Italian Timeline: Mussolini's Italy

  • Formation of an independent Italy

    Formation of an independent Italy
    Italy was formed as a result of Risorgimento, which started in 1815. This was a period of cultural and literary revival, spreading nationalism and desires of unity around the divided Italy. On March 17, 1861 Italy was formed into an independent state from parts of Piedmont-Sardinia and was added to until it's unification in the summer of 1871. The picture was chosen to depict how Italy looked prior to 1861 in order to show the nation's growth.
  • Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy

    Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy
    As France weakened, Italy jumped on this chance to finish the unification of Italy. On September 20, 1870 the Papal States were annexed by the kingdom of Italy after the collapse of the Second French Empire during the Franco-Prussian War. The picture was chosen to show the final unification of Italy and the land Italy gained by annexing the Papal States
  • Failure of First Italo-Ethiopian War with the Battle of Adowa (Adwa)

    Failure of First Italo-Ethiopian War with the Battle of Adowa (Adwa)
    The last battle was initiated by Italy on February 28, 1896 after a stalemate between the two, leading 14,500 Italians against 100,000 Ethiopians. The battle formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Addis Abba on October 26th 1896, securing Italy’s loss. The picture was chosen to depict the expanse of the Ethiopian army and to show how powerful they were
  • Italy invades and takes over Libya

    Italy invades and takes over Libya
    On September 29, 1911 Italy invades Turkish Libya to increase the empire’s size and stop the growing French influence. On the 18th of October in 1912, the Ottoman Empire ceded the territory to Italy. The picture was chosen to depict the course of fighting in the invasion so one can picture the fighting
  • Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti

    Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti
    In 1912, Mussolini became editor of the socialist newspaper Avanti where he spoke about revolutionary violence against the liberal state. He also helped expel royalists and reformists from the Socialist party through this. The picture was chosen to aid in the understanding and style of Avanti.
  • Mussolini kicked out of Socialist Party for pro-nationalistic sentiments regarding WW I

     Mussolini kicked out of Socialist Party for pro-nationalistic sentiments regarding WW I
    In October of 1914, Mussolini was kicked out of the Socialist Party for his support of World War I. The socialists saw this as a battle between capitalist powers that they should not intervene in while Mussolini saw this as an opportunity to expand Italy. The picture was chosen to illustrate Mussolini and his characteristics.
  • Treaty of London

    Treaty of London
    Since the beginning of WWI, Italians were divided on their involvement in the war. Socialist wanted to stay out of it while ultra-nationalists wanted in the war. Then, on April 26 1915, the liberals of the government decided to sign the Treaty of London, joining the Entente powers in the war. The picture was chosen to show the territories Italy was promised to gain in the treaty.
  • Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan

    Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan
    The Fascio di Combattimento was formed in Milan, in March 1919, by Mussolini and it translates to the fighting leagues, however, they were well known as the fascists. The fascist movement gained support after Mussolini established their party. This picture was chosen because it represented the fascist party and had sticks and an ax to symbol corporal punishment.
  • Beginning of Biennio Rosso

    Beginning of Biennio Rosso
    In 1919, Unemployment rose to two million, prompting industrial workers to begin a wave of militant action from 1919-1920. It involved 1 mil workers and the Italian Socialist Party membership grew from 250,000 to 2 mil. The picture was chosen to depict the Blackshirts (organized by Mussolini) used to suppress the socialists in the fighting
  • D’Annunzio takes Fiume

    D’Annunzio takes Fiume
    D’Annunzio captured Fiume on September 12th, 1919, because he wanted to reunite all Italian people under the “Kingdom of Italy''. Fiume was a region of land under former Yugoslavia on the border of Italy that had a majority Italian population. This picture was chosen because it demonstrates how many people of the fascist party of took to capture Fiume under Mussolini.
  • Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti

    Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti
    Mussolini formed an alliance with Giolitti (the head of the Italian Government) in May 1921. Mussolini wanted to maintain his political power in the Italian parliament as he became the leader of the PNF. This photo was chosen to represent Mussolini and Giolitti’s alliance as the alliance created a form of peace that ultimately benefitted Mussolini in the end.
  • Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and is elected its leader

    Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and is elected its leader
    The alliance Mussolini made with Giolitti allowed him to form the fascist party on November 9th, 1921 while simultaneously making himself the leader of the party. Giolitti didn’t try to stop what Mussolini was doing because he created a coalition with Mussolini. This photo was chosen because it displays the flag symbol that represented the fascist party as the axe and rods symbolized power and authority from Roman times.
  • March on Rome and Mussolini becomes Prime Minister

    March on Rome and Mussolini becomes Prime Minister
    The March on Rome took place on October 29th, 1922, when a politically motivated march in Rome was supposed to happen. The King of Italy offered Mussolini the chance of becoming prime minister as a result of the march on Rome which Mussolini took as an opportunity to gain more power. This photo was chosen because it conveys the idea that Mussolini was hot headed when declaring himself prime minister as he did it through manipulation.
  • Acerbo Law passed

    Acerbo Law passed
    The Acerbo Law was implemented in November 1923 with the goal of giving Mussolini and the fascist party more political power. Mussolini’s party was given a majority of the deputies which allowed them to have more control/ power over the Italian government. This photo was chosen because it represents how Mussolini and his fascist party were given a good majority of power and authority when the law was passed.
  • Corfu Incident

    Corfu Incident
    The Corfu Incident occurred August 29th, 1923, when four Italians were executed while working on behalf of a boundary commission. Mussolini then demanded 50 million lire and an apology from Greece which was denied leading to Mussolini invading Corfu island. This picture was chosen because it represents the invasion of Corfu by Mussolini and the fascists, while it depicts Greece with no weapons conveying the idea that Greece wasn’t prepared for the attack.
  • Matteotti Crisis

    Matteotti Crisis
    The Matteotti Crisis occurred in 1924 when socialist Giacomo Matteotti spoke out against Mussolini and the fascist party. Mussolini’s gang was accused and proven guilty of Matteotti’s murder, but Mussolini turned on his own men after receiving backlash for supporting them after what they did. This photo was chosen because it depicts Mussolini as being the cause of Matteotti’s death. It also conveys the idea that Mussolini wasn’t really superior, but he made his outside appearance seem like it.
  • Aventine Secession

    Aventine Secession
    Evidence for Mussolini’s involvement in the Matteotti Crisis caused opposition deputies (mainly socialist, communist and radical Popolari) to boycott parliament power in protest. They walked out of the Chamber and set up a parliamentary assembly intending for the king to dismiss Mussolini, but he refused. The picture is important as it displays several deputies who distanced themselves from Mussolini's regime, showing an increase in opposition.
  • Battle for Grain

    Battle for Grain
    Encouraged Italian farmers to grow more cereals to reduce Italy’s dependence on foreign imports, which was due to their poor harvests. Cereal production doubled by 1939, making Italy self-sufficient in wheat, but caused misallocation of other resources due to plowing other land for cereal production. Picture is relevant as it portrays Mussolini assisting in the effort as a form of propaganda to better convince the farmers.
  • Locarno Treaty Signed

    Locarno Treaty Signed
    The treaty was signed by Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Belgium who aimed to guarantee peace in Europe and improve relations with Germany. Mussolini wanted to be more involved in world affairs, as he saw it necessary to build Italy’s empire. Picture is important as it presents Mussolini becoming more involved with the international powers to help secure and strengthen Italy.
  • Battle for Land and Battle for the Lira

    Battle for Land and Battle for the Lira
    The Battle for Land further attempted to increase available farmland and did so by draining swamps, which helped lower unemployment. The Battle for the Lira re-valued the Italian currency, which continued to allow coal and iron imports, but caused declining exports due to expensive goods and thus unemployment occurred. The picture shown is the Pontine Marshes before being drained and is important as it is the only significant area claimed from the Battle for Land.
  • Battle for Births

    Battle for Births
    Mussolini's plan was to increase the Italian population to 60 million by 1950 to create a strong future army to expand Italy’s empire. Attempted this by stressing a traditional role of women, encouraging early marriage and large families, and through other benefits; however, the attempt failed to meet the target. The image shown is Mussolini's family which was presented to the public as an attempt to further encourage large families.
  • Kellogg-Briand Treaty Signed

    Kellogg-Briand Treaty Signed
    Multilateral treaty signed by 15 different countries agreed to outlaw war as a tool of national policy and to settle disputes through peaceful means. The treaty’s lack of enforcement and constant violations reveals its ineffectiveness to do this. The picture includes those that initial signed the treaty and had a goal of a more peaceful Europe, which many Europeans desired.
  • Lateran Treaty with Pope

    Lateran Treaty with Pope
    Government accepted papal sovereignty over Vatican city and the Pope recognized the Italian state and its possession of Rome and the former papal states. Additionally, the Pope was compensated 1750 million Lire for the loss of Rome. Roman Catholicism became the official state religion and compulsory catholic religious education was put in state schools. The image includes Mussolini and the Pope coming to agreements, which ended conflict existing between the Italian state and papacy since 1870.
  • Abyssinian Crisis

    Abyssinian Crisis
    This international crisis began on December 5th, 1934 and was the result of the Wal Wal Incident, where Italy expanded into Africa by building the Wal Wal Fort on Abyssinian (now Ethiopia) Territory in 1930. The crisis began when Abyssinia tried to take control over the fort on their land, bringing the conflict into the light. The image illustrates the concerned land where conflict was derived. It is important to note the Italian territories surrounding the land now known as Ethiopia.
  • Stresa Front

    Stresa Front
    Treaty signed between Italy, France and Britain which guaranteed Austrian independence. The treaty was against Adolf Hitler’s attempts to annex Austria and rearm Germany. However, the treaty fell apart since Italy invaded Abyssinia in the same year. The image is significant as it portrays European powers assembling against what they saw as a common enemy and threat to peace.
  • Italian involvement with Spanish Civil War

    Italian involvement with Spanish Civil War
    Italian fascist intervention in Spain began on July 27th, 1936, with the motive of supporting the nationalist movement against the Second Spanish Republic. Italy sent 80,000 men to Spain to fight with supplies. Germany also aided Spain, where Italy grew closer to this country at this time. The political poster depicts the Italians as invaded to Spain to show one perspective of the Spanish conflict. Here, the Italians are seen as destroying rather than aiding.
  • Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty signed

    Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty signed
    The treaty was signed on October 25, 1936, and served as a coalition agreement between Italy and Germany to merge the efforts of the two fascist countries. Hitler invited Italy’s foreign minister, Galeazzo Ciano, to Berlin after Germany’s intervention in the Spanish Civil War to sign the agreement. The included image depicts Mussolini shaking hands with Hitler, most clearly demonstrating the joint of two fascist superpowers and the significance of such as strong alliance.
  • Munich Conference

    Munich Conference
    The Munich Conference occurred on September 30, 1938, where an agreement was reached by Britain, Germany, France, and Italy that allowed for Nazi Germany to annex Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, significantly at the beginning of WWII. The image contains representatives of the given countries. Hitler is positioned in the center, conveying that the conference was devoted to his country and political endeavors.
  • Italy invades Albania

     Italy invades Albania
    Italy invaded Albania on April 7th, 1939, and continued the invasion until April 12th. The purpose was to bring the country under the Italian state and Mussolini’s rule. King Zog I, ruler of Albania, was forced into exile in Greece during this time. The political cartoon exaggerates the purity and innocence of Albania, illustrated as a bunny, and the violence used on behalf of Italy. The image shows a map of the area and cleverly uses geographic features to convey this point.
  • Italy enters WW II on side of Germany

    Italy enters WW II on side of Germany
    Italy entered WWII on June 10th, 1940 with Germany, still in pursuit of territorial gains. Italy’s main intention was controlling British and French colonies in North Africa. The political cartoon represents Italy's decision to take part in Germany's violent and destructive plans (indicated by the Nazi tank), although they will make little difference. An Italian soldier rides a wooden horse to indicate the miniscule, almost childlike, effects of the country's contribution.
  • Mussolini brought down by coup during WW II

    Mussolini brought down by coup during WW II
    On July 25th, 1943 Mussolini was voted out of power by the council and arrested after speaking with the king. Italy pulled out of WWII shortly after. The image depicts Mussolini with the German soldiers that liberated him, or helped his escape from prison. This is significant, as it fueled Italy's alliance with Nazi Germany.
  • Mussolini Killed

    Mussolini Killed
    Mussolini was killed on April 28th, 1945 by Italian Partisans at Giulinio in the final days of WWII. He was murdered with the motive of overdue hatred after his arrest and reclaiming of a portion of the Italian state with the help of Hitler. The image shows the mug shots of the Irish woman who shot Mussolini on April 27th, 1926. While Mussolini survived this assassination attempt, the image demonstrates how civilians made attempts at Mussolini's life for over two decades before his death.