Part 1 – Rise of authoritarian Fascist government: I. Causes for the rise of Fascism A. Europeans were frustrated by the Great Depression



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EOC Mussolini and Fascism

Describe the rise of authoritarian political regimes and analyze the policies and main ideas of Benito Mussolini

Part 1 – Rise of authoritarian Fascist government:

I. Causes for the rise of Fascism

A. Europeans were frustrated by the Great Depression

B. After the depression millions of people lost faith in democratic government

C. Many European countries were angry about the terms of the peace treaties following World War I.

D. They turned instead to an extreme form of government called fascism

II. Why did people prefer to trust fascism?

A. Fascists promised to revive the economy

B. They promised to punish those responsible for hard times

C. Fascists also promised to restore order and national pride



III. What is fascism, exactly?

A. It was a new militant political movement

B. It emphasized loyalty to the state and obedience to its leader

C. Unlike communism, it had no clearly defined theory or program.

D. It did preach an extreme form of nationalism

1. Fascists believed that nations must struggle – peaceful states were doomed to be conquered.

2. Pledged loyalty to an authoritarian leader who guided and brought order to the state.

3. In each nation, Fascists wore uniforms of a certain color, used special salutes and held mass rallies

IV. How was fascism similar to communism?

A. Both fascism and communism were ruled by dictators who allowed only their own political party (one-party rule).

B. Both denied individual rights.

C. In both, the state was supreme.

D. Neither practiced any form of democracy.

V. How was fascism different from communism?

A. Unlike Communists, Fascists did not seek a classless society.

B. They believed each class had its place and function.

C. Mostly, Fascist parties were made up of aristocrats and industrialists, war veterans and the lower middle class, while communism was often made up of peasants, workers and the poor.

D. Fascists were nationalists and Communists were internationalists, hoping to unite workers worldwide.

VI. How did Fascism become popular in Italy?

A. Italians were bitterly disappointed by their failure to win large territorial gains at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

B. Italy had rising inflation and unemployment which caused social unrest.

C. The democratic Italian government of the time seemed helpless to fix the problems.

D. Newspaper editor and politician Benito Mussolini promised to rescue Italy

1. He promised to revive the economy and rebuild Italy’s armed forces.

2. He vowed to give Italy strong leadership.

3. Mussolini publicly criticized Italy’s government.

4. Mussolini played on the Italian people’s fear of a worker’s revolt and the rise of communism.

5. He won the support of the middle class, aristocracy and industrial leaders.



Part II – Analyze the policies and main ideas of Benito Mussolini – Italy’s Fascist dictator

I. Background and development of Mussolini’s power

A. He began the Fascist party in 1919

B. As the Italian economic situation worsened, he gained popularity by promising to fix the economy

C. Mussolini began openly criticizing the Italian government in place at the time.

D. Groups of Fascists attacked Communists and Socialists on the streets.

E. October, 1922, 30.000 Fascists marched on Rome

1. They demanded that King Victor Emmanuel III put Mussolini in charge of the government.

2. The king decided Mussolini was the best hope for King Emmanuel’s dynasty to survive, so he gave Mussolini power.

F. Mussolini called himself “Il Duce” or “the leader”.

G. He abolished democracy and outlawed all political parties except the Fascists.

H. Secret police jailed his opponents.

I. Government censors forced radio stations and publications to broadcast or publish only Fascist doctrines.

J. Mussolini outlawed strikes.



K. He gained control of the economy by allying the Fascists with the industrialists and large landowners.

L. Mussolini never gained the total control achieved by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union or Adolf Hitler in Germany.


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