How far was Mussolinis ability to secure and increase his power in the period 1919-28 due mainly to the weaknesses of his political opponents?

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How far was Mussolini’s ability to secure and increase his power in the period 1919-28 due mainly to the weaknesses of his political opponents?

Before Benito Mussolini became the Italian Prime Minister in 1922, he had been a largely unknown individual in Italian politics who was the leader of a small party. However, he managed to secure power after the March on Rome, in 1922, and then increased his influence up until 1928. He was allowed to do this because of the use of violence by his Fascist party, Mussolini’s leadership skills and the increasing support for Fascist ideas. These issues stemmed from the failures of the Liberal party; therefore, he secured and increased his power mainly because of the weaknesses of his political opponents, as many of them incorrectly thought that he could be the answer to Italy’s problems.

Mussolini’s political opponents before he got into power included the Liberals and the Socialist party. However, their weaknesses allowed the Fascists to succeed in gaining control, and this was because they believed that Mussolini would form a coalition and improve the state of Italy. For example, the Liberal party who were in Government at the time let many issues go unresolved; this was seen during the occupation of the factories by 400,000 Socialist workers in 1920. The Liberals and the Prime Minister, Giovanni Giolitti, left the occupation, and it did eventually collapse by itself. Despite this, it showed how the Liberals were weak, as they took no action to discipline the workers, and this benefitted the Fascists. It helped Mussolini to secure power, because he acted as an individual who took action against those who caused trouble. The Socialists also suffered from internal divisions which significantly weakened their party; The PSI, which has a peak membership of 220,000, was left without a proper leader after some members decided to break away and create different groups, such as the PSRI and the PCI. This shows how opposition to the Fascist party was weak, and did not do enough to challenge Mussolini; this meant he was often unopposed, which led to him being able to increase his power.

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The weakness of Mussolini’s political opponents also allowed him to significantly increase his powers after becoming Prime Minister, and the passing of the Acerbo law in 1923 was a key example of this. This bill would permit the party that obtained the most votes in a general election to take two-thirds of the seats in the Chamber, provided they received at least 25% of votes. This was clearly designed to secure a Fascist parliamentary majority, but was passed because of the intimidating presence of Blackshirts during the debate. This shows how the political opposition to the Fascists was weak, as ...

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