TheItalian Liberals only had themselves to blame for their own collapse in 1922. Agree or disagree?

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‘The Liberals only had themselves to blame for their own collapse’. Agree or disagree? – 30 marks

The collapse of the Liberal Government in Italy in 1922 was largely down to a series of national and international problems. These included the effect of World War One on the country, the occupation of Fiume by D’Annunzio, the increasing threat of a Socialist revolution and the rise of Fascism through Mussolini. However, the main reason that the Government collapsed was because of their indecisive behaviour, poor leadership and lack of political power. For that reason, the Liberals only had themselves to blame for the collapse of the Government.

The effect of World War One on Italy and the Liberals inability to gain the land promised to them at the Treaty of London was a key reason why the Government eventually collapsed in late 1922. When members of the Liberal Party returned from the Treaty of St Germain without the promised areas of Dalmatia, Fiume and other German colonies, many Italians felt betrayed. Although they had been on the winning side during the war, Italy had received little benefit, and had suffered huge losses in the military and the economy. As a result, Italian nationalists and interventionists claimed the peace settlement was a disaster, and criticised liberal democracy of failing to achieve a dynamic, larger Italy. This was the start of unrest and dissatisfaction within Italy, and contributed to anti-Liberal feelings so that people were against the Government. These same people were then against the Liberals in 1922, and were involved in their collapse. Therefore, we can say that the Liberals were to blame for the collapse of the Government; if they had been more decisive, and forced the Entente into giving them the land they were promised, Italians would have been happy with the peace settlement. This would have caused there to be less unrest, so the Government would have remained in power and not have collapsed.

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Another reason which led to the collapse of the Liberal Government was their slow response to the invasion of Fiume by Gabriele D’Annunzio. He became a national hero when he took over the city in September 1919 along with 2000 soldiers, and this was because he acted quickly, and achieved what others had tried and failed to do through diplomatic approaches. D’Annunzio occupied Fiume for a year during which he declared it to be an independent republic, and the Government’s slow response to his action portrayed them as weak. They let him occupy Fiume and defy the authorities for an ...

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