Essay on How and Why Did Mussolini Rise to Power?

4437 Words May 29th, 2012 18 Pages
How and why did Mussolini come to power in 1922?
The tumultuous era preceding Mussolini’s rise to power was marked by post-war grievances and prolonged economic instability; both of these factors resulted in popular dissatisfaction with liberalism and created an opportune atmosphere for his accession to power. The years following Italy’s unification in 1871 were blighted by poverty, a lack of nationalism and most devastatingly involvement in the First World War, resulting in national humiliation and the diminishing of the liberal government’s authority. This was signified by the marked political instability from 1919 to 1922, where 5 weak governments were elected in quick succession. The “mutilated victory” of Versailles, where Italy was
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Fascism also advocated the incorporation of any Italian-speaking areas still not part of Italy which applied to nationalists and the many who were unsatisfied with Italy’s gains at Versailles. The surge of support of fascism after the Red Years was largely due to the Fascist party’s suppression of socialist strikes, trade union activity and peasant leagues, killing over 3000 socialists in the process. In their quelling of the Red Years they demonstrated a discipline and resolve that was politically unrivalled. In the 1921 elections the number of seats the socialists held the Chamber fell dramatically from 156 to 123.
Another factor that propelled Mussolini to power in 1922 was the continued weakness of liberalism and liberal governments’ incompetence when dealing with post-war economic and political problems. Liberalism faced significant problems in the years preceding world war one however, such as the unorthodox trasformismo governing system introduced in 1883 designed to strengthen and ensure the continuation of moderate politics. This system, designed solely to sustain liberal rule, became increasingly corrupt and weakened the structure of the divided Liberals due to the many coalitions required to hold the party together. The costs of employing the trasformismo system were illiteracy rates remaining the same as they had been prior to unification and increasing the divide

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