- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Evaluate the Impact on Italy of Mussolini’s Domestic and Foreign Policies 1922-1939

Page 1 of 3

From Mussolini’s rise to Prime Minister to the outbreak of the Second World War, there was a rapid shift in the nature of both foreign and domestic policy in Italy, the impacts of which were felt at all levels within the country. In terms of Italy’s foreign policy, Mussolini steered her on a course of rapid, aggressive military expansionism, a course towards imperialism and, finally, a fascist alliance with Hitler. On the other hand he introduced repressive domestic policies: a repressive state system, the Cult of Il Duce and most dramatically the corporate state. Both transformed Italy from a backwards, agrarian economy into a totalitarian, fascist one. There is certainly a strong link between the foreign success of the military and its reflection in the Fascist regime’s popularity at home, and both were two aspects of the will of one man. And so, in a way, the domestic policies instigated by Mussolini’s regime during this period merged with the foreign, that it is sometimes impossible to directly separate the two.

Domestically, Mussolini installed a political system that transformed Italy into a single-party totalitarian state. In 1922 he was still answerable to the king. Therefore to cement his position Mussolini cleverly hijacked his position as Prime Minister by first asking for ‘emergency powers’ in November 1922, and by passing the Acerbo Law in July 1923. This ensured an automatic two-thirds majority to his own party. The sense is that Mussolini only gradually increased the level of state control: the official law allowing Mussolini to govern by decree arrived in 1926, after four years of gradually cementing his position, and in 1928 the king lost all his control. In 1938 Chamber was abolished and replaced by a nominated body by the Fascist party and corporations. By introducing these changes gradually, Mussolini in a way sneaked his authoritarian state in past the people of Italy as well as those in government by attrition. However, arguably Mussolini failed to create a perfect totalitarian state. Throughout his regime Mussolini still had to be wary of the Catholic Church and the Monarchy, two bodies that managed to cling onto their autonomy. Mussolini’s introduction of Hitler’s antisemitic ideology was not well received. And in particular, after the murder of Matteotti in 1925, a member of the socialist opposition, historian

Download as (for upgraded members)  txt (3.9 Kb)   pdf (44.3 Kb)   docx (9.5 Kb)  
Continue for 2 more pages »