Section 1 – Identification and evaluation of sources The research question examined is ‘An Investigation of Italian expansion: Evaluate the success of Fascist foreign policy towards the expansion of Italy (1933-1940)’ Italy’s foreign policy under Benito Mussolini had to be vigorous to show the world how powerful Italy was under his rule. As a leader, Mussolini wanted to recreate the greatness of the Roman Empire. Mussolini believed that conquering foreign territory was the sign of a great nation and a great power hence the reason behind the invasion of Abyssinia.
Roland Sarti’s book “Fascism and the Industrial Leadership in Italy, 1919-40: A Study in the Expansion of Private Power Under Fascism” written on October 28, 1971, is relevant to this investigation as it gives a professional in-depth analysis of Italian expansion. A value of the origin is Sarti is a is Professor of History and former department chair at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is known for being a specialist in Italian and European social history. Another value is that is was published during 1971 and thusly benefits from hindsight. The purpose of this work is to analyze all aspects of Italian fascism.
A final value is that he was born in Italy during the fascist rule in 1937, so he would have the most knowledge about it, because he originated in Italy. A limitation of the origin is that it focuses on a broad number of years 1919-1940, and my focus was solely between 1933 and 1940. A final limitation is that he was born inside the regime, so would be more one-sided, than someone who wasn’t born in Italy.Another source I used was “Benito Mussolini’s Speech Before The Chamber Of Fasces And Corporations – June 10, 1941” is relevant to the research question as it offers insight into Mussolini’s thought and plans for Italy, and his move for the future. A value of origin is the time period it was written and given, was 1941 and summarizes everything they did during the past years and his plan for the future. It gives the full analysis of everything Italy did and is going to keep accomplishing. Another value of purpose is that it was delivered and written by Mussolini himself.
Which gives us full insight into Mussolini and his plans for Italian expansion. A limitation is that it was a speech from Mussolini himself which could be biased. The speech was written before everything unfolded so it’s still very vague. The final limitation is that my research was during a certain time period, 1933-1940 and this speech was delivered during 1941 after everything has happened. The content may also be limited by its rebuke intent and the language and tone being persuasive.Section 2: InvestigationAppeasement was a major cause of Italian expansion. Appeasement is a diplomatic policy of making political or material granted to an aggressive power to avoid conflict.
The major power of appeasement was Great Britain, most notably Neville Chamberlain. He thought it was the most appropriate policy to use against Germany and Italy’s aggression. He believed appeasement was the answer to stop other world war. During the 1930’s these compromises were widely seen as positive due to the trauma they experienced during World War 1. Nonetheless, this wasn’t the only reason Fascism helped expand Italy. There was much other reason such as the Great Depression and the failure of the League Of Nations.It could be argued that if appeasement wasn’t a strategy against aggressors, they could have stopped aggressive nations such as Germany and Italy, in expanding their territory. The appeasement policy was first developed under Neville Chamberlain, he believed it was the best way of stopping another wide scaled war.
The public saw this as a favorable policy and went with it. Appeasement was only then seen as a problematic policy and eventually went away when Hitler seized Czechoslovakia in 1939. Italy had their share of appeasement, with the invasion of Abyssinia. The League Of Nations failed to do anything against Italy, the sanctions they put on Italy failed due to the fact that not everyone did their share and not all nations were in the League. Appeasement was then granted to Italy from France in 1935. They argued that they would allow Italy invasion of Abyssinia only if they support France against Germany.The Great Depression started on October 29, 1929.
It was a worldwide economic crisis originating in the US and took mostly in the 1930’s. The great depression affected many countries, it was a worldwide depression. During this time many countries tried many things to get out of this situation. Different governments came and left and none were close to succeeding because it was better to try to fix the system, instead of changing it.
It hit Italy really hard in 1931, industries came close to failure and they were bought out by the largely illusory bail-out. This didn’t help in the slightest the crisis peaked in 1932 and it needed government intervention. The Great Depression devastated Italy its economy wasn’t the greatest in the first place and the Depression only made it worse. Mussolini used this to his advantage.
He noticed the peoples struggle for a stronger economy and government. The had fascist ideology, when he was campaigning he promised the people that unemployment would go down and establish a stable and strong government. This promises allowed him to become prime minister in 1922.There were 2 phases of fascism foreign policy, during the first phase (1922-1929) Mussolini pursued a low profile foreign policy. Moderation was a key element to win back the trust of other European powers. In order to redeem itself and win its power back in Europe Italy reassured europe’s chancellors about its intentions of following the peace treaty of Versailles.To this purpose, Italy focused on accomplishing three main goals. Firstly, Mussolini worked with others to reach a stable agreement with the UK.
The two countries were linked by a long-lasting friendship. Especially, the US thought about/believed Italy to represent a obstacle to the French Control and the threat of Communism in Europe. When Chamberlain, who was very close to Mussolini, became Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1924, the relationship between the two countries improved gradually. Secondly, Italy aimed at slowly bringing up the issue of the land-based losses it suffered as a result of WWI Agreement, the Treaty Of Versailles. Also, some hints of Imperialism began to fill Italy’s foreign policy, as the country had never stopped to look at Africa as an area where to project its influence in order to become a Great Power. Thirdly, during this phase, Italy argued extremely about the rise of Germany, considering it began to perceive Germany as a threat to its national security. Since those three important things made the fascist ideology appear to be the continuation of the after-Unitarian liberal tradition, the Italian politeness and skill with people supported Mussolini’s foreign policy. However, even though there is the existence of the cooperation with the government in power, the Italian politeness and skill with people was unable to be harmed by the contamination of the fascist Ideology.
The Fascist remote approach entered the second stage in 1929 when Dino Grandi was designated Minister of Foreign Affairs. This was a defining moment for the Fascist administration balance and reasonability was deserted and supplanted by the “approach of determinant weight”. This keeps going depended on the possibility that albeit Italy was feeble from a military perspective, its essence in the European situation had turned out to be fundamental.
Grandi was persuaded that Italy could go about as the mediator of the norm in Europe, the local harmony depending on its activities and positions. With a specific end goal to complete effectively this arrangement, Grandi advanced a solid pacifism in Italy’s universal relations. Especially, he trusted that peace was a basic condition to give Italy a chance to assume the part of authority in the European situation since the war would have inferred to agree with some group, along these lines impeding the adjust of energy in the district. The method of the reasoning behind this sober-minded remote strategy was to snatch every one of the open doors for picks up that were offered to Italy, even the ones originating from its adversaries. Hence, in this stage, the Italian remote approach stayed isolated from the Fascist philosophy.
The strategy of determinant weight was pushed to test and uncovered to be effective amid the London Naval Conference held in 1930 where Italy accomplished maritime power equality with France.