Fascism DBQ Thesis Statements Although the Fascists used laws and propaganda to increase birthrates, they failed because of the poor economic state of Italy and the innate desires of modern women. Thesis Statements Mussolini decided to launch a demographic revolution, aimed at dramatically increasing Italy’s fertility. However, the resulting policy primarily failed as it was sexist and aimed more at persuasion rather than coercion. The few receptive mothers also generally found themselves in deep poverty as a result. Thesis Statements During this period, Italy used propaganda, law, and nationalism in an attempt to revitalize Italy through a growth in population. However, the reaction to this was generally insubordination and increased desperation. Model Body Paragraph #1 (Topic: How the policy was implemented) Fascist Italy attempted to gain control over the population through legislation and social pressures. The government tried to encourage women to have more children by offering them certain incentives. In 1925, the National Organization for the Protection of Mothers and Children was established, aiming to offer women help in caring for their children (1). Gaetano Salvemini, a political refugee who left Italy, sarcastically called the social pressures the “battle for births” (4). He described how barrenness was considered like a “treason against the Fatherland.” Although bitter, this statement holds some truth because the Fascist party did try to pressure women into having more children. In addition, the fascist party magazine for women, Motherhood and Childhood, described contraceptives as a “crime against the health of the race” (9). Earlier in the same magazine, an article likened motherhood to “the supreme values of the [Italian] race” (6). In every way possible, especially through media like the fascist magazine for women, the party tried to hail childbirth as a great virtue in the attempt to stop population decline. Model Body Paragraph #2 (Topic: Economic factors) Most notably, the persisting economic conditions of the time made it very difficult to neutralize the population problem. The Italian people, having a “psychological feeling of deprivation,” found it hard to “have numerous children” (2). Pietro Battera, the author of a demographic article, goes on to state that in such conditions of economic hardship, “the sexual drive will be limited” for they seek to find a way to survive. In a time where such people were working all day in order to barely resist starvation, sexual pleasures were not on their priorities. They seem to have chosen a “voluntary limitation of childbirths” as financial success echoed in their minds (3). The Italian nation, therefore, could not hope to battle their declining population without attempting to alleviate economic hardship. Only after the peoples’ concerns were relieved, could Mussolini have found a way to battle low pregnancy rates. A poor mother of 11 at the time complained about this issue, requesting a “subsidy to alleviate the disastrous and pitiful conditions that [her] family edure[d]” (10). The Italian woman pleaded that the Contessa Ciano would help her so that she could survive. Coming from the voice of a person of the time, it is clear that mass reproduction of children strained the finances of the people. Only those who had more money could afford to have more children, as is shown through the middle class family of 14 (11). Mussolini, therefore, failed to note that he must lessen the economic disparity in his nation before he could make any progress in battling declining birthrates.