The Rise Of Facism (After 1500)

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The Rise of Facism (After 1500)

The Rise of Fascism (After 1500)


In 1919, in the midst of these unsettled conditions, Benito Mussolini, a former revolutionary socialist, founded a new movement called "Fascismo". Through a combination of shrewd political maneuvering and widespread violence perpetrated by Mussolini's Black Shirt squads, the Fascists gained increasing support. In October 1922, after the Fascists had marched on Rome, King Victor Emmanuel III named Mussolini prime minister. Within four years, Mussolini had become a dictator, destroying civil liberties, outlawing all other political parties, and imposing a totalitarian regime on the country by means of terror and constitutional subversion. Public works projects, propaganda, militarism, and the appearance of order gained Mussolini considerable prestige, and the Lateran Treaty with the papacy in 1929 gave the "duce" (as he was called) a wide measure of popularity(Gentile, 1932).

Fascism was founded in Italy by Benito Mussolini, who began his political career in Socialist circles but came to embrace the idea of an authoritarian, nationalist "corporate state" to achieve his ideals. Unlike Lenin, Mussolini's ideology definitely did not include international revolution, stressing instead the unity and glory of the Italian nation and the dangers posed to the nation and its culture by Communist-inspired workers' revolt. Fascism, though a radical movement, emphasized discipline and devotion to a birth nation rather than fighting for class interests. This made Fascism far more palatable to traditional elements of society such as business interests and the church, which saw in it a means to organize the working and middle classes to defend their interests against Communism. Mussolini chose the title Duce (leader) and modelled his image on the emperors of ancient Rome, developing a "cult of personality" around himself (Gentile, 1932).

Importance in World Civilization

The importance of fascism can be seen simply by looking at the history of the Twentieth Century. The First World War was the end of the "Old World". A "New World" had dawned. From 1917, Russia became "Communist", although a more accurate word would be Stalinist. This caused political polarisation as soon as the First World War was over (Mosley, 1968). Trade was halted with the Soviet Union and it was only until 1924 when the British Labour government recognised it, that the Soviet Union began trading with world powers. Only the rise of Fascism in Italy, Spain, Germany, Romania and other countries did we see the focus weaken on the Soviet Union. Many nations realised the threat Fascism posed to the world and it was only until the outbreak of the Second World War that the world actually took action against it. As soon as the West's fight against Fascism ended in 1945, the fight against Communism commenced with the beginning of the Cold War (Mosley, 1968).

As we can see, the Twentieth Century can be seen as a period of flirtation with new political ideals that caused the world to be politically split for over half a century, starting with the end of the Second World War, and ...
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