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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Throughout its history, Italian fascism emphasized that it was a revolutionary and youthful phenomenon. During its rise from 1919 to 1922, the fascist movement, like its communist competitor, was novel in its appeal to youth. Fascism entailed the rejuvenation of the national political class of Liberal days and fostered a social and economic transformation whereby members of a middle class lacking an ancient inheritance of land and professional qualification could take up the reins of power. Most of the fascist leadership under the dictatorship were men born in the mid-1890s, framed by their experience of the First World War as twenty-year-olds. Fascism similarly could count on support from the next generation, a group who had only just been old enough to join in the last months of battle or who had missed the war altogether and felt frustrated at their loss.

Keywords: Italian fascism, communism, fascist movement, youth war, fascist leadership

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