Mussolini's Italy

  • Formation of an Independent Italy

    Formation of an Independent Italy
    Italy gains its independence from Austria (with the exceptions of Rome and the Vatican), with Emanuel II as their king. Italy went through three wars to gain their independence, and they were finally united at the end of the third Italian War, which was part of the Franco-Prussian war - Napoleon's defeat and him letting go of Rome allowed for the true unification of Italy. (The image is a map of Italy when it gained its independence.)
  • Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy

    Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy
    Napoleon's departure from Italy allowed for the Italians to annex the papal states into their new nation, with papal states being the areas ruled by the Pope. This annexation of the papal states introduced the hostility towards catholics that would last until the 20th century within Italy. (The picture shows a map of the papal states of Italy before and after their annexations.)
  • 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 begins to have troubles with Ethiopia/Abyssinia after occupying the province of Tigre and beginning their conquest of Eritrea, a mini conquest in their conquest for the Somaliland, where Abyssinia decides that Italy is no longer welcome to have ports or stay in their country. This engages the Battle of Adowa, where the Italians suffer a national humiliation (The image is of an African piece of art that depicts the Battle of Adowa).
  • Italy invades and takes over Libya

    Italy invades and takes over Libya
    Italy invades the Turkish colony of Libya in attempts to increase the size of the Italian empire and block the growing French influence in Northern Africa. In 1912, Turkey formally accepts their defeat. Nationalists still want more after the shameful loss of Abyssinia and the successes in Libya (the image shows Italian forces in Libya, and the mood of the image depicts the relationships between people from both countries).
  • Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti

    Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti
    Mussolini began to work for the newspaper Avanti!, where he began his basis for power. He was able to start spreading political propaganda for his then socialist views and called for revolution within Italy. (the image is of an excerpt of the newspaper Avanti! that Mussolini begins to work for, which displays his name in large letters at the top).
  • 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
    Mussolini began to advocate for military intervention in WWI on Italy's behalf, which opposed the socialist call for neutrality. This got him removed from the socialist party (the image shows Mussolini's own newspaper that he began and started spreading his thoughts through, instead of through Avanti!, who he had worked for).
  • Treaty of London

    Treaty of London
    The interventionists and their demonstrations finally got Italy into WWI. The members of the fasci, many anarcho-syndicalists and national socialists, thought that war would bring a faster revolution. The Treaty of London allowed for Italy to sign into war on the side with the Triple Entente (the image is a political cartoon that shows the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente fighting over Italy, with Britain, France, and Russia on the right and Germany and Austria-Hungary on the left).
  • Beginning of Biennio Rosso

    Beginning of Biennio Rosso
    Biennio Rosso, or the Red Years, was a period in Italy where there was a communist scare. They were led by Giovanni Giolitti and there was insanely high unemployment, a wave of worker's using militant action (strikes, occupations), and Giolitti just fed into these workers. This created a negative view of the government from higher/middle classes eyes (the image shows one of the strikes during Biennio Rosso in Italy, giving and inside look at life during those times).
  • Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan

    Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan
    The ultranationalist association that was founded by Mussolini supports (mostly made up of war veterans) that first met in Milan. This group would later execute Mussolini's orders going to the extent of violence. The picture shows their symbol that became significant as it was associated with their violence similarly to how the organization was a symbol of Mussolini's power.
  • D'Annunzio takes Fiume

    D'Annunzio takes Fiume
    D'Annunzio advanced with 2,000+ men into Fiume which he ruled for 15 months which made him idolized by Italian nationalists that disliked the liberal government. He was also an inspiration to Mussolini, he even used similar strategies to gain supporters. The picture shows D'Annunzio's military success but also the amount of support from Fiume itself.
  • Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti

    Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti
    Giovanni Giolitti was a liberal politicians that initiated a deal known as the "National Bloc" because Mussolini publically convinced the liberal government there would be no fascist revolution. Giolitti is pictured here because he was the liberal representative responsible for the National Bloc.
  • Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and is elected its leader

    Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and is elected its leader
    The National Fascist Party was formed after Mussolini promised to disband the Fasci di Combattimento and used the same support to turn it into a political party. Later this party elected him leader as a part of a truce with the socialists. The badge below shows the official logo for the PNF that is antique and would have been worn by a devoted party member to show support for Mussolini.
  • March on Rome/Mussolini becomes Prime Minister

    March on Rome/Mussolini becomes Prime Minister
    Mussolini made his claim to power by supporting a Black Shirt march on Rome while he was ready to flee to Switerzland. The fascists violently made their way to Rome without any opposition from the King and for some unknown reason, the King neither put down the protest nor punish Mussolini. He was named Prime Minster before troops even made it to Rome. Here the troops are seen marching for a leader who did not even stand with them during the march and let them continue their protest
  • Acerbo Law Passed

    Acerbo Law Passed
    The new law changed the election criteria so that the majority party that wins at least 25% of the votes will receive 2/3 of the seats in parliament. This allowed the fascists to gain a majority of seats in the first election to follow this change; they won 300+ seats in 1924 which help strengthen Mussolini's hold on power. The photo shows the announcement of the new law to the populus which was significant news since it changed the political ideology of the country.
  • Corfu Incident

    Corfu Incident
    The military crisis between Greece and Italy because an Italian general was murdered in Greece so Mussolini demanded Greece publicly apologize and pay reparations and when neither of these terms were met he invaded the island of Corfu. The picture shows Italian warships with the intent to invade Greece and is symbolic of Italian naval strength.
  • Matteotti Crisis

    Matteotti Crisis
    Matteotti was the leader of the Socialist Party and an outspoken rival to Mussolini so he was abducted and murdered by fascists. Even though Mussolini was obviously involved he disbanded parliament to prevent them from removing him and instead had the gang responsible arrested. The image shows distraught faces carrying Mateotti's body which is significant because it shows the grieving perspective of the Italians who supported him and not Mussolini.
  • The Aventine Secession

    The Aventine Secession
    After the political murder of Giacomo Matteotti, a Socialist opposition deputy, by fascist thugs, about 150 members of the parliament opposition left the Italian Chamber of Deputies in order to show their opposition to the rule of Fascist leader Benito Mussolini. The picture represents the mourning of Matteotti and the multitudes of parliament opposition members leaving the Italian Chamber of Deputies in opposition.
  • Battle for Grain

    Battle for Grain
    The Battle for Grain was in response to a poor harvest and an increase in grain imports. The goal was for Italy to be nearly self-sufficient when it came to grain so that Italy could reduce its foreign imports. Farmers were to grow more cereals, especially wheat. More land was made available for grain and import controls were set into place. This battle had more failure than success. The picture was part of Mussolini's use of propaganda targetting farmers to grow more grains.
  • Pact of Locarno

    Pact of Locarno
    A series of agreements between Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy. Meetings began on October 16th and the treaties were signed on December 1st. The treaty guaranteed Germany's western frontier, which the bordering states of France, Germany, and Belgium pledged to treat as inviolable. The picture represents how the treaty of Locarno was viewed as the next step in peace amongst the European powers.
  • The Battle for Land

    The Battle for Land
    After the Battle for Grains, in order to support the Battle more, Mussolini began the Battle for Land in order to further increase the amount of available farmland. Marshes and swamps were drained and turned into farmland. This Battle had more success than failure, however, it didn't have much success, as its only significant area that was reclaimed was the Pontine Marshes.
  • Battle for the Lira

    Battle for the Lira
    The battle began when the value of the Italian currency dropped. In order to restore its value abroad and increase Italian prestige, the lire was re-valued. This battle involved artificially raising the value of the lira, which also resulted in declining exports. The picture represents both how the value of the Lira, and the unemployment rate, increased.
  • Battle for Births

    Battle for Births
    Mussolini aimed to increase the population from 40 million in 1927 to 60 million by 1950 in order to create a large future army. "To achieve this, the fascists encouraged early marriage, offered generous maternity benefits, exhorted women not to work, and gave jobs to married fathers in preference over single men." The picture shows how Mussolini and his wife set an example for all other Italians to have lots of kids.
  • Kellogg-Briand Treaty signed

    Kellogg-Briand Treaty signed
    Also referred to as the Pact of Paris, the pact was one of many international efforts to prevent another World War, but it had little effect in stopping the rising militarism of the 1930s. The picture show's all the delegates of the countries who signed the treaty.
  • Lateran Treaty

    Lateran Treaty
    There were three agreements in which Mussolini and the Catholic Church agreed to terms that were mutually beneficial. The Vatican City became an independent state, Rome was handed over to Italy for 30 million Euros, Roman Catholicism would be the official religion in Italy, religious education would be introduced in all state schools, the state would pay the salaries of the clergy, the state could veto the appointment of politically hostile bishops, and clergy should not join political parties
  • Abyssinian Crisis

    Abyssinian Crisis
    A conflict between Italy and the empire of Ethiopia. Italy left the League of Nations after the league ruled against Italy. Italy then made deals with Britain and France helping them to annex and occupy Abyssinia. Image: Map depicting Mussolini’s Italy invading Africa. Italy annexed Abyssinia after the second Italo-Ethiopian war.
  • Stresa Front

    Stresa Front
    A coalition of France, Britain, and Italy to oppose Adolf Hitler’s announced intention to rearm Germany. This coalition was signed in April When Italy invaded Ethiopia later that year, the coalition soon dissolved. The political cartoon represents how weak the Stresa Front was, as it lasted for less than a year
  • Italian involvement with Spanish Civil War

    Italian involvement with Spanish Civil War
    Italy had military intervention in Spain to support the nationalist cause against the Second Spanish Republic. Mussolini wanted to be involved to get control of the Mediterranean. Picture: Propaganda from posters in France that was meant to scare Spanish citizens of the possible results of Italian intervention in the war.
  • Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty signed

    Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty signed
    An agreement between Germany and Italy, and eventually joined by Japan, that created the axis powers in WWII. This treaty started an alliance between Germany and Italy at the end of the Spanish Civil War. Picture: Mussolini and Hitler standing together in front of a crowd after signing the treaty, thus creating an alliance between their nations.
  • Munich conference

    Munich conference
    An agreement between Britain, Germany, France, and Italy providing cession of Czechoslovakian territories to Germany. To avoid possible conflict with the major European power, Germany gained Sudetenland. Picture: Mussolini, Hitler, and Chamberlain discussing the territory of Sudetenland. They ultimately decided her that the land would be given to Germany to avoid any costly conflicts.
  • Italy invades Albania

    Italy invades Albania
    Italy invaded and took over Albania because of Mussolini's desire to increase imperialistic policies. Albania was easy for Italy to overtake because it was weakened and subject to invasion. Picture: Shows Italy's military invading Albania, making it a part of the Italian empire. Albanian people lived under the fascist rule while their king hid in Greece.
  • Italy enters WWII on side of Germany

    Italy enters WWII on side of Germany
    Italy sided with the axis power when it joined WWII and fought primarily against the British in the Middle East and Africa (imperialized nations). Italy did not have the resources needed for a long war but they joined after the French third republic's surrender. Picture: Propaganda used to encourage Italy's joining the war in order to sustain Mussolini's goal for more allies.
  • Mussolini brought down by coup during WWII

    Mussolini brought down by coup during WWII
    Count Dino Grandi and King Victor Emmanuel III both had plots against Mussolini and were able to end his fascist rule and imprison him. King Victor Emmanuel III succeeded Mussolini as Italy's ruler. Picture: King Emmanuel III who initiated Mussolini's fall by implementing a vote of no confidence against him.
  • Mussolini killed

    Mussolini killed
    Italian partisans shot Mussolini and his mistress while they were trying to flee to Switzerland after his fall from power. Their bodies were hung upside down on display for view to the Italian people. Picture: shows their bodies publicly on display in Milan. This conveys the Italian people's lack of respect for Mussolini after his death.