How successful was Mussolini's domestic policy in dealing with social problems faced by Italy?

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Mussolini was very popular during the early and pre-war years of his rule in Italy.   People often said that he "made the trains run on time" by improving the mass transit and train systems in the country.  To combat widespread unemployment, he began massive public works programs that built infrastructure, cleared marshes and repaired roads.

He also started a very public, well-framed campaign he called "The Battle for Grain", which created thousands of new farms on land that used to be flooded, and this helped to assure Italy's near term food independence.  Other programs designed to reclaim farmland from marsh ("The Battle for Land") were left incomplete or were not successful.  Most peasants from the countryside remained poor even with the large scale programs and the jobs they brought.

One other program which had mixed results was the "Gold for the Fatherland" initiative which was meant to encourage citizens to donate gold to the government, which would then deposit it in national banks and stabilize Italy's currency.

Overall, Mussolini's domestic policies were, at best, somewhat successful.  Usually, they were heavily propagandized and overambitious, as well as being overt attempts by his government to take direct control of sectors of the economy.

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