Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


A Glasgow contingent of Italian Fascisti parading at an Armistice day march, Dec 1924

image from Red Clydeside collection

Fascism was unique among the radical political forces of the early twentieth century in that it had no clear ideological predecessor, its immediate roots being found in the frustration felt amongst the officers and military personnel of the defeated powers in the first World War.

Fascism first emerged in Italy in 1919, catapulting its leader, Benito Mussolini, into the premiership three years later and then to the creation of a new political dictatorship beginning in 1925.

Italian Fascism began on the left and sought to combine strong nationalism with an aggressive new style of activism that prized violence, idealism, and anti-materialism. Though Fascists were at first wary of and even hostile to Hitler, the Nazi leader sought Mussolini as his chief ally. The Duce allowed himself to be convinced by Hitler and by the end of 1937 Mussolini had introduced Nazi-style racist and anti-Semitic legislation in Italy despite the membership of many Jews in the Fascist Party.

Source: Gallacher Memorial Library, Glasgow Caledonian University Special Collections and Archives