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Mussolini and Fascist Italy

  • Formation of an independent Italy

    Formation of an independent Italy
    Emmanual II of Savoy proclaims the Kingdom of Sardinia as a new Kingdom of Italy. Begins the first major political step towards unification of the Italian provinces by a monarchy.
    Picture shows a map of Italy after being united.
  • Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy

    Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy
    The day when Rome fell and the Kingdom of Italy controlled all of the Papal States and completed Risorgimento. The Kingdom of Italy made a huge step towards global power as it grabbed a major foothold in the Italian peninsula.
    The picture displays the large effort from the Kingdom of Italy to take Rome which would be their traditional capital, displaying the large Italian national pride and push for a Roman-esque empire.
  • Failure of First Italo-Ethiopian War with the Battle of Adowa (Adwa)

    Failure of First Italo-Ethiopian War with the Battle of Adowa (Adwa)
    Italy declared war on Ethiopia to establish their colonial empire, but was repelled by Ethiopia and was humiliated in the Battle of Adwa where the Ethiopians were heavily outnumbered yet still forced an Italian retreat. Created more dissent towards the Italian government.
    Picture displays the scale of the battle of Adwa and how the Italians heavily outnumbered the Ethiopians and also had more advanced guns, yet still were repelled, furthering the narrative of Italian incompetence.
  • Italy invades and takes over Libya

    Italy invades and takes over Libya
    In a further attempt to establish their colonial empire, Italy declares war on the Ottoman Empire for Italian control over Libya. The Italians secured a major victory and established themselves as a power in Europe while also furthering Italian-Roman nationalism of a new Roman Empire.
    Picture represents how the Italians saw the victory of this war, with the sun shining signifying a new age of enlightenment for a young kingdom of Italy.
  • Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti

    Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti
    Mussolini utilizes an attack against an Italian National Party convention to both reinvigorate the working class in Italy to protest but to also boost his popularity both in Italy and his party. Mussolini begins to grow in popularity and political power in Italy.
    Picture displays Avanti! seeing themselves as the saviors of Italy at the time, being able to guide them through a dark future and into a new age.
  • Mussolini kicked out of Socialist Party for pro-nationalistic sentiments regarding WWI

    Mussolini kicked out of Socialist Party for pro-nationalistic sentiments regarding WWI
    Mussolini became expelled from the Italian Socialist Party (ISP) due to going against the party’s desire of neutrality. Begins Mussolini’s descent into creating the Fascist party and nationality.
    Picture displays how Avanti! not only publicized this event but also found this event to be important within Italian politics at the time.
  • Treaty of London

    Treaty of London
    Secret treaty between the Allied powers and Italy to allow Italy to join the Allied powers into World War I. Laid out terms for Italy if the Allies won the war, but these terms were not met following the war, leading to resentment from the Italian population towards Italian governing incompetence.
    Picture displays the extent of Italian demands that were not met following the war, and displays why the Italians felt cheated.
  • Beginning of Biennio Rosso

     Beginning of Biennio Rosso
    Following WWI, Communist support created a tense social atmosphere within Italy to push for a more Socialist government. Was a revolutionary period within Italy to push for Socialist control over Italy.
    Picture displays the Socialists capturing factories in 1920, showing how intense conflict plagued Italy during the Red Years.
  • Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan

    Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan
    A fascist organization founded by Mussolini, split from the Italian Socialist Party. Ideologically pushed for nationalism, involvement in WWI, republicanism, and national syndicalism. Would eventually be succeeded by the National Fascist party.
    Image is the symbol of the Fascio di Combattimento - a fasces; also a symbol of ancient Rome.
  • D’Annunzio takes Fiume

    D’Annunzio takes Fiume
    Gabriele D’Annunzio was an Italian poet and a nationalist. He gathered support from the public and used his small army of men to invade and claim the port of Fiume for Italy. He undertook the task as a response from the agreements following WWI not being as generous to Italy as promised.
    Image shows D’Annunzio and his small army of men in Fiume.
  • Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti

    Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti
    Giovanni Giolitti headed the Italian government. Both him and Mussolini did not want to see the socialist acquire more power, so they formed the National Bloc electoral alliance in May for the national election. 35 fascists were elected, including Mussolini.
    Image is Giovanni Giolitti.
  • Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and is elected its leader

    Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and is elected its leader
    Reformed the FDC to make an official political party. He convinced Fascist National Congress to elect him as leader, thus increasing his power and control. He agreed to end the truce with socialists and demanded the creation of action squads (small military groups).
    Image is the symbol of the PNF - the fasces like the FdC.
  • March on Rome and Mussolini becomes Prime Minister

    March on Rome and Mussolini becomes Prime Minister
    Mussolini and other fascists wanted to march on Rome and finally take control of the government officially. Local squads were organized and they took over town halls, railway stations, and telephone exchanges across Italy. Luigi Facta (king) was going to declare a state of emergency and arrest mussolini, but he did not. Mussolini was appointed Prime Minister by Luigi Facta on 29 October 1922.
    Image shows blackshirt fascists marching towards Rome.
  • Acerbo Law passed

    Acerbo Law passed
    A law created by Baron Giacomo-Acerbo. It stated that the party that received the majority of votes in the general election would receive ⅔ of the seats in parliament. It was used to ensure Mussolini’s control over the electorate.
    Image shows Acerbo.
  • Corfu Incident

    Corfu Incident
    An Italian general was murdered on Greek soil. Mussolini demanded that Greece pay 50 million lire. Mussolini had the military invade the Greece island of Corfu, then Greece paid Italy. The situation made Mussolini look like a hero.
    Image shows Italian soldiers on Corfu.
  • Matteotti Crisis

    Matteotti Crisis
    Giacomo Matteotti was a respected socialist and a critic of Mussolini’s violent actions. He was abducted and murdered (presumably by Mussolini/Dumini), resulting in widespread opposition for the fascists. It also demonstrated Mussolini’s willingness to use violence to accomplish his goals.
    Image is a political cartoon depicting a stubborn Mussolini sitting on the coffin of Ciacomo Matteotti, demonstrating his bull-like, stubborn attitude.
  • Aventine Secession

    Aventine Secession
    Several political parties opposing the fascist party (socialists, liberals, populari, and communists) resigned from the parliament following the murder of Giacomo Matteotti. It was meant to protest the fascists, but it only opened the opportunity for the fascists to establish a one-party dictatorship.
    Image shows a protest of fascist actions.
  • Locarno Treaty signed

     Locarno Treaty signed
    Agreement between Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy. Guaranteed peace, established borders, demilitarized the Rhineland, and began discussion of Germany joining the League of Nations.
    Image shows Gustav Stresemann, Austen Chamberlain, and Aristide Briand from left to right.
  • Battle for Grain

    Battle for Grain
    Economic policy by Fascists in an attempt to increase grain production to decrease reliance on grain imports. Italy wanted to build, maintain, and prove their independence and power with this policy. The policy helped Italy’s economy and push to industrialization
    Image shows a Mussolini propaganda photo advocating for the Battle for Grain
  • Battle for Land and Battle for the Lira

    Battle for Land and Battle for the Lira
    The Battle for Land was an economic policy aimed at turning marshland into suitable farming land as well as reclaiming the land itself. The battle for the Lira was another economic policy aimed at reducing inflation and increasing the economic buying power of the Lira. Both of these policies were to make Italy seem even more powerful.
    Image is a couple Lira coins from the Mussolini era.
  • Battle for Births

    Battle for Births
    Another policy by Mussolini and the Fascists seeking to increase Italy’s population from 40 to 60 million by 1950. Reproduction was incentivized by offering loans to married couples with part of the loan being paid off per child born and through exempting men with 6+ children from taxation. Laws were also introduced to punish those who didn’t reproduce efficiently.
    Image shows a large family in fascist Italy during the Battle for Births - 5 children.
  • Lateran Treaty with Pope

     Lateran Treaty with Pope
    With the Lateran Treaty, the papacy recognized Italy as an official state with Rome as its capital. In return, Italy recognized the Vatican as an independent state with the Pope as its leader.
    Image shows the Pope and Mussolini signing the Lateran Treaty.
  • Kellogg-Briand Treaty signed

    Kellogg-Briand Treaty signed
    Signed August 27, 1928, Effective July 24, 1929
    Treaty where countries (62) that signed promised not to settle disputes through the use of war under any circumstances. The treaty was unable to prevent the next World War or the rise of militarism.
    Image shows world leaders gathering to sign the treaty.
  • Abyssinian Crisis

    Abyssinian Crisis
    Due to the ongoing conflicts between Italy and Abyssinia, as well as the desire to expand Italy through colonization, Mussolini ordered for the invasion of Abyssinia in 1934 against the wishes of the League of Nations. It was able to colonize the country after becoming victorious in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War. This event weakened the League’s credibility.
    Image is a map which describes Italy’s invasion strategy.
  • Stresa Front

    Stresa Front
    The Stresa Front was an alliance between Britain, Italy, and France. It aimed to reinforce the Locarno treaty and maintain Austria’s independence. They also sought to strengthen their grip upon Germany by declaring that they’d stop any further attempt by them to manipulate the Treaty of Versailles, though this would fail for they wanted to avoid war with Germany.
    Photo shows world leaders attending the Stresa Conference in 1935.
  • Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty signed

    Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty signed
    After the annexation of Abyssinia, Italy wanted foreign cooperation to help them colonize and expand the country. On October 25, 1936, Italy reached an agreement with Germany to establish military relations. This group would later become the Axis Powers after the addition of Japan in late 1940.
    This image shows Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini shaking hands, firmly establishing their cooperative efforts.
  • Italian involvement with Spanish Civil War

    Italian involvement with Spanish Civil War
    Italy joins the Spanish Civil War along with Germany to show their support for the right-wing nationalist cause against the Second Spanish Republic and secure fascist control of the Mediterranean. This strained relations between Italy and France while also strengthening the relations between Italy and Germany to the point of establishing the Rome-Berlin Axis in 1936, and later the Axis powers in 1940.
    The image is propaganda that warned Spanish citizens against helping Italian troops.
  • Munich Conference

    Munich Conference
    A conference held in Munich in 1938 which ceded a number of Czechoslovak territories to Germany. It was able to successfully avert a war between Germany and Italy and France and Britain.
    The image shows the leaders of all involved nations: Italy, Britain, France, and Germany grouped together at the conference.
  • Italy invades Albania

     Italy invades Albania
    April 7-April 12, 1939
    Mussolini’s imperialist policies ordered troops to invade the country of Albania. It used the excuse that King Zog was oppressing fascists in the country to justify the action. In the end the military campaign was successful and added Albania to the Italian Empire, and showed the European nations that it was just as powerful as Germany.
    The image shows Italian occupation of an Albanian town.
  • Italy enters WW II on side of Germany

     Italy enters WW II on side of Germany
    Italy joins WWII with Germany and the other Axis Powers after it became apparent that the French were being defeated, which created an opening for Italian forces to be directed towards the British in Africa and the Middle East.
    The image is a newspaper clipping announcing Mussolini’s decision to enter the war.
  • Mussolini brought down by coup during WW II

    Mussolini brought down by coup during WW II
    After suffering numerous losses in WWII, the people of Italy were demoralized. Two parallel coups led by Count Dino Grandi and King Victor Emmanuel III successfully placed a vote of no confidence against Mussolini at the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to his arrest and the collapse of fascist rule. A new liberal and Christian government called the Badoglio I Cabinet was created.
    The image is the symbol of the Grand Council of Fascism, the place where fascist power was destroyed in July, 1943.
  • Mussolini killed

    Mussolini killed
    Benito Mussolini was executed by Italian partisans after being captured for escaping arrest.
    The image depicts Mussolini’s body along with the other fascist leaders he was captured with.