Italy Between 1925 and 1943

Between 1925 and 1926 Mussolini proceeded through the enactment of a series of laws to transform the liberal state into a dictatorial regime. Party pluralism is abolished; Parliament is emptied of all power; the freedoms of the press, of association, of organization are abolished. In 1928 the Chamber passed a new electoral law which provided for a single national list of 400 candidates chosen by the Grand Council, to be submitted to the voters for approval en masse: from that moment the elections took on a de facto plebiscitary character. The aspiration of fascism to build a new alternative order both to capitalism and to socialism leads to the attempt to realize that corporative system whose general principles find expression in the Labor Charter issued in 1927;

The benevolent attitude of the Catholic Church following the agreement with the fascist state that puts an end to the long-standing Roman question is not extraneous to the consolidation of the regime: the conciliation between the two institutions is signed on 11 February 1929. The secular state appears undermined by what will later be called Lateran Pacts, while Mussolini’s joint intentions of making Catholicism a pillar of the new political order and of the Church to use the Italian state to strengthen its influence on civil society are being realized. However, there will be no lack of reasons for tension between the Church and the regime, for example. for youth control.

Faced with the consolidation of the regime, the anti-fascist forces are subjected to a systematic repression, so that they reorganize themselves abroad and especially in France, where the anti-fascist concentration was established in 1927. In 1929 Giustizia e Libertà was founded which, with the Communist Party, became the most active nucleus of anti-fascism also in Italy.

According to, the great crisis of the 1930s produced a restructuring of the entire economy: in particular, the tendency towards industrial and financial concentration strengthened and state intervention became more and more massive; the State takes control of the major Italian banks and important sectors of industry through the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (IRI), created in 1933.

In foreign policy there is a decisive turning point in 1935, when the Italy invades Ethiopia, provoking the reactions of the League of Nations which condemns the aggression and approves a series of economic sanctions. The war, waged with great breadth of means, ends with the victory of the Italy on May 9, 1936 Mussolini proclaims the foundation of the empire, obtaining the maximum consensus around the regime. This act of open violation of the collective security system leads the Italy to move away from the powers that have made themselves their guarantors, in the first place France and Great Britain, and to move closer to Nazi Germany, which aims at the subversion of the European order of 1919. The intervention of Germany and the ‘THE. in the Spanish Civil War alongside the rebel military. G. Ciano, Minister of Foreign Affairs, stipulates an agreement with Germany, the Rome-Berlin Axis (1936), which aligns the Italy to the politics of Germany.

In 1938, a discriminatory legislation against Jews was also introduced in Italy, following the example of Germany. While Hitler is carrying out the purpose of reuniting all Germans in the Third Reich, Italy it too goes into action, taking over Albania (April 1939). Italy and Germany make the ‘pact of steel’, which provides for the entry of one side of the other in the event of war. When this explodes following the entry of German troops into Poland (1 September 1939), the Italy, totally unprepared on the military level despite the war rhetoric that has characterized the regime since its origins, proclaims non-belligerence, a sort of ‘armed peace’.

When the collapse of France makes the march of the German armies seem unstoppable, the Italy enters the war (10 June 1940), with the aim of expanding into the Mediterranean and the Danubian-Balkan region. Both in Greece (attacked in October 1940) and in North Africa operations take an unfavorable turn and German aid is needed; the obvious military inferiority of the regime puts an end to Mussolini’s hope of carrying out a ‘parallel war’. In support of the German attack, Italy in 1941 he sent an expeditionary force to Russia.

The bad evidence provided by the regime and in particular the very serious Axis defeats in Africa in 1942 (el-‛Ala; mèin) and in Russia in 1943 (Stalingrad) have profound repercussions on the domestic front, undermining the credibility of fascism both among the popular masses, hit more and more severely by restrictions of all kinds and now aware of the imminent catastrophe, as well as in the ruling class, intent on not allowing itself to be overwhelmed by the collapse of the regime. Events precipitate when the Allies landed in Sicily on 10 July 1943. At the top of the regime the idea of ​​getting rid of Mussolini and seeking an exit from the war matured. In the session of the Grand Council of 24-25 July 1943 an agenda, proposed by D. Grandi, who invites the king to summarize his statutory prerogatives, was approved by a large majority.

Italy Between 1925 and 1943