The existence of the church, an organisation which many Italians would consider to be a higher authority than any government, by definition means that fascist Italy was not and cannot have been a totalitarian regime. The other major institute which prevented Italy from being a totalitarian state was the Church, and despite the Lateran pacts […]

Contrary to his earlier messages, Mussolini was very cautious of antagonising the powerful interest groups that existed in Italian society, and as a result he did no push through any major reforms until the end of the 1930s. Yet these elites did not benefit particularly either from the fascist regime, and were in many cases […]

In 1938, between August and November, new race laws were introduced in Italy. Clearly based upon the race laws in Germany, the Italian version was similar in many ways to its northern predecessor. This law is the epitome of the direction in which Italy was moving, closer to Nazi Germany and more radical and oppressive […]

In the years of 1935 and 1936, the most pressing factor for Fascism was the Abyssinian War, and as a result this period observed a tremendous amount of militarist propaganda. What may come as most of a surprise is the huge amount of popularity for the Abyssinian War in these years. Despite being a war […]

Fascism was, at its core values, a very radical ideology. The reality was however, very different, and this is because of the circumstantial and political constraints that Mussolini would have faced. That said, there is a substantial argument for ‘cumulative radicalisation’, whereby the fascist regime became more radical as time progressed because of its more […]

Women in fascist society were to be ‘submissive women and strong mothers’. At school and in fascist youth organisations this role was highly emphasised to young girls. For Mussolini, the ideal woman would be a peasant, living in the countryside, happy to raise her large family according to traditional values – much like his own […]

As with all totalitarian regimes, and extraordinary importance was placed on youth organisations, which would be uniformed, militaristic, and allow the state to control and indoctrinate them. Of course this practise was not limited to military dictatorships – the boy scouts of the contemporary British Empire were not so different from any fascist youth organisation, […]