Name: * Teacher: * ENG2D1 27/05/2012 Benito Mussolini, Founding Father of Fascism Mussolini once stated that “It is humiliating to remain with our hands folded while others write history. It matters little who wins. To make a people great it is necessary to send them to battle even if you have to kick them in the pants. That is what I shall do. ” As you would expect words like these from the mouth of Mussolini himself had been the inspirational backing to this dictator’s rain as sole leader of Italy in the Fascist party for nearly 24 years.
Before the war, Mussolini formed the Fascist Party of Italy, by gathering the roaring support of many unemployed WWI veterans, like him. He proved to be the founder of Fascism and he had united Italy as one. During the war, Mussolini became power hungry, after joining forces with Hitler and the country of Japan. Hitler had influenced Mussolini to make many poor choices which would ultimately lead to the deaths of the both of them and the slaughtering of Fascism itself.
After Mussolini’s fall from power, which occurred in the midst of WWII, Italy was thrown into chaos as the remaining Fascists fought against the partisans and the Italian army was left with no orders as to what they must do. As one may expect, this was just a temporary setback, and Italy once again formed its democracy. This essay will look at Benito Mussolini’s effect on Fascism and Italy before and during the war and after his fall from power. After WWI, Mussolini developed distaste for Socialism and had declared it to be a failure, he called for a new system to be formed, one that would revive the nation of Italy to its former Roman glory.
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Mussolini utilized a number of books and ideals to form the Fascist system. When discussing the Ideology behind Fascism, Mussolini affirmed that “Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity, quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. ” In 1922, Mussolini had gained the support of a number of Italian war veterans, at this same time Italy was in complete political anarchy, with no real party in power.
He had used this as leverage to gain power and eventually make himself the leader of Italy. The King handed over power to Mussolini by inviting him to form his own government. Soon, Mussolini’s Fascist movement had formed into the National Fascist Party. The Fascist party had gradually disassembled the democratic government and gained full support of the military, business class, and the liberals. By 1925, Mussolini’s Fascist party had taken control of Italy and he had given himself the title of ‘II Duce’. With such a title, he holds no responsibility to parliament and can only be removed by the king.
He now set out to re-establish Italy as a major European power. In the years to come, Mussolini faced many assassination attempts, one being from an Archaist, this lead to Mussolini outlawing all other parties, in 1926. He coordinated many illegal activities in order to keep himself in power, one such being cooperating with the Mafia to reduce violence in order to make it seem as if the Mafia was defeated. With Mussolini in power, surrounded by greed, and no opposition left standing, the living standard for the average Italian fell greatly.
Mussolini knew he needed to do something to prevent uproar from the Italian people. In 1930, an economic depression hit Italy and Mussolini had to find some way to help recover the economy. By 1935, Mussolini had control over three quarters of all business in Italy. He made an attempt at creating government initiatives to combat the economic setbacks and unemployment levels. Most of these failed because they used up valuable resources. Mussolini made it seem as if all was well and these initiatives were working by the means of propaganda.
To gain further control of the economy, he issued price and wage controls in 1938. He later attempted to make Italy self-sufficient by instituting high tariffs on trade against all countries except Germany. As one would expect, the whole of Mussolini’s rein, up to this point, had been an utter failure and all he had to defend himself with was propaganda. His first and most important priority was to brainwash the minds of the Italian peoples through careful monitoring and censorship of press, radio, education, and films.
In conclusion, before the war, Mussolini had a negative effect on the quality of lives of the Italian people up to this point, and he also has so far proven that although it may have some sense in theory, Fascism when under the wrong leadership can go very bad. In 1939, the threat of war was approaching as tensions were growing in Europe; it was now up to Mussolini to decide which side to choose. It was clear to Mussolini that Nazi Germany had a strong chance of winning if war was to arise in Europe and that he would have to join with them now in order to secure Italy’s position as a global superpower in the near future.
And so, in 1939, Italy and Germany agree to a military and political alliance, giving birth to the Axis. Soon after, in 1940, Japan joined the Axis. With the war in its beginning stages and Germany already showing strong favor, Italy joined the war. On 10 June 1940, Italy declared war on Britain and France. Many Italian people were very wiry about the joining of a major war at such a bad time for the economy, but their fears were tarnished by the quick takeover of France in just eleven days. Regardless, Italian soldiers were ill-equipped and poorly trained.
These facts became exposed when Italy encountered failures in safeguarding their territory in Northern Africa and the Balkans. Mussolini’s defeated armies were sent to the Soviet Union to help Nazi Germany in their poorly planned invasion on the USSR. This proved to be a fatal choice, as the thin numbers of the weak Italian army grew even thinner. It was clear that it Italy was to face invasion on its own soil then it would never have the power left to defend. That fact was clear to the allies, and so, in July 1943, the fighting came right to Italy’s doorstep with the invasion on Sicily by allied forces.
Things were looking down for Italy, with a portion of southern Italy seized by the allies and a bombing occurring in Rome for the first time in history. Mussolini was losing confidence from his people. Mussolini had proven himself a failure in his handling of the war and he was soon removed from his position by the King. He was arrested almost immediately. With Mussolini powerless, and the nation split in half between the Nazi north and the Allies south, the nation was in anarchy. In time, the Fascist system was overrun and some of Italy changed sides. The Allied controlled south of Italy declared war on Germany on October 13, 1943.
Mussolini was rescued from his imprisonment at the Hotel Campo Imperatore during the Gran Sasso Raid, two months after his arrest. Hitler assisted Mussolini in setting up a new regime (Italian Socialist Republic) and during his final two years, Mussolini lived in Northern Italy and spent much of his time writing his own autobiography. Soon, the war was over and the Fascist rein in Italy was over as well as the Nazi rein in Germany. Hitler found solution to this through suicide; Mussolini chose a different solution and decided to make an attempt at fleeing to Switzerland with the remaining members of the Italian Socialist Republic.
Mussolini was caught and executed along with the other members of the Italian Socialist Republic which were with him at the time. In conclusion, during the war, Mussolini had had worsened the lives of the Italian people and had proven once and for all that Fascism simply does not work and will never function well enough to be a proper system of government. Mussolini was beaten, having failed the nation he swore to protect, his corpse was left hung upside-down on a meat hook for all of Italy to ease their worries.
Following Mussolini’s fall from power, Italy was pushed into further distress. Italy was left without a proper leader and the aftereffects of Mussolini’s poor governing still remained a very real issue to Italians. Strung in poverty, fighting within the government and lack of leadership had tossed Italy into a war within its own borders. And so, in September of 1943, the Italian Civil War began. It was a fight between the remaining supporters of Mussolini (Fascists) and the Parisians. The Fascists still had the support of Nazi Germany and the Parisians had support of the Allies.
This was a war within a war, a fight between Italians over governmental system and ultimately for basic freedoms. This war had dragged on until the demolition of Nazi Germany and the surrendering of the final Axis members. The Fascists had been defeated and a new system had to be put into place. It all started with elections just as it had nearly 30 years ago before Mussolini was in power. The first democratic vote made resulted in the dissolving of the monarchy, and soon a new prime minister was in place and Italians began to renew their trust in the democratic system.
One may think that Mussolini’s legacy did not in fact live on in the governmental system or in the people of Italy, but in fact, it did. Successors of the recently banned National Fascist Party had formed their own parties, the most famous of which being the MSI (Movimento Sociale Italiano) which was dissolved in 1995. The MSI was later replaced with National Alliance which still exists today as a party that is in fact opposed to Fascism; its leader even once stated that Fascism is “an absolute evil”. In conclusion, after
Mussolini had died, Italy had recovered very well, and now, thanks to Mussolini, we all know it’s wise to learn from history and never to return back to such an illogical system as Fascism. This essay has looked at Benito Mussolini’s effect on Fascism and Italy before and during the war and after his fall from power. Before the war, following WWI, Italy was in chaos, without a leader and with distrust in the democratic system, Italy had placed its trust in Mussolini and his newly invented Fascist System.
During this time, Mussolini made Italians poor and had worsened their quality of lives and thus had been a poor leader. During the war, Mussolini had risked the lives of Italians through carless actions on his part. He allied with the evils of the Nazi Party and sent his men to wars they couldn’t fight when being so ill-equipped and poorly trained. After his death, Italy was once again in chaos, so much so that they entered into a civil war which finally put an end to the Fascist movement. His legacy still lived on in the parties that replaced his.
Even though some may wish to forget, his legacy has become the savior of many more innocent people due to the fact that he proved that Fascism is an evil system that shall never be used again. This report has concluded that Mussolini was an awful leader who divided the nation more then he united it and also that Fascism is too archaic for a sophisticated modern society, such as ours. Work Cited Trueman, C.. “Benito Mussolini. ” History learning site. historylearningsite. co. uk, 2008. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www. historylearningsite. co. k/benito_mussolini. htm>. “Head of Government and Duce of Fascist: In Office. “Wikipedia. Google, 2011. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini>. unknown, . “Historic Figures: Benito Mussolini (1883-1945). ” Bbc. co. uk. BBC History, 2011. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www. bbc. co. uk/history/historic_figures/mussolini_benito. shtml>. Mussolini, . “Benito Mussolini Quotes . ” Benito mussolini quotes. N. p. , 2001. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/authors/b/benito_mussolini. html&
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