• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Fascist education and youth policies played a major role in helping Mussolini secure his hold on power. How far do you agree with this judgement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Fascist education and youth policies played a major role in helping Mussolini secure his hold on power. How far do you agree with this judgement? To succeed in securing his power within Italy, Mussolini had to transform Italian society and instil fascist ideas within it. As Mussolini's son-in-law remarked, 'the revolution must impinge upon the habits of Italians' in order to be successful. Mussolini targeted the youth, hoping that his education and youth policies would entrench fascist ideals in the young and create a new generation of young fascists. There were other other factors that were important in helping the Duce to consolidate his power. His campaigns of propaganda, relationship with the Catholic Church and control of the PNF also helped secure his hold on power. Fascist education and youth policies played an important role in helping Mussolini secure his dictatorship. There was heavy censorship of school textbooks which increased after 1936, with 317 different history books being reduced to a single governent approved text and 'suitable' fascist textbooks were imposed on schools. There was much emphasis on Italian history and literature within schools to imbue students with the fascist version of culture and the past. The Ministry of Popular Culture banned all books considered to be 'unsuitable to the fascist spirit'. In the early 1930s, fascist control of education increased. Fascists were usually appointed to key posts, such as headteachers and teachers at all levels, including university staff, had to swear oaths of loyalty to the Duce and few objected. ...read more.

Middle

Patriotic and warlike images were constantly emphasised, and there were many rallies with youths dressed in appropriate uniforms. Young people came under a lot of pressure to join these official clubs and rival organisations had many obstacles put in their way, for instance, after 1931 Church clubs were not permitted to organise sporting activities. Although Catholic youth clubs such as Catholic Action continued to exist, the fascist youth movement was perhaps the regime's most successful propaganda agent. In 1937, the ONB merged with the Young Fascists to form a unified party youth organisation, the Gioventin Italiana del Littore (GIL). From 1938 the GIL provided pre-military training as well as proaganda. By 1939, it had done much to persuade a generation of young people that fascism was a normal and natural part of the Italian way of life. The youth clubs proved most popular and successful for school children, and, curiously, the regime's approach to the youth showed a relaxed attitude to university students criticism of the regime. This emphasises that it was more crucial for Mussolini to target the youngest Italians, still in their formative period, and create a new generation of fascists within Italian society who would support and champion their Duce. This certainly served to strengthen the regime, if not necessarily convert millions to fascism. It was harder for the youth and education policies to be so successful with older students, who had more freedom for dissent. ...read more.

Conclusion

The repression and control of Italians also helped to secure Mussolini's hold on power. Repression was an essential part of Mussolini's dictatorship, though it never assumed the character that it did in Nazi Germany. There was a fear of terror within Italian society which led to people toeing the line and so as not to suffer the consequences of opposing Mussolini's regime. People did not challenge the government, as for many people keeping quiet meant safety . Mussolini set up a secret police, the OVRA, which harried opposition. The lack of opposition to the fascists meant that the Italians had no alternatives to Mussolini and PNF and could not unite against him, which put Mussolini in a secure position. This strengthened his role as leader, his control of society meant that it was beneficial for people to be compliant and ensured that he was dominant in Italy. Fascist education and youth policies played a significant role in helping to secure Mussolini's hold on power, but these policies were not the only factors that allowed the Duce to consolidate his leadership. Education and youth policies had quite a large impact on the younger generations of Italians, but it was limited and did not secure the support of all Italians for Mussolini. Mussolini's intense propaganda campaigns contributed to securing his hold on power, as did the improved relations between the Church and state. Mussolini's dominant role within the PNF also contributed to this, his control of the fascist party ensured that he had no opponents and the party became more obedient and subservient. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Why did Mussolini come to Power in 1922? How did Mussolini consolidate his position ...

    4 star(s)

    Next, parliament was packed by an electoral "reform" bill that provided that the party obtaining the largest vote in a parliamentary election would receive two thirds of all seats. In April 1924 a general election was held in which 7,628,859 votes were cast.

  2. How Successfully did Mussolini Consolidate Fascist Power between 1922 and 1925?

    The future of Fascism was hanging in the balance. The King could have dismissed Mussolini, which was what the deputies expected him to do. Those who were opposing Mussolini walked out of parliament, in a move called the Aventine succession.

  1. How far do you agree Communist ideology influenced Stalin's decision to implement Collectivisation in ...

    This in turn would enable the centralised bureaucratic control over the countryside and it has been debated, empower the cult of personality to its fullest. Chapter 6 Conclusion The single greatest influence on Stalin's decision to collectivise in 1928 was his need to consolidate and further his power.

  2. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    It was the distance between the system of dual power and the people that it was meant represent which showed the true duality of the system, not the traditional view of dual power split between the bourgeois Provisional government and the socialist Soviets.

  1. 'In reality he achieved very little.' How far do you agree with this judgment ...

    This suggests any previous success due to propaganda was superficial, as the people had no real belief in fascism and Mussolini. It also affected Mussolini, as he lost his grip on reality and got swept under by propaganda. His social policies affected all areas of people lives.

  2. "Mussolini knew that he could never influence those with education and culture, so his ...

    Words are not necessary to crate an immediate and strong impact where the use of colour and image are. The poster for the Olympic Games displaying a javelin thrower in line with an Italian soldier launching a grenade links Italian prowess in sport with war (Hite).

  1. Explain the role of Czechoslovakia in the appeasement story.

    This was the greatest moment of that September for the Czech people. Although the British government did not advise them to mobilise they said that they could no longer tell them not to mobilise. So on hearing this news Benes immediately ordered the mobilization of the Czech forces.

  2. Why Was Mussolini So Popular Between 1925 & 1936?

    The changes introduced by the regime were far from subtle. Evidence of censorship exists. An example of this is the banning of several history books along with all regional dialects. The Libro Unico, a standard government textbook was introduced. 'The Cult of Mussolini' was also supported in schools in an attempt to influence more impressionable young minds.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work