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22. Fascism in Italy

The term fascism comes from the word fasces; an ax tightly wound with sticks.  Fascism can be defined as a political attitude and mass movement that arose during time between the first and second World War.

Fascism is the attitude of giving full interest in economic, social, and military power to a dominant race or state lead by a single dominant leader.  Fascism basically rejected the idea of Socialism, Capitalism, and Democracy. Fascism’s are single-party dictatorships characterized by terrorism and police surveillance.  It focuses on ethnicity and “our” race being better than “your” race. Fascism isn’t limited to one culture alone.  Each culture can believe that it is better and each person can consider himself to be better than his fellow man. Fascism is used to categorize censorship and oppression.  Ones who take away freedom from others can be considered fascist.

•    Mussolini was started the Fascist Party in Italy.  He was expelled from the Socialist party in 1915 and he then went to fight in World War I.
•    He was injured and returned to Italy and started a new political party, the Fascist party. 
•    After gaining much support he demanded that King Victor Emmanuel III appoint him Prim Minister of Italy.  In October 1922 he became prime minister of Italy.  The fascist party then won the next election and Mussolini too over as ruler in 1925.  They called him “Duce” (leader) because his title was “head of the government”. 
•    The Fascist party was very violent and soon spread to many areas of life in Italy.  The police soon came under control by the fascists and the fascists even started their own militia.  The violence increased and freedom was lessened.  Secret police and assignation teams (also known as black shirts) had control of the streets.
•    The fascists were very pro-violence, anti-democracy, and anti-communism.
•    The Party believed in only one absolute ruler and the retraction of many freedoms. All other political parties were banned in Italy, so were labor unions.  Books and papers were censored, and education was reviewed so that it would favor the fascist government.
•    Mussolini helped the public by the use of public work camps, which gave jobs to the large number of unemployed people in Italy at the time. It also provided Italy with new and improved roadways.
•    Fascism brought a sound economy to Italy during the Depression, but at the cost of freedoms.
•    Benito Mussolini and the Fascist party lost popularity by siding with the Germans.  Becoming allies with the Germans became unpopular when the Germans started to lose the war.
•    Public opinion in Italy of Italy’s involvement in the war became extremely negative when the Allies invaded Italy.
•    In April 1945 Benito Mussolini was shot and hung upside down with many of his fellow fascists.
•    The fascist movement was made illegal after the resistance killed Benito Mussolini, and without a strong leader the Fascist party crumbled.

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