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

To what extent can Mussolini(TM)s foreign policy be described as a failure?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Qn: To what extent can Mussolini's foreign policy be described as a failure? Mussolini's foreign policy can be described as either successful or as a failure. Or perhaps it was a mixture of both. This is what this essay here is going to show, the extent of Mussolini's failures and successes in his foreign policy. In this essay we will be looking at the various arguments for both the good and bad areas of Mussolini's foreign policy. However, to successfully answer this question, the first thing we need to do is to understand exactly what Mussolini's foreign policy was all about. Throughout Mussolini's tenure as fascist leader of Italy, he wanted 'to make Italy great, respected and feared'. One very important thing to note was that Mussolini was aware of the fragility of his power in Italy (as evidenced by the many steps he took just to avoid bringing the Fascist government into conflict with the Catholic Church) and so any plans carried out by him would most definitely have the support of the masses as one of its main goals. To achieve this great Italy, Mussolini wanted Italy to be the dominant power in the Mediterranean, create an overseas empire in Africa and have the Balkans as her own sphere of influence. ...read more.

Middle

Unfortunately, this is where the good areas of Mussolini's foreign policy end. In fact, one of the clearer failures of his foreign policy is his relationship with Nazi Germany. Although Italy and Germany did not have a very good relationship in the early 1930s due to the Stresa Front, which basically stated that there would be an alliance by Italy, Britain and France against Germany should she try to have an anschluss with Austria. However, starting from the mid-1930s, Mussolini began to look upon Germany with kinder eyes. After all, Germany was another fascist state which had had its own problems with France and Britain dating back to the post-World War 1 (WW1) treaties. The first clear sign of failure was Italy's involvement in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. At first, he played a relatively minor role in the revolution, but started to pour resources into the war when heavily criticised by the French. This was an ill-fated move as Mussolini had never thought about the consequences of the war neither did he think of how it would and could be won without great losses to Italy. As it was, Italy lost 4000 men through the war and a staggering 8 billion lira. ...read more.

Conclusion

Italy did not have any of the requirements needed to achieve Mediterranean dominance and overseas imperialism simultaneously: far-sighted leadership, and efficient and modernised armed forces, a committed populace and lastly, an advanced industrialised economy geared for war. This led to many eventual defeats later on during his rule. In Western eyes, Mussolini did have to be treated more cautiously because of its cordial relations with Nazi Germany. However, it was precisely because of this reason that the Western powers could not completely trust Mussolini. He could not be an impartial mediator and he was obviously not a leader who promoted peace, as shown by his various military campaigns. As for Germany, Hitler did prefer having Mussolini as an ally but frankly speaking, did not really take Italy as a serious military power. Italy's stance would not have mattered much in Hitler's 'grand scheme', as can be seen by him carrying out the anschluss and the takeover of Czechoslovakia without even consulting Italy. Whatever early successes Italy had in its foreign policy were later foreshadowed by these much more dire failures which in themselves. He might have been able to keep public support through his early successes such as Albania and Ethiopia, but WW2 was the deciding factor on his fate. All his public support vanished and he was eventually executed. In most ways, that could be the ultimate failure of all. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Free essay

    May the League of Nations be considered a complete failure? Answer this question and ...

    Attempts were made to spread the revolution to Germany, Hungary, Austria, Finland, the Baltic States and Poland (Kitchen, p.49)", whereas meanwhile phenomena such as unemployment and poverty spread widely. These also provoked the rise of "extreme right-wing (Lowe, p.48)" governments in Germany and Japan.

  2. How Successful was Mussolini in solving the problems he faced?

    The cost of World War I equalled the entire revenues of the Italian state since its inception in 1870.

  1. Italian Unification Revision Notes. Italian Politics in 1815

    Italy united � Garibaldi now aimed to advance on Rome. However, Neapolitan military resistance north of Naples hindered his plans. This delay gave Cavour the upper hand. He knew that Garibaldi's march might provoke Napoleon who considered himself the protector of the Pope.

  2. Unification of Italy

    He, like Mazzini, did not achieve a lot in the short run but the freedom of the press he introduced in Piedmont helped the spread of revolutionary's ideas. He said: "At present there is nothing to be done, but when the opportunity comes, my life, the life of my sons,

  1. To what extent was Mussolinis transition from Socialist to Fascist a result of his ...

    Though tending towards the 'Great Man' version of history, useful for this inquiry, Clark gives Mussolini contextual placement, his specialization in Italian history allowing him to draw connections that Gregor fails to make. Clark does not passively present events, but interprets and analyzes them within clear parameters laid out early in the work.

  2. Italian Unification: True Father of Italy

    To add on to its prestige, Italy's first steamship, the 'Sicilia' was built in Genoa in 1855, and Italy's first home-produced railway locomotives were built. Also, further schemes were in progress for the construction of the Mont Cenis tunnel through the Alps, and for the modernization of the port of Genoa.

  1. What were the Aims and Achievements of Stalins Foreign Policy between 1928 and 1941?

    Powers, each rejected, and after the proposed Triple Alliance, based around the victorious Triple Entente of WWI, was rejected by Britain and France, Stalin judged Litvinov?s policy of securing western allies to have failed and the foreign minister became increasingly isolated from the Politburo.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    By 1973 Syria had 3,000 Soviet advisors and Soviet ships were calling at Syrian ports. A submarine base was being built at Ras Sharma Background to war - Egyptian President Sadat was facing domestic problems at home and he needed to consolidate his position as he lacked the support Nasser enjoyed.

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