Xavier Journal of Undergraduate Research

Article Title

The Language of Il Duce's Nation


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Italian Futurism and other early 20th century Italian intellectual movements contained the seeds of Fascism, demonstrated by Mussolini’s use of Futurist rhetoric throughout the entirety of his regime. This essay briefly summarizes Italian politics from unification in 1870 until the height of Mussolini’s regime in the 1920s, investigating the histories of Italian Futurism and Fascism to compare their respective glorification of youth and warfare in opposition to Italian liberalism. Research consists of primary sources, including writings by Mussolini, Prezzolini, and other Fascists and Futurists, as well as scholarly secondary sources. This thesis illustrates how the Futurists used youth and war rhetoric in order to advance a radical political agenda. On the other hand, while Mussolini initially used the same rhetoric to gain support among the Italian liberal regime’s radical opponents, he then pragmatically departed from the radical Futurist agenda using the same rhetoric to sustain power and inspire loyalty to himself and the nation.

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