In what ways and with what success did Mussolini try to introduce a totalitarian form of government in Italy?

The following are the ways in which Mussolini tried to introduce totalitarian form of government in Italy:

  • His black shirt private army was legalised and became National State Voluntary Militia (MVSN).
  • The Accerbo law of 1924 changed the rules of elections such that the party with most votes would be allotted two third of the seats in the parliament.
  • Violence rose so much that the leaders of opposition parties were killed and only one fascist party was allowed.
  • Some changes were made into the constitution like the responsibility of prime minister to King only not to the parliament, prime minister can directly make laws without their discussion in the parliament and the electorate was reduced to the wealthiest.
  • Town councils and mayors were abolished and officials were appointed at their place.
  • Education was highly supervised. From very early age the students were taught the Italian glories of war and appreciated the Dictator.
  • Fascist system was based on Corporate state in which Mussolini tried to control the workers and production. Workers were not allowed to form unions and go on strikes.
  • By the signing of the Lateran Treaty of 1929, Mussolini accepted the Catholic faith as the religion of state and the Pope agreed not to interfere in the poilttics.
  • Racial discrimination and persecution of Jews and control over press to justify these persecutions.

All this were aimed at making a totalitarian state but there were some factors from which it can be said that totalitarian was not achieved absolutely. Firstly, he was not able to completely eliminate the influence of the Pope and the King. There were clashes even after sighing the Lateran Treaty and after he started the persecution of Jews, the Pope became more cautious. Secondly, the Corporate state, cooperation method adopted by Mussolini was not successful as it failed to control the production and reduce the class warfare. Thirdly, it was not all pervasive like the Nazi Germany.

Question for UPSC Mains:
In what ways and with what success did Mussolini try to introduce a totalitarian form of government in Italy?

Published: March 19, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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