To What Extent Did Mussolini Erode Democracy and Establish a Fascist Dictatorship Between 1922 and 1929?

Topics: Fascism, Benito Mussolini, Italian Fascism Pages: 3 (1062 words) Published: October 17, 2011
To what extent did Mussolini erode democracy and establish a Fascist dictatorship between 1922 and 1929? Mussolini was undeniably a strong leader and fascism was seen by many as the lesser of two evils. The fear of socialism rocked the already fragile foundations of Italy and a combination of luck and strategic opportunism allowed Mussolini to consolidate his power. Over a period of seven years Mussolini eroded and then completely destroyed Italian democracy. Until 1924 Mussolini played the system, weakening the foundations of democracy within the guides of the law and the constitution. Mussolini made three major actions to secure his political power. The first being making himself Minister of the Interior, this gave him control over the elections, the police and the courts. Meaning the fascist vote rigging would go undiscovered and fascist violence and intimidation could be overlooked. Secondly Mussolini was granted emergency powers for one year starting in November 1922. He managed to convince the King and the rest of parliament that the socialist threat was so great that if Italy were to survive this crisis Mussolini needed almost complete control. Lastly Mussolini introduced the Acerbo Law which was passed with 303 to 40 votes in 1923. This meant the party with the most votes, assuming they received more than 25%, were given two thirds of the seats, easily making them the largest party with more than enough power to pass legislation without opposition. Mussolini’s original cautious deceitful approach was due to fear of the elite. He couldn’t be certain of people’s support for Fascism and it wasn’t until the Murder of Matteotti in 1924 that Mussolini was assured of his power. In June 1924 Matteotti, a prominent figure in the socialist party, was abducted and murdered by Fascists. This was a turning point for Mussolini; his initial cautious erosion of democracy quickly progressed. Historians cannot be certain whether Mussolini ordered the murder of Matteotti or...
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