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Fascist Italy and Population

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Fascist Italy and Population

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  • Feb. 25, 2007
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Overall, the fascist experiment in Italy was a failure. Benito Mussolini aimed to make the world safe for the middle class, small business owners, property owners, and people in the agricultural area. Through this, Mussolini gained support of the majority of the population. There is no doubt that most of the support was actually the work of propaganda and rhetoric rather than the ‘real thing'. The government made desperate attempts to significantly increase the birthrate in Italy. In 1927, Mussolini launched the "Battle for births". The task of young women was to get married quickly and have a lot of children. And the more children they get, the more benefits they get from the government. Mussolini's population policy failed to produce results because the economy was not suitable to withstand a bigger population. Women were outraged as a reaction to it because they simply could not afford to house 5 or more growing children no matter how much benefits they get while the ‘Duce' (Mussolini) thought it was because of the new independence that women had that is keeping Italy from having a growing population. Mussolini's ambition was going to be a challenge for him. The population during the 1920s in Italy was 37 million and his goal was to at least double that by 1950. In Document 1, it shows the help that the government is willing to provide for women who are pregnant or potentially going to become pregnant help. In Document 5, Mussolini's speech proclaims that women are like men if they have the freedom to work. Basically, with work, she will be focused on work rather than have children thus lowering the birthrate. Men will also suffer, according to Mussolini, because he is "deprived of work and dignity". In Document 6, it really seems like a desperate attempt to encourage women to give more births and be proud of it. The Duce, not coincidentally, added a new national holiday next to Christmas Eve to honor mothers and children. Paolo Orano, in Document 8, says...