The Crisis of the late 1930s and the ‘Totalitarian Phase’ of Fascism

Paul Corner

in The Fascist Party and Popular Opinion in Mussolini's Italy

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780198730699
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741753 | DOI:
The Crisis of the late 1930s and the ‘Totalitarian Phase’ of Fascism

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The chapter starts with a survey of fascist policies designed to give a fresh dynamism to a stagnant regime in the later part of the 1930s (these included the Racial Laws of 1938) and then passes to a survey of popular responses to an increasingly ‘totalitarian’ assertion of the regime's authority. It charts mounting hostility to the regime among large sections of the population, tired of fascist rhetoric, disgusted by the behaviour — particularly at the provincial level — of the ‘new caste’ of fascist leaders, and dismayed by the prospect of a generalised European war with fascist Italy fighting alongside Mussolini's ally, Nazi Germany.

Keywords: totalitarian; Fascism; racial laws; prospect of war; new caste of fascist leaders; alliance with Nazi Germany; popular hostility to Fascism

Chapter.  10499 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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