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Italy 1870-1943 Italy before and during Mussolini.

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Presentation on theme: "Italy 1870-1943 Italy before and during Mussolini."— Presentation transcript:

1 Italy Italy before and during Mussolini

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3 Italian unification 1848 liberal uprisings (Garibaldi –Mazzini) 1859 France supports Piedmont in gaining most of Italy from Austria and Kingdom of the Two Sicilies 1866 Veneto added to Italy from Austria 1870 Papal state (Rome) added to Italy after defeat of Napoleon III to Prussia.

4 The new state Parliamentary government Voting based on property and literacy –8% of adult males 1870 –South down to 2-3% The king commands land and naval forces Weak political parties “ministers velded different coalitions” lead to transformism (see tb)

5 All kinds of problems High illiteracy from 90% to 10% in the south (emmigration) Slow industrial growth, agricultural backwardness in the south, –Landowners and mafia strong Growing socialist party Catholic church enemy of state –Encouraged catholics to boycott elections to 1904 Growing nationalism --- irredentism

6 Industrialization picked up around 1900 Unification not built on economic unity Unification left great debt In the north some benefit of contact with Western Europe and enough water-power Railroad building did not have immediate effect 1887 tariff walls, some improvement By 1914 Italy was a developing industrial power but not among the great industrial powers.

7 Agriculture % of working population employed on land Latifundia in south –extreme poverty and wealth 40% consumed by farmers themselves, Was Italy fit for war?

8 Foreign policy Nationalist wanted to gain South-Tyrol, Istria, Dalmatia from Austria Declining relationship with France made this impossible Consequently Italy turned to colonialism: –Crispi struggle for Abyssinia led to disaster in Adowa 1896 –In Northern Africa Italy got Libya from falling Turkey 1912 (Balkan wars)

9 Italy during war. Italy Drives a Hard Bargain Italy was divided. One group favored neutrality. And felt that Italy should be paid for its neutrality. Like obtaining Trentino and Trieste from Austria. The Church feared that Italy would find itself at war with another Catholic State – Austria. Those around the King Victor Emanuel III. Then there was Mussolini.

10 Pro-War Italians Initially Benito Mussolini, who was a Socialist editor, opposed the Tripolitanian war in But swung over to support World War I. This was done in his paper Popolo d’Italia. More influential than Mussolini was Gabriele D’Annunzio. He appealed to anyone who was disillusioned with the Italian political system. He felt war would regenerate Italy. He would develop a mass movement that the fascists would adopt.

11 The Treaty of London (1915) The Italian Government was negotiating with both sides. The Allies agreed that if Italy went to war Italy would receive: South Tyrol to the Brenner Pass. Trieste. Part of Albania. Turkish territory. As well as an indemnity from the defeated.

12 The Last Sane Man The Italians signed the Treaty of London in April And agreed to enter the war a month later. The last voice opposed to war was Giovanni Giolitti. Before the Italian government would introduce a resolution for war on May 18, Mobs roamed the streets of Rome called for the “death of Giolitti.” Those opposed to Italy’s entry into the war were assaulted in the streets. Italians wanted war – how mistaken only time will tell.

13 Rise of fascist party Social frustration after ww1 because of peace treaty and economic crises –Italy didn’t get Dalmatia –D’Annunzio occupied Fiume –inflation and strikes –1919 first Fasci de combattimento by Mussolini (populist-socialist program) –after election failure 1919 the party turned to right with emphasis on nationalism and anti-bolshevism: Mussolini thought that easier path to power

14 March on Rome In 1921 fascist get 31 seat in parliament out of 535 as part of government alliance acted as saviors of nation from general strike in August 22 coup d’etat 27.oct 1922 when fascist marched on Rome. King Victor Emmanuel refused to sign martial law and appointed Mussolini prime minister. Why? What was going on?

15 Consolidation of power Acerbo law 1923 –In 1923 Mussolini is still only a prime minister with small backing in a democratic state. –The Acerbo laws: biggest party in elections gets two thirds of deputies. (Liberals supported) Elections in –In 1928 all candidates for elections choosen by fascists Aventine seccession in June 24 –After the murder of socialist Matteotti socialists left the parliament and Victor Emmannuel still supported Mussolini when he banned the socialist party

16 Towards dictatorship Strenghening of party organization Ban on other parties than fascists 1926 Reign of terror -harrassing opponents and newspapers Foundation of secret police OVRA 1926 parliament looses its lawmaking power King looses power to appoint prime minister Labor uninons removed 1926 and 22 corporations replace them in

17 The corporate state In name the corporates should replace the parliament as the power base of the new state put in practice the were “an elaborate piece of imposing humbug. Corporates: associations of workers and employers in each branch of the economy but in fact controlled from Rome. Corporates should decentralize government but the opposite happened. In the same vain local government was appointed from Rome and even local party officials were appointed from Rome. The Fascist grand council another limb governing body controlled by the dictator himself.

18 Mussolinis rule Italy was governed by the personal dictatorship of Mussolini –Controlled state and party. –No Himmler or Göring Mussolini was more of a propaganda man and selfaggrandiser. Concordat with the church. Propaganda. Battle for births. (in an overpopulated country) Emphasized the greatness of Italy.

19 The Economy Self-sufficiency and protectionism –increase in electricity and car production –The battle for grain (Italian grain at 50% higher prices than American grain. –More damage than advantage say economic historians. –Unemployment rose and living standards declined

20 Fascist theory How did this originally small party gain power? What is the social and political background What was the political theory of the fascists? What was the role of Mussolini For answers look at the historical debate

21 Facist education Fascist culture a compulsory subject Party censorship of textbooks –History suffered especially (317 to 1) Balilla – youth organization Dopolavoro – umbrella for workers leisure –kraft durch freude

22 Foreign policy I want to make Italy great, respected and feared Nationalistic policy Aims open and hidden: –Security from Germany and France –Influence in the Balkans –When this achieved: mediterranean and African empire

23 Action Corfu – incident Italy got Fiume Influence in Albania from 1926 Alliance with Austria and Hungary... –Mussolini supported Austria after the murder of Dolfuss 1934 –Participated in Locarno and Kellog-Briand and Stresa

24 Riding with Hitler Oct invasion of Abyssinia –League imposed limited sanctions Oil, coal, iron, steel excluded and Suez-canal open Anger towards West –shifted to Germany Very limited gain – corrupt and profitless colonial empire 1936 supporting Franco in Spain 1936 Berlin – Rome axis

25 Munich and war Mussolini planned the Munich meeting Invasion of Albania 1939 Pact of steel with Germany – military alliance Still Italians were not ready for war

26 Historical interpretations of Mussolini's foreign policy I)Mussolini had no basic principle of foreign policy He was out to gain prestige for himself and Italy, and expand (Balkans and Africa). He had an opportunistic attitude towards other countries in Europe. Basically, he seized opportunities as they came.

27 Historical interpretations of Mussolini's foreign policy II) Mussolini was Britain's "Lost Ally" Mussolini tried to be Britain and France's ally, but after the conquest of Abyssinia (1935-6), relations became difficult and cold. As Italy was economically and militarily weak, it needed a powerful ally abroad in order to have weight and achieve gains. Therefore Mussolini turned to Hitler.

28 Mussolini and war Italy in no way prepared for war Campaign against Greece (oct 1940) a disaster July 1943 allied troops land in Sicily and th efascist grand councel voted for the end of Mussolinis government Mussolini had lost support of church, army and aristocrats. Victor Emmanuel took over and appointed Badoglio prime minister

29 Italy in war Badoglio starts negotiation with allies Germans occupy Italy and battle with the allies Still German troops in Italy at the end of war

30 Historical interpretations of Mussolini's foreign policy III) Mussolini: the traditional Italian There is no Fascist foreign policy as such. Mussolini simply carried on with his predecessors' priorities of expanding in the Balkans (Mediterranean) and Africa. IV) Mussolini had domestic problems Mussolini was a prisoner of Italy's internal problems. Public opinion expected foreign expansion from Mussolini. This was also seen as a way out of economic problems (new market for Italian goods).


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