Mussolini and Fascism by Patricia Knight

By Patricia Knight

The early 20th century in Italy used to be an important interval in its background. Mussolini and Fascism surveys all of the vital concerns and themes of the interval together with the origins and upward push of Fascism, Mussolini as top Minister and Dictator, the Totalitarian nation, international coverage and the second one global warfare. It additionally examines how Italian Fascism in comparison to different inter-war dictatorships.

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Though privately Mussolini remained an anticlerical atheist, he was quick to perceive the political advantages of a settlement with the Church. Negotiations to resolve the long-standing Church–state dispute predated his regime but from 1922 the pace increased and the Pacts were finally signed in February 1929. There were three parts to the Pacts: a treaty about sovereignty, a Concordat dealing with Church–state relations and a financial settlement. There was to be compulsory religious instruction in state schools, and Church schools gained parity with their state counterparts.

Source D: The Proclamation of the Quadrumvirate, 26 October 1922, issued just before the planned march on Rome. Fascists! Italians! The time for determined battle has come! Four years ago the National Army loosed at this season the final offensive, which brought it to victory. Today the army of the Blackshirts takes again possession of that victory, which has been mutilated, and going directly to Rome brings victory again to the glory of that capital. . The Army, the reserve and the safeguard of the Nation, must not take part in their struggle.

After 1924, elected local councils were replaced by prefects who were appointed from above and were reliable supporters of the regime. With the cabinet exclusively Fascist and parliament subdued, only the press remained as an avenue for opposition. Mussolini took a great interest in journalism and personally monitored the Fascist Popolo d’Italia, but in 1922 this sold few copies compared with betterestablished and more reputable papers such as Corriere della Sera, La Stampa and Il Mondo. There was also the Socialist Avanti, and the Communist L’Unità.

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