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

How Totalitarian was Mussolini's Italy?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History Essay 22/02/04 How Totalitarian was Mussolini's Italy? Definition of Totalitarianism: The principle of complete and unrestricted power in government. A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.) In 1922 the king gave Mussolini the power to rule by decree for one year due to the Bolshevik threat. Mussolini quickly moved to consolidate his position. Thousands of opponents were arrested or beaten up. Throughout 1922 to 1923 there were changes of personnel in key jobs. Mussolini increased his power over his own party by establishing the Grand Council of Fascism, the supreme body, to which he made all appointments. In 1923 he reduced the influence of the RAS by converting the squads into a national militia. Also a new electoral law was enacted, now the party which received most votes, would obtain two-thirds of the seats in the Chamber. ...read more.

Middle

Il Duce, as Mussolini now called himself, was in full control. Easily able to deter the King (who still had the theoretical right to dismiss him) from any political involvement, he also ensured that members of the cabinet were his loyal servants. His ministers' role was simply to obey his orders. Mussolini himself held the most important ministries for most of the time he was dictator. Army officers' and civil servants soon realised that a pro-Fascist attitude enormously enhanced their promotion prospects. After 1922 Mussolini tried for even closer relations with the Vatican. Restoring Catholic education in schools and increasing state payments to priest helped win the Pope's confidence. In 1929 the Lateran Treaty restored the Pope's temporal power over the Vatican City in return for papal recognition of the Kingdom of Italy. Added to the treaty was a Concordat which defined the role of the Church in the Fascist state. ...read more.

Conclusion

Purges of party dissidents followed. By 1928 all party posts were made from party headquarters in Rome. The party thus became totally subservient to its leader. In 1926 a Fascist youth organisation (the Balilla) was set up. Membership was compulsory for all state school children. Members took an oath to follow the orders of the Duce and to serve the cause of the Fascist revolution 'with all my might, and, if necessary, with my blood'. Teachers were ordered to stress the Duce's genius, and pupils were taught to take pride in Draly. After 1926 workers no longer had the right to strike or to join free trade unions. Even great industrialists, who generally benefited from Fascist policies, soon lost faith in the corrupt and over-bureaucratic corporate system. In conclusion Mussolini's Italy was nearly, but not truly totalitarian, because the king still theoretically could dismiss him. Even though Mussolini was in full control of the country and was able to deter the King from any political involvement. ...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)

    About 65 percent were in favor of Fascist candidates, although it was charged by the opposition that this majority had been achieved by violence and intimidation. Popular control of local government was also gradually abolished. Representatives of the central government, called podest´┐Ż, were appointed to replace elected officials in all towns and cities.

  2. How totalitarian was fascist Italy?

    He proceeded in stages to establish a dictatorship by forbidding the parliament to initiate legislation, making him responsible to the king alone. By 1926 he had passed decrees issuing him the force of law, establishing total censorship of the press and suppressing all opposition parties.

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

    In the next election the Fascists secured 66% of the vote. This was a massive change to the previous numbers of Fascists in parliament and gave Mussolini the majority he needed to set the ball rolling for the dictatorship. It consolidated Fascist power in parliament as he could command a

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

    Stalin still managed to become head of the communist party after a big struggle for power with another person high up in the communist party called Trotsky. Stalin managed however to persuade the rest of the communist party that he was the rightful leader after Lenin.

  1. Explain how Mussolini was able both to obtain office and to consolidate his power ...

    the Italian government had given up territories that they had gained, such as Fiume. Mussolini promised a strong and decisive government that would contrast against the weak and feeble governments of the day, and this decisiveness was a popular notion.

  2. How realistic are POW films?

    The camps appearance was one of the aspects that were portrayed realistically. It shows Colditz surrounded by barbed wire, with search lights scanning the perimeter and guards with guard dogs roaming the camp. Source A2 also shows the camps appearance similarly to what is sown in the films, with the

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