August 12, 2014

Fascism in Italy A.D.1922 - A.D.1945

Meaning of Fascism
The term '“Fascism" is derived from the Latin word 'Fasces' means a bundle or group. Mussolini of Italy, who is associated with Fascism, organized in the beginning groups of young persons or gangs called the ‘fasces', to create terror among the people who were considered enemies of the nation.
Fascism rests on four pillars of charismatic leadership, single party rule under a dictator, terror and economic control.
Mussolini believed in the efficacy of these slogans and their accompanying action : “Believe, Obey, Fight” and "The More Force, The More Honour*.

Reasons for the emergence of Fascism
The prevailing economic, social and political conditions were very favourable to the rise of fascism in Italy.
Economic crisis
Italy faced with a great economic crisis on account of the huge expenditure incurred on the war. The national debt increased manifold. There was social unrest and economic distress in the country, the prices of essential goods shot up. Cost of living rose very high. Socialism gathered new strength.
There was great dismay and frustration after the Treaty of Paris. Although a victor and constitute of the Allies, Italy did not gain substantially from the spoils of war.
Disruptive activities of the socialists
On account of the revolutionary ideas of the socialist, unrest had spread in the country.
Need for a charismatic leader
The situation demanded a bold leadership and the same was supplied by the fascist leader Mussolini.

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini
Mussolini, Benito (1883 -1945)
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was bom on July 29,1883 at Romagna in East-Central Italy. His father was a blacksmith and mother was a elementary school teacher.
Mussolini graduated in 1902 and became a school teacher. He gave up that post and came to Switzerland. He came into contact with Lenin and learned his ideology. He became an editor of Italian socialist paper in Austria. He was expelled from Austria and returned to Italy. He edited a socialist paper called Avanti, the official voice of Italian Socialism. During the first World War, he gave up his policy and joined the military. After the war he gathered round him a band of young enthusiasts who came to be known as Fascists. With the help of the fascists, he organised the National Fascist Party in November 1921.

Seizure of Power by the Fascists
On October 30,1922, the Fascists organized a march to Rome and showed their strength. The government surrendered. The emperor Victor Emanuel III, invited Mussolini to form the Government. Thus the Fascist revolution became a spectacular success as the Fascists seized power without blood shed. But the after math of revolution was marked by suppression, murder and exile. Fascist dictatorship under Mussolini came into existence. He remained power from 1922 to 1945.

Fascist Patty
The followers of Mussolini were called Black Shirts. He was called by his followers as ''Quce" His secret police was known as OVRA (Voluntary Ogranlsation for the Repression of anti-Facists).
Alms of Fascism
'Exaltation of the State Protection of Private property and Spirited Foreign Policy’

Motto of Fascism
'Everything within the state Nothing against the state Nothing outside the state’

Achievements of Italy under Mussolini:
Mussolini was a great leader. He wanted to make Italy a powerful nation. So, he adopted various methods. Mussolini established peace and order and he provided a stable government.
Mussolini brought order and discipline in the industrial field. The “Charter of Labour" issued by him provided great relief to workers. Industries were freed from the strike epidemic. Mussolini took several measures to increase production. Marshes were drained. Canals were dug. Reclamation projects were launched. Hydroelectric schemes were undertaken. Railways and other means of transportation were improved. A fair degree of self sufficiency was achieved.
As a realistic administrator, Mussolini patched up with the Pope. A conflict that had been going on for nearly 60 years between Papacy and the Italian government came to an end by the Latern Treaty of 1929, signed between the Pope and Mussolini. By this treaty Mussolini recognized the papacy of the pope in the Vatican city and in turn the Pope recognised the sovereignty of the king in Rome. The reconciliation with the Pope was a great victory and it increased the powerand prestige of Mussolini.

Aggressive foreign policy that ends in disaster:
Mussolini began to follow the vigorous and forward foreign policy. He was determined to raise the prestige of Italy in the eyes of the other powers of the World.
Mussolini's slogan before the nation was 'Italy must expand or perish". In 1936, he annexed Ethiopia.  
He left the League of Nations in 1937. He captured Albania in 1939.
Mussolini made common cause with Hitler, another war monger. He joined the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo axis. The Second World War (1939-45) brought disaster to Italy.
In 1941, Italy lost its territories in Africa. Mussolini failed to cope up with the financial burden of the war.


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