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Lecture 17

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Western University
History 2145A/B
David Norton

Hist1403E November 28, 2011 Lecture 17 TOPIC Italy and Mussolini Italy  King Victor Emmanuel II (1849-1878) o Ineffective, quiet, started off as King of the North of Italy (no interest in the South) o He was the one who Garibaldi presented the South to. o In 1861 the King insisted that the Vatican become a part of Italy. Thus, he is credited with unifying Italy – including the Pope.  King Umberto (1878-1900) o A weak ruler, an ineffective King (far worse than Emmanuel). o If he hadn’t had a good Prime Minister (Crispi), Umberto would have fallen apart again.  King Victor Emmanuel III (1900-1946) Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)  Was taught by his father that he was going to be a famous revolutionary like one in Mexico.  Youth o A loner, couldn’t keep friends, and didn’t exactly want them. o Violent in early school days and starts riots. o Not particularly intelligent. His parents were afraid that he would never speak (6 years old when he starts to speak). o Deep Roman Catholic; very devout.  “The Class Struggle” 1910 o A communist document showing his love for Marx’s communist manifesto. o Promotes communism. o It is sort of a newspaper or article (a small document). o He claims that it is not communism, but socialism. But then he changes what he says. This is when we start to see the typical pattern of Mussolini: constantly changing his view.  “Avanti” 1912 o A socialist paper. However, Socialism isn’t violent – the government should do more good for the people. He promoted change without violence (to draw the people back in). o He then changes to nationalism. o He tries to accommodate all different groups in Italian society.  “Manifesto of Futurism” 1912 o He returns to revolutionary communism. o He can change his mind because the people never remember anything anyway. o His first venture in writing. It is the beginning stages of his propaganda. One of the repeated phrases: “The leader must have the love of danger. He must exhibit this and the people must follow.” “Beauty only exists in struggle.” “War is the only cure to the modern world.” He is promoting a violent lifestyle and violent government. World War I  “The People of Italy” 1914 o Originally did not want Italy to join the war. But he changes his mind, claiming that being in the war in beneficial; if we join the winning side we will gain territory.  Battle of Caporetto 1917 o Once again changes his mind. “We should never have gone to war.” o Starts to talk about fascism. o He is so annoyed that Italy has lost the battle, that he feels he should lead a party and not just contribute to the war. o A Legend (not everyone believes this happened – there is no mention of how he got hurt):  When he was in training and had to throw a grenade, Mussolini took the pin out, threw it away, and held on to the grenade. (Idiotic)  He was injured.
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