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Italy (1919-1939)

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Italy (1919-1939). Post war inflation (price increases) and unemployment 460,000 WW1 deaths Italy disappointed by lack of WWI gains, had wanted Germany’s African colonies after WWI, decided to take some by force in 1920’s ( Ethopia ) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
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Italy (1919-1939) Post war inflation (price increases) and unemployment 460,000 WW1 deaths Italy disappointed by lack of WWI gains, had wanted Germany’s African colonies after WWI, decided to take some by force in 1920’s (Ethopia) Italy’s prime minister (Vittorio Orlando) actually cried at Versailles when the Allies insulted Italy’s contribution to the Allied war effort Socialists seized factories and declared that there were Soviets in several cities in Northern Italy in 1920 Communism increases appeal of fascism among middle class, industrialists, and wealthy, church, veterans Modern Italy only formed in 1870, not that old
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Page 1: Italy (1919-1939)

Italy (1919-1939)• Post war inflation (price increases)

and unemployment• 460,000 WW1 deaths• Italy disappointed by lack of WWI

gains, had wanted Germany’s African colonies after WWI, decided to take some by force in 1920’s (Ethopia)

• Italy’s prime minister (Vittorio Orlando) actually cried at Versailles when the Allies insulted Italy’s contribution to the Allied war effort

• Socialists seized factories and declared that there were Soviets in several cities in Northern Italy in 1920

• Communism increases appeal of fascism among middle class, industrialists, and wealthy, church, veterans Modern Italy only formed in 1870, not

that old

Page 2: Italy (1919-1939)

Fascist Party• Born March 23, 1919 in Milan• Symbol of the party is the fasces,

a bundle of sticks, symbolizes that society is individually weak, but collectively strong

• Fasces are also an ancient Roman symbol of authority. They are rods and axes wrapped into a bundle

• The rods were used for punishment, and the axes for execution.

• The ideal of fascism is that the different social classes will work together for the good of the country

•  Benito Mussolini, leader of Fascists

Eagle with fasces used on the war flag of the Repubblica Sociale Italiana (civil flag is the same of the present day Italian Republic, but was never used)

Page 3: Italy (1919-1939)

Mussolini• Former socialist, but had favored WW1, because he saw it as a way to gain territory• Used to be a propagandist for a socialist newspaper• Fought in WWI until wounded by an exploding mortar in his trench, only advanced

to rank of corporal• Editor for fascist party paper “Il Popolo d’Italia (The People of Italy)”• Fasci di Combattimenti (Italian Combat Squad) (aka the Black Shirts), party street

army, beat up opponents in streets, made people drink castor oil (communists, anarchists, strikers, etc.)

Insignia for the shoulder of the rank of corporal of the Italian Army

Mussolini as a soldier 1917 Popolo d’

Italia

Mussolini and his Black Shirts

Page 5: Italy (1919-1939)

March on Rome (October 28, 1922)• Black Shirts marched on Rome• Mussolini waited in Milan to see if the overthrow succeeded, and then joined

and pretended to have led it• King lets Black Shirts enter Rome without a fight, King Victor Emmanuel III

wanted to use Mussolini to destroy communists, then planned to get rid of Mussolini

Black Shirts- March on Rome March on Rome

Page 6: Italy (1919-1939)

Duce et decorum: Benito Mussolini and four of his Generals, March on Rome

March on Rome and Commemorative March on Rome Medal

King Victor Emmanuel III and Mussolini the dictator

Page 7: Italy (1919-1939)

• October 29, 1922 declared day one of year one of the new fascist era (Mussolini made dictator for a year)

• Mussolini became Prime Minister, later “Il Duce” (The leader), comes from Roman title dux (leader)

• Fascists guaranteed 2/3 majority in legislature in 1923, by Acerbo Law

• Party won big in elections of 1924, given decree power

• Other parties kicked out of legislature, Socialist leaders beaten to death by Black Shirts

Mussolini’s flag

Il Duce Mussolini before the masses in Rome (using the Fascist salute)

Fascist Italy flag

Page 8: Italy (1919-1939)

Press controlled in 1923• Journalists need license from Fascist party to write • Mussolini’s paper Il Popolo d’Italia (The People of Italy)• In 1929, Mussolini raped a reporter for the London Herald after she

gave him a bad interview• Radio controlled• Theater controlled• Film scripts approved, film studio opened, pro-fascist films given 100%

government funding, government bought chain of theaters, controlled foreign films, foreign films dubbed, exported films not dubbed

• In 1930, it was forbidden to distribute any Communist or Marxist literature, though technically not illegal for libraries to possess it for scholarly work (research)

• In 1938, all books relating to Communism, freemasonry, or Jewish culture were ordered destroyed, though many librarians merely hid the books

Page 9: Italy (1919-1939)

Censorship of Private Communications• Telephone calls and letters were monitored• Calls were often listened to and sometimes interrupted• Mail was opened and read• Private communications of people walking down the street were

monitored by secret police• Italians commonly walked around in silence• In 1924, the Mafia hounded after Mussolini offended the Mafia

boss in Sicily, boss emptied town of inhabitants except for 20 beggars when Mussolini was supposed to speak to the “assembled populace”

• Freemasonry and other secret societies suppressed in 1925 • By 1926, political opposition was outlawed

Page 10: Italy (1919-1939)

Anarchist Anteo Zamboni

•On October 31, 1926, 15-year-old Anarchist Anteo Zamboni tried to assassinate Mussolini; he was caught in the act and lynched on the spot

Page 11: Italy (1919-1939)

Other techniques used for building Fascist support and eliminating enemies

• Secret police organized in 1927- (OVRA) Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism

• Tribunale Speciale (Special Tribunals) courts established to try “political crimes”

• Political offenders sent to prison on remote Lipari and Ponza Islands or other camps

• Citizens encouraged to tell on neighbors• Death penalty re-introduced, only used 10 times before 1940 • By 1928, all elections were yes/no votes on candidates chosen by party • In 1931, all university professors had to take an oath to defend fascism• Report cards and required notebooks have fascist symbols, phrases, and

pictures of Mussolini• Textbooks rewritten, overstate Italian war victories

Page 12: Italy (1919-1939)

Mussolini Propaganda• Shaved his head to appear younger and more masculine and powerful• American razors were not good enough for Il Duce’s manly beard• Pictures of him flying an airplane, driving a race car, winning a chess

match, playing the violin, jogging; many of these were faked• “The Duce is always right”, “Believe, Obey, Fight.”• “The book and the musket make the perfect fascist.”• “Long live death” “War is to man as motherhood is to woman.”• Became popular with all classes in Italy• Formula 1 racing big for prestige, Germany (Mercedes-Benz, Auto

Union), Spain, France, Italy (Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Bugatti), GB (ERA)

• Stamps, architecture and sculpture used to remind people of ancient Roman glory

• Foreign words forbidden in 1936, by the Ministry of Popular Culture, Louis Armstrong becomes Luigi Fortebraccio, Jazz eventually banned

• Increase the birth rate (Battle for Births)• Each family was to try to have at least 5 children• Bachelors taxed at more than twice the normal rate• “He who is not a father is not a man.”• Abortion illegal, contraceptives discouraged• Women discouraged from working, riding horses or wearing trousers• Mother and Son Day created and celebrated

Page 13: Italy (1919-1939)

Youth Organizations• By1926, they created paramilitary

organizations (The Opera National Balilla, ONB), membership was voluntary but coerced

•  Mussolini actually met in England with Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, for advice

• Balilla Motto: "I believe in Rome, the Eternal, the mother of my country……I believe in the genius of Mussolini…and in the resurrection of the Empire."

• “Sons of the She Wolf” (ages 6-8)• Girls not added until 1929-Piccole Italiane (Little Italian Girls) (ages 8-14)Giovani Italiane (Young Italian Women) (ages

14-18)(Girls learned childcare, first aid, physical

exercise, political indoctrination)

The Opera National Balilla (Fascist Youth), a failed attempt at youth Fascist paramilitary instruction

Robert Baden Powell and the Boy Scouts logo

Page 14: Italy (1919-1939)

Balilla ages (8-14)Avanguardista (Vanguard) (ages 14-18)

Fascisti Universitari age up to 21Girls not originally part, added 1929 with the Fascio Femminile

Sons of the She Wolf

Page 15: Italy (1919-1939)

Labor and Make Work Programs

• Employees got unemployment and health insurance, but weren’t allowed to strike

• Constructed motorways (Autostrada), the first in world history

• New public buildings, used style of Gruppo 7, architects starting in 1926

• Tried to build new model agricultural town, Mussolinia, in southern Italy to build prosperity there (Battle of the Southern Problem), never completed

• Drained Pontine Marshes near Rome to create agricultural land (Battle for Land)

• Rearmament helped spur employment• Hydroelectric power programs were undertaken• Public begging ended

Autostrada Highway signs

Fred Toelle, “P.O.W.’s draining in the Pontine Marshes

Page 16: Italy (1919-1939)

Raised barge of Roman emperor Caligula from bottom of Lake Nemi

Catilgula’s Boat

Drawing of Caligula’s boat

Page 17: Italy (1919-1939)

The Fascist Economic system:

• Government controlled industry, although private ownership was allowed to continue

• The economy was set up for the military and war• Mussolini sought economic self-sufficiency (Battle of Grain

is an example – Mussolini tried to increase grain production, at cost of fruit production, increased tariff on foreign grain, failed)

•Il Duce needs gold- almost half million women turn in wedding rings for steel replicas•Balanced budget•Ended inflation•Buy Italian campaign started in 1936•Battle of the Lira, Mussolini tried to raise the value of Italian currency• Mussolini felt it looked bad for Italy to have such a low valued currency•Mussolini artificially raised the value of the Lira, which made prices of Italian exports rise, and thus fewer to be sold (This raised unemployment in Italy.) (BAD)

Economy:

Page 18: Italy (1919-1939)

Italian Lira

•Mussolini could not overcome his nation’s lack of industry, Italy could not become an economic power as quickly as he hoped•Gold for the Fatherland Program: was a program that asked people to donate wedding rings and gold jewelry which was melted down, cast into bars, and distributed to Italy’s banks, people were given iron arm bands with words “Gold for the Fatherland” on them

Page 19: Italy (1919-1939)

Labor• Labor and management combined

into corporations, workers cannot strike or lockout

• Workers rewarded with free Sundays, cheap vacations, paid holidays, social security, sports and theater facilities

• Italian railroads ran on time for first time in Italian history (or someone died). Mussolini was tired of other countries making fun of the relaxed Italian sense of time.

• It was also thought the railroads running on time would help job opportunities.

Lateran Agreements : (February 11, 1929)•Annexed Papal States (Pope’s country) and left the Vatican (1 square mile)• Rewarded the Pope by guaranteeing Catholicism in Italy

Benito Mussolini reads his credentials prior to signing the Lateran Treaty on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III. Cardinal Gasparri (seated), signed on behalf of Pope Pius XI.

Religious Tolerance and Intolerance

Page 20: Italy (1919-1939)

(Left) Mussolini signs the Lateran Pact of 1929, which brought into being the Vatican City State. (Middle) Cardinal Gasparri signs the Lateran Concordatas Mussolini looks on. (Right) Vatican flag

Seals and signatures; Benito Mussolini and Cardinal Gasparri

Postcard commemorating the Lateran Pact

Page 21: Italy (1919-1939)

Cardinal Gasparri and Benito Mussolini (seated) after exchanging treaty ratifications

in the Hall of Congregations, the Vatican, and June 7th, 1929

Pope Pius XI

•Government pays salaries of priests, teach Catholicism in schools•Jehovah’s Witnesses persecuted because of opposition to warfare and totalitarian government•Mussolini adopted anti-Semitism after 1937, after meeting with Hitler•Mussolini had to break up a romance between his daughter and a Jewish boy

Religion Continued:


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