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It is fitting that the name of an authoritarian political movement like Fascism, founded in 1919 by Benito Mussolini, should come from the name of a symbol of authority. The Italian name of the movement, fascismo, is derived from fascio, “bundle, (political) group,” but also refers to the movement's emblem, the fasces, a bundle of rods bound around a projecting axe-head that was carried before an ancient Roman magistrate by an attendant as a symbol of authority and power1. The name of Mussolini's group of revolutionaries was soon used for similar nationalistic movements in other countries that sought to gain power through violence and ruthlessness, such as National Socialism.

Fascist Regime in Italy, Spain and France

Fascism in ever one of the three main countries, German, Spain, and Italy were slightly different in there own ways, but each Country resembled each other fairly similarly. The Major difference that sets Germany apart from Italy and Spain was Germanys much stronger sense of totalitarianism. Fascism took on the name of NAZI in Germany2. The Nazi part was by far the most aggressive fascist movement of its time. Hitler, there leader, was also one of the most absolute fascist rulers, he had no competition. Compared to Mussolini's rule, Hitler was by far more powerful. The other countries Fascist leaders were voted and kept in through popularity. With Hitler, once he was in, he took complete control, you couldn't just vote Hitler out of office. The things he did with this power were bother horrible and helpful, but the problems he caused far outweighed the problems he solved3.


In the twentieth century, both Communist and Fascist states had been defined as being 'Totalitarian'. During the 1930's this was usually to distinguish the parties clearly from democracies, like Britain and France, and then once the Second World War had ended, to distinguish the Soviet Union from western democracies. Many historians have tended to avoid using the term 'totalitarian', as there were so many different variations between different forms of totalitarian state. After the Matteotti crisis had taken place in 19245, it had been Mussolini who had first publicly used the term 'totalitarian', which he had used to describe his tough policy towards opponents. What most people would expect a totalitarian dictatorship to be like is a form of government that permits no rival loyalties or parties, and usually demands a total submission of the individual to the requirements of the state, and this seems to be the way in which Mussolini carried out his 'totalitarian' dictatorship in Italy in the years 1924-396.

Mussolini pursued Italian politics by setting it in the context of intending to destroy all opposition to his regime and to ensure that the future 'fascist' and 'Italian' would eventually come to mean the same. His ideas of fascist values being embraced by all Italians and of every Italian subordinate to the state became the most enduring strand to fascist philosophy. The main intention was to involve every Italian in the fascist cause of 'national greatness', and to ...
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