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

How successful was Mussolini in improving the prestige of Italy in the years 1922-43?

Extracts from this document...


How successful was Mussolini in improving the prestige of Italy in the years 1922-43? Despite it being on the winning side of the First World War, Italian prestige internationally in 1922 was low- largely due to their failure to complete the promised Italia Irredenta. Benito Mussolini strived to undo this by presenting a return to the Italian ‘Roman Empire’. Mussolini was able to improve prestige via the acquisition of Fiume and Albania, participation in numerous treaties, including the Locarno Pact in 1925, posing Italy as key in European politics, and the defence of Austria against Germany in 1934 which presented a façade of Italian military might. However, Mussolini essentially failed to improve the prestige of Italy by 1943, as the positive relations that were established in the 1920s unravelled in the 1930s due to military disappointments e.g. the humiliation in Greece, the Abyssinian War and alliance with rising power Germany isolated Italy from its previous powerful allies Britain and France. Mussolini’s foreign policies lead to some successes in improving the prestige of Italy, especially whilst his policies were more cautious in the 1920s, due to his incomplete consolidation of power. ...read more.


The defence of Austria against German promise of Anschluss in 1934 and establishment of the Stresa Front in 1935 contributed to Italy?s improvement of prestige. The defence at the Brenner Pass presented Italy as a prestigious-peacemaker by calming the threat of German invasion; demonstrating Italian military might against Germany?s growing military and protecting the integrity of the Italian state by enforcing its borders. The agreement at the Stresa Conference between Italy, France and Britain against German rearmament again portrayed Italy as an influential power. However, in actuality; the Stresa Front was merely a propaganda victory- like most of Mussolini?s ventures- and disintegrated shortly after its conception due to Britain?s naval agreements with Germany (1935). Furthermore, the military success in Abyssinia (1935-1936) demonstrated one of Mussolini?s largest foreign policy failures to improve prestige. Despite Italy avenging the defeat at Adowa (1896), the use of poison gas/ slaughtering of the native Abyssinians attracted international negative press, especially in Britain and France where many of their colonies were becoming more independent; Italy was condemned by the League of Nations. ...read more.


The prestige of Italy was further damaged by Mussolini?s implementation of anti-Semitic legislation 1938-39 (in order to appease his German superior) which not only increased distaste for Mussolini domestically, but also distanced the Fascist power from the majority of Europe which opposed anti-Semitism. Overall, Mussolini was successful initially in improving Italian prestige, but this was a trend that did not continue. The prestige of Italy appeared to improve during the 1920s and early 1930s due to Britain and France?s eagerness to retain Italy as an ally to combat the growing threat of Nazi-Germany, but the consistent military failures of the Italian army, and Italy?s dependence on new-ally Germany (Pact of Steel 1939) undermined this and failed to bring Fascist Italy out of the shadows of its more militarily-strong ally. By placing reliance on Germany, Italy isolated itself from the international community, and could never hope to achieve high levels of prestige whilst inferior to the greatest European threat of the time. Mussolini had the mouth of a prestigious European power, but lacked the military and resources to back it up. ...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. To What Extent Did Mussolini Achieve his Foreign Policy Aims of making Italy "Great ...

    had to not only give up his policy of equidistance, but had to for an Accord with France in 1935 and had to drop his designs in the Balkans. The alliance with France led to the Stresa Front in April of that year, where Mussolini joined Britain and France in condemning German rearmament.

  1. Why was the league so ineffective in dealing with the Abyssinian Crisis?

    These "talks" were then leaked to the press. So everyone knew that the British and French and the league were ready to just give in and give the aggressors what they wanted. With this the Italians then fully invaded Abyssinia and the league do nothing to stop it as the two main powers didn't want too provoke the Italians.

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

    The Elite provided essential support for Mussolini. He had them on his side by providing tax loopholes and land reform but they also supported him for other reasons. The ever increasing (though really non-existent)

  1. To what extent did Mussolini consolidation of power in Italy between 1922 and 1928 ...

    Once again the opposition played their cards badly. Opposition deputies (mainly Communist, Socialists, and some Papolari) set up an alternative assembly, Aventine Succession. It was meant to bring down the government and force a general election. A number of non-fascist politicians walked out of Parliament in protest at the murder.

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

    So Stalin did this. It was estimated that he killed 14 million or more of the kulaks which wiped out their class in society. Stalin was willing to invest most of the countries money into getting it industrialized. He wanted to do this in five years.

  1. Hitlers Germany

    with the Communist threat outside their borders, but also with the anarchy and disintegration within Europe itself. These efforts were not confined to economic measures. Although the French had feared Germany's industrial competition almost as much as its rearmament, Schuman and others, who wanted German forces as part of a

  2. Critically evaluate the successes and failures of Mussolini's domestic policies in Italy between 1922 ...

    self-sufficiency, people now needed to pay more for bread as import taxes for grain rose. Although this 'Battle for Grain' campaign was somewhat successful, it also did quite some harm to the economy as a whole. Mussolini also expanded a project which was already started by local governments.

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