Benito Mussolini History Essay Questions

Benito Mussolini

Mussolini was born in Northern Italy in 1883. He was a member of the Socialist Party and editor of their newspaper Avanti. He was expelled from the Socialist Party in 1914 when he supported Italy’s involvement in World War One. After the war he formed the Fascist Party. In 1922 Mussolini demands to be made Prime Minister and announces that the Fascist Party will ‘March on Rome’. The King of Italy appoints him Prime Minister. Mussolini sets about establishing a Fascist dictatorship in Italy with himself as ‘Il Duce’. Mussolini uses propaganda and intimidation to control the state. He censors the newspapers and bans opposition parties and trade unions. In 1929 Mussolini signs the Lateran Treaty with the Pope. In 1934 he opposes the German takeover of Austria. In 1935 Mussolini invades Abyssinia. In 1936 Mussolini signs the Rome-Berlin Axis with Germany and in 1939 the ‘Pact of Steel’. He brings Italy into the war in 1940 but the army performs badly. Mussolini is executed in 1945.

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Word count: Li Chun Ho (Alvin)Date: 02/11/11 IB History HLEssay Question: What were the main factors that enabled Mussolini to the rise to power andconsolidate his position in Italy between 1918 and 1926?2movement that was gaining momentum, as elections after 1920 saw socialist control of 26 out of 69provinces of Italy. This was only possible because the Italian police and army did not suppress theblack shirt movement, most notably the March on Rome in October 1922. With their interference,

Mussolini’s rise to power would have bee

n more difficult.The outcomes of the March on Rome were successful by

creating another step to Mussolini’s rise.

This came as an invitation by the Italian King for Mussolini to form a new government that wouldreplace the unpopular Liberal state with a ye

ar’s ruling by decree, enabling him to rule with

authoritarian decisions.Upon taking power, Mussolini was effective in consolidating it by gaining religious support from theChurch in 1929 that strengthened the fascist government. Mussolini agreed not to intervene inCatholic beliefs, where in exchange the Vatican could include schools in its spheres of influence. Thismutual benefit improved church state relations thusly creating a more pro-fascist Church in Italy. A

notable success was the Pope’s withdrawal of support to the PPI, Italian People’s Party, who were

later also sacked from government by Mussolini in an attempt to prevent dissent.Education was also influenced by the Fascists, where Mussolini encouraged students to practice thevalues of discipline and loyalty to the state by reading fascist history in school, and, in 1926,established the Youth movement, which were separate curriculums for girls and boys. Recreationwas also controlled, with strong cultural values focused on fascism.The elimination of opposition continued to be a policy Mussolini strived to maintain, with thousandsof opponents arrested. Socialists were also banned from joining the coalition, thus makingpossibilities of overthrow at a minimum. Furthermore, to create a strong government, the AcerboLaw of 1923 entitles the party with the greatest votes to two-thirds of seats in parliament. Mussolinialso may have rigged elections in 1924 that saw his party winning 374 out of 535 seats in Parliament.

Mussolini’s successful conso

lidation of power may also have been the result of establishing acorporate state, where mixed corporations determined the pay and conditions of workers. Althoughunsuccessful organization led to rising unemployment, this consequence was cushioned with stateinsurance.

Mussolini’s other goals involved committing Italy to an economic autarky, although it was met with

little success other than economic modernization to some extent. The economy used foreign andcolonial objectives to satisfy its wants, generally benefiting large industries and landowners.

These goals were set with Mussolini’s intention to transform Italy into a power status country, by

expanding her empire and economic influence.To conclude, a number of factors brought Mussolini to power. The situational ones includedunanimous Italian outrage for not being awarded for their efforts, the economic fallout created bypost war effects, and also the fear of communist uprisings. In order to benefit from these

shortcomings, Mussolini’s other actions

, including to build up the black shirt movement, the

Church’s intervention and other methods to eliminate opposition heavily contributed to his rise to

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