Propaganda of Fascist Italy
Propaganda of Fascist Italy was the material put forth by Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 to justify its authority and programs and encourage popular support.


The Fascist regime made heavy use of propaganda, including pageantry and rhetoric, to inspire the nation into the unity that would obey.

At first, all propaganda efforts were lumped together under the press office; propaganda efforts were slowly organized until a Ministry of Popular Culture was created in 1937. A special propaganda ministry was created in 1935, with the avowed purpose of telling the truth about fascism, refuting the lies of its enemies, and clearing up ambiguities, which were only to be expected in so large and dynamic a movement.


Fascist doctrine was first set forth in The Manifesto of the Fasci of Combat
Fascist manifesto
The Manifesto of the Italian Fasci of Combat was the initial declaration of the political stance of the founders of Italian Fascism. The Manifesto that was written by national syndicalist Alceste De Ambris and Futurist movement leader Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.-Origins of Italian Fascism:The...

, and further enumerated in The Doctrine of Fascism purportedly by Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

, actually written by Giovanni Gentile
Giovanni Gentile
Giovanni Gentile was an Italian neo-Hegelian Idealist philosopher, a peer of Benedetto Croce. He described himself as 'the philosopher of Fascism', and ghostwrote A Doctrine of Fascism for Benito Mussolini. He also devised his own system of philosophy, Actual Idealism.- Life and thought :Giovanni...


Fascism's internal contradictions were justified by Mussolini as a product of its nature: a doctrine of action, a revolt against the conformity and alienation of bourgeois society.

Personality cult

Il Duce was the center of Fascism and portrayed as such. The cult of the Duce was in many respects the unifying force of the fascist regime, acting as a common denominator of various political groups and social classes in the fascist party and the Italian society. This leadership cult helped reconcile Italians with the regime despite annoyance with local officials. A basic slogan proclaimed that Mussolini was always right .

Endless publicity revolved about him. Newspapers were instructed exactly what to report on him.

He was generally portrayed in a macho manner, although he could also appear as a Renaissance man, or as military, family, or even common. This reflected his presentation as a universal man, capable of all subjects; a light was left on his office long after he was asleep as part of propaganda to present him as an insomnia
Insomnia is most often defined by an individual's report of sleeping difficulties. While the term is sometimes used in sleep literature to describe a disorder demonstrated by polysomnographic evidence of disturbed sleep, insomnia is often defined as a positive response to either of two questions:...

c owing to his driven to work nature. Mussolini as a practitioner of various sports such as fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

, auto racing
Auto racing
Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition. It is one of the world's most watched televised sports.-The beginning of racing:...

, skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

, horse riding, lion taming
Lion taming
Lion taming is the practice of taming lions, either for protection, whereby the practice was probably created, or, more commonly, entertainment, particularly in the circus. The term is also often used for the taming and display of other big cats such as tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, and pumas...

 and swimming
Swimming (sport)
Swimming is a sport governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation .-History: Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 BCE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873 Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native...

 was promoted to create an image of a valiant and fearless hero. Mussolini's prestige as a hero aviator
An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation Aérienne...

 in the manner of Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.Lindbergh, a 25-year-old U.S...

 was especially important, as for fascism the aeroplane embodied qualities such as dynamism, energy and courage. Mussolini himself oversaw which photographs could appear, rejecting some, for instance, because he was not sufficiently prominent in a group.

Mussolini's youthfulness (when he took office, he became the youngest prime minister in Italian history), and his virile and energetic appearance were promoted. In fascist symbolism, youth constituted a metaphor for action and vitality, thus emphasizing fascism's nature as a revolutionary ideology in contrast to the stasis of liberal democracy. The official hymn of the fascist movement, Giovinezza
"Giovinezza" is the official hymn of the Italian National Fascist Party, regime, and army, and was the unofficial national anthem of Italy between 1924 and 1943...

, links the concepts of youth, the rebirth of the nation and the reign of Mussolini into symbolic unity. The publicizing of Mussolini's birthdays and illnesses were banned for journalists, to give an impression of him not aging. The erotic aspect of the cult was also prominent: although Mussolini was portrayed as a respectable family man, at the same time state propaganda did little to counter the idea that he had sexual magnetism to women and was promiscuous.

Legends of Mussolini defying death during the First World War and surviving assassination attempts were circulated to give the dictator a mythical, immortal aura. It was stated that Mussolini's body had been pierced by shrapnel just like Saint Sebastian had been pierced by arrows; the difference being that Mussolini had survived this ordeal. He was also compared to Saint Francis of Assisi, who had, like Mussolini, "suffered and sacrificed himself for others". Mussolini's humble origin was described with explicit parallels with the life of Christ
Life of Christ
The Life of Christ as a narrative cycle in Christian art comprises a number of different subjects, which were often grouped in series or cycles of works in a variety of media, narrating the life of Jesus on earth, as distinguished from the many other subjects in art showing the eternal life of...

: when writing about his blacksmith father
Alessandro Mussolini
Alessandro Mussolini was the father of Italian Fascist founder and leader Benito Mussolini. He was an Italian revolutionary socialist activist with Italian nationalist sympathies. Mussolini was a blacksmith by profession. Mussolini was married to Rosa Maltoni, a schoolteacher, who became the...

 and mother
Rosa Maltoni
Rosa Maltoni or Rosa Maltoni-Mussolini was the mother of Italian Fascist founder and leader Benito Mussolini. Maltoni was a devoutly Catholic schoolteacher who married Alessandro Mussolini. After Benito, Rosa had two more children, Arnaldo and Edvige...

, fascist propaganda presented them symbolically as the Holy Family
Holy Family
The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph.The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Roman Catholic Church in honor of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family...

 ("They are but Mary and Joseph in relation to Christ"). His home town of Predappio
Predappio is a town and comune in the province of Forlì-Cesena, in the region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy, with a population of 6,362. The town is best known for being the birthplace of Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy from 1922 to 1943. Mussolini is also buried at Predappio, and his mausoleum is...

 was developed as a place of mass tourism and symbolic pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

. The Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 implied that heavenly powers were aware that Mussolini had saved Italy from bolshevism and thus protected him. Pope Pius XI referred to him as "the man of Providence
Divine providence
In Christian theology, divine providence, or simply providence, is God's activity in the world. " Providence" is also used as a title of God exercising His providence, and then the word are usually capitalized...

" during the aftermath of the Lateran treaty. The press described his speeches as sacramental meetings of Duce and people. Mussolini's melodramatic style of oratory was both pantomimic and liturgical, with exaggerated poses and hand movements and prominent variations in the pitch and tone of his voice. Mussolini intended his speeches to be faith-inspiring theatrical performances, stating that "the crowd does not have to know; it must believe".

In addition to being depicted as being chosen by God, the regime presented Mussolini himself having omnipotent or godlike characteristics, such as being able to work superhuman amounts (14-16 hours) daily and never appearing tired. Fascist newspapers implied even that Mussolini had performed miracles, such as stopping the lava flow of Mount Etna
Mount Etna
Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, currently standing high, though this varies with summit eruptions; the mountain is 21 m higher than it was in 1981.. It is the highest mountain in...

, and invoking rain in the drought
A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

-suffering Libya during his visit to the region in March 1937. A story of a deaf-mute
For "deafness", see hearing impairment. For "Deaf" as a cultural term, see Deaf culture. For "inability to speak", see muteness.Deaf-mute is a term which was used historically to identify a person who was both deaf and could not speak...

 boy being cured after listening in a crowd to a speech of the Duce was told in an elementary school manual.

His overtly belligerent image did not prevent newspapers from declaring he had done more for peace than anyone else, on the principle that Mussolini always did better than everyone else.

His image proclaimed that he had improved the Italian people morally, materially, and spiritually.

He was the Duce and proclaimed in song even before the seizure of power.

The war on Ethiopia was presented as a revival of Roman Empire, with Mussolini as Augustus.

To improve fascism's image in North Africa and Levant and to gain Arab support, Mussolini had himself declared the "Protector of Islam" during an official visit to Libya in 1937.


Fascism was among the most visible of movements that exulted action over talk and violence over reason, partly stemming from World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. This was used to justify taking up notions and dropping them again.

Economic issues were presented in a heroic and militaristic manner, with programs being termed the Battle of Wheat and the Battle of the Lira.

Military matters were also straightforwardly praised, with the aim of primacy on land, sea, and air. Because war was to man what maternity was to woman, disarmament was impossible.

War and killing were praised as the essence of manhood. A Fascist encyclopedia proclaimed, "Nothing is ever won in history without bloodshed." This drew upon older themes, exulted in World War I, with injunctions that suffering was necessary for greatness. World War I was often cited in Fascist propaganda, with many prominent Fascists displaying many medals from the conflict. To such figures as Gabriele d'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio
Gabriele D'Annunzio or d'Annunzio was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, and dramatist...

, the return of peace meant only the return of the humdrum, while the ideal was still war, themes that Fascism drew into its propaganda. Mussolini, shortly before the seizure of power, proclaimed violence better than compromise and bargaining. Afterwards, there was a prolonged period where the absence of military action did not prevent the government from many belligerent statements. Interviews appearing in foreign press, where Mussolini spoke of wanting peace, had that portion censored out before appearing in Italian papers. The annexation of Albania was presented as a splendid act of aggression. In the run-up to World War II, Mussolini's claim he could field 8 million was quickly exaggerated to 9 million, and then to 12 million. The continually bellicose pose created an embarrassment with the outbreak of World War II, where failure to join the war would undermine the propaganda effect.

The Italians were called to be like Roman legionaries, while their opponents were depicted as weak and enthralled by money. Great Britain was denounced in particular, although both France and later the United States (when its sympathies were clearly turning toward the Allies) also came in for abuse.

Heroism was exaggerated. Fascist violence prior to their seizure of power was legitimized. The March on Rome
March on Rome
The March on Rome was a march by which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party came to power in the Kingdom of Italy...

 was presented, mythically, as a bloody and heroic seizure of power.

Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century.Futurism or futurist may refer to:* Afrofuturism, an African-American and African diaspora subculture* Cubo-Futurism* Ego-Futurism...

 was a useful part of the cultural scene, owing to its militaristic elements.


National and social unity was symbolized by the fasces themselves, the bound sticks being stronger together than individually. This drew on military themes from World War I, where Italians were called to pull together into a unity. Mussolini openly proclaimed that Fasicsts were willing to kill or die when it was a question of the fatherland as the March on Rome was prepared. Similarly, he declared that the State did not weaken the individual, any more than a soldier was weakened by the rest of the regiment.

This was part of an explicit rejection of liberal individualism; the punitive aspect of the fasces, containing an ax, not being omitted. Furthermore, Fascism was to be a totalitarian, that is total experience, since it was impossible to a Fascist only in politics, and therefore overtly rejected liberalism's private and public spheres. Fascism was not a party but a way of life. The corporatist state was offered as a unifying form of politics, as opposed to liberal democracy. Fascism and the state were identified, and everything was to be encompassed in the state.

Work was presented as a social duty, because Italy was greater than any individual purpose. Beehives were presented as a model of industry and harmony.

Furthermore, this unity would allow the entire nation to throw itself into support of military necessity. The sanctions imposed by the League of Nations when Italy attacked Ethiopia were used to unity the country against this "aggression."


Reviving the glories of the Roman Empire in modern Italy was a common theme. This called for the control of Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum may refer to:*Mare Nostrum, the Roman term for the Mediterranean Sea, adopted by Italian nationalists and fascists.*Mare Nostrum , a Spanish-language novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez...

 -- our sea, as the Mediterranean was called in Rome. France, Britain, and other powers were denounced as having kept Italy immured. Concerted efforts were made to drum up enthusiasm for colonialism in the 1930s.

Besides its symbolic aspects, the fasces had been carried by the lictors of ancient Rome as a representation of authority. April 21, the anniversary of the founding of Rome
Founding of Rome
The founding of Rome is reported by many legends, which in recent times are beginning to be supplemented by scientific reconstructions.- Development of the city :...

, was proclaimed a fascist holiday, intended to replace the socialist Labor Day
Labor Day
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.-History:...

 as a celebration of the Roman virtues of "work" and "discipline
In Roman mythology, Disciplina was a minor deity and the personification of discipline. The word disciplina itself, a Latin noun, is multi-faceted in meaning; it refers to education and training, self-control and determination, knowledge in a field of study, and an orderly way of life. The goddess...

". Rome's role in in establishing Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 as an universal religion was also exalted.

Fascist architecture
Rationalist-Fascist architecture was an Italian architectural style developed during the fascism regime and in particular starting from the late 1920s. It was promoted and practiced initially by the Gruppo 7 group, whose architects included Luigi Figini, Guido Frette, Sebastiano Larco, Gino...

 was used to supplement the Roman revival by juxtaposing modern monuments with ancient buildings, such as the creation of the Via dell'Impero. In the city of Rome, archaeological -propagandist projects involving the clearing, isolation (often by deliberately destroying surrounding Medieval buildings) and restoration of key monuments such as the Ara Pacis
Ara Pacis
The Ara Pacis Augustae is an altar to Peace, envisioned as a Roman goddess...

 and the Mausoleum of Augustus
Mausoleum of Augustus
The Mausoleum of Augustus is a large tomb built by the Roman Emperor Augustus in 28 BC on the Campus Martius in Rome, Italy. The Mausoleum, now located on the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, is no longer open to tourists, and the ravages of time and carelessness have stripped the ruins bare...

 received strong support from the fascist regime. A major propaganda event was the opening of the "Augustan Exhibition of Romanitas
Romanità also termed Romanitas in English referring to "Roman-ness" or the Roman ideal the refers to an immiscibly Latin culture of the Roman Empire. Cicero contributed much to the notion....

" on 23 September 1937 to celebrate the two-thousandth anniversary of the birth of Augustus. Here the symbolic connection between Caesarean leadership of Augustus and Mussolini's dictatorship was stressed. At the exhibition entrance was inscribed a quote from Mussolini: "Italians, you must ensure that the glories of the past are surpassed by the triumphs of the future." Rome thus constituted a point of reference in fascism's dream of building an aggressive and forward-looking Italy of the future. After the successful military campaign against Ethiopia and the subsequent proclamation of the Italian Empire, regime propaganda depicted fascism now even overshadowing its Roman past.

Spazio vitale

Spazio vitale
Spazio vitale
Spazio vitale was the territorial expansionist concept of Italian Fascism. It is similar to the German Nazi Party's concept of lebensraum...

, living space, was presented as needing conquest. It would strengthen the country by drawing off its surplus population, sending landless peasants and the unemployed to work the earth, buy Italian goods, and act as a garrison. Millions of Italians could live in Ethiopia, and exaggerated claims were made of its resources.

This would amend the situation after World War I, where Italy's allies had cheated it of expansion into the former Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, which its sacrifices in the war had entitled it to.


Even while arguing the population had to be drained off, propaganda urged greater fertility, deriding men who failed to produce children and women whose Parisian fashions did not fit them for bearing children. Slogans urged maternity as the female form of patriotism. Mussolini instructed the heads of fascist women's organizations to go home and tell the women that they needed many births. To help the "battle of births", assistance had to be given to mothers and newborns, and the founding of an organization to do so was trumpeted. Contraception was decried as producing medical problems.

Mussolini also called for a more rural Italy to increase births.

The "battles" to reclaim land and increase grain production, Mussolini trumpeted, had produced enough that Italy could hold ten million more.


Fascist rhetoric portrayed the attack on Ethiopia as advancing the cause of civilization. Other European nations were called on to stand with Italy against savage cannibals and slave-holders.

This was backed up with one of their most impressive ceremonies, the donation of wedding rings (and other forms of gold) to the war effort.


A series of calculated lies was propagated to win support for the Ethiopian venture by claiming that Italy was self-sufficient in food and enough oil had been stock-piled.


Socialism was resisted, particularly in its internationalist forms. Socialist forces were denounced as a "Russian army." An editorialist, afraid that Fascist violence would repulse women, warned them that the killings were necessary to save Italy from the "Bolshevist beast."

In his first speech as a deputy, he proclaimed that no dealings were possible between Communism and Fascism, even while he proclaimed his willingness to work with other groups.

The Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 was presented as a crusade against Communism.

Foreign culture

The influx of foreign culture was attacked. "Americanism
Americanism (ideology)
Americanism is an ideology or belief in devotion, loyalty, or allegiance to the United States of America or to its flag, traditions, customs, culture, symbols, institutions, or form of government.It is like Country-love...

" was the object of an organized propaganda campaign that attacked as a "grease stain which is spreading through the whole of European life." French and Russian novels, and H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

's Outline of History were also attacked as contaminating youth. British literature was used to show them as decadent as the French, their low birth rate was decried, and it was proclaimed that Italy had saved Britain and France in World War I.

Italianization or Italianisation is a term used to describe a process of cultural assimilation in which ethnically non or partially Italian people or territory become Italian. The process can be voluntary or forced...

 of street names and monuments in linguistically Slavic and German regions of Italy was mandated by legislation, while teachers instructing in languages other than Italian were persecuted (See Katakombenschule
Katakombenschulen were set up in South Tyrol in the mid-1920s during the period of Fascist Italianization when teaching of the German language was banned by the authorities of Italy which had occupied the area in 1918. Approximately 30,000 students in 324 Schools were affected...

). In 1926, new legislation was introduced decreeing the Italianization of Slavic surnames. Sports clubs were likewise forced to Italianize their names: A.C. Milan
A.C. Milan
Associazione Calcio Milan, commonly referred to as A.C. Milan or simply Milan , is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Lombardy, that plays in the Serie A. Milan was founded in 1899 by English lace-maker Herbert Kilpin and businessman Alfred Edwards among others...

 became Milano and Internazionale was renamed Ambrosiana
Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose , was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was one of the four original doctors of the Church.-Political career:Ambrose was born into a Roman Christian family between about...

, after the patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of Milan.


Democracy and liberalism were pronounced moribund, citing praise that fascism received everywhere, and the workers of North America wished they had a Mussolini. He demonstrated the inherent superiority of autocratic regimes to democracies, by fixing problems that liberalism had no answer to. In 1934, Mussolini declared both democracy and liberalism dead. Bourgeois culture and morality were seen as integral parts of liberalism and were thus attacked. The bourgeoisie supposedly valued utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "happiness", by whatever means necessary. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can...

, materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

, well-being and maintaining the status quo
Status quo
Statu quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are...

 instead of the fascist virtues of dynamism, courage, discipline and self-sacrifice. An anti-bourgeois exhibition was opened on 29 November 1937. It denounced "typical aspects of bourgeois mentality" and ridiculed gestures and customs such as handshakes, suits, top hats and afternoon tea, all to which fascism was to provide its own replacements, such as the Roman salute
Roman salute
The Roman salute is a gesture in which the arm is held out forward straight, with palm down, and fingers touching. In some versions, the arm is raised upward at an angle; in others, it is held out parallel to the ground. The former is a well known symbol of fascism that is commonly perceived to be...

. Even the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

 was deemed as being bourgeois - in the era fascista the year was to begin on October 29, the day after the anniversary of the March on Rome, and the years were to be counted from 1922 according to a Roman numeral.

The Nazi rise to power was used as Germany's imitating Italy, which would soon be followed by other nations.

The attack on Ethiopia was framed as Italy's vigor and idealism easily crushing the decadent, bloodless, cowardly democracies, especially as they supported barbarians over the mother of civilizations.


The United States was particularly resented for its wealth and position.

Joining World War II was presented as a war on decadent plutocracies. These powers were also claimed to have prevent Italian imperialism. Mussolini began to decry the oppression Italy suffered as early as the peace negotiations of World War I and the first days of Fascism as a movement.


Authorities were allowed to confiscate newspapers on the grounds they published false information likely to incite class hatred or bring the government into contempt. Meanwhile, pro-Fascist journals were subsidized, and by 1926, government permission was needed to publish.


Slogans were widely used, inscribed on walls.


Many of Italy's leading graphic artists produced Fascist posters.

To counter British pamphlets that proclaimed bombs the curse of Garibaldi, posters proclaimed that a British defeat meant worse than bombs, barbarism, would befall them. Americans were depicted as ready to plunder Italy's treasures.


The Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution
Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution
The Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution was a show held in Rome at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni from 1932 to 1934. Opened by Mussolini on 28 October 1932, it had 4 million visitors....

 was devised as propaganda to recount Italian history to the March on Rome
March on Rome
The March on Rome was a march by which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party came to power in the Kingdom of Italy...

 to engage the visitors with Fascist Italy emotionally.


Two major marches were devised as propaganda: the March on Rome
March on Rome
The March on Rome was a march by which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party came to power in the Kingdom of Italy...

, where Mussolini demanded power, and the March of the Iron Will
March of the Iron Will
The March of the Iron Will , or the Iron-Will Column , was a Fascist propaganda event staged during the final days of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia...

, to capture the Ethiopian capital.
The notion of a "march on Rome" as a concept to inspire heroism and sacrifice, and the Fascists made full use of the notion.


Songs were widely used for propaganda purposes. Even prior to the seizure of power, Mussolini was praised in song. Its anthem was Giovinezza
"Giovinezza" is the official hymn of the Italian National Fascist Party, regime, and army, and was the unofficial national anthem of Italy between 1924 and 1943...



With the spread of ownership of radio units during the Fascist regime, radio became the major tool for propagandizing the population. It was used to broadcast Mussolini's open-air speeches, and as an instrument for propagandizing youth. American author Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an American expatriate poet and critic and a major figure in the early modernist movement in poetry...

 broadcast on short-wave radio to propagandize the United States.


Film was not widely used for propaganda, as the Italian public was not interested in the "serious" films the government produced, but censorship was heavily used to avoid unwanted material, and a governmental body was set up to produce documentaries on Fascist achievements.


Curriculums for schools were immediately overhauled for Fascist purposes, in a manner that Nazis later admitted to imitating, so that elementary schools were soon spending twenty percent of their time teaching children to be good Fascists. Teachers were removed if they did not conform, and textbooks were required to emphasize the "Fascist soul."

Youth groups

Young Fascists and University Fascist Groups existed to channel talent to the Fascist Party, and for several years were the party's only source of new members. Students soon learned they had to join the university groups to advance. Mussolini proclaimed their purpose was to inspire the youth for power and conquests, and as Fascist.

Up to the age of fourteen, the groups were mainly sports for physical fitness, but at fourteen, militaristic drills were added. They were given songs and commandments to mold their views. Everything from cultural institutes to camps was deployed to consolidate activities about fascism.

See also

  • Nazi propaganda
    Nazi propaganda
    Propaganda, the coordinated attempt to influence public opinion through the use of media, was skillfully used by the NSDAP in the years leading up to and during Adolf Hitler's leadership of Germany...

  • Japanese propaganda during World War II
  • American propaganda during World War II
    American propaganda during World War II
    During World War II, American propaganda was used to increase support for the war and commitment to an Allied victory. Using a wide variety of media, propagandists fomented hatred for the enemy and support for America's allies, urged greater public effort for war production and victory gardens,...

  • British propaganda during World War II
    British propaganda during World War II
    British propaganda during World War II took various forms. Using a wide variety of media, it called for actions needed for the war, such as production and proper behavior in the blackout, painted a dark picture of the Axis powers, and praised the Allies....

  • Propaganda in the Soviet Union
    Propaganda in the Soviet Union
    Communist propaganda in the Soviet Union was extensively based on the Marxism-Leninism ideology to promote the Communist Party line. In societies with pervasive censorship, the propaganda was omnipresent and very efficient...

External links

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