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

Mussolinis’s Foreign Policy

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Mar´┐Ża Alejandra Maura L6B1 History (S) Mussolinis's Foreign Policy How consistent was Italian foreign policy between 1922 and 1943? Mussolini's main aim through foreign policy was to exalt Italy's pride, which was seen severely deteriorated after the First World War. By the statement 'My objective is simple. I want to make Italy great, respected and feared' Mussolini's objectives are clearly can be clearly deduced. However, historians still disagree over Mussolini's conduct of foreign affairs, in the years between his assumption of the premiership and the conquest of Ethiopia in 1935-6. Some support the view, once he acquired strong dominance on the communists, that the imperialism of 1930s was the unplanned response to domestic problems of a dictator whose main concerns where the internal consolidation of his regime. More recently, however, the balance of opinion has tended towards the belief in the underlying consistency of Mussolini's foreign policy. Mussolini's foreign policy operates along fairly well-worn paths, and his main areas of interest remained the Mediterranean, Africa and the Balkans Mussolini's foreign policy operates along fairly well-worn paths, and his main areas of interest remained the Mediterranean, Africa and the Balkans. As these two aims were, to some extent achieved during the 1920s, Iitalian foreign policy became increasingly expansionist in the 1930s, aiming not only to control the Mediterranean but as well, the African Empire. In the course of 1922-3 the weakness of Italy's position became all too clear to Mussolini. ...read more.

Middle

This was mainly caused by Hitler's advent to power, what obviously altered things considerably. Mussolini saw the potential of a German alliance against Britain and France to revise the 1919 settlement; on the other hand he took care of having Germany too close. In April 1933 Goering and Papen visited Rome, however, all what Mussolini could achieve was German agreement to the Four Power Pact (between Italy, Germany, France and Britain) to keep peace in Europe, thus replacing the League. It was even signed actually by Germany and Italy (on 15 July 1933). A crucial meeting with Hitler took place in his visit to Venice in 1934. The meeting went bad unfortunately, since Mussolini refused to have an interpreter despite his German being very poor, so the meeting meant little to either. Things became worsened by the crisis following the death of Dollfuss a month later, so that Mussolini was far from being an ally of Hitler in 1934-5. Mussolini even attended the Stressa conference in April 1935, which was called by France, and in which it had to be considered what action to take in order to guarantee the independence of Austria. Italy joined to the declarations and protests, partly in genuine hostility to Germany, but mainly to avoid British and French hostility. In the 1920s the Italian empire was hardly promising. In Lybia, which was the territorially the heart of the Empire , but only some 2000 Italians had settled there and by 1930 it was costing over 500 million lire per annum, compared with 107 million in 1921. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1938 Italy's weakness was underlined by the fact that neither Shuschnigg nor Hitler bothered to contact Rome, when the Anshluss was signed. Mussolini also was powerless to back Schuschnigg in his attempt to renounce the ultimatum for the Anshluss. . Mussolini was to pay the price for his break with Britain and France in 1935. Mussolini therefore decided to retake Italy's traditional policy of 'equidistance' between the Western powers and Berlin. By the Munich agreement Musolini could effectively stop Hitler plunging Europe into war before he judged Italy to be ready for it. It was a considerable diplomatic succes for Musolini and was praised as the man who saved the world. However, Italy's policy of 'equidistance' did not last for long. Since >Mussolini decided a full military alliance with Germany, since he considered than a German alliance was intended to be more an instrument of diplomatic pressure than a prelude to war. Mussolini's Foreign policy was therefore inconsistent in the sense that Mussolini not only switched his ideas rather frequently (aiming first to align with the Four powers, and then switching to establish closer relations with Germany, and at the end again with Britain and France), but as well in terms of its degree of aggressiveness, since through the 1920s Mussolini's foreign policy can be said to had been quite peaceful (foreign affairs were mainly solved through Treaties and Agreements), switching in the 1930s to a more aggressive foreign policy with the advent of Hitler. Between the 1930s and 1940s he used war mongering (e.g. The Spanish Civil War, the Abyssinian incident, and the Corfu incident). ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the successes and failures of Mussolini's domestic policy.

    5 star(s)

    annually, and by 1939, this figure had risen to 80 million quintals. However, the problem with this was that the price of grain remained very high, and so trade figures did not increase. This passion for producing more grain also meant that other agriculture outputs, such as other crops that

  2. Peer reviewed

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

    4 star(s)

    rule by decree, had created his own secret police the OVRA, formed the Fascist Tribunal and enforced press censorship so only pro-Fascist articles were published. Mussolini's personal rule was enshrined in law, the King was the only person who could take his power away, Mussolini was Duce.

  1. How effective was Mussolini's Foreign Policy from 1922- 1945.

    Because of Locarno, Mussolini achieved recognition as a great leader, of a great power. The 1920's proved to be mostly about diplomacy for Mussolini, as he established his trust. The 1930's demonstrated more active involvement for Italy. There were many eventful happenings in Europe around this time, with which Mussolini's Foreign Policy came into play.

  2. To What Extent Did Mussolini Achieve his Foreign Policy Aims of making Italy "Great ...

    The Little Entente tightened their link to France and Mussolini felt obliged to sponsor a counter - bloc, consisting of Albania, Hungary and Bulgaria. In 1930 Mussolini's aims became slightly different to that of his in 1922. Between 1930 and 1935, Mussolini aimed to make a more definite mark on European diplomacy by a more consistent and less random policy.

  1. History - Mussolini's Rise to Power

    But it is just as apparent that the clear impotence, inadequacies and ideological differences within the PSI compounded an inability to do so. Possibly the most significant problem on a wider scale was the PSI's unwillingness to cooperate with the liberal coalition Italian governments prior to 1922, meaning there was no united front to combat Fascist violence and organisation.

  2. French Foreign Policy, 1919 - 1940

    The French invaded the Ruhr in 1922 because Germany was failing to make monthly war reparation repayments. However, they quickly realised that they could not afford the occupation and withdrew, agreeing to the Dawes Plan. The main consequence of these was that it showed that France could not force German adherence to the Treaty.

  1. Did Mussolini's foreign policy follow and consistent principles?

    Overall Mussolini' attempt at taking the Mediterranean followed a consistent principle, democracy, the main reason for this was that he respected Hitler as a leader, and did not want to threaten the 'Rome, Berlin axis' that was created.

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

    The question that the league had to take was what to do with Italy if they took this action. The problem that the league had was that the action they took depended on the actions of the French and the British who were the two great powers in the league

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