Was force more important than persuasion in Mussolini's consolidation of power between 1924 and 1929? (In which I argue the other side)

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In a speech to parliament, Mussolini promised he would give Italy peace and quiet 'if possible in love, but if necessary by force.' This statement well explains Mussolini's methods of consolidation. Up to 1926, the early years of his dictatorship, Mussolini employed predominantly forceful methods to consolidate his power quickly. Then, from 1926 onwards, when his position was secured he used principally persuasive methods to maintain support. Therefore, although Mussolini used both force and persuasion, in the consolidation of power force was the more important factor. The type of force most associated with the Fascist regime is squadristi violence, but force is also synonymous with the removal of choice; for example, through censorship and the banning of political parties of the opposition.

The most immediately threatening institutions over which Mussolini needed to assert his control in order to become dictator were those of government. The significance of Mussolini's control over government to his rule of Italy meant that he tackled these institutions at the beginning of his regime.

Mussolini's control over the king was based predominantly on persuasion; for example he placated him with twice weekly visits to imply he was involving the king in policy. Mussolini relied on persuasion and the apparent unwillingness of the king to take action until 1928 when the king lost his right to elect Prime Minister. Control over parliament was achieved in 1924 with the Acerbo Law and following election. Theoretically this occurred through the persuasion of parliament to pass the law and then the persuasion of the people to vote for Mussolini in the next election and it would be unfair to suggest that persuasion played no part in the outcome of the election. Mussolini was armed with examples of the previous weak Liberal governments to persuade parliament to pass the law, and...