AP Euro Hist.
4 February 2013
Fascist Italy was a totalitarian state, though not to the extent of Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia. It was led by Benito Mussolini. Population was a big issue then, and fascism was a big part of life as well. Both can be seen to have affected various parts of Italian society. Italy was a one party state, was radical on gender roles/issues of the time, Fascists took and kept power with popular support, and Italy was weak economically. Fascism and the population policy were large pieces of the Italian puzzle.
Italy was a one party state in that only one party was actually legal. There were Italians such as Gaetano Salvemini who disapproved of Fascism, but they were forced to live outside of Italy and thus minimally affected the going ons therein (Doc 4). These other parties that were forced to live outside Italy had a different view on the population problem, which may have been one of the reasons why they were banished/outlawed or why their feelings were so strong (Doc4). Salvemini went so far as to say that thin women, who bore fewer children than fat women, would be put before a firing squad by Mussolini! This one party government can also be seen in a decree by the Italian parliament (Doc1). The decree required a lot money seeing as each pregnant woman was to be protected and assisted with nursing for children under 5 by the state. In addition, clinics for these women's care were to be provided. These clinics however, may have been created less for a desire to actually care for the women as to make sure that the children would be born in good condition, thereby benefitting Italy. This decree would probably not have been passed if a conservative party had existed in Italy. The conservatives probably would not have approved the funds needed to carry out this decree.