Last Updated 15 Apr 2020

How Benito Mussolini Came to Power

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Firstly, Italy’s government was deteriorating and so it was evident that communist Italy was a failure. Mussolini had led the Italian population to believe that he and his fascist party were their only hope into putting an end to the chaos in Rome, and re-establish order and bring about the once great Italy, just as Caesar had in the time of the great Romans. This was appealing to the Italian people, as the city or Rome seemed to have fallen into ruins, taking advantage of this, Mussolini had conveyed himself as their saviour.

Fascist ideology stressed the importance of the heroic leader and strong government. This was in contrast to the weaknesses of Liberal Italy, characterised by the failure to provide strong and stable government and so Italian people found it easier to give praise to a person rather than a concept, and Fascism seemed to embody elements of both left and right wing policies. He used powerful slogans such as “Mussolini is always right, believe, obey, fight. ” Secondly, propaganda played a huge part in the success of Mussolini.

Mussolini would “re-write” history by including himself in historic moments or ‘erasing’ someone else as it suited him. There would constantly be a movie displaying how heroic he was, Mussolini was practically everywhere, from movies to propaganda posters, wherever he was shown he always made sure he looked his best. Thirdly, it may be argued that the Catholic church helped Mussolini secure the position of prime minister, the Catholic Church was in danger of losing all of its land in Rome, its claim to Vatican City was disputed.

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Mussolini offered the church a deal, he would recognize the Church's right to independence and their ownership of the entire Vatican City; give the church reparations within limits for land taken during the unification of Italy; and he would protect the church's position as the state religion of Italy. In return, the Vatican agreed to recognize Italy as a separate nation and Mussolini as the leader of Italy. This was known as the Lateran Treaty.

This showed the Italian people that Mussolini was working with the church; this just reinforced the good image Mussolini already had. Finally, the king was also a contributing factor for Mussolini becoming Prime minister in 1922. Firstly the king refused to stop any strikes (in which there were many), in fear of civil war. Another mistake on the kings behalf, who refused to implement facta’s plan to ensure Rome’s safety/defend Rome from Fascist violence.

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