Grand Council of Fascism

The Grand Council of Fascism (Italian: Gran Consiglio del Fascismo) (aka: Fascist Grand Council) was the main body of Mussolini's Fascist government in Italy. A body which held and applied great power to control the institutions of government, it was created as a party body in 1923 and became a state body on 9 December 1928. The council usually met at the Palazzo Venezia, Rome, which was also the seat of head of the Italian government.[1]

Grand Council of Fascism
Gran Consiglio del Fascismo
Lesser coat of arms of the Kingdom of Italy (1929-1943)
Coat of Arms
AbbreviationGrand Council
Formation9 December 1928
Extinction25 July 1943
Legal statusConstitutional Body
HeadquartersPalazzo Venezia, Rome
King Victor Emmanuel III
Benito Mussolini

Members of the Council

Its members, selected among the party's gerarchi, were as follows:

The Head of Government and Duce of Fascism

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Mussolini biografia Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
9 December
1928
25 July
1943
Deposed

The Quadrumvirs

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Italo Balbo Italo Balbo
(1896–1940)
9 December
1928
28 June
1940
Died in Office
Michele Bianchi Portrait Michele Bianchi
(1883–1930)
9 December
1928
3 February
1930
Died in Office
De Bono1 Emilio De Bono
(1866–1944)
9 December
1928
25 July
1943
Aye
Cesare Maria De Vecchi Cesare Maria De Vecchi
(1884–1959)
9 December
1928
25 July
1943
Aye

Parliament

President of the Senate

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Tommaso Tittoni 01 Tommaso Tittoni
(1855–1931)
9 December
1928
29 January
1929
Luigi Federzoni 1930s Luigi Federzoni
(1878–1967)
29 April
1929
2 March
1939
Giacomo Suardo 2 Giacomo Suardo
(1883–1947)
15 March
1939
25 July
1943
Abstention

President of the Chamber of Deputies

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Giuseppe Casertano Antonio Casertano
(1863–1938)
9 December
1928
29 January
1929
Died in Office
GiovanniGiurati Giovanni Giuriati
(1876–1970)
20 April
1929
19 January
1934
Costanzo Ciano iii Costanzo Ciano
(1876–1939)
28 April
1934
2 March
1939
Died in Office
President of the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations
Costanzo Ciano iii Costanzo Ciano
(1876–1939)
23 March
1939
26 June
1939
Died in Office
Dino Grandi Dino Grandi
(1895–1988)
30 November
1939
25 July
1943
Aye

Ministers

Agriculture and Forestry

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Giacomo Acerbo Giacomo Acerbo
(1888–1969)
9 December
1928
24 January
1935
Edmondo rossoni1 Edmondo Rossoni
(1884–1965)
24 January
1935
31 October
1939
Giuseppe Tassinari2 Giuseppe Tassinari
(1891–1944)
31 October
1939
26 December
1941
Carlo Pareschi (cropped) Carlo Pareschi
(1898–1944)
26 December
1941
25 July
1943
Aye

Corporations

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Mussolini biografia Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
9 December
1928
12 September
1929
Prime Minister and Duce
Bottai 37 Giuseppe Bottai
(1895–1959)
12 September
1929
20 July
1932
Mussolini biografia Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
20 July
1932
11 June
1936
Prime Minister and Duce
National Fascist Party logo Ferruccio Lantini
(1886–1959)
11 June
1936
31 October
1939
Renato ricci camera Renato Ricci
(1896–1956)
31 October
1939
6 February
1943
Carlo Tiengo Carlo Tiengo
(1882–1945)
6 February
1943
19 April
1943
Bundesarchiv Bild 119-13-09-33, Robert Ley und Tullio Cianetti Tullio Cianetti
(1899–1976)
19 April
1943
25 July
1943
Aye

Finance

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Antonio Mosconi Antonio Mosconi
(1866–1955)
9 December
1928
20 July
1932
GuidoJung int Guido Jung
(1876–1949)
20 July
1932
17 January
1935
Paolo Ignazio Thaon Paolo Thaon di Revel
(1888–1973)
17 January
1935
6 February
1943
Giacomo Acerbo Giacomo Acerbo
(1888–1969)
6 February
1943
25 July
1943
Aye

Foreign Affairs

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Mussolini biografia Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
9 December
1928
12 September
1929
Prime Minister and Duce
Dino Grandi Dino Grandi
(1895–1988)
12 September
1929
20 July
1932
Mussolini biografia Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
20 July
1932
9 June
1936
Prime Minister and Duce
Galeazzo Ciano 2 Galeazzo Ciano
(1903–1944)
9 June
1936
6 February
1943
Mussolini biografia Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
6 February
1943
25 July
1943
Prime Minister and Duce
Deposed

Interior

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Mussolini biografia Benito Mussolini
(1883–1945)
9 December
1928
25 July
1943
Prime Minister and Duce
Deposed

Justice and Religious Affairs

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Alfredo Rocco Alfredo Rocco
(1875–1935)
9 December
1928
20 July
1932
Grace and Justice
National Fascist Party logo Pietro De Francisci
(1883–1971)
20 July
1932
24 January
1935
Arrigo Solmi Arrigo Solmi
(1873–1944)
24 January
1935
12 July
1939
Dino Grandi Dino Grandi
(1895–1988)
12 July
1939
5 February
1943
AlfredoDeMarsico Alfredo De Marsico
(1888–1985)
5 February
1943
25 July
1943
Aye

Press and Propaganda

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Galeazzo Ciano 2 Galeazzo Ciano
(1903–1944)
23 June
1935
11 June
1936
Dino Alfieri Dino Alfieri
(1886–1966)
11 June
1936
27 May
1937
Minister of Popular Culture
Dino Alfieri Dino Alfieri
(1886–1966)
27 May
1937
31 October
1939
Pavolini Alessandro Pavolini
(1903–1945)
31 October
1939
6 February
1943
Gaetano Polverelli Gaetano Polverelli
(1903–1945)
6 February
1943
25 July
1943
Nay

Public Education

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Giuseppe Belluzzo Giuseppe Belluzzo
(1876–1952)
9 December
1928
12 September
1929
National Education
Balbino Giuliano Balbino Giuliano
(1879–1958)
12 September
1929
20 July
1932
Francesco ercole Francesco Ercole
(1884–1945)
20 July
1932
24 January
1935
Cesare Maria De Vecchi Cesare Maria De Vecchi
(1884–1959)
24 January
1935
15 November
1936
Bottai 37 Giuseppe Bottai
(1895–1959)
15 November
1936
5 February
1943
Giacomo Acerbo Giacomo Acerbo
(1888–1969)
5 February
1943
25 July
1943
Aye

President of the Royal Academy

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Tommaso Tittoni 01 Tommaso Tittoni
(1855–1931)
28 October
1929
16 September
1930
Guglielmo Marconi Guglielmo Marconi
(1874–1937)
19 September
1930
20 July
1937
Died in Office
Gabriele D'Anunnzio Gabriele D'Annunzio
(1863–1938)
12 November
1937
1 March
1938
Died in Office
Luigi Federzoni 1930s Luigi Federzoni
(1878–1967)
21 April
1938
25 July
1943
Aye

President of the Special Court for the Defence of the State

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Guido Cristini
(1895–1979)
9 December
1928

1932
Antonino Tringali-Casanova
(1888–1943)

1932
25 July
1943
Nay

*The Chief of Staff of the MVSN

Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office 25 July 1943 Motion
Guido Cristini
(1895–1979)
9 December
1928

1932

Other Posts

  • The Presidents of the Corporations; Industrialists, Agriculture Workers, Industrial Workers, and Farmers. The Nobel Physics laureate inventor-technologist Guglielmo Marconi was the President of the Academy of Italy, making him a council member.
  • The Secretary of the National Fascist Party, who was also the secretary of the Council.
  • Various people chosen by Mussolini himself, who each held appointments of three-year durations.

Powers of the Council

Gran Consiglio Fascismo
The session of the Grand Council of 9 May 1936, where the Empire was proclaimed.

Essentially, the council held these powers:

  • The power to elect the Fascist Party deputies, the nomination for the Party Secretary and other party leaders, the approval of the party statutes and the power regarding the party's policy.
  • The power to elect the Crown's line of succession including the choice of the heir to the throne, the right of the crown, the power to choose possible successors to the Prime Minister, the power to choose the function and membership of the Grand Council, the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies (later the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations), the power to decide the rights and powers of the Prime Minister, international Treaties, and foreign affairs.

The Grand Council meetings were convened by the Prime Minister himself, and all decrees and laws could only be legalized after receiving his approval. In contrast to the Führerprinzip government model in Nazi Germany, the Grand Council retained the power to recommend that the King of Italy remove the Prime Minister from office. As all the former governing institutions had been subordinated to the Fascist party, the Council was the only check on Mussolini's power.

Overthrow of Mussolini

The Allies invaded Sicily in July 1943. Grand Council member Dino Grandi proposed a vote of no confidence in Mussolini as leader of the Council and the party. A vote was held on the night of 24–25 July 1943 and passed with 19 votes for, 8 against and one abstention. Among the 19 votes of no confidence were those of Mussolini's son-in-law Galeazzo Ciano, who had been former minister of foreign affairs, and the influential marshal Emilio De Bono.

The following day King Victor Emmanuel met Mussolini and informed him that General Pietro Badoglio would lead Italy, as Prime Minister. Mussolini was arrested immediately after the meeting.[2]

In September 1943 Mussolini was freed from imprisonment by the Germans and helped to regain power in northern Italy. He had Ciano, De Bono and three others arrested and tried for treason on 8 January 1944 in Verona. They were executed by firing squad three days later.[3][4]

References

  1. ^ "Gran consiglio del fascismo". Enciclopedia on line (in Italian). Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana fondata da Giovanni Treccani S.p.A. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  2. ^ Shirer, William L. (1959). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (2011 ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 997. ISBN 9781451642599. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  3. ^ Bosworth, Richard J. B. (2010). Mussolini (New ed.). London: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 16. ISBN 9780340981733. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  4. ^ De Grand, Alexander J. (2000). Italian Fascism: Its Origins & Development (Third ed.). Lincoln, NV: University of Nebraska Press. p. 136. ISBN 0803266227. Retrieved 23 August 2017.

Further reading

  • 2194 Days of War, Cesare Salmaggi & Alfredo Pallavisini (editors), Gallery Press, New York — ISBN 0831788852 (1977)

See also

1929 Italian general election

General elections were held in Italy on 24 March 1929. Following a parliamentary reform enacted in 1928 by the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, the elections were held in the form of a referendum, with the Grand Council of the National Fascist Party, now an official state organ, allowed to compose a single party list to be either approved or rejected by the voters. The list put forward was ultimately approved by 98.43% of voters.

1934 Italian general election

General elections were held in Italy on 26 March 1934. Following a parliamentary reform enacted in 1928 by the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, the elections were held in the form of a referendum, with the Grand Council of the National Fascist Party, now an official state organ, allowed to compose a single party list to be either approved or rejected by the voters. The list put forward was ultimately approved by 99.84% of voters. The overwhelming majority provoked Benito Mussolini to dub the election the "second referendum of Fascism."

Adelchi Serena

Аdelchi Serena (27 December 1895 – 29 January 1970) was an Italian government official and Fascist politician. He was Party Secretary of the National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista, or PNF) from October 1940 until December 1941.

Alberto De Stefani

Alberto De Stefani (1879–1969) was an Italian politician and economist. Coming from a background in liberalism to Benito Mussolini's fascism, De Stefani was in charge of Italian economics from 1922 to 1925. His time in charge was characterized by laissez-faire ideals.

Aldo Finzi (politician)

Aldo Finzi (Legnago, April 20, 1891 – Rome, March 24, 1944) was a Jewish-Italian politician.

Finzi started out his political career as an alderman in Badia Polesine. At the end of First World War, he was one of the fighter pilots in Gabriele D'Annunzio's campaign to drop propaganda leaflets over Vienna, Austria. Afterwards, he studied law in Ferrara. In 1921, he was one of the nine Jewish deputies elected to parliament for the Fasci italiani di combattimento.Finzi had to resign as under-secretary of the interior, when in 1924, the Socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti was murdered. From 1925 to 1928, he was president of the Italian National Olympic Committee. He would leave the chamber of deputies in 1928. He became a fierce opponent of the fascist racial laws of 1938. After deposition of Mussolini by the Grand Council of Fascism Finzi became engaged in the resistance struggle against the German occupying forces. In February 1944, he had been captured by the SS and identified as an opponent of the German Occupation of Italy. In retaliation for a bomb attack which claimed the lives of 33 members of the German Polizeiregiment Bozen on March 23, he with 330 other Italians became victims of the Ardeatine massacre in March 24, 1944.

Carlo Alberto Biggini

Carlo Alberto Biggini (December 9, 1902 – November 19, 1945) was an Italian fascist politician who served as Minister of Education before and after proclamation of the Italian Social Republic under Benito Mussolini.

Cesare Maria De Vecchi

Cesare Maria De Vecchi, 1st Conte di Val Cismon (14 November 1884 – 23 June 1959) was an Italian soldier, colonial administrator and Fascist politician.

Chamber of Fasci and Corporations

Chamber of Fasci and Corporations (Italian: Camera dei Fasci e delle Corporazioni) was the lower house of the legislature of the Kingdom of Italy from March 23, 1939 to August 2, 1943, during the height of the regime of Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party.

Fall of the Fascist regime in Italy

The fall of the Fascist regime in Italy, also known in Italy as 25 Luglio (Venticinque Luglio, pronounced [ˌventiˈtʃiŋkwe ˈluʎʎo]; Italian for "25 July"), came as a result of parallel plots led respectively by Count Dino Grandi and King Victor Emmanuel III during the spring and summer of 1943, culminating with a successful vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister Benito Mussolini at the meeting of the Grand Council of Fascism on 24–25 July 1943. As a result, new government was established, putting an end to the 21 years of Fascist rule in Italy, and Mussolini was placed under arrest.

Gerarca

Gerarca (plural: gerarchi; Italian for "Member of a hierarchy") was a term used during the Fascist rule in Italy to refer to a member of the National Fascist Party (PNF).

The highest gerarchi, up to the Federal Secretary, were members of the National Council of the PNF and of the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations. The secretary and members of the National Directorate of the PNF were members of the Grand Council of Fascism.

A Ras (from the homonymous Ethiopian title) was a gerarca dominating in one province. So, for example, Italo Balbo was the Ras of Ferrara, and Roberto Farinacci the Ras of Cremona.

Giacomo Suardo

Giacomo Suardo (25 August 1883 – 20 May 1947) was an Italian lawyer and politician. He served as President of the Italian Senate from 1939 to 1943.

Grand Council

Grand Council may refer to:

Grand Council (Qing dynasty), an important policy-making body in the Qing Empire

Great Council of Venice, legislative body that existed from 1172 to 1797

Grand Conseil, two institutions during the Ancien Régime in France

Grand Council (Switzerland), a unicameral legislative style adopted by a number of cantons in Switzerland

Grand Council of Fascism, the main body of Mussolini's Fascist government in Italy

Grand Council of the Crees, the political body that represents the approximately 14,000 Crees of the James Bay and Nunavik regions

Grand Council (Mi'kmaq)

Grand Council on the Auglaize River 1792, and again in 1793, by the Western Confederacy during the Northwest Indian War

Guido Jung

Guido Jung (February 2, 1876 – December 25, 1949) was a successful Jewish-born Italian banker and merchant from Sicily, who later converted to Catholicism.

He was a member of the Grand Council of Fascism and served as Italian Minister of Finance from 1932-35 under Benito Mussolini. Jung was an important player in international finance during the interwar period, leading Italian negotiations with the United States over tariff questions, heading Italo-German economic talks with Hermann Göring, and representing Italy at the London Economic Conference during which he was heralded in press reports for his diplomatic tact.

Jung was ultimately sidelined by Mussolini due to his Jewish heritage, despite reports from the Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism that described him as a disciplined and loyal fascist. After the surrender of Italy, Jung briefly served as finance minister a second time – in 1944 – under Pietro Badoglio but was dismissed after three months following allegations concerning the extent and depth of his roots in the National Fascist Party. Though a fanatical fascist, Jung drew a sharp distinction between fascism and Nazism, once comparing the Nazi Party to a baby and later reportedly calling Adolf Hitler a "blockhead".

An artillery officer in the Italian Army during both world wars, Jung commanded troops in both Europe and Africa. For various acts of bravery in combat, he was decorated with the Silver Medal of Military Valor on four separate occasions. He was created a knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy by Victor Emmanuel III.

Henschel Hs 126

The Henschel Hs 126 was a German two-seat reconnaissance and observation aircraft of World War II that was derived from the Henschel Hs 122. The pilot was seated in a protected cockpit under the parasol wing and the gunner in an open rear cockpit. The prototype aircraft frame was that of a Hs 122A fitted with a Junkers engine. The Hs 126 was well received for its good short takeoff and low-speed characteristics which were needed at the time. It was put into service for a few years, but was soon superseded by the general-purpose, STOL Fieseler Fi 156 Storch and the medium-range Focke-Wulf Fw 189 "flying eye".

Labour Charter of 1927

The Charter of Labour of 1927 (Italian: Carta del Lavoro) was one of the main pieces of legislation Benito Mussolini, the Italian Fascist dictator from 1922–43, introduced in his attempts to modernise the Italian economy. The Charter was promulgated by the Grand Council of Fascism and publicized in the Lavoro d'Italia newspaper on April 23, 1927. It was mainly designed by Giuseppe Bottai, Under-Secretary of State of Corporations.

National Fascist Party

The National Fascist Party (Italian: Partito Nazionale Fascista, PNF) was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism (previously represented by groups known as Fasci). The party ruled Italy from 1922 when Fascists took power with the March on Rome to 1943, when Mussolini was deposed by the Grand Council of Fascism.

Preceding the PNF, Mussolini's first established political party was known as the Fascist Revolutionary Party (Partito Fascista Rivoluzionario, PFR), which was founded in 1915 according to Mussolini. After poor November 1919 election results, the PFR was eventually renamed the National Fascist Party during the Third Fascist Congress in Rome on 7–10 November 1921.The National Fascist Party was rooted in Italian nationalism and the desire to restore and expand Italian territories, which Italian Fascists deemed necessary for a nation to assert its superiority and strength and to avoid succumbing to decay. Italian Fascists claimed that modern Italy is the heir to ancient Rome and its legacy and historically supported the creation of an Italian Empire to provide spazio vitale ("living space") for colonization by Italian settlers and to establish control over the Mediterranean Sea.Fascists promoted a corporatist economic system whereby employer and employee syndicates are linked together in associations to collectively represent the nation's economic producers and work alongside the state to set national economic policy. This economic system intended to resolve class conflict through collaboration between the classes.Italian Fascism opposed liberalism, but did not seek a reactionary restoration of the pre-French Revolutionary world, which it considered to have been flawed, and not in line with a forward-looking direction on policy. It was opposed to Marxist socialism because of its typical opposition to nationalism, but was also opposed to the reactionary conservatism developed by Joseph de Maistre. It believed the success of Italian nationalism required respect for tradition and a clear sense of a shared past among the Italian people alongside a commitment to a modernized Italy.The National Fascist Party along with its successor, the Republican Fascist Party, are the only parties whose re-formation is banned by the Constitution of Italy: "It shall be forbidden to reorganize, under any form whatsoever, the dissolved fascist party".

Quadrumvirs

Quadrumvirs (Italian: quadrumviri) may refer to:

In ancient Rome, quadrumvirus was an elective post assigned to four citizens having police and jurisdiction power. They were elected by the Senate.

At the beginning of Italian Fascism, they were a group of four leaders that led Benito Mussolini's March on Rome in October 1922. They were all involved in the Fascist party under Mussolini and had been involved in politics and/or war for many years leading up to the Fascist dictatorship. They were:

Michele Bianchi, a revolutionary syndicalist leader

Emilio De Bono, a leading Italian General who had fought in World War I

Cesare Maria De Vecchi, a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, as well as a colonial administrator

Italo Balbo, a Blackshirt leader and leader of the Ferrara Fascist organisation and "heir apparent" to Mussolini's dictatorship

Roberto Farinacci

Roberto Farinacci (Italian pronunciation: [roˈbɛrto fariˈnattʃi]; 16 October 1892 – 28 April 1945) was a leading Italian Fascist politician, and important member of the National Fascist Party (PNF) before and during World War II, and one of its ardent anti-Semitic proponents; Christopher Hibbert describes him as "slavishly pro-German".

Verona trial

The Verona Trial (Italian: processo di Verona) was held in the Italian Social Republic (ISR) to punish - by five almost immediately executed death sentences and one 30-year imprisonment - the members of the Grand Council of Fascism who had committed the offence of voting for Benito Mussolini's removal from power in the Kingdom of Italy and had later been arrested by Mussolini's forces.

This was a prominent event of the period of the Second World War.

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