“Mussolini's Economic and Social Policies Only Had Limited Success.” How Far Do You Agree?

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Throughout his time in power, Mussolini implemented new social and economic policies which varied in their success. Socially, his policies such as controlling workers worked in the short run as Dopolavoro numbers were high, however in the long run they were a failure, due to the lack of loyalty workers showed to Mussolini during his fall from power after world war one. Mussolini's 'Battles' were the least successful aspect of his policies, with his youth policies also limiting success. Nevertheless his social policy of propaganda through the media enabled him to depict these failures as success to a large degree, heightening the overall success of social policies. In addition to this Mussolini did achieve both economic and social success with his transport policies, achieving his aims, however overall there were limitations to success.

The area in which Mussolini's policies had the most limited success was his 'Battle For Births', 'Battle For The Lira' and 'Battle For Grain'. The aim of the 1927 Battle For Births was to increase the population to 60 million by 1950 with an ideal of 12 babies per family. Multiple incentives were put in place including married men with 6 plus kids were exempt from taxes, improved healthcare for women and in the 1930s, only opening promotion in the civil service to the fertile married men. Nevertheless this policy was a complete failure as until 1936 the birth rate declined and only rose slightly after, the rate of marriage remained unchanged and most importantly by 1950 the population had only increased by 7.5 million to 47.5 million. Although not as unsuccessful as the Battle For Births, Mussolini's 1927 Battle For Lira did have limited success. This is due to the fact the new rate of 90 lira to the pound resulted in high export prices causing export industries into depression, and due to tariffs on foreign imports, import prices did not become cheaper. As a result of this between 1926 and 1928 unemployment trebled, a significant economic failure. Nevertheless this policy did have some success from a social aspect. Mussolini's prestige with foreign bankers and the Italian public increased which is why the Battle For the Lira was not as unsuccessful as the Battle for Births despite its limited success. Although it still had limited success, the extent of both social and economic success for the 1925 Battle For Grain was greater than the Battle for Births and the Battle For The Lira. The aim of the Battle for Grain was to increase grain production to make Italy more self-sufficient. Through the method of grants to farmers, advice on the latest farming techniques and farmers being guaranteed a high price for grain produced, the harvest rose from 5.5 million tonnes to over 7 million tonnes 10 years later achieving the aim of increased grain production but it did not make Italy self sufficient. This was an economic success as grain import declined by 75% during 1925 and 1925 supporting domestic industries, as well as being a social success due to the positive propaganda he received from it. However its success was limited as the conditions for producing grain was not ideal, therefore the farming of grain was not as productive as the farming of traditional exports such as oranges, which overall minimises the success of the Battle For Grain on the economy as exports of traditional harvests fell. It is therefore clear that Mussolini's battles, although had some success, the success was limited due to the negative effects on the economy of the Battle for Grain and the Battle for the Lira, and also the failure of the Battle for Births to achieve its objectives, which was a social failure.

Not us unsuccessful as the Battles, Mussolini's social policy of controlling the youth and education agrees with the statement that “Mussolini's economic and social policies only had limited success”. Mussolini achieved success in that he promoted his cult of personality he created official texts and he...
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