Did Mussolini capture the young and turn them into a nation of Fascists?
The propaganda used was aimed particularly at the younger people so it could be said that he did capture the young and turn them into a nation of Fascists up to a certain point. The ways in which this occurred were that R. E was made compulsory in schools, in the classrooms a portrait of Mussolini had to be hung next to the portrait of the king- this was used to show that Mussolini was equally as important as the king. All pupils were given a notebook with Mussolini on the cover, the tri- colour was raised and songs were sung about the leader. The government banned 101 history textbooks and in 1928, only a single textbook was approved by the Fascist government the “Libro Unico” this textbook covered all age groups and all subjects deemed important. Also control over teachers controlled the young people as all teachers had to be merged with a Fascist association, these organised indoctrination classes- teachers had to take these if they wanted a promotion. Also the young people were forced to join the Balilla, the numbers grew to around 8 million young people by 1840 this suggests that the messages were getting through to them.
On the other hand if Mussolini had truly captured the young and turned them into a nation of Fascists then Fascism would have continued after Mussolini’s death, the youth supported everything until around 1937 then support for the Balilla started dropping even though people continued going until 1940. Italy was not totalitarian as the Catholic Church was independent and had there own schools and activities, so the youth there did not get the same amount of propaganda drilled into them. So overall Mussolini failed to get complete control of the young and failed to turn all the young Italians into a nation of Fascists.
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