Analyse the historical and contemporary conditions in Italy leading to a fascist government in 1922, and comment on the view that a seizure of power took place

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In order to analyse the historical and contemporary conditions in Italy leading to a fascist government in 1922, I will consider and illustrate a number of relevant points. That is the historical aspects being industrial and democratic weaknesses. The contemporary factors being; the threat of communism, the growing anarchism in Italian urban areas and the feeling of antipathy over the Versailles Treaty, particularly the idea that Italians had been cheated, demonstrated by the Fiume affair and that these factors stimulated and energized the growth of nationalism, the driving force of fascism. In addition to these industrial and contemporary factors there is also a consideration that the fascist's rise to power was aided by Mussolini's apparent seizure of power.

Since the unification of Italy in 1870 the new state suffered from economic weaknesses. Italy's degree of industrialisation was quite small and largely confined to the north, described as the 'Industrial Triangle', situated between Turin, Milan and Genoa, however this industrialisation was only possible with government subsidies.

In addition to this Italy lacked the raw materials needed for the successful continuation of this industry, crucially coal and iron-ore, therefore these raw materials had to be expensively imported from various

countries in order to maintain Italy's iron and steel industry. The south of Italy was little help in this industrial struggle as it was purely based around agriculture.

The First World War had a devastating affect on Italy and post-WWI Italy's economic problems continued. The standard of living declined due to a lack of government money - a direct result of heavy government borrowing to finance the war, in particular from the USA, who now requested theses debts be repaid. In addition to this the lira declined in value through 1914-1921 from 5 lira to the dollar to 28 lira to the dollar,