Fascist Italy - HY42048

Quick Facts

  • Level 4
  • 30 Credits
  • Semester 1
  • 24 places
  • History - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 50% Examination 50%
  • European Studies module.

Module Details

This course focuses on the social, political, cultural and economic history of Italy between 1922 and 1945. You may have studied Fascist Italy briefly on other courses at school or university but this module gives you the opportunity to explore its history in much greater depth.

During the course we will look at a range of topics including how the regime tried to shape gender relations, abolish class conflict, keep peasants on the land, instil a racial, nationalist and imperialist mentality and forge a mass consensus for its policies. We will also look at the regime's social engineering attempts to 'remake Italians'.

In seminars we will discuss a series of passionately argued historical debates on, for example, why Fascism came to power, the impact of its policies, the role of the Catholic Church and the attitude of different social groups towards the regime. 

Module topics will include:

  • The rise of Fascism
  • The social, political, economic and cultural history of the regime
  • Ideology and propaganda
  • Gender relations
  • Race and imperialism
  • Reasons for the regime's durability
  • 'Consensus'/opposition
  • War and Resistance


Prof Perry Willson


This module is assessed as follows:

  • Presentation (15%)
  • Essay (35%)
  • Examination (50%)


Introductory Reading

  • A. De Grand, Italian Fascism: Its Origins and Development (2000)
  • P. Morgan, Italian Fascism, 1919-1945 (2004)
  • R. Bessel, (ed), Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: Comparisons and Contrasts (1996)
  • R. J. B. Bosworth, The Italian Dictatorship. Problems and Perspectives in the Interpretation of Mussolini and Fascism (1998)
  • D. Forgacs, (ed), Rethinking Italian Fascism (1986)

Access the online reading list system