History 2145A/B Lecture Notes - Vatican City, Blackshirts, Revolutionary Socialism

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19 Apr 2012
Stages of Italian Fascism
1. Creation of the movement, 1914-1919: from revolutionary socialism to revolutionary
2. Rooting in the political system, 1919-1921: extra parliamentary and parliamentary politics
3. The seizure of power, 1922-1925: March on Rome and Mussolini as semi-constitutional PM
4. Construction of the Fascist Dictatorship, 1925-1929
5. The long duration: radicalization and entropy, 1930-1945
The March On Rome: October 1922
Prefects local government official, appointed by the central government in place in Italy
Part of the government didn’t move against the fascists because they agreed with the fascists
over the socialists
Some were afraid of whether or not they could handle the fight
Judges (legal system) went easy on the fascists as opposed to the socialists because they were
1) intimidated or 2) sympathetic to their cause
The Tired Old King: Victor Emanuel III
Army in Italy is the Royal Army Regio Escercito could have tried to put down the fascist movement
Fascists make it sound like a revolution (we have ceased power) but in reality, accounts tell of normalcy
(business as usual)
Idea that things would get better - Dictatorship in Italy doesn’t exist until 1925
Fascist Italy is like a “broken compass” not being different from other parties (swinging back and forth
between being the same as before and being radical) ex. Made racial laws against their own Jewish
people, but then later made the army focus on a rescue effort of saving the jews and keeping them from
German hands
Defenders of the Fascist Revolution: The Squadristi
1923 Acerbo education act compulsory religious education is endorsed by Mussolini (independence
of Italy made it at war with the church so why would Mussolini want to involve the church once again?)
he is gaining support and consent (you don’t have to love him/join the party but you’re giving him
consent) *middle upper class, even lower classes are pleased by this
Squads aren’t happy to see Mussolini acting like an old traditional politician
Muss. Sowing the seeds for the “cracks in the foundation” of the fascist state
Making a series of compromises (church, army, industry) from revolutionary aims
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