Who Really Ruled Italy in 1926-40? Essay

This essay has a total of 1347 words and 6 pages.

Who Really Ruled Italy in 1926-40?

Mussolini is considered as one of the most important European dictators of the twenties
century. If he is a dictator he would be the absolute ruler of Italy, but a man can not do
everything himself. So how important were the other protagonists: the fascist party and
the establishment? Their strength would be measured in power.

Mussolini through his political situation was the most powerful man in Italy. He was Prime
Minister and held up to 8 ministries at once. The parliament had very restrained powers,
Mussolini decided and the parliament could only agree as the members all belonged to
Mussolini's party. It was used as a security valve. He would give tasks to the independent
members such as Farinacci to keep them occupied and on is side. Even if the members of the
parliament and of the government were members of the fascist party their influence and
power was limited.

Not only was Mussolini the leader of the country he was also from 1926 the chairman of the
Fascist party. This meant that he had much more power over the party than he had before
when he was representing the party in the Government. Mussolini was also able to appoint
people whilst before for candidates to take posts the party had to vote for them.
Mussolini by being the chairman absorbed a main part of the fascist party power. The
symbiosis of the Mussolini's power as Prime minister and as leader of the Fascist party
diminished the influence of all other powers.

Unlike Russia, the party did not take the state over. It was Mussolini who took over the
country and the fascist party almost followed him. Mussolini was chosen Prime Minister and
by his reforms he increased the importance of the Fascist political party. The party was
still Mussolini accessory.

Mussolini over-centralised Italy in Rome to limit the power and independence of the raj.
Mussolini acted like a 17th century king; he kept everyone under his eyes. Mussolini
wanted to be able to rule the whole of Italy from Rome. This increased his importance in
the towns of Italy. It was almost as if he was the mayor of each town.

The corporate State increased his control of the workers and employers. Mussolini was
aware that even if he had banned all trade unions strikes were possible. His solution was
to install twenty-two corporations, which acted as mediator between the workers, who
thought that this was in their favour, and the industrials. This seemed to have saved
Mussolini from major strikes, which could have been the end of his quite fragile party.
Mussolini even if he was the leader of the party he still needed it to keep him in power.
When he was forced to leave in 1941 it was not the fascist party that put him back in
power but the Nazi army.

The fascist party had many important roles in the Italian social life. Mussolini relied on
this party for the propaganda. Propaganda was and is very important in a dictatorship; it
had to create the illusion of a strong Italy. An example of the role of the fascist party
would be the numerous military displays. Organising the propaganda was in actual fact
quite easy since a strict censorship had been installed and Italy became more isolated.
The fascist party failed in understanding the need of a scapegoat.

The fascist party was also responsible for organising the fascist parallel powers, which
were the OVRA (secret fascist police) and its militia. With these two tools the fascist
party increased its' role and also Mussolini's dependence of the party. Mussolini would
rely on the party through the militia to keep him in place. But these organisations were
only parallel to the more independent police and army.

The fascist party organised the education and the indoctrination of the Italian youth.
This was important for the future of the fascist and Mussolini's regime. The fascist party
decided of the programme, wrote out new textbooks to glorify Mussolini and the fascist
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