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After the unification of Italy in 1870 the country was run by a series of liberal governments Why then in 1922 was a country still in the early stages of its political development subject to such a radical political swing and how was any one man able to instigate it The period between 1870 and 1922 was an era that faced major problems- poverty unemployment a lack of national identity and perhaps most significantly of all the First World War The Liberal government were extremely ineffective in solving these problems which caused unrest within the population There was also a severe lack of unity within the government and a lot of internal political conflict However the Liberal government were not only ineffective they were unpopular For example the government attempted to solve the problem of the lack of natural resources and military strength by forming a triple alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary who were traditionally Italys greatest enemy and the people resented this This gave rise to unrest among the people leading to the development of socialism despite attempts to ban it All the above points served only to aid Mussolini in his rise to power and the governments weaknesses provided a platform on which his popularity could grow and as editor of a socialist newspaper he was able to influence peoples opinions a great deal What is almost undoubtedly the single most significant factor in the ending of Liberal Italy is the First World War As Lee described it it took Italy from instability to crisis Despite the fact that Italy were victorious the treaty of Versailles treated Italy badly The Italians gained a little territory around the Adriatic and didnt get a share of the German colonies in Africa For this reason Italys gain from the war was
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