Mussolini and Fascist Italy

By pfraser
  • Formation of an independent Italy

    Formation of an independent Italy
    After years of struggling against the Austrian Empire, the nationalist Risorgimento movement finally created an independent Italy; in Rome, the Catholic Church retained its own separate state. The movement, though successful, opened the door to many underlying social and political issues. Photo Rationale: The image shows the state of Italy in 1861, which is significant because it can be used as comparison for the changes that would come after the Risorgimento movement.
  • Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy

    Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy
    When the papal states were incorporated into the nation, there was a lot of Catholic hostility against the new Italian kingdom. Photo Rationale: The image is important because it shows the process of the papal states being incorporated into Italy, which created a lot of tension and caused grave problems in the future.
  • Failure of First Italo-Ethiopian War with the Battle of Adowa

    Failure of First Italo-Ethiopian War with the Battle of Adowa
    Italy tried occupying the Abyssinian provinces of Eritrea and Tigre after it had signed a Treaty of Friendship with Abyssinia, and after several military clashes, the Italy was humiliatingly defeated at the Battle of Adowa. Photo Rationale: The photo was chosen because it displays the significant and humiliating defeat Italy experienced in this battle, which sparked tension among the Italian public and made them open to having a new, strong leader.
  • Italy invades and takes over Libya

    Italy invades and takes over Libya
    Italy invaded this Turkish colony to expand its empire and to stop the growth of French influence in North Africa, and even after Turkey accepted the loss, Italy continued its aggressive imperial policies due to humiliation from the Battle of Adowa. Photo Rationale: This image articulates the aggression that Italy had when invading foreign land, which shows how eager it was to expand its empire.
  • Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti

    Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti
    After Mussolini was released from prison for protesting the war, he became editor for the Avanti; his articles promoted a revolution against the liberal state and helped remove pro-royalists and reformists from the Socialist Party. Photo Rationale: The photo was chosen because it displays the overload of pro-socialist information in the paper, which partly explains why the fascists had such a hard time selling their cause to socialists.
  • 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 was sacked as editor at Avanti for opposing policies and set up the Il Popolo d’Italia to promote the war. He was financed by rich Italian companies as well as Allied countries and was kicked out of the Socialist Party altogether soon after. Photo Rationale: The image shows Mussolini's aggressive nature, which got him sacked from the Socialist Party as he boldly wrote and spoke of anti-socialist policies.
  • Treaty of London

    Treaty of London
    Members of the fasci—anarcho-syndicalists and national socialists—believed that entry into the war would spark a revolution and were joined by right-wing nationalists. Leading liberal politicians had decided on Italy’s position in the war; the Treaty of London was signed, and Italy promised to join on the side of the Triple Entente. Photo Rationale: The map shows what Italy was supposed to gain but didn't, which sparked tension between Italy and the Allies, and Italy opposed them in WWII.
  • Beginning of Biennio Rosso

    Beginning of Biennio Rosso
    As unemployment rose, a swell of militant action from industrial workers began; strikes, factory occupations, land occupations, trade unions, and peasant leagues swept across Italy for two years. Photo Rationale: The image displays the wave of industrial militant action that flooded Italy and deepened the public's desire for a strong, active leader to take the place of the inactive government.
  • Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan

    Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan
    People of varying political groups came together in Milan and formed this movement with the intention of uniting nationalists and socialists after militant groups struggled with post-war society. Photo Rationale: The image was chosen because it displays the variety of groups that were involved in Mussolini's movement, which was both a strength and a weakness. While Mussolini's cause was intended to be one of unity, the many different opinions often clashed.
  • D’Annunzio takes Fiume

    D’Annunzio takes Fiume
    Mussolini’s work with Fasci di Combattimento was overshadowed by Gabriele D’Annunzio as he led 2000 men to Fiume, where they quickly took control and ruled the city in defiance of the liberal government. Photo Rationale: The image was chosen because it displays D'Annunzio's power, which made Mussolini feel very overshadowed. D'Annunzio's control of Fiume created tension within Mussolini because he felt that his work was not as appreciated.
  • Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti

    Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti
    Giolitti headed the Italian government and made very little action concerning the socialist rebellion outbreaks; he and Mussolini formed an electoral alliance for the national elections to be held that month to shut down the socialists. Photo Rationale: The photo shows Giolitti, who was a leader of the conservatives. Mussolini formed an alliance with him to reassure the conservatives that his policies would benefit them.
  • Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and elected its leader

    Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and elected its leader
    The PNF was formed and Mussolini now had an opportunity for influence over parliament; however, he needed to guarantee his spot in the group because he desired maximum power. Photo Rationale: The image displays the type of aggressive forces that Mussolini used to begin establishing power, which both impressed and frightened some of the public into supporting him.
  • March on Rome and Mussolini becomes Prime Minister

    March on Rome and Mussolini becomes Prime Minister
    A political march on Rome prodded the king to give Mussolini the chance to be prime minister, which he accepted and immediately began climbing the political ladder. Photo Rationale: The photo was chosen because it shows Mussolini leading the political rebellion that ended up getting him elected as prime minister, emphasizing how he was able to manipulate the public.
  • Acerbo Law passed

    Acerbo Law passed
    By the Acerbo Law, two-thirds of the seats in parliament were given to the party with the most popularity; Mussolini used this law to gain more political influence by legal means. Photo Rationale: The photo displays Mussolini in power, and the Acerbo Law only helped him climb higher on the political ladder. His influence helped him gain support and pass policies that increased his power.
  • Corfu Incident

    Corfu Incident
    Greece and Italy were involved in a diplomatic crisis in which Italian blood was spilled in Greece; as an act of defiance, Mussolini displayed the Italy’s power to garner support for himself and nationalism for Italy. Photo Rationale: The image was chosen because it shows where the events of the Corfu incident took place, which is important because it also shows where Mussolini got Italy involved globally and how he often failed at his expeditions.
  • Matteotti Crisis

    Matteotti Crisis
    Matteotti, a politician, spoke against Mussolini, which ended in his abduction and death. This incident brought much backlash toward Mussolini, and he blamed the Ceka, his secret police force, for the crime. Photo Rationale: The image is important because it displays how Mussolini tried to cover up the Matteotti Crisis by selling out his own forces in order to remain in a positive light. He lost trust of the public by handling the crisis in this manner.
  • Aventine Secession

    Aventine Secession
    As a result of Matteotti’s death, politicians betrayed the Fascist Party by boycotting parliament in order to get Mussolini out of the government because they felt that a more fascist leader was needed. Photo Rationale: The image was chosen because it shows the massive crowds that gathered to oppose Mussolini, which articulates how he had lost their trust due to the Matteotti Crisis and other self-preserving actions.
  • Locarno Treaty signed

    Locarno Treaty signed
    Italy signed this treaty because it got a very small amount of land compared to what it was promised, which is why Italy fought against the Allies in WWII. Photo Rationale: The photo was chosen because it depicts a group of non-Italian leaders, which shows how Italy always felt excluded in these treaty conferences; this was only accelerated by the fact that Italy continuously failed to receive what had been given to it in the treaties.
  • Battle for Grain

    Battle for Grain
    Mussolini launched a series of campaigns, one of which pushed farmers to grow more grain in order to garner support and make Italy less dependent on foreign imports. The Battle for Grain failed because it resulted in a depletion of other resources that Italy needed. Photo Rationale: The image displays how Italian farms began revolving around grain, which was significant because it caused more opposition to Mussolini due to a lack of needed resources and a surplus of grain.
  • Battle for Land and Battle for the Lira

    Battle for Land and Battle for the Lira
    Mussolini launched these battles because he believed that Italian farmers needed more available land and the Lira currency needed to be revalued. The results were a damaged economy, increased export prices, and very little cleared land. Photo Rationale: The image displays a tense crowd surrounding Mussolini, expressing the frustration that his battle caused an increase in unemployment and a decrease in money value.
  • Battle for Births

    Battle for Births
    With this battle, Mussolini promoted a very domestic role for women, encouraging them to birth more children and take on the housewife persona. The battle failed because men were at war, which allowed women to still work, and the birthrate decreased. Photo Rationale: The photo was chosen because it shows the extreme domestic role Mussolini wanted women to take on, as well as his desire for an increase in birthrates.
  • Kellogg-Briand Treaty signed

    Kellogg-Briand Treaty signed
    In the hopes of protecting peace, fifteen nations signed this treaty to outlaw war. Photo Rationale: The image displays the numerous nations that came together in hopes of preventing another war; this is significant because WWII occurred shortly after, which shows the inability of these nations to deal with the tension between each other.
  • Lateran Treaty with Pope

    Lateran Treaty with Pope
    To gain the pope’s support for the fascists, Mussolini made Vatican City a papal state, provided a lot of money, and enforced religious school systems. However, the Catholic Church and the fascists constantly clashed because their interests differed too much. Photo Rationale: The photo displays that the two parties were willing to come together to strengthen themselves by compromising, which failed to prevent the constant clashes that occurred after the treaty had been signed.
  • Italian involvement with Spanish Civil War

    Italian involvement with Spanish Civil War
    Mussolini agreed to involve Italy in the Spanish Civil War after meeting with right-winged politicians in Spain and realizing that it would theoretically bring him more power. Photo Rationale: The image displays that Mussolini involved Italy in many global interactions to garner support for himself and gain more power, even if the public disagreed with this method.
  • Abyssinian Crisis

    Abyssinian Crisis
    Italy’s invasion of Abyssinia caused the League of Nations to impose economic sanctions on Italy. This caused Mussolini to press even further for autarchy. Photo Rationale: The photo shows areas of Italian influence in Africa, specifically Abyssinia, which led to the invasion and thus the tension between Italy and Africa.
  • Stresa Front

    Stresa Front
    To ensure the promises of the Locarno Treaty, Austria’s independence, and opposition to Germany, the Stresa Front agreement was made between France, Britain, and Italy. Photo Rationale: The image displays the leaders coming together on these terms, which caused the direct opposite intent of the Kellogg-Briand Treaty as it only sparked tension that eventually erupted into WWII.
  • Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty signed

    Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty signed
    In this treaty, Germany and Italy formed an alliance by the work of Mussolini, and German anti-Semitic tendencies influenced fascism and its policies. Photo Rationale: The photo shows the union of Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany, which was yet another factor that built up into the Second World War. The image also shows how Mussolini adopted many of Hitler's policies and was influenced by Nazi Germany.
  • Munich Conference

    Munich Conference
    The Munich Conference produced an agreement in which Germany gained the ability to annex the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia; Hitler manipulated British and French fears of another world war to pass this agreement. Photo Rationale: This photo displays how Mussolini continued involving Italy in alliances and treaties around Europe, which increased the tension that led into WWII and increased the distrust of the public.
  • Italy invades Albania

    Italy invades Albania
    Mussolini’s troops were led by General Guzzoni on an invasion of Albania, in which the Italians succeeded and took control of much land. Photo Rationale: The image shows how this time period was one of increasing technology and mobility, which made WWII more deadly along with all the conflicts leading up to it, including Italy's invasion of Albania.
  • Italy enters WWII on side of Germany

    Italy enters WWII on side of Germany
    Mussolini declared war on Great Britain and France, entering the war on the side of Germany per Hitler’s urges and causing a spark of strikes throughout Italy. Photo Rationale: This newspaper clipping shows the contrast of Italy's position in WWI versus WWII, as it changed sides due to the continuous failure to gain land it had been promised.
  • Mussolini brought down by coup during WWII

    Mussolini brought down by coup during WWII
    The Italians began to blame Mussolini for the Allied success in war, and a strong opposition to Mussolini developed. People disliked his nepotism and alliance with Germany, and this led to a coup in which Mussolini was voted out of power by the Fascist Grand Council. Photo Rationale: This newspaper clipping displays how Mussolini was ousted by the Fascist Grand Council, which was important because it significantly changed the dynamic of Italy.
  • Mussolini killed

    Mussolini killed
    After Mussolini’s second arrest, he was abducted by a pro-communism group and shot alongside his mistress. Photo Rationale: The image shows the brutal deaths and hanging of Mussolini and some of his supporters, which expresses the utter hate he had garnered for himself by his selfish, fascist actions.