"Compare And Contrast The Internal Policies Of Mussolini And Stalin."

1289 words - 5 pages

"Compare and contrast the internal policies of Mussolini and Stalin."Mussolini and Stalin were two of the most significant dictators of the 20th century. Both aimed to establish a totalitarian system but their different characters and circumstances in their respective countries resulted in two very different approaches in obtaining their goals.At the beginning of Mussolini's era, Mussolini was supported by the Liberals in parliament. With their help he introduced strict censorship and altered the methods of election so that in 1925-1926 he was able to assume dictatorial powers and dissolve all other political parties. Skilfully using his absolute control over the press, he gradually built up the legend of "The Duce", a man who was always right and could solve all the problems of politics and economics. Italy was soon a police state. With those who tried to resist him, for example the Socialist Giacomo Matteotti, he showed himself utterly ruthless. But Mussolini's skill in propaganda was such that he had surprisingly little opposition.At various times after 1922, Mussolini personally took over the ministries of the interior, of foreign affairs, of the colonies, of the corporations, of the army and the other armed services, and of public works. Sometimes he held as many as seven departments simultaneously, as well as the premiership. He was also head of the all-powerful Fascist party (formed in 1921) and the armed Fascist militia. In this way he succeeded in keeping power in his own hands and preventing the emergence of any rival. But it was at the price of creating a regime that was over centralized, inefficient, and corrupt.Stalin, much more radical than Mussolini, secured his position as a leader through a series of political killings, which reached their peak in the political purges of the 1930s. In the purge trials, many old Bolsheviks including Kamenev, Zinoviev, Aleksey Rykov, and Bukharin, were accused, pleaded guilty, and were executed. Not only political opponents of Stalin were killed but also members of the secret police, e.g. Commander G.G. Yagoda, and high ranking army officers, notably Marshal Tukhachevsky. The terror of the purges reached a climax under the Yezhovshchina, the period (1937-38) when N. I. Yezhov directed the secret police. As the purges drew to a close (1939), the efforts of the secret police were concentrated on eliminating those elements of the population that might be disloyal in case of war. The Soviet system of forced labour camps, the Gulag, was hugely expanded during this period. Many million innocent people where sent to these camps in Siberia or in the north of Russia.Comparing the two dictators, it is apparent that Stalin made his dictatorship absolute by liquidating all opposition within the party while Mussolini in contrast, used the help of others to become a powerful leader. Stalin killed millions in his quest for power Mussolini was by comparison less brutal and more manipulative in his use of...

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