Mussolini's Foreign Policy
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Why had Italy been unable to make itself a great power following unification?
It had limited economic and military resources. The only way to gain territory would be to form alliances and keep the spoils of war. This was known as the makeweight policy.
- Mussolini forces compensation from Greece.
- An Italian official was killed on the Greek-Albanian border. Mussolini demanded 50 million lire. Italy invades Greek Corfu. League of Nations condemned Italy.
Mussolini Gains Fiume 1924
Yugoslavia agrees to give Fiume to Italy. This was heralded as a great success.
The Locarno Pacts 1925
Mussolini attents Locarno meetings. Here Germany, France and Belgium agree to keep their existing borders. Mussolini attempts to get border with Austria guaranteed but fails. This shows the weakness of Italy.
Becomes an Italian protectorate.
The Four-Power Pact 1933
- Germany, Britain, France and Italy. Mussolini hopes to build a rival to the league of nations. Portrayed by Italian press as Italy being centre of European Democracy.
- Nothing came from the meeting.
Mussolini claims to save Austria 1934
Austrian Nazis who wanted Anschluss were disturbed by Mussolini who mobilised his troops to prevent this. Hitler was not trying to take Austria anyway.
Stresa Front 1935
Mussolini believes that he is given consent to expand in East Africa. This is not the case.
Invasion of Abyssinia 1935
League of Nations imposed some sanctions for Italy after its invasion. There was increase in Nationalist support following the invasion.
Intervention in Spanish Civil War, 1936
- Mussolini helps General Franco in his fight against the Socialist Government in Spain.
- Italians troops were defeated but General Franco won the war.
Rome-Berlin Axis 1936
Vague alliance between Italy and Germany.
Anti-Commintern Pact 1937
Italy, Germany and Japan form a pact against USSR
Hitler's Invasion of Austria 1938
Gave Mussolini 12 hours notice of his attack. Mussolini accepted Anschluss which was unpopular in Italy as it meant the Nazis were now next door to them.
Munich Conference 1938
Mussolini took a high profile role in the giving of the Sudetenland to Germany to help in European Peace.
Invasion of Albania 1939
Despite already controlling most of Albania he took over the whole country in March 1939.
Pact of Steel 1939
Agreed to cooperate fully in the event of war. Italy declares itself unready for war until 1943
Declaration of Non-Belligerence
Mussolini accepts that Italy was not ready for war.
Positive Effects of Abyssinian War
- Avenged Adowa
- Consolidation of Territory in 'Italian East Africa'
- The Church praised the Civilising Mission.
- Peak of Popularity.
Negative Effects of Abyssinian War
Drain on economic and military resources.
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