The Role of the Charismatic Leader in the Fascist Party

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Bret Epright
Prof. Sallupo
History
11-25-2011

The Role of the Charismatic Leader in the Fascist Party

After the First World War countries throughout Europe were left to repair themselves from the damages done by the war. Societies were ruined, citizens killed, cities destroyed, and economies collapsed. It seems like although the allies managed to win the war, there was no real winner. Everyone who was involved in World War I had to experience the chaos that it invoked. One of the many countries that took a large hit from the war was Italy. Unfortunately Italy experienced a large post war economic crisis. The country had a scarcity of raw materials, disrupted international trade, and ended the wartime system of allied cooperation. If that wasn’t enough, Italy faced even more problems with industrial demobilization. There was a budget deficit, inflation was through the roof, and unemployment was higher than ever. Italy also went through a post war political crisis. These problems started with the introduction of proportional representation in 1919. Proportional representation is a voting system used to elect a council or national assembly. Each party receives a number of seats in the council proportionate to the number of votes they received. This new system destroyed prewar political balance in Italy. It also weakened the power of the Liberal Party and caused a growth of the Socialists and Catholics in Italy. Overall proportional intensified the political conflict in Italy and made it much harder for political alliances to occur. It was the political and economic crisis that caused Italy to experience the “Red Years.” From 1919-1920 Italy was bombarded with large-scale strikes over working conditions and wages. Also, peasant leagues and Agrarian Unions challenged the control of large landowners. Italian elites and middle classes started to fear a widespread working class revolution, as the Socialist Party gained 2 million votes and 156 seats in...
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