Italy and Fascism 1900-1945 AQA A Level Paper 2L




1.    Crisis of Liberal Italy (page 2)

2.    The collapse of Liberal Italy (page 7) 

3.    Establishment of Fascist Italy (page 14)

4.    Life in Fascist Italy (page 19) 

5.    The Fascist Political System (page 27) 

6.    Fascist Economy (page 31)

7.    Fascist Foreign Policy (page 37)

8.   WW2 and the fall of Fascism (page 44)




























Problems of liberal Italy in 1900 


·     1861: formation of independent Italy 

·     1871: official ‘new Italy’ 

·     1904: general strike 

·     1911 (Sep): Italy invades Libya 

·     1914 (Jun): ‘Red week’ 

·     1915 (May): signing of Treaty of London 


·     Cavour (PM of Piedmont) wanted an independent state in Northern and Central Italy (not to include poor south) 

o  Did a deal with Napoleon III to expel Austria from some Italian-speaking lands 

o  Italy gained Solferino, Magenta, Lombardy, and other states 

o  Austria kept Venetia 

·     Garibaldi: radical nationalist

o  Popular with masses 

o  Joined a peasant revolt in Sicily and Naples

·     Cavour took troops to Papal States to link up and Garibaldi handed over his territory 

·     Victor Emmanuel II: King of New Italy 

·     1861: new Italy proclaimed 

·     1866: Italy and Prussia fight Austria, Venetia handed to Italy // Pope still rules Rome and is protected by French troops 

·     1871: Prussia wins against France, who withdraw from Rome, which becomes capital and signifies complete unification

Effects of unification: 

·     Masses not given voice at first, so failed to identify with the new state: 

o  1871 = 2% males could vote, 1882 = 25% males, 1912 = most adult males 

·     1890s: economic depression, Banca Romana caused inflation as had printed around 60 million lire in new notes and had lent large sums to leading politicians (Giolitti had taken around 60 thousand lire, when avg. income of Italian person was around 2000 lire p.a.) 

·     1897: poor harvests + high prices of food = street demonstrations around the country -> arrest of socialist newspaper sellers in Milan led to widespread rioting -> army brought in and killed around 200 people -> opposition simply went underground and liberal government lost a lot of support 

·     Governments were weak, MPs formed governments by competing for support with other deputies, often done through corrupt practices meaning frequent change as allegiances changed 

o  Avg. length of government was 1.8 years 

·     Unification was dominated by the elite who were not committed to social reform 

o  It was never originally planned to include the poor south so it was neglected 

·     The Pope was hostile and ensured Catholics would not be in the new…


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