Q: How important were the Lateran Treaties of 1929 between the Italian State and the Papacy in consolidating Mussolini's hold on power in Italy?
In February 1929, the Lateran Pact restored relations between the Catholic Church and the Italian State, doing much to secure wider acceptance of Mussolini's rule. By 1929, Mussolini's dictatorship was in place and was reinforced by supporting repressive legislation. In purely political terms it did not progress far after that date, and the main interest switches to fascist social and economic achievements and, above all, to Mussolini's excitable and ambitious conduct of foreign policy. The Lateran Treaties had given a huge boost for Mussolini's image and popularity, and they enabled him to look popular with the Italian people, however other factors enabled Mussolini to hold on power in Italy, and this essay will illustrate these ideas.
The Lateran Treaties of 1929 governed relations between the Church and State, by which Mussolini had negotiated an end to the conflict that had existed since Italy was unified in the mid-nineteenth century.
The Pact consisted of a treaty that set up the Vatican City as a tiny independent state within Rome and with the Pope as the head of state. As well as this, the Pact consisted of a financial settlement, which gave the Church some compensation for the lands it had lost when Italy was unified in 1870, receiving 750 million lire and a billion lire in state bonds. The Pact also included a religious Concordat that in practice established Catholicism as the state religion in Italy and accepted the survival of the Church administrative and religious structure independent of state institutions.
The agreement was a great triumph for Mussolini and marked the end of sixty years of animosity between the Catholic Church and the Italian...