He failed to promote freedom of education in Italy. Mussolini introduced censorship of reading materials. For example, the history books that were as many as thirty seven before Mussolini came to power were reduced to only one. In 1938, fascism was taught in the class rooms. His government received a lot of resistance from the universities and this resistance was reacted to with brutality.
There was also an attempt on life which failed. Then on 3rd October 1936, he put up a special tribunal for the defense of the state and to try political offenders suspected to be opponents of his regime were arrested and imprisoned.
He crashed the opposition and formed a one party state. All the opposition groups to fascism were crashed especially from the socialists and communists. Mussolini killed most of the enemies of his regime. For example, the leader of the Socialists in the parliament called Matteotti was murdered by the fascists on the order of Mussolini in 1924 for criticizing the rigging parliamentary elections in 1923.
He established a constitutional dictatorship in Italy. He made sure that all powers to rule Italy rested in his hands as Prime Minister. He ruled by decrees and this denied democracy to the Italians.
Mussolini’s government imposed high taxes on the foreign goods. As result, he refused goods from other European countries to be imported to Italy. This created scarcity of foreign goods which caused inflation in Italy. In addition, those who were dealing in the foreign goods closed their businesses and therefore, they became unemployed. These economic hardships made Mussolini’s regime unpopular in Italy.
Although Mussolini encouraged increase in population, he failed to control the resultant high birth rates that affected Italy. He also resisted rural urban migration and this created shortage of land in rural areas.
Mussolini was very aggressive in his foreign policy and this contributed to the outbreak of World War II in 1939. He involved Italy in the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis, an alliance which had a common plan of destroying democracy in Europe which led to World War II. He went ahead and ganged up with Hitler of Germany and over threw the constitutional government of Spain and established a fascist government of General Franco. This annoyed the democratic states of Europe like Britain and France which eventually sparked off World War II.
Mussolini failed to establish a stable money or foreign exchange rate system in Italy. From 1922 to 1925, he set the value of the Italian currency very high. His aim was to make the Italian currency more prestigious (stronger) compared to the British Pound. As a result, the cost of living in Italy became very high and the Italian workers became the lowest paid in Europe. This also made his regime unpopular.
He failed to extend the benefits of his government to most of the Italians. As a result, Mussolini’s achievements were limited to a few Italians and these were mostly supporters of fascism. For example, government jobs were only given to the fascists and the non-fascists were left out. This made Mussolini unpopular in Italy.
He failed to protect the interests of the minotities in Italy. As the Prime Minister of Italy, Benito Mussolini promoted racism especially against the Jews. He promoted hatred of the Jews (ant – Semitism) through the anti – Semitism Law of 1938. As a result, his police arrested, imprisoned them and many fled to exile. There was a systematic policy to expel the Jews from Italy.
Mussolini ganged up together with Adolf Hitler of Germany to promote fascism or dictatorship in Europe. This was aimed at destroying other political ideologies like democracy and communism. For example, in 1936, the two leaders went to Spain and supported General Franco during the Spanish Civil War. This eventually led to the overthrow of the liberal democratic government in Spain in 1939 and the subsequent establishment of a fascist or dictatorial government in Spain under General Franco.