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ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES


Hard Times in Illinois, 1930–1940

A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives


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DOCUMENT 14
LETTER FROM THE U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE CONCERNING THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF FASCIST ITALY
October 17, 1932





Explanation

Italy after the Great War mostly was torn between communists, socialists, fascists, and nationalists. Over time the socialists were absorbed by the Communist Party and the nationalists became part of the Fascist Party. The Fascists staged a successful coup over October 28-31, 1922 when they marched on Rome in four columns, were received by King Victor Emmanuel III as the legitimate government, and installed Benito Mussolini as the premier as well as the minister of both foreign affairs and the interior. Excepting a few scattered incidents the takeover was bloodless.

Governor Emmerson wrote his reply on October 24. Concluding he stated, "I know of no trouble along this line, and wish to advise that every effort will be made in Illinois to see that the Italian citizens, as well as those of other nationalities, are accorded full protection by the State government."

Points to Consider

What was Secretary Stimson asking Governor Emmerson to do?

What is fascism?

Who was Benito Mussolini?

Which Italian faction might have opposed fascism?


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