Mussolini's Social and Economic Problems Term Paper by JHU

Mussolini's Social and Economic Problems
A look at how successful Benito Mussolini was in solving the social and economic problems he inherited.
# 92859 | 3,471 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Mar 02, 2007 in History (Leaders) , History (European - 20th Century)

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This paper examines how the rise of Mussolini was welcomed by many Italians not because of the ideological appeal of Fascism, but because it seemed to offer practical solutions to the Bolshevik menace on the domestic front and the mutilated victory which resulted from a depressed international prestige. It discusses how, when the rhetoric of the regime became identified with a confused statement of ends, Italian policy became unpopular and eventually was rejected. It attempts to assess the success or failure of the Fascist government, by analysing the economic, political and social conditions inherited and the outcome of the policies adopted by Mussolini.

From the Paper:

"However, the effects on the Italian economy were far from beneficial. Suddenly, foreign buyers found Italian goods nearly twice as expensive, and it was not surprising that Italian export industries, particularly textiles, went into depression. Even the macro-industry Fiat was exporting fewer cars in the late 1930s than it had done in the early 1920s. The revaluation of the lire was supposed to have helped the Italian consumer because imports of foods and other products from abroad should have become cheaper. However, the Duce prevented this by placing high tariffs on many foreign imports. Therefore, the only winners in economic terms were those industries such as steel, armaments and ship building which needed large supplies of cheap tariff-free imported raw materials. However, Mussolini's economic policies had never been designed simply to increase the wealth of the country or the prosperity of the ordinary Italian, and this became very apparent by the mid 1930s, as he became increasingly preoccupied with foreign affairs, whilst the living standards and the general welfare of the economy suffered."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Qualls Karl. Mussolini's Fascism. Dickinson College.
  • Fascism, 2nd World War, Resistance
  • Blinkhorn Martin. Mussolini and Fascist Italy. Routledge, New York, 1997.
  • De Grand Alexander J. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany - The 'Fascist Style of Rule'. Routledge, New York, 1997.
  • Lee Stephen J. The European Dictatorships 1918-1945. Routledge, London, 1996.

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