Analysis Of The Claim That Mussolini’s Successful Rise To Power By 1922 Was Largely A Consequence Of The Impact Of The First World War

2697 words - 11 pages

Analysis of the Claim that Mussolini’s Successful Rise to Power by 1922 Was Largely a Consequence of the Impact of the First World War

Without a doubt, the role of the First World War in Mussolini’s
spectacular rise to power between 1920 and 1922 was considerable, for
it was surely a strong catalyst for change and Italy’s renewal,
meaning it gave way to many problematic economical and political
aspects, which in turn gave Mussolini the chance to strike at the
precise moment in order to have a direct affect on people and ergo win
their support. These were aspects such as the damage of the
foundations of ‘Liberal Italy’, which had as a consequence the rise of
frustration within nationalists and the decrease in wages and increase
in the level of unemployment in the country, all of which were
obviously disastrous. Therefore, Italian people started to doubt their
government, which seemed weak, and initiated a search for a new,
stronger leadership which would bring to cease the social unrest and
economic problems; to this, Fascism seemed like the perfect
alternative and solution.

Nevertheless, the impact of the First World War was just to certain
extent the reason for Mussolini’s rise to power, for there were many
other factors affecting the path of Italy into a Fascist dictatorship.
These other factors were the already mentioned weak liberal regime,
nationalist dissatisfaction and social and economic unrest, as well as
Mussolini’s opportunism, the Fascist’s actions and the King’s (Victor
Emmanuel) doings.

Dealing first with the impact of the war and the numerous consequences
it had, it is necessary to point out that it was the war that brought
the distress among soldiers and their families, who consequently
turned to Fascism as a comfort, which implicates that the war provided
a great number of employers for Fascism who were from the elite troops
of the Italian army, (or Arditi); this gave Mussolini’s movement a
great deal of prestige. The war also brought discontent within the
Italian political system; this had an effect on million of Italians
who started believing that the time of liberalism was finally over; a
fact which greatly accelerated the process of the formation of new
political parties, such as the Socialist party, and the Popolari
(formed by catholic radicals).

The formation of these new parties meant a heavy burden for the
Liberal government, because with a new opposition and challenge their
regime was in danger, nevertheless the Liberal State found itself in a
high level of vulnerability seeing that it was incapable of mobilizing
the economy with the purpose of eliminating the country’s economic
troubles, and finding a way around its limited economic resources;
this only provided the masses with new restlessness concerning their
government, and ergo made them...

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