To what extent did Mussolini come to power in 1922 due to the weakness of the Liberal State?
When Italy was unified in 1870 it was set up with a new liberal state made up of Italy’s Liberal elite. The new state that was set up had many flaws which helped Mussolini to come into power as prime minister. In this essay I am going to be discussing whether it was the weakness of the new Liberal state or any other factors that allowed him to consolidate his power. The state that was set up in Italy after it was unified was a very weak one. The liberal élite who made government decisions only had knowledge of the needs of middle and upper classes. This meant that the lower classes did not want to show support for the new state as it did not work in their interests. Many people felt let down by the state and did not feel it could protect them from losing their land or jobs in times of trouble. The voting system in Italy was also flawed, they used a proportional representation system which meant there were many different parties present in parliament and there was never a clear majority. As there was no majority different parties were forced to come to an agreement to work together as a government despite their conflicting ideas. This led to a very high turnover of prime ministers, with 29 people taking charge between 1870 and 1922. This high turnover strengthened the belief that people only took over in order to gain social power and money, rather than for the good of Italy. All of this made it much easier for the Fascists to gain support as they promised to work for the good of Italy and fix all the problems caused by the liberal state. Fear of a socialist takeover was one of the major factors that enabled Mussolini to gain power in Italy. As Italy was going downhill after the war, many citizens turned to the extreme left and right wings in government. The Socialist party became the largest and most organized political party in the election of 1919, winning 156...
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