Economic Policies In Fascist Italy

1510 Words7 Pages
Summarise and discuss the economic policies of Fascist Italy? When Benito Mussolini came to power as Prime Minister in 1922, Italy’s economy was comparatively weak, having failed to recover sufficiently from the financial demands of the First World War. Mussolini realised that strengthening the economy was essential if Italy was to become a key player in Europe. A number of economic policies were implemented in an attempt to achieve this end. This essay will seek to examine these policies and their varying successes or failures. Economic policies in Fascist Italy can be divided into distinct periods. In Mussolini’s early years, from 1922-1925, the economy was run using traditional liberal ‘laissez-faire guidelines.’ Under the guidance of the then Minister of Finance, Albert de Stefani, taxes were lowered and government expenditure cut. These policies found favour amongst the industrialists, bankers and big landowners who had been instrumental in the Fascist rise to power and thus served the ‘dual purpose of placating the big-business interests and balancing the state’s budget.’ Although the economy enjoyed modest growth, its inherent structural weaknesses were not addressed and in 1925 de Stefani was sacked amidst rising inflation and a falling Lira. The economic policies he had implemented had served their purpose in helping to garner further support for Mussolini and the fascists. Tannenbaum concludes correctly that Mussolini’s early liberal approach to the economy was nothing more than an ‘expedient to gain support where he could get it when he was consolidating his dictatorship.’ The years of 1926 and 1927 saw a marked shift away from the early liberal policies employed by de Stefani and a move towards much greater State intervention and the corporative State of which Mussolini was so proud, the so-called third way. Fascist Corporativism rejected both
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