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Why did Fascism gain such widespread support 1919- 1922?

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Why did Fascism gain such widespread support 1919- 1922? Fascism had many advantages over the other active political groups in Italy after the First World War. One of the keys to Italian fascist success was the charismatic leader Mussolini whose lack of principle and lust for power proved a winning combination. By avoiding writing any concrete policies he was able to become ultimately flexible allowing him the ability to appeal to many different groups often by presenting contradictory policies to the opposing groups. This was possible by the poor national communication in Italy at the time, while Mussolini managed to fly up and down the country in a plane other than this there was very little communication. This meant that Mussolini could say one thing in the South and gain support from them and then contradict himself in the North and still gain support from them because neither were any the wiser. ...read more.


In this regard it is fair to say that many Italians were 'tactical' fascists. They harbored no real support for Fascism but simply took them as a source of action and the lesser of two evils. The danger of these supporters is of course the volatile nature of their support which meant that were socialism to no longer be a threat or were Fascism to become too violent and uncontrollable then a large percentage of supporters would be lost. Mussolini of course could not keep everyone happy all the time, while in the beginning in 1919 he presented many pseudo socialist policies which appealed to the workers and ex soldiers but over the course of the three years his policies changed dramatically which resulted in the loss of some groups over the years. This loss of some support became inevitable when he 'seamlessly' made the transition from strong Left wing to strong Right wing presenting dramatically opposed notions. ...read more.


On the flipside the violence also appealed to some Italians causing Fascism to gain support for that reason. Angry students were enticed by the promise of violence and were roped into supporting Fascism on this pretence. The other major group of support for Fascism was the 'real' Fascists. These were the supporters whose allegiance was unlikely to change regardless of circumstances. It was those that really believed in Fascism and had supported it for the majority of its existence. This group provided a solid basis of support for Fascism and prevented the candle from burning out. Overall Fascism gained widespread support from 1919-1922 partly because of the circumstances and the lack of a better alternative; the government alienated the population and the population were afraid of the socialists leaving Fascism as the only force that could stop socialism and provide 'action' and the restoration of Italian glory. It was this combined with Mussolini's charisma and keen journalistic abilities that kept Fascism alive and caused it to progress into a major contender for power which did inevitably seize control from the weak democracy in place. ...read more.

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