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Explain the aims of Mussolinis Foreign Policy in the 1920s.

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked June 2011 ? Explain the aims of Mussolini?s Foreign Policy in the 1920s. On coming to power in 1922, Mussolini did not have any clear foreign policy; he promised vague ideals of national glory and expansionism, but had no real plan to achieve these goals. He had loudly supported entry into the First World War and had condemned the peace settlement - the `mutilated victory' - but it was unclear what treaty revisions he would seek. He wanted to create a new Roman Empire with the Duce in control. There was no foreign policy `master plan', but in his first few months in office the new prime minister did begin to develop a general aim - in his words, `to make Italy great, respected and feared'. ...read more.

Middle

However, until during the 1920s these plans lacked detail. Mussolini was not sure which colonies would expand. Nor did he know how he would achieve `dominance' in the Mediterranean, or how much power he desired in the Balkans. Nevertheless, the Duce's overall objectives remained the same, even if circumstances, particularly the general situation in Europe, would force him to adopt a variety of tactics in pursuing these objectives. The Duce soon recognised that foreign affairs could provide him with the ideal stage - he would impress his fellow countrymen with spectacles where he would overshadow foreign statesmen, and defend and promote Italian interests with unending success. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could be seen as Mussolini wanting to adopt a pro-British approach to foreign policy in the later 1920s. He enjoyed being taken seriously as a European statesman. He would organise dramatic entrances to international conferences, as when he raced across Lake Maggiore in a flotilla of speedboats to Locarno. Italian press coverage was always extensive, suggesting that the Duce was being treated as an equal by the leaders of the great powers and that Mussolini's presence and contributions had been crucial in reaching such momentous European agreements. This was gross exaggeration - at Locarno, for instance, he attended only one session of the conference and did not even bother to read the final draft of the treaties - but it created a powerful impression in Italy. ...read more.

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