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The Rise of Fascism in

Italy

Fascism v. Totalitarianism
fascism any centralized, authoritarian govt (that
is not communist) whose policies glorify the state
over the individual & are destructive to basic
human rights
a modern form of authoritarianism
Glorification of authority

Totalitarianism: a form of authoritarianism


which tries to assert a total grip on society
Eliminates any private space
May or may not have fascist traits

Enter: Mussolini
(1918-1922)
Italian
disappointments in the
peace settlements,
especially failure to
obtain Fiume,
Dalmatian coast
Economic crisis (191920)
Growing disorder
Wave of strikes
Growing Socialist
strength

Difficulty of sustaining
cabinets

Former socialist
Breaks with his party
over its failure to
support WWI

Leader of Black Shirts


Fascist party militants

As a young man, Benito


Mussolini had rejected
socialism for extreme
nationalism. He was a fiery
and charismatic speaker.
His followers, the Black Shirts,
used intimidation & terror to
oust elected officials.

1921: fascists elected to parliament


1922: March on Rome:
King Victor Emmanuel II
indecisive,fearing his army
unreliable, invites Mussolini to
form of government
March on Rome a rally of
tens of thousands of Fascists
who marched on Rome in
After the March on Rome,
1922 to demand government
Mussolini was asked
changes

to become Italys prime


minister.

The March on Rome

For many in Italy, fascism promised a strong stable


government and an end to the political feuding.
Mussolini projected
a sense of power
and confidence
that was welcome
amid the disorder
and despair of
postwar Italy.

Once Mussolini
embarked on foreign
conquest, Western
democracies protested.

builds support by changing positions,


accommodating key groups
Gains support of business by restricting unions
Gains support of Church by
abandoning anti-clerical positions
embracing Catholicism,
concluding Lateran pacts (1929)

Fascist

State is absolute,
ideology
Glorification of authority,
promises to workers,
peasants, businessman

Fascists were sworn enemies of socialists and


communists, yet they shared some goals.
Fascists

Communists

Pursued nationalist goals

Worked for international


change

Supported a society with


defined classes

Spoke of creating a classless


society

Blind devotion to the state

Blind devotion to the state

Used terror for power

Used terror for power

Flourished in economic hard


times

Flourished in economic hard


times

Rule by an elite

Rule by an elite

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