Topic– Events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
2) What were the benefits that fascism provided to the people of Italy. What were the problems it could not solve. Discuss.(250 words)
Mastering World History by Norman and Lowe; Italy, 1918-45: the first appearance of fascism
Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to delve deeper into the rise and fall of fascism in Italy and bring out in detail as to what benefits did fascism provide to the people of Italy and then also discuss in detail about the problems which it could not solve.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the emergence of fascism under Mussolini in Italy. E.g Beginning in the summer of 1924, using a mixture of violence and intimidation, and helped by divisions among his opponents, Mussolini gradually developed Italian government and society along fascist lines.
- Discuss the benefits that accrued to the people of Italy on account of Fascism. E.g Industries were encouraged with govt. support wherever necessary; so that iron and steel production doubled by 1930 and artificial silk production increased tenfold; Mussolini believed that Italy must have a strong currency if it wanted to be a strong state. He revalued the lira at 90 to the pound sterling instead of 150 (1926). This had mixed results: it helped some industries, notably steel and chemicals, by making imported raw materials cheaper. But unfortunately it made Italian exports more expensive on the world market and led to reduced orders, especially in the cotton industry; The ‘Battle for Wheat’ encouraged farmers to concentrate on wheat production and raised tariffs (import duties) on imported wheat as part of the drive for self-sufficiency; The ‘Battle for Births’, launched in 1927, was a campaign to increase the birth rate. Mussolini believed that a population of 40 million was too small for a country aiming to be a great power; they simply wouldn’t have enough soldiers! The target was to double the birth rate and raise the population to 60 million by 1950; this was to be achieved by taxing unmarried men heavily, giving tax relief and promotion at work for men with large families and paying generous family allowances; A programme of land reclamation was launched in 1928, involving draining marshes, irrigation, and planting forests in mountainous areas, again as part of the drive to improve and increase agricultural yield etc.
- Discuss the problems that fascism in Italy could not solve. E.g Little had been done to remedy Italy’s basic shortage of raw materials – coal and oil – and much more effort could have been made to develop hydroelectric power. In spite of the modest increase in iron and steel production, Italy could not even match a small state like Belgium; Although the ‘Battle of Wheat’ was a victory, it was achieved only at the expense o f dairy and arable farming, whose output fell; the climate in the south is suited much better to grazing and orchards than to growing wheat, and these would have been much more lucrative for the farmers. As a result, agriculture remained inefficient and farm laborers the poorest class in the country; Another failing of the government was in social services, where there was nothing approaching a ‘welfare state’ etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.