• 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 turning Italy into a nation of fascists?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How successful was Mussolini in turning Italy into a nation of fascists? Fascism is an evangelical creed. Its followers tend to believe in the need to educate the unbelievers, to turn them into 'good fascists' - strong, pure, and obedient. Mussolini, throughout his 20 year reign in Italy, tried to turn the Italians into Fascisti. Whether he succeeded or not is an issue that on the surface seems to have a clear answer - no. If he had succeeded, why are Italians between the age of sixty-five and ninety not rampant fascists? But we must remember that there is a question as to what constitutes 'success'. Was success merely to have them perform the 'rituals' of fascism, the salutes, the marches, the seemingly unthinking obedience and adulation of Il Duce, or was success a lasting impression upon the Italian people, making them committed fascists for evermore, fascist state or no? So there are different definitions for success. Below, we shall explore different sections of the population, and how Mussolini tried to turn each of them into fascists, committed or lacklustre. 'Grab them while they are young' has been the motto of many an ideology, from church Sunday Schools to the Scout Movement, and it was equally important to the fascists in Italy. Fascism was, in many ways, an ideology of the young. It was dynamic, it invoked strength and honour; it seemingly threw off the bonds of the established political system. ...read more.

Middle

The treatment of women was much as one would expect from a regime such as the Mussolini Regime. It focused heavily on the role of women in the home, the need for childbearing and rearing, and the natural superiority of the male half of the species, who undertook all the 'important' work - fighting, and building a great Italy. On this issue, the Catholic Church was, for once, completely in line with the fascists. The fascist ideals of the homemaking wife were ones the Church had been force-feeding the faithful for centuries. To this end, the fascists prescribed women a certain way of life fairly strictly. On the employment front, Women were excluded from all but 10% of state provided employment, and in 1938, the measure was extended to much of the private sector. Yet in order to protect women from having to sacrifice their breeding roles, the regime did pass laws protecting women at work. Many teaching positions were not to be taken by women, such as teaching Latin, Philosophy, or History. Perversely, it seems, there were more women in University in 1938 than before the regime came to power, despite attention being paid to rearing them for housekeeping and breeding duties lower down in the school system. Politically, ordinary women were on a par with ordinary men - they had little rights and were expected to follow the fascist creed as much as men, although in their case the creed was a little different. ...read more.

Conclusion

Despite later disagreements - the 1931 encyclical and the 1938 criticism of the states anti-semitism being the major ones - the relationship between the Church and the state had been ameliorated a great deal by Mussolini, effectively ending a problem that had plagued Italy since it's conception as a modern state. But how much did Catholics follow their leaders in becoming accepting of the fascist regime, or indeed to become committed fascists? As the Historian Clark puts it, The Catholic Church was the greatest obstacle to any 'totalitarian' regime in Italy. All the others, Parliament, the press, opposition parties, unions, could be smashed or emasculated, but not the Church. So the Church still had a major influence over the Italian people, and Catholics could not become true fascists whilst remaining true, or even to an extent partial, Catholics. In summation, it seems that Mussolini failed in our first definition of success. All Italians were not raving fascists, committed to die for the regime, and the Duce. This was proven later on by the suspicious absence of Italians who threw themselves upon their swords upon the Allied Liberation. But on our second definition, he may have succeeded somewhat more than on the first. The People did show at least perfunctory fascist values, and did not rise up against Mussolini, and the main aim of Mussolini's politics was preserved - namely the preservation of Mussolini's political life. ...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. Reasons for Napoleon's Success (to 1807).

    It was still not a full, united alliance, being based only on separate bilateral treaties between Britain and Russia and Britain and Prussia. * In the early summer of 1813 a Russo-Prussian campaign in central Europe met with some success and in June, Napoleon - with a much weakened army

  2. History - Mussolini's Rise to Power

    by the number of Blackshirts, was enough for Mussolini to be appointed Prime Minister, maybe through fear or, again, naivety. Mussolini's character and personality must also be taken into account. Il Duce had many attributes that contributed to his authoritative persona and charismatic appeal.

  1. Success of Daniel O'Connell's Catholic Emancipation Campaign

    This national movement earned its reward in 1829 when Catholic Emancipation was conceded. The hard backbone work of the Irish Catholic in raising the issue paid off! The Revolt of the 40-sh freeholders Long Answer: The courageous action of the 40-sh freeholders were seen as a turning point as it gave O'Connell inspiration to stand in the by-election in Clare.

  2. How totalitarian was fascist Italy?

    number of reasons, in particular the use of men to fight in wars abroad. There are also several factors which suggest Mussolini did not successfully convert Italy into a fully totalitarian state and establish complete control. Firstly, there is the matter of the monarchy.

  1. Soviet State

    * But the Government did not commit itself firmly to a long term plan of industrial development until the late 1920's. Gosplan, the body that has ever since been responsible for drawing up long term plans, was set up in 1921 (after the Supreme Council of National Economy - the

  2. The question regarding why fascists came to power in Italy during 1922 is a ...

    to be in a strong enough position to be successful in using the threat of violence. The failures of the liberal parliamentary government are arguably factors of considerable importance as to how the fascists came to be such a position of popularity.

  1. How far did Mussolini Succeed In creating a nation of fascists

    He wanted more soldiers to fight his wars and more Italians to expand his empire and for this reason women's main role in fascist Italy was to produce children. Mussolini introduced the 'Battle of the Births' in 1927. Women were given incentives, such as; marriage loans in which repayments were

  2. How Totalitarian was Mussolini's Italy?

    A decree made Mussolini no longer accountable to parliament. A new electoral law was introduced in 1928. The Fascist Grand Council now chose 400 parliamentary candidates and presented them to the electorate for approval (The council simply approved what Mussolini had already decided). Only members of a Fascist syndicate and those who paid high taxes could vote, reducing the electorate from ten million to three million.

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