To What Extent Was Mussolini's Foreign Policy a Failure from 1933-41

1905 WordsDec 24, 20128 Pages
How far do you agree that Mussolini’s foreign policy in the years 1933-41 was a complete failure? 'I want to make Italy great, respected and feared' said Mussolini in 1925. Mussolini's foreign policy included a number of positive and negative factors which all contributed to the rise, and the ultimately to the downfall, of both Mussolini and the Italian empire. Mussolini was intent on revising the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles and was very keen to show off Italy's power. He felt that Italy had been hard done by at the end of world war one and sought to claim what he felt Italy deserved. Mussolini's foreign policy clearly reflected his ambition to reinstate the Italian empire. Once Mussolini was made prime minister in 1922, he…show more content…
Mussolini believed that forming an alliance with Britain and France would persuade them to hand over the Mediterranean to Italy: 'It is destined that the Mediterranean should become ours, that Rome should be the directing city of civilisations in the whole of Western Europe.' However, despite the hype it causes back home, the truth was the four-power Pact was pointless. As a result Mussolini's secret attempt to create an empire crumble. In order for Mussolini to create an empire he needed Germany to remain weak, but once Hitler came to power, Germany grew much too fast for Mussolini. When the pair met in 1934 Mussolini realised that Hitler wasn't going to let Mussolini take over. Hitler's eagerness to expand was now apparent despite breaking the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. In April 1935, Britain, France and Italy, the wartime allies, attended the Stresa conference to discuss measures against Hitler, after he broke the terms of the Treaty. They all agreed to band together and prevent further expansion attempts by Hitler, yet the agreement was never signed. But like Germany, Mussolini was keen on expanding the Italian empire and in October 1935 Mussolini invaded Abyssinia. The invasion of Abyssinia was Mussolini's revenge. He was determined to take revenge for the humiliating defeat at Adowa in 1896. The war was fought on a large scale despite the fact in reality it was a reasonably small-scale war. As a
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