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Q TO WHAT EXTENT DID MUSSOLINI SUCCEED IN CAPTURING THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN ITALY 1924-39 My answer During the years 1924-9 Mussolini had worked hard to indoctrinate the young Italians with different Fascist principles Although from trying to achieve a new generation of people who would follow and be committed to Mussolini as Il Duce with the regimes aggressive foreign policies Mussolini had only achieved this to a certain extent Mussolini had the understanding that Fascism depended on youthful energy and enthusiasm to both bring Mussolini to power as well that power and the predominance of Fascism throughout Italy He influenced virtually every aspect of a young Italians life as he changed the educational system mounted an extreme propaganda effort and provided youth organizations that were designed to create enthusiastic and devoted Fascist Italians The membership of the Fascist youth organisations had increased considerably during the regime which was helped by a 1928 decree stating that only youths who had been in the ONB were allowed to join the Fascist Party By 1929 about sixty percent of northern youths were members and the proportion for the south of Italy was far lower In 1935 membership was compulsory However passing a law was one thing but to ensure all youths joined was far harder Organisation had very close ties with the school system Teachers were urged to become ONB leaders This close tie to schools meant that membership to the ONB was disproportionately male and middle classes as many girls and poorer boys tended to leave school between the ages of 12-14 years and therefore found it easier to escape the ONB system This particularly applied to peasant children The ONB was organised on a neighbourhood basis so there was little mixing of classes By Mussolini concentrating on the education system his hope of capturing the hearts and minds of the young people in Italy would be carried out
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