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Old 09-01-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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I know Italy was weak during WWII as Hitler had to rescue Italy several times. Do you think that Mussolini would have made Italy a power had it not been for Hitler more or less forcing him to allie with Germany in the 1930's or do you think even without Hitler and the Nazi Germany that Italy would have been a average European country.
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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The only good Mussolini did was making the trains run on time. And for the first and last time in modern italian history, he did manage to bottle up the maffia for a while.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Iowa
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If you take Hitler and WW2 out of the picture, you then have a Mussolini that does not try to bite off more than he can chew. Mussolini wanted more time to build the military before taking on any additional military conquests. He may have settled into a role much like Francisco Franco of Spain. He could of been dictator for life and a strong ally against communism in the cold war. As it was, we had to throw a ton of money to Italy with the marshall plan to keep the commies out of there after WW2. The maffia would not have had any power there, under his thumb. This would of affected the US maffia to some degree.
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:32 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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Prior to Mussolini aligning himself with Hitler, Italy was considered a power in Europe, especially in the Mediterranean. Keep in mind that when Mussolini came to power in 1922, Germany was a weak country, struggling to establish democratic rule. Italy had sided with Britain and France against Germany and Austria during the First World War, so even with Mussolini at the helm, the country was viewed in a very favorable light. Italy was a member in good standing of the League of Nations. They were party to the Locarno Treaties of 1925 which set the borders of post World War One Europe and normalized relations with Germany. Under this agreement, Italy along with Britain were to guarantee that peace prevailed between France, Germany and Belgium. This was exactly the type of power role Mussolini believed Italy should play in Europe.

When Hitler came to power in 1933, Mussolini was initially quite happy to see Fascism take hold in Germany. He believed that Germany would become an ally, but a junior one. However, it became clear quickly to Mussolini that Hitler's power was growing fast and that he may well end up seeing the roles reversed. This thought was reinforced when Hitler made it known that he had designs on incorporating Austria, Italy's neighbor to the north, into Greater Germany. This did not set well with Mussolini. Englebert Dollfuss, the Chancellor of Austria, had established a fascist corporate state modeled after Italy and viewed Mussolini as both mentor and ally. Mussolini was not keen on seeing that disappear and replaced by a hostile Germany. To that end, Mussolini made it clear that he would do whatever it took to make sure Austria remained independent of Germany. He pressured Britain and France into joining him in declaring that Austria's independence was of the utmost importance to all three nations. It was during this crisis in 1934 that Mussolini and Hitler met for the first time in Venice. Mussolini disliked Hitler from the start, found him boring, and afterward referred to him as "a silly little monkey".

In 1935 when Hitler made it known that he would no longer abide by the rearmament restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles, Mussolini tried once more to put Hitler in check. He met with Foreign Minister Pierre Laval of France and British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald in Italy to discuss the situation. At the so-called "Stresa Conference" the three leaders reaffirmed their support of the of the Locarno Treaties, that Austria should remain independent, and that the terms of The Treaty of Versailles must be adhered to. Unfortunately for Mussolini, it became very clear that Britain and France were all talk and no action and that Italy needed to find it's own path if it wished to remain a major power player.

This was one factor in Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. The resulting sanctions placed on Italy by the League of Nations, though not observed by Britain or France, made Mussolini reassess his view of Hitler and made the idea of an alliance more palatable. This was reinforced when Hitler marched into the Rhineland in complete defiance of the Treaty of Versailles and Britain and France did nothing. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, Italy and Germany both sent men and support to assist General Franco in his fight against the Communist government there. By 1937, it was apparent to Mussolini that Hitler really was the future of Europe and that only in concert with Germany would he be able to establish a New Roman Empire.

Interestingly enough, it was Benito Mussolini who proposed the Munich Peace Conference of 1938 in an effort to forestall a European wide war over Czechoslovakia. He knew that Italy was in no position militarily to take part in a war so he was able to convince Hitler to participate in a "peaceful" negotiation to settle the Czech matter. Munich was a major public relations coup for Mussolini and he was widely hailed throughout the world as a great mediator and peacemaker. People had apparently forgotten that just a few short years earlier they had railed against him as a bully and aggressor for his Ethiopian excursion.

Once the "Pact of Steel" was signed between Italy and Germany in 1939, Mussolini's fate was pretty much sealed. He had no choice but to follow whatever path Hitler set out. And at the beginning, it seemed like a good choice since Hitler racked up success after success. But Mussolini and Italy really were not up to the task. Italy was still an agriculture based economy and simply did not have the means to build a military force equal to those of it's ally or enemies. The image of this "New Rome" that he had so carefully constructed since 1922 was quickly exposed for the myth that it was.

It is possible that had Mussolini had been able to curb his ambitions and followed a more neutral and pragmatic course like Franco did in Spain, he might well have weathered the Second World War and retained power. But it wasn't in his personality and quite honestly it wasn't in the personality of the people of Italy at that time. After sacrificing so much to aid the Allied cause during the First World War and never being acknowledged or compensated as they felt they should, they were just as eager for glory as Mussolini was.

Benito Mussolini wasn't necessarily bad for Italy. But his alliance with Hitler certainly was and Italy and the Italian people were paid back in spades for it.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:39 AM
 
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...But Franco himself would not have been able to take power in Spain without the assistance of Hitler, so maybe the comparison between Mussolini and Franco is apt.
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:33 PM
 
13,138 posts, read 37,719,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
Prior to Mussolini aligning himself with Hitler, Italy was considered a power in Europe, especially in the Mediterranean. Keep in mind that when Mussolini came to power in 1922, Germany was a weak country, struggling to establish democratic rule. Italy had sided with Britain and France against Germany and Austria during the First World War, so even with Mussolini at the helm, the country was viewed in a very favorable light. Italy was a member in good standing of the League of Nations. They were party to the Locarno Treaties of 1925 which set the borders of post World War One Europe and normalized relations with Germany. Under this agreement, Italy along with Britain were to guarantee that peace prevailed between France, Germany and Belgium. This was exactly the type of power role Mussolini believed Italy should play in Europe.

When Hitler came to power in 1933, Mussolini was initially quite happy to see Fascism take hold in Germany. He believed that Germany would become an ally, but a junior one. However, it became clear quickly to Mussolini that Hitler's power was growing fast and that he may well end up seeing the roles reversed. This thought was reinforced when Hitler made it known that he had designs on incorporating Austria, Italy's neighbor to the north, into Greater Germany. This did not set well with Mussolini. Englebert Dollfuss, the Chancellor of Austria, had established a fascist corporate state modeled after Italy and viewed Mussolini as both mentor and ally. Mussolini was not keen on seeing that disappear and replaced by a hostile Germany. To that end, Mussolini made it clear that he would do whatever it took to make sure Austria remained independent of Germany. He pressured Britain and France into joining him in declaring that Austria's independence was of the utmost importance to all three nations. It was during this crisis in 1934 that Mussolini and Hitler met for the first time in Venice. Mussolini disliked Hitler from the start, found him boring, and afterward referred to him as "a silly little monkey".

In 1935 when Hitler made it known that he would no longer abide by the rearmament restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles, Mussolini tried once more to put Hitler in check. He met with Foreign Minister Pierre Laval of France and British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald in Italy to discuss the situation. At the so-called "Stresa Conference" the three leaders reaffirmed their support of the of the Locarno Treaties, that Austria should remain independent, and that the terms of The Treaty of Versailles must be adhered to. Unfortunately for Mussolini, it became very clear that Britain and France were all talk and no action and that Italy needed to find it's own path if it wished to remain a major power player.

This was one factor in Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. The resulting sanctions placed on Italy by the League of Nations, though not observed by Britain or France, made Mussolini reassess his view of Hitler and made the idea of an alliance more palatable. This was reinforced when Hitler marched into the Rhineland in complete defiance of the Treaty of Versailles and Britain and France did nothing. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, Italy and Germany both sent men and support to assist General Franco in his fight against the Communist government there. By 1937, it was apparent to Mussolini that Hitler really was the future of Europe and that only in concert with Germany would he be able to establish a New Roman Empire.

Interestingly enough, it was Benito Mussolini who proposed the Munich Peace Conference of 1938 in an effort to forestall a European wide war over Czechoslovakia. He knew that Italy was in no position militarily to take part in a war so he was able to convince Hitler to participate in a "peaceful" negotiation to settle the Czech matter. Munich was a major public relations coup for Mussolini and he was widely hailed throughout the world as a great mediator and peacemaker. People had apparently forgotten that just a few short years earlier they had railed against him as a bully and aggressor for his Ethiopian excursion.

Once the "Pact of Steel" was signed between Italy and Germany in 1939, Mussolini's fate was pretty much sealed. He had no choice but to follow whatever path Hitler set out. And at the beginning, it seemed like a good choice since Hitler racked up success after success. But Mussolini and Italy really were not up to the task. Italy was still an agriculture based economy and simply did not have the means to build a military force equal to those of it's ally or enemies. The image of this "New Rome" that he had so carefully constructed since 1922 was quickly exposed for the myth that it was.

It is possible that had Mussolini had been able to curb his ambitions and followed a more neutral and pragmatic course like Franco did in Spain, he might well have weathered the Second World War and retained power. But it wasn't in his personality and quite honestly it wasn't in the personality of the people of Italy at that time. After sacrificing so much to aid the Allied cause during the First World War and never being acknowledged or compensated as they felt they should, they were just as eager for glory as Mussolini was.

Benito Mussolini wasn't necessarily bad for Italy. But his alliance with Hitler certainly was and Italy and the Italian people were paid back in spades for it.
I know i'm reposting this above post but it was a great posting Tony .....as i appreciate the time you spent getting this info out to us.

Thanks to the others who responded also.
6/3
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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My pleasure 6/3. I guess I should have listened to my parents and put that History degree I went to school for to better use...LOL. Oh well...
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:07 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 15,184,443 times
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Quote:
Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism
because it is a merger of State and corporate power.

Benito Mussolini
I guess Mussolini was right.
Even Ronald Reagan agreed to it.
And Reagan was far smarter than Dubya.

Quote:
Back during his 1976 campaign for president, Ronald Reagan made the offhand comment to Time that “Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal.” When Reagan finally grasped the Republican nomination in 1980, Democrats gleefully retrieved that remark to use as proof of Reagan’s supposed extremism. The media dutifully obliged, pressing Reagan on what he could possibly have meant with such an odd and inflammatory comment.

To the dismay of his campaign managers, Reagan defended the remark: “Anyone who wants to look at the writings of the Brain Trust of the New Deal will find that President Roosevelt’s advisers admired the fascist system. . . . They thought that private ownership with government management and control à la the Italian system was the way to go, and that has been evident in all their writings.”
And the admiration was mutual because Hitler admired FDR's program.
Quote:
The New Deal, as Ronald Reagan had the imagination to perceive and the courage to declare, was America’s second fascist episode. Goldberg’s copious and detailed research demonstrates beyond doubt that the New Dealers themselves understood their project as wholly congruent with what they saw approvingly in Italy and Germany. Waldo Frank declared in 1934 that Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration “is the beginning of American Fascism” and the Nazis expressed their admiration and enthusiasm for FDR’s program. (Hitler, in particular, praised American eugenicists.) The New York Times reported in 1933: “There is at least one official voice in Europe that expresses understanding of the method and motives of President Roosevelt. This voice is that of Germany, as represented by Chancellor Adolf Hitler.”
Source: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning «
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:45 AM
 
5,115 posts, read 4,949,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricky D View Post
I guess Mussolini was right.
Even Ronald Reagan agreed to it.
And Reagan was far smarter than Dubya.

And the admiration was mutual because Hitler admired FDR's program.

Quote:
Waldo Frank declared in 1934 that Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration “is the beginning of American Fascism” and the Nazis expressed their admiration and enthusiasm for FDR’s program. (Hitler, in particular, praised American eugenicists.)
Source: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning «
Wow, I had no idea that eugenics was part of FDR's programs.

C'mon wackos, either FDR was a pinko commie bastard or a nazi fascist bastard, not both. At least try to stay consistent, kk?

And Ronald Reagan? He believed at one time that trees caused more pollution than automobiles (google 'killer trees' and take a look for yourself). Ronnie may have helped the USSR into the dustbin of history, but that doesn't mean the man was an expert about everything.
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:38 AM
 
9,638 posts, read 24,781,764 times
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And Ronald Reagan? He believed at one time that trees caused more pollution than automobiles (google 'killer trees' and take a look for yourself). Ronnie may have helped the USSR into the dustbin of history, but that doesn't mean the man was an expert about everything.


The guy knew his hair dye, though.
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