th, 1943, announced Italys surrender to the Allies Sept. 1943 Mussolini was rescued by German paratroopers; they took him to Germany where Hitler persuaded him to set up the Italian Social Republic this was a new fascist state in the German-controlled NE part of Italy The Italian Social Republic was regulated by Rudolf Rahn, the German Ambassador, and by SS general Karl Wolff they ordered much SS and

Gestapo brutality, especially against Jewish people In April 1945, Allies captured the northern city of Bologna, and the Germans decided to pull out of Italy. Mussolini tried to flee with the Germans, but was recognized by a group of Italian partisans and arrested on 27th of April. The following day, he and his mistress were shot. The bodies were hung upside down outside a garage in Piazzale Loreto in Milan. Paper 1: Italy International Responses to Italian Aggression (1933-40)

Appeasement Diplomatic policy of making concessions to nations in order to avoid conflict Failed to prevent WW2, yet allowed both Mussolini and Hitler to get away with territorial demands Reasons for following appeasement policies in GB: Public Opinion larger electorate, against war and pro collective security Demands of the dictators seen as justified ToV too harsh, communist threat Lack of an alternative policy Economic pressures - WW1 & GD- no support for financing rearmament in expense of

social benefits Global commitments obligations to LoN, imperial commitments/difficult to manage Defense priorities no money for additional defense expenditures, priorities ability repulse air attacks and preserve trade routes / no money for defense of allies The impact of Chamberlain PM, looked for policy of conciliation not confrontation with Italy and Germany/ detested war and determined to use diplomacy France disagreed with GB, thought ToV was fair; they were economically weak with destroyed infrastructure; frequent changes in government in the 1930s and unable to take action against Germany - military depending on GBs help Creation of Popular Front left-wing alliance, won the election in 1936, wanted stronger anti-Fascist stand How was the International Response to aggression in the 1930s affected by the

weaknesses of the LoN? LoN lacked credibility and economic power of USA Council: GB, France, Italy, Japan, Germany (last three were revisionist (for ToV) Inefficient structure and organization Impotent in the face of fascist aggression What was the impact of US foreign policy on the international response to expansionist powers? US did not join LoN followed isolationist policy wanted to trade globally w/o being drawn into conflicts

Policy of non-involvement in EU and Asian affairs 1935 Neutrality Act What was the impact of Soviet Foreign policy on the international response to the expansionist powers? Western governments cut off diplomatic and economic ties with post 1917 Bolshevik government/ not included in ToV talks, relations remain hostile until the end of 1920s Under Stalin focus on USSR until revolution complete no exporting of revolution; Stalin less hostile against W after being threatened by Japan 1931/32 he signed a number of non-aggression pacts/ shift towards anti-fascist foreign policy Stalin stopped cooperating after not being invited to Munich Conference What was International response to the Italian Invasion

of Abyssinia in 1935-36? March 1935- Stresa Front ties of Italy, France and Britain Mussolini seen as someone who can contain Germany in obtaining Anschluss. French give Mussolini the impression that they would tolerate Italian expansion in East Africa/ Mussolini believed they wouldnt resist; Britain silent on matters of Abyssinia during Stresa conference British tried to appease Italy by offering Ogaden region and compensate emperor Haile Selassie, Italy rejected the proposal known as Hoare- Laval Pact French foreign secretary Pierre Laval and GB counterpart Samuel Hoare drew up the pact which sought to pacify Mussolini by giving him most of Abyssinia and Selassie would gain access to Sea the plan leaked to the press and the public was enraged; had to denounce the pact and Laval and Hoare resigned. After Mussolini invaded Abyssinia in Oct 1935 widespread international public outrage

and condemnation by the LoN, and GB public opinion was pro-league Response of the LoN Before attack, Haile Selassie made appeals directly to the LoN due to Italian mobilization of troops in Abyssinia he asked for neutral observers LoN responded with arms embargo on both sides (July 25) however that only hurt Abyssinia; however GB removed its warships from the Mediterranean which gave Mussolini access to free movement of supplies to E Africa Selassie asked in Sept again for help; Oct 3rd Italian troops invaded Oct 7th LoN found Italy to be the aggressor and began a process of imposing sanctions, which was very slow Did not embargo key war materials (like coal and steel); GB wanted to maintain strong Stresa Front, and decided not to close the Suez Canal to Italian shipping; Austria, Germany and Hungary decided to ignore sanctions altogether USA increased exports to Italy

Sanctions did little to impede Italian war effort Results of the International Response to the Abyssinian Crisis Hoare-Laval Pact destroyed the legitimacy of the LoN Attention drawn away from Abyssinia when Hitler remilitarized Rhineland in 1936; France willing to let Mussolini complete his conquest in Africa as long as he stands strong against Hitler Selassie fled Abyssinia and capital Addis Ababa fell to Italian forces International response had profound effect on European diplomacy fatally undermined the LoN as a credible body and it ended the Stresa Front USA Response: President Roosevelt sent a personal message to Mussolini on Aug. 18th 1935 advising

against aggressive measures; however US would not take any direct action due to isolationist policy The End of Appeasement of Mussolinis Italy Britain and France both condemned the Italian invasion of Albania April 7th 1939; British forces moved to protect Greek borders/ Churchill wants to move the Navy, but Chamberlain refused When Italy joined WW2 in 1940, they invaded Egypt and Greece, British counter-attacked Italian forces in North Africa and pushed them out, British Navy sunk half of Italian fleet However, when Germans arrived to N. Africa, British were pushed back out of both Egypt and Greece (in Europe)

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