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Title: Between Rome and Carthage : the image of Great Britain in Fascist Italy
Author: Pili, Jacopo
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 9852
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examines the image of Great Britain in Fascist Italy. It traces the roots of Fascist Anglophobia in the Great War and in the peace treaties, where Britain was seen by many Italians as a 'false friend' who was also the main obstacle between Italy and its foreign policy aspirations. The Fascist movement and Mussolini embraced such views. While at times dormant, the Anglophobic sentiment did not disappear in the years that followed, and was later rekindled during the Ethiopian War. This thesis demonstrates that the peculiarly Fascist contribution to the assessment of Britain was ideological. Since the mid-1920s, the regime's intellectuals saw Fascism as the answer to a crisis in the Western world and as irredeemably opposed to Western civilization of the sort exemplified by Britain. Britain was described as having failed the 'problem of labour', framing Fascism as a salvation ideology, which nations would either embrace or face decay. The Great Depression strengthened such a mind-set and, although by the mid-1930s it was clear that it would not turn into a Fascist country, the perception of Britain as a decaying and feeble nation increased. The consequence was a consistent underrating of British power and resolve to resist Italian ambitions. This tendency was so pervasive among the Fascist elite that anti-British views shaped the reports of military attaches in the late 1930s while others sought ways to explain Britain's decline in racial terms. Furthermore, the analysis of the popular reception of the Fascist discourse shows that the tendency to underrate Britain had permeated large sectors of the Italian people, and that public opinion was more hostile to Britain than previously thought. Indeed, in some quarters hatred towards the British lasted until the end of the Second World War.
Supervisor: Arielli, Nir ; Ball, Simon Sponsor: University of Leeds
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available