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The Collapse Of The Liberal State And The Triumph Of Fascism Notes

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UNIT 1: TOPIC E3: THE COLLAPSE OF THE LIBERAL STATE AND THE TRIUMPH OF FASCISM IN ITALY, 1896 - 1943 PART 1: PRE WW1 ITALY WHAT WERE THE PROBLEMS FACED BY LIBERAL ITALY BEFORE 1914?
Unification of Italy was complete by 1870 but with ONLY 2% of population possessing the vote, Italy was to be dominated by the representatives of the WEALTHY and MIDDLE CLASSES and these were mainly LIBERALS.

ECONOMIC WEAKNESSES
- Predominantly an agriculture country
- Most peasants and farm labourers in the south lived in poverty
- Industry relatively underdeveloped
- Heavy industry poor due to lack of natural resources (coal/iron)
- Any developments that did occur were concentrated in the North

LACK OF ITALIAN IDENTITY
- Long history of political division
- Loyalties were towards locality rather than towards the Italian nation
- Only 2% of population spoke Italian
- Majority of people spoke dialects that were only known in their local area so communication was almost impossible

NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE HOSTILITY OF THE
- Economic division starting CATHOLIC CHURCH with the Unification of Italy in WHAT WERE THE
- A powerful source in Italian 1861 with the Northern and PROBLEMS FACING society Southern provinces LIBERAL ITALY BEFORE
- Resentful of the new
- Almost all South was Peasant 1914?
kingdom that had seized the based - could not afford/cope Papal States and Rome with the heavy taxes from the Church
- Situation in South made it
- Pope refused to recognise impossible for many tenant the Italian state farmers, small businesses and
- Catholics had to boycott land owners elections
- SOUTH = economically
- Distrust continued beyond backwards/hostile climate/no WW1 advancement. NORTH =
prosperous/sophisticated/OF THE LIBERAL POLITICAL SYSTEM WEAKNESSES Industry based clearly defined political parties and no two-party system
- No
- Politicians mainly from middle class and represented this narrow social class in parliament
- These liberals were not divided in opinion
- TRASFORMISMO =different political factions forming a coalition government regardless of ideological differences
- Governments kept on falling due to differences of opinions which indicated that Liberal politics was not about principle or the good of the nations, but about the pursuit of power for its own sake

WHO WERE THE OPPOSITION GROUPS IN ITALY BEFORE WW1?
SOCIALISM
-Attracted working class due to pay, working conditions + ownership of industry
-Attempted to create a single, united socialist party
-Fasci supported socialist ideas (made up of peasants from Sicily in 1893/they began strikes, riots and set buildings on fire/government responded harshly, banning the Fasci) CATHOLICISM
-Heavily against Socialism (1890's)
-In 1874 the Pope instructed Catholics not to participate in the new state BUT he did allow them to vote in order to defeat the Socialists. The rift between Church and state was problematic NATIONALISM
-Middle classes, accused Liberals of putting their careers over country
-They condemned the liberals for failing to make Italy a great power
-Lead calls for Italian entry into WW1 SYNDICALISM
-Adaptation of socialists
-They believed that workers should seize control of their factories by force and then take power in the state FUTURISTS
-Wanted more advanced technology
-They were violent
-Had a vague concept and ideology

LIBERAL ITALY ON THE EVE OF WW1 LIBERALS ARGUED THAT ITALY HAD MADE HUGE PROGRESS UNDER THEIR RULE AND THAT THE COUNTRY WAS EVOLVING INTO A STRONG AND HEALTHY DEMOCRACY IN THE YEARS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE FIRST WORD WAR.

National military service + introduction of free primary education (helped to create greater sense of Italian nationhood) Economic progress had been rapid Taxes on food had been reduced Liberal government spend money to improve roads, railways and the supply of drinking water Italy had joined the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary Conquest of Libya in 1911 had confirmed Italy as a great power

THE GIOLOTTI ERA Giolotti was Liberal PM on four occasions over the years 1903 - 1914 GIOLOTTI WAS AWARE THAT THE ITALIAN POLITICS NEEDED TO ADAPT THE CHALLENGES OF RAPID ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE EMERGENCE OF SOCIALISM. SO HE TRIED TO BRING ABOUT OUTSIDERS INTO THE POLITICAL SYSTEM IN ORDER TO STRENGTHEN IT. WHAT WERE GIOLOTT'S REFORMS?

1. One rest day a week

2. Outlawed unemployment under 12

3. Expenditure on public work schemes

4. Reduced taxes on food

5. Supply drugs to Malaria hit areas

6. Government to be neutral in strikes

7. Working relationship with moderate Catholics

8. National military service

9. Free primary education

10. TRANSFORMISMO = Giolotti's reform of different political factions forming a coalition government regardless of ideological differences

BUT WHY DID GIOLOTTI FAIL?
 By trying to please Catholics and Socialists, Giolotti upset some Liberals

who feared increase influence from the Church or workers
 Many ordinary Italians resented the Libyan war as they were conscripted to

fight a war that they did not understand and paid for it through increased taxation
 In 1914 the worst outbreak of mass unrest since 1898 broke out during 'Red Week' and these events frightened the bourgeoisie and alienated workers from the government GIOLITTI'S ATTEMPTS TO UNIFYING ITALY EVENTUALLY HAD THE EFFECT OF POLARISING POLITICS FUTHER, AS THE LIBYAN WAR, RED WEEK AND THE FEARS OF CONSERVATIVES AND THE BOURGEOISIE THAT GIOLOTTI PANDERED TO THE LEFT EXARCEBATED DIVISIONS

PART 2:

THE IMPACT OF WW1

Why did Italy enter WW1?
ENTRY INTO THE GREAT WAR WAS DIVISIVE BECAUSE: ITALY WAS INITALLY TRENTINO AND ISTRIA (THIS NEUTRAL DURING WW1 WAS ITALIA ITTEDENTA LAND DESPITE ITS MEMBERSHIP WHICH ITALY THOUGHT OF THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE. (VICTORYTHEM, BUT IT BELONGED TO FOR THE FEAR. (ITALY FEARED OVER TRIPLE ALLIANCE WOULD THE REMAINED UNDER AUSTROAMBITIONS OF AUSTRIA AND HUNGARIAN DOMINATION ONLY STRENGTHEN AUSTRIAN SO WAS RELUCTANT TO AFTER THE AUSTROBORDERS AND IF ENTENTE INTERVENE IN SUPPORT OF PRUSSION WAR OF 1866) WON THEY WOULD NOT BE AUTRIA-HUNGARY AND SYMPATHETIC TO ITALIAN GERMANY) AMBITIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN IF ITALY HAD NOTHING TO BRING ABOUT THEIR VICTORY)

GIOLOTTI, CATHOLICS AND SOCIALISTS DID NOT THINK THAT ITALY WAS READY FOR WAR. (THE MASS OF THE POPULATION DID NOT WELCOME THE NEWS - CATHOLIC CHURCH MADE CLEAR THAT CATHOLICS SHOULDN'T DENOUNCE ENEMY AS CATHOLIC COUNTRY)

THE DECISION TO GO TO WAR: PRIME MINISTER ANTONIO SALANDRA SEPTEMBER 1914 'I cannot hesitate: if I thought I had let the opportunity to restore Trentino and Trieste to Italy and that I had let it slip, I would not have a moment's peace for the rest of my life'

Motivated by the desire to gain the 'terre irredente', Salandra decided to bargain with both the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance and join the war on the side that offered him the best deal to fight with them: THE TRIPLE ENTENTE (Britain, France and Russia)

In 1915, Italy had signed the secret Treaty of London. In this treaty Britain had offered Italy large sections of territory in the Adriatic Sea region - Tyrol, Dalmatia and Istria. Such an offer was too tempting for Italy to refuse.

1. was the impact of mainly from rural What 5 million conscripts - WW1 on Italy?areas - appalling conditions, poor rations and low pay

2. War of attrition (a war in which the commanders do not expect dramatic victories but instead

measure success in terms of metres of territory gained and number of enemy killed) on alpine north border - heavy blood count

3. Defeat at battle of Caporetto 700,000 Italians retreated in disorder over 100 miles - 300,000 taken prisoner

4. Battle of Vittoorio Veneto - Oct attacked Austrians - heavy death count - 40,000 killed or wounded

5. Austrians collapsed and Italians gained 500,000 prisoners of war - Austria called for amistice

ECONOMIC LEGACY

SOCIAL IMPACT

POLITICAL PROBLEMS

MILITARY ISSU

Cost of war had been 148 billion lire which is about twice the sum of all government expenditure between 1861 and 1913 National debt 1914 = 16 billion lire 1919 = 85 billion lire

Great war did not bring about any national integration and unity

The war widened existing politics divisions

Five million men w conscripted and it w largely peasant base

Strict discipline in war industry

Generally trench stalemate

Major industries saw massive expansion and industrialists did well as they simply raised their prices Huge sums borrowed from Britain and the USA

Long hours - up to 75 hours a week

Liberals could not agree on whether Italy was fighting a war of liberation from Italy or a war of conquest Catholics were mostly patriotic but the Pope denounced the war as 'useless slaughter'

Maximum advance miles

Inflation spiralled - prices quadrupled during the war years

Real wages fell by approximately 25%

Inflation destroyed savings, hitting the middle class in particular

Some peasants paid off their debts

Unemployment rose and soldiers returning home from the war were thrown into the deteriorating economic situation = poor reward for their sacrifices

Italians were now more divided than ever

The industrial workers flocked to the Socialist Party Socialists called for the overthrow of the Liberal state and dictatorship of the Proleteriat (industrial working class) Socialists won the first election and were largest party in parliament - middle class very fearful and peasants joined socialist trade unions Nationalists were angered by Italy's lack of success which they blamed to the spread of socialism and the weakness of the parliamentary system

Profits fell as government spending was cut back

The Italians did not get what they had been promised at the Treaty of London and that caused resentment especially at the losses Italy had endured fighting for the Allies.

Increased employment of women

Eleven offensives i and a half years

600,000 Italians kill and 1,000,000 woun

General Cadorna w autocratic, stubborn of the Italian army fro 1915 - 1917.

Cadorna was scorn the soldier's welfar sacked 217 generals banned politicians the war zone and b failings on the wea government and its toleration of subvers

What was the mutilated victory?
THIS WAS THE CLAIM THAT ITALY HAD BEEN DENIED ITS RIGHTFUL TERRITORIAL GAINS IN THE PEACE SETTLEMENT AFTER THE FIRST WORLD WAR

-

Nationalists believed government had failed to defend nations interest at peace conference - they wanted territories agreed plus the city of Fiume Treaty of St Germain ceded land in South Tyrol, Trentino but refused to hand over Fiume as vital to economy of new Yugoslav state Italy denied Dalmatia as few Italians lived there & would not sure in divisions of German colonies in Africa Her sacrifices had only won them 'mutilated victory' Demobilised soldiers saw peace treaty as further humiliation - blamed Liberal government

ITALY WAS FALLING INTO THE HANDS OF SOCIALIST REVOLUTIONARIES WHO HAD OPPOSED THE WAR FROM THE START AND WHO HAD DONE THEIR BEST TO SABOTAGE THE WAR EFFORT. LIBERALISM AND THE PARLIAMENTRY SYSTEM HAD PROVED ABJECT FAILURES. A POWERFUL, DYNAMIC ITALY WOULD HAVE TO BE ACHIEVED BY OTHER METHODS

Seizure of Fiume WHAT HAPPENED?
Fiume was a major Adriatic port and until 1919 it was an international area. Angered at the outcome of the Treaty of St Germain, In September 1919 the Nationalist intellectual Gabriele D'Annunzio led 200 armed men into the city of Fiume and occupied it in defiance of the Italian government. D'Annunzio ruled Fiume for a year and he became a public hero throughout Italy. SIGNIFICANCE?

D'Annunzio had shown that the way to achieve results was not to indulge in months of talking and negotiations, but rather to act decisively and not to be afraid to use force. Critics of the Liberal regime noted with satisfaction that the government lacked the will and the courage to use troops and end the occupation D'Annunzio's denunciation of the government made him a model for another enemy of Liberalism, Benito Mussolini.

PART 3:

POST-WAR ITALY

What democratic reforms were introduced after WW1?

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