MUSSOLINI'S ITALY, 1922-1945

The Big Questions 2

The Big Questions 2

Italian Society under Fascism

You will need to be able to discuss:

Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro - AS Level History* The increasingly prominent part played by fascism in the lives of women and young people.

* The extent of intervention of fascism in people’s lives through the education system and in leisure activities through bodies such as the Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro.

*The shift towards an emphasis on foreign policy due to failures in domestic policy, above all the Abyssinian war.

* The economic and labour policies of the Corporate State.

* The successes and failures of the key initiatives in agriculture, taxes, labour relations, industry, transportation.

* Autarky – the idea of creating an economically self-sufficient state.

Fascist Italy in World War II

In examining Mussolini and fascist Italy’s fortunes in World War 2, you will need to be able to demonstrate an awareness of the following areas:

Mussolini and Hitler - AS Level History* The reasons for Italy joining the war, especially Mussolini’s initial hesitancy as to whether to enter the conflict and his opportunism in joining the War on Germany’s side in 1940 on the basis that he believed the Axis would quickly win the War.

* The relative strength of the Italian military and its preparedness for War.

* Details of the (mis)fortunes of Italian forces in the War.

* The growth of opposition to Mussolini as the war went against Italy.

* The final years of the Salo Republic, including Mussolini’s reliance on Nazi Germany and internal opposition to Mussolini within the Republic.

* Mussolini’s second capture and execution.

Example Exam Questions

Mussolini - AS Level HistoryTo what extent could Mussolini’s economic policies be considered a success?

How important was the role played by violence in allowing Mussolini to come to power?

How easily did Mussolini overcome opposition to his regime?

To what extent did Mussolini turn Italy into an economically strong nation?

To what extent was Mussolini’s Italy a totalitarian regime?

Was Mussolini able to gain power because he was genuinely popular?

To what extent could Mussolini’s foreign policies be considered a success?

To what extent was Mussolini responsible for his own downfall?

How far was Mussolini willing to compromise with Italy’s elites to keep power?

Why did Mussolini sign the Lateran Accords with the Catholic Church?

To what extent was Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia motivated by a desire to distract the Italian public from his domestic failures?

Recap: The Big Questions

* How and why Mussolini came to power.

* Mussolini’s aims and vision for Italy and his understanding of fascism.

* The role that fascism played in Italian politics and society.

* The successes and failures of Mussolini’s domestic and foreign policies.

* Why Mussolini’s regime collapsed.

Key Information

Using our revision guide and your own notes, note down key information relating to the principal questions above, dividing it into the following areas:

The birth and consolidation of Mussolini’s regime

Mussolini’s foreign policy

Italian society under fascism

Fascist Italy in World War II