World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Acerbo Law

Article Id: WHEBN0030874608
Reproduction Date:

Title: Acerbo Law  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: National Fascist Party, Fascism and ideology, Benito Mussolini, Fascism, Legal history of Italy
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Acerbo Law

The Acerbo Law was an Italian electoral law proposed by Baron Giacomo Acerbo and passed by the Italian Parliament in November 1923. The purpose of it was to give Mussolini's fascist party a majority of deputies.

Background

In 1922, Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini became the leader of Fascist Italy as a result of the March on Rome. However he still only had 34 deputies in Parliament and 10 Nationalist allies. He was in a weak position and relied on a coalition with other parties that could easily unravel and force King Victor Emmanuel III to dismiss him. The idea was to change the voting system from proportional representation to a system which would allow Mussolini to have a clear majority.

Terms of the Law

The Acerbo Law stated that the party gaining the largest share of the votes – provided they had gained at least 25 percent of the votes – gained two-thirds of the seats in parliament. The remaining third was shared amongst the other parties proportionally.[1]

Reasoning

Mussolini could only count on the support of 35 Fascist deputies and 10 Nationalists. The Law was passed on a majority vote. The obvious question is why a majority of deputies from other parties voted for the Law knowing that one way or another Mussolini would gain the 25% required. The Socialists voted against it but made no effort to coordinate other parties to oppose it. The PPI or Popolari were divided and leaderless after Mussolini had engineered the dismissal of Luigi Sturzo. The official policy was to abstain but 14 deputies voted for the measure. The smaller Liberal parties generally voted in favour. They lacked clear direction and many believed Mussolini's talk of strong government or hoped to keep their positions. There is no doubt that the presence of armed squadristi in the Chamber intimidated many into voting for the measure.

The 1924 election

An election was held straight afterwards under the new rules. Ironically Mussolini got two thirds of the vote so he would have held a clear majority under the old rules as well as the new. However, the result has to be viewed with some suspicion given widespread violence, intimidation and vote rigging. His opponents were demoralised and unable to put up any coordinated opposition. Also many of the new Fascist deputies were ex Liberal deputies who commanded a substantial personal following especially in the South.[2]

References

  1. ^ Boffa, Federico (2004-02-01). "Italy and the Antitrust Law: an Efficient Delay?" ( 
  2. ^ DeGrand, Alexander (1995). Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. New York, New York: Routledge. p. 26.  

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.