I believe in Rome the Eternal the mother of my countryI believe in the genius

I believe in rome the eternal the mother of my

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"I believe in Rome, the Eternal, the mother of my country……I believe in the genius of Mussolini… and in the resurrection of the Empire." The glory of the old Roman Empire always lurked in the background of much of what children did. A child in a youth movements was a "legionary" while an adult officer was a "centurion" – a throw back to the days of when the Ancient Roman army dominated much of western Europe. Women in Fascist Italy As in Nazi Germany, women were seen as having a specific role in Fascist Italy. The task of young girls was to get married and have children – lots of them. In 1927, Mussolini launched his Battle for Births. Mussolini believed that his Italy had a smaller population than it should have. How could it possibly be a power to reckon with, without a substantial population and a substantial army? Women were encouraged to have children and the more children brought better tax privileges – an idea Hitler was to build on. Large families got better tax benefits but bachelors were hit by high taxation. Families were given a target of 5 children. Mothers who produced more were warmly received by the Fascist government. In 1933, Mussolini met 93 mothers at the Palazzo Venezia who had produced over 1300 children - an average of 13 each! Mussolini wanted Italy to have a population of 60 million by 1950. In 1920, it stood at 37 million so his target was a tall order. However, the Battle for Births was a failure. Though the population grew as people were living longer due to better medical care, the birth rate actually went down between 1927 and 1934.
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  • Fall '16
  • MARK ESTANISLAO

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