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Explain why Mussolini and the fascist party came to power in 1922.

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Introduction

Explain why Mussolini and the fascist party came to power in 1922 There are many factors, which lead to the appointment of the fascist leader in 1922, some long-term reasons and also some short-term reasons. Firstly I think that the general appeal of fascism in context to the events at the time provided a large enough reason for many of the population to support him. For example at that time, in Italy, many Italians regarded the existing system as being weak and corrupt and they saw the liberals in a bad way. The fascist party therefore attracted many voters because of their promise of strong leadership and government. There was fear and hatred by some groups of the left and the fascist violence, which was happening at the time pleased many industrialists etc who were tired of socialist strikes. The nature of the violence also appealed to many as it was strong and ruthless and it showed people that the party was the same. Many people liked what fascism wanted to do with Italy; by promising to make Italy great they gained many supporters. Also the things that the party stood for were vague. ...read more.

Middle

Also the other parties (i.e. the alternatives to fascism) seemed also to be weak and divided into many separate groups who could not agree, for example the division of the catholic party and the three-way division of the left wing. This provided a contrast to the seemingly strong and unified fascists. The same could also be said about the trade unions, which were running at the time as these were divided into three. This limited their power, as their membership was less. Also the question over the pope's involvement and backing of the government and politics in itself hindered the government. The pope had only lifted a ban on politics in 1918 and the Vatican had disagreements with the catholic party (the PPI). This had a bad effect on the liberal state as they seemed not to be backed by the pope, which would put many people off voting them because of their strong catholic faith. The weaknesses of the liberal state was more of a long-term problem an in the end the government were too weak to do anything about the fascist success in 1922. Another factor that helped Mussolini and the fascists to gain success in this period were the multiple mistakes that the opponents to fascism made. ...read more.

Conclusion

A lot of these factors are long-term but some provided a major bit of luck for the fascists, like the socialists general strike, which gained them much support with the elite etc and was short-term. Mussolini's skill and opportunism as a man and a politician also played a major part in the fascist victory. He was a great craftsman of propaganda with the newspaper, which he owned, and the strong image, which he created for fascism. This provided a strong building block on which to gain support from the masses using this tool. He also had good timing in the concessions, which he made to the establishment like abandoning his left wing policies in 1920, and his decision to enter parliament in 1921. This will have gained support, as he seemed both revolutionary but also not extremist. He kept the fascist party followers happy by conceding to them on numerous occasions and he pressured the government with the threat of violence to try to gain power. Overall I see this man as being influential to the fascists gaining power. If it hadn't been for any one of these four main factors I think that the fascists would not have come to power. All of these factors played a part in the success of the fascist party and Mussolini. ...read more.

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