Cassels viewed Fascist Italy as an enormous trick carried out on the Italian nation by Benito Mussolini. In the United States during World War II, it was smart to promise the Italo-American portion of the electors that war was being waged. Winston Churchill appealed to the Italian people because he was responsible for guiding his country to disaster. He disagreed with the people which put him in a bad position. After 1945, Italian patriots tried to fix Italy's bad reputation by refining the idea that Fascism had been a temporary oddness in Italian history.
Another approach to Italian Fascism viewed Fascism more of a direct outgrowth of Italian history than an artificial creation of Mussolini. The environment shaped the rise of Fascism. Mussolini was lowered to an agent of a historical force. This was the reason from the many investigations into pre-Fascist Italy. Those were the roots of Fascism in traditional Italian society. Fascism was successful because it understood the needs of the society.
Cassels used both primary and secondary sources to back up his statements. Newspapers which were printed during fascism helped the author back up his facts. Primary resources were not used as much as the secondary sources. Secondary sources such as books, surveys, literature, and historical dictionaries were used to prove his many points. The United States and Italy was a book which he thought was very well written. This book concentrated having fascism in the total context of united Italy. He also used The Economic History of Modern Italy which gave the author facts and figures of Italy's economic position after the First World War. A Historical Dictionary of Fascist Italy was very helpful; it contained 570 summary essays on specific traits of Fascism. Cassels used these sources wisely and efficiently. His statements were thorough which made the reader understand the history of Fascist Italy. The numerous books he used explained each specific detail which were discussed throughout the book.
The author's diction was clear and easy to understand. Although a few sentences throughout the book were unclear, the majority of the book was in a well organized manner. Cassels organized the history in a manner which he discussed the background first, then explained the time during the rise of Italy, and lastly described what happened afterwards. Prior knowledge was not a necessity in order to read this book. Although some parts in the book required previous knowledge in order to understand; most of it was basic and elementary. The information given could have helped both a well-educated person and an experienced historian. The book contains only two maps which illustrate how Italy was geographically between 1918-1945. The other map represented which countries were affiliated with Italy in international and colonial affairs. The book contained a bibliography chapter to show the various sources the author used to explain his book.
I thought the book was well written. It was clear and thorough which made it easy to read. At times I did not understand what the author was trying to say, but after I read the sentence or sentences again the point was clear to me. The author did not have many arguments, he plainly explained what happened during the rise of Italy. However, the arguments he did have were backed up by books and newspapers. Although I learned much of what was talked about, now I have a better understanding of what occurred during the early twentieth century in Italy. More details were discussed which made me learn more about the topic. Overall I thought the book was complete and would greatly help anyone who is curious about fascist Italy.
United Italy began its life with a nineteenth-century liberal constitution. It included a monarchy of limited powers, and a bicameral legislature made up of a senate and a chamber of deputies. The Italian peninsula was united into a single nation-state from 1859 to 1870. Italy lacked in party discipline. Italy's political leaders turned to the distribution of favors in order to fasten a parliamentary majority. The parliamentary regime's effort to handle economic and social problems did not repair its public reputation.
Industrialization added another problem to Italy's economic dilemma. The proletariat were taken advantage of as badly as anywhere else in Europe. International affairs failed to deliver what was expected. Towards the end of the nineteenth-century, the weakness of the parliamentary regime had grown so flagrant; it was threatening the whole political structure itself. Later, there was a constitutional crises which gave the parliamentary system a leap of hope. There was an incompatibility between parliamentarianism and the national spirit which was greatly enhanced during World War I. After a half-century of liberal, parliamentary government had not resolved Italy's two difficulties. The separation between nation and state remained; the making of Italy had not been supported by the making of Italians.
Benito Mussolini was first certified as an elementary teacher in his early years. Later Mussolini first discovered how shamefully Italian immigrants were exploited while he was doing manual labor. This played a great deal on his decisions. Mussolini was and extremist and consistently urged violence as a means of change. Mussolini denounced nationalism as a capitalist trait and a bourgeois snare to entrap the workers.
Mussolini's enemies in 1914 and later, charged that he was bought. In terms of power and influence which Mussolini craved far above money, his convictions cost him much. Mussolini gained new opportunities to arise. The liberal regime creaked to a standstill; the traditional tactics of electoral control no longer worked. The socialist party was far too fragmented to form a solid power base. The economic hardship caused by the reversion from a war to a civilian economy was as severe in Italy as in any other nation. At the same time, the gross national product and overseas trade declined rapidly. In northern Italy, peasants formed leagues to strike against the landlords. They gained a collective contract which certified league hiring halls as the exclusive source of agrarian labor.
The threat of Bolshevism was cunningly exploited by Mussolini. The threat of Bolshevism was cunningly exploited by Mussolini. A major score on which the postwar liberal regime fell short of expectations concerned foreign policy. Italy was granted as a member of the Council Of Four. Regardless of the merits of Italy's case for colonies, Fiume and Dalmatia, these were all subsidiary war aims. Feebleness in domestic foreign affairs left a power vacuum at the heart of Italian politics that Mussolini his opportunity.
Fascism was formally inaugurated on March 23, 1919, in Milan's Piazza San Sepocro. That afternoon, Mussolini explained Fascism's social policy. Mussolini's affiliation with the nationalist Right seems to have provided a bridge to capitalism. Fascism cornered the nationalists market, somewhat surprisingly in view of D'Annunzio's stranglehold on patriotism. Mussolini refused to commit himself to D'Annunzio. Rather, he preferred to learn from him. While gaining notoriety in Fiume, D'Annunzio lost ground in Italy. The secular liberal papers by and large turned a blind eye to Fascist atrocities. Italian Fascism was a reaction against parliamentary democracy, and it made its way into office by the cultivation of influence namely outside the Chamber Of Deputies.
The more the Fascists enjoyed power, the less they needed a violent coup to obtain power. Violence there certainly was. The March on room was entrusted to a quadrumvirate, which interestingly reflected the diverse elements within Fascism. although the quadrumvirate kept secret their exact plans, rumors of a Fascist coup were rife throughout the fall of 1922. The Facta ministry was taken by surprise at the first signs of Fascist mobilization on October 26. The king refused to sign the proclamation of martial law.
Mussolini became premier on October 30-before any of his squadristi reached Rome. Mussolini constructed a cabinet within twelve hours of his arrival in Rome. Mussolini's personal demeanor was carefully modulated to dispel suspicion that he was an incipient dictator. Parliament's backing of his ministry seemed sound enough at first, but then Italian parliamentary history majorities were apt to vanish with remarkable swiftness. A man by the name of Matteotti had been killed by Fascists which was bad for Mussolini. The murder was done by the Dumini gang who confessed to it.
Fascism achieved absolute power under Mussolini although not necessarily because of him. Now that parliament no longer mattered, the decrees by which Italy was governed emanated from the Grand Council of Fascism. Mussolini became the veritable dictator of his party in of his country. He had the most success with women and crowds. Mussolini suffered from an outsized inferiority complex. The task of defining corporativism fell into several hands. The groundwork of the Fascist corporate state was laid in 1925 in the Vidoni Pact. The duty of the corporations was to settle equably questions about working conditions within each vocation.
Mussolini's economic policies were of such dubious inspiration that a consistent pattern of growth could hardly be expected. Although Mussolini could justly claim much credit for the Lateran Accords, he did not build them from scratch as he liked to pretend. With the Lateran Accords, Mussolini completed his accommodation with the main elements of Italy's traditional power structure. Mussolini took great heed of the rising generation. A Fascist secret police force was created to increase military strength. Fascists aspiring to totalitarianism; Mussolini often used the word totalitarian. Mussolini came to terms with many groups from the monarchy to the Mafia. Since 1915, by far the most consistent thread running through Mussolini's career had been his attachment to the nationalist cause.
Many, both in Italy and abroad, who had qualms about Fascist diplomacy, put their trust in the capacity of the Italian Foreign Ministry to curb Mussolini. In the 1930s, the Foreign Ministry, like the rest of the bureaucracy, grew more Fascist. In September 1923, Fascist Italy seized the Greek island of Corfu, strategically located where the Adriatic flows into the Mediterranean. Fascist Italy failed to hold Corfu and her success in acquiring Fiume had been due. Mussolini's attitude to Great Britain was ambivalent. He was jealous of France too. Mussolini's jealousy of France led him to approach France's principal enemy and the major revisionist power, namely, Germany.
Mussolini's gamble, was then by appeasing German nationalism, he could deflect it from the Alps to the Rhine. His entire strategy for coping with German revisionism were put to the test by Hitler's arrival in power in January 1933. The danger to Italy of unrestrained German nationalism was amply demonstrated a year later. Mussolini chose to become embroiled in Africa. Over the years, Britain had actually shown more sympathy than France toward Italy's Ethiopian ambitions. Mussolini needed an up-to-date token of London's good will before attacking Ethiopia in 1935. By the time of the annual session of the League Assembly in September, the British government had to choose between appeasing Mussolini and satisfying the British people's attachment to the league. Italy's involvement in the Spanish Civil War far exceeded that of the other interventionists, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. The catalyst was the union of Austria with Nazi Germany. The shadow of the predatory and overwhelming force of Pan-Germanism fell over Italy.
In the last week of August 1939, it became clear that Hitler's designs on Danzig and the Polish Corridor were about to embroil him in a war with Britain and France. Fascist Italy had deserted Germany just as liberal Italy had done in 1940. Fascist Italy was not ready for the war. German grant strategy called for the Italian war effort to concentrate on the Mediterranean and North Africa. The military defeats in the Alps, the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and Africa-exposed with startling suddenness the sham of Italian Fascism.
The Italian state was left to drift further because of Mussolini's fatalistic streak. On December 11, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy jointly declared war on the United States. An impetus of change was a galloping deterioration of the military situation. Relations between King Victor Emmanuel and Mussolini were always formally correct. In end, as Mussolini's downfall spread, there was shouting in streets-mostly in celebration. Mussolini was sent to prison in an ambulance for his unwise decisions. Nowhere to be seen was a Fascist insurrection; it was the final end to the Fascist movement.