The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

Farinacci looks like the man you're after. Pro-German, anti-Semitic, pushed for the racial laws to be passed and for Italy to join the war on the German side. IIRC, the Germans even toyed with the idea to make him, and not Mussolini, the puppet leader of the Salò regime.
Farinacci seems being good alternate Duce in TL where Italy allies with Axis. Perhaps Mussolini is succesfully assassinated in 1920's and Farinacci becomes new duce. Then history would go quiet similarly as in OTL.

EDIT: Anyway, what did happen to Farinacci ITTL?
 
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Farinacci seems being good alternate Duce in TL where Italy allies with Axis. Perhaps Mussolini is succesfully assassinated in 1920's and Farinacci becomes new duce. Then history would go quiet similarly as in OTL.

EDIT: Anyway, what did happen to Farinacci ITTL?
Captured and executed by Italian partisans just days before WWII ended.

EDIT: dang, ninja'd twice!
 
Farinacci seems being good alternate Duce in TL where Italy allies with Axis. Perhaps Mussolini is succesfully assassinated in 1920's and Farinacci becomes new duce. Then history would go quiet similarly as in OTL.
Either he's killed or Musso becomes a resistance leader ITTL for either the very communists he defected from or represents a moderate rightwing faction in a united front of Partisans.

EDIT: Anyway, what did happen to Farinacci ITTL?
It would be a miracle if he lived to 1944 one way or another. Wouldn't be surprised if the OVRA made a house call.
 
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Mussolini didn't usually practised show trials and executing people who fell from his favor but Farinacci was such man with whom Mussolini might find some reason to execute him. Or then Farinacci faces unfortunate accident or is sent to Ethiopia and Mussolini and Balbo just cross their fingers that some Ethiopian kills him.
 
Mussolini didn't usually practised show trials and executing people who fell from his favor but Farinacci was such man with whom Mussolini might find some reason to execute him. Or then Farinacci faces unfortunate accident or is sent to Ethiopia and Mussolini and Balbo just cross their fingers that some Ethiopian kills him.
Most likely, he'll be arrested for voicing the attitudes of the "invaders." It wouldn't be hard to send him to jail for treason.
 
I wonder what historiography in the future democratic Italy will make of Mussolini.

Will he be seen as a person who snuffed democracy out? Or will he be seen as a person who set the stage for true democracy by creating a more united Italy?
 
I wonder what historiography in the future democratic Italy will make of Mussolini.

Will he be seen as a person who snuffed democracy out? Or will he be seen as a person who set the stage for true democracy by creating a more united Italy?
Considering that 60 % of population has at least pretty good view about Mussolini so probably historians will see him as authotarian dictator who managed to make some good things too and put Italy as equal nation with other mid-sized great powers like France.
 
Considering that 60 % of population has at least pretty good view about Mussolini so probably historians will see him as authotarian dictator who managed to make some good things too and put Italy as equal nation with other mid-sized great powers like France.
About my take. I suspect you'll see a lot of people go something like, "Yeah he was bad, but he was a product of his time and did a lot of good, too." A lot of the native Italian sentiment would glaze over the bad points and emphasize the good, while the worldwide opinion would be more evenly mixed. There'd be a lot of Great Man nostalgia around him for sure.
 
About my take. I suspect you'll see a lot of people go something like, "Yeah he was bad, but he was a product of his time and did a lot of good, too." A lot of the native Italian sentiment would glaze over the bad points and emphasize the good, while the worldwide opinion would be more evenly mixed. There'd be a lot of Great Man nostalgia around him for sure.
If Italy's relatively comfortable lifestyle takes a hit in the immediate post-Fascist period, there will be quite some post-imperial resentment, with Mussolini's approval going through the roof (in part, as a way to give the finger to these Americans and ungrateful Jews). Expect lots of old farts fondly remembering what great time they had in il Duce's time doing their service in Egypt.
 
If Italy's relatively comfortable lifestyle takes a hit in the immediate post-Fascist period, there will be quite some post-imperial resentment, with Mussolini's approval going through the roof (in part, as a way to give the finger to these Americans and ungrateful Jews). Expect lots of old farts fondly remembering what great time they had in il Duce's time doing their service in Egypt.
Yeah, a whole lot like that.

I thought Mussolini's last words in story were pretty apt: Wondering if he was worth another's life in the end. That no answer was given in story felt like it summarizes Mussolini's career rather well.
 
If Italy's relatively comfortable lifestyle takes a hit in the immediate post-Fascist period, there will be quite some post-imperial resentment, with Mussolini's approval going through the roof (in part, as a way to give the finger to these Americans and ungrateful Jews). Expect lots of old farts fondly remembering what great time they had in il Duce's time doing their service in Egypt.
Basically, like how the people of Gori, Georgia worship their favorite son, despite the fact that he probably would've murdered them all.

Although TTL Mussolini, while not a good man, wasn't a crazed mass murderer. So it is probably saner to have respect for Mussolini.

Considering that 60 % of population has at least pretty good view about Mussolini so probably historians will see him as authotarian dictator who managed to make some good things too and put Italy as equal nation with other mid-sized great powers like France.
About my take. I suspect you'll see a lot of people go something like, "Yeah he was bad, but he was a product of his time and did a lot of good, too." A lot of the native Italian sentiment would glaze over the bad points and emphasize the good, while the worldwide opinion would be more evenly mixed. There'd be a lot of Great Man nostalgia around him for sure.
So basically...a warts and all interpretation.

It isn't that crazy actually. Most Britons know about Churchill, the man who saved them from Nazis. Many Britons don't know about Winston Churchill, the man who "joked" about gassing the Kurds.
 
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About my take. I suspect you'll see a lot of people go something like, "Yeah he was bad, but he was a product of his time and did a lot of good, too." A lot of the native Italian sentiment would glaze over the bad points and emphasize the good, while the worldwide opinion would be more evenly mixed. There'd be a lot of Great Man nostalgia around him for sure.
Given how Russians in OTL view Stalin, compared to whom TTLs Il Duce is a Saint, it'd hard to blame them frankly.
 
As we approach the next update some predictions:

1. No Trier Trials equivalent. The deal Ciano and Berlinguer makes will include a general amnesty including war crimes. Fitting with Berlinguer's claim to focus on the future rather than old grudges he sees a peaceful, united, democratic Italy worth letting them 'get away with it'. This will be a major controversy with both the Far Left and abroad. Ethiopia and Free Africa in particular take issue with Berlinguer essentially saying their lives don't matter compared to peace in a European country.

This would also be a factor to divide the Left after the OPS ends.

2. The Right will do better than expected in the first round of elections. With many Italian voters getting cold feet as it were with democracy at hand not wanting to 'go too far' in changing Italy. So that along with Ciano doing his best to tip the scales to their favor as he leaves means even if the Right is not dominating, it will be a force to be reckoned with rather than the socialists dominating the ballots.

3. Spain will make the next big move with King Juan Carlos and the King of Morrocco leaving the Roman Alliance. A deal is struck between the two for the immediate return of the Moroccan coast strip, and mutual support for the withdrawal. Additionally Juan Carlos announces reforms, to culminate in democracy and further adjustments for the colonial borders to make peace with Spain's neighbors.

4. Juan Carlos' actions kick off the next round of protests in Portugal demanding democracy this time.

5. Attempted coup against Juan Carlos; king has his great moment in history.

6. The Pope officially gives his support to reform in Portugal and opposition to any UDI in Portuguese Africa; while supporting the Reformer King in Spain.

7. This further speeds call for changes in Italy.

8. Protests start in Croatia and Austria.
 
The Fall of Fascism
The Fall of Fascism

Extract from ‘The New Roman Empire’ by David Lassinger

It would be no surprise to anyone that it would be King Juan Carlos of Spain who would begin the downfall of Fascism. His private antipathy towards the system would result in his planning all throughout 1978 to launch a clean break with the Roman Alliance altogether and to join ITO. On Easter Sunday in 1978, Carlos announced that by Royal Decree, Spain was leaving the Roman Alliance and requesting to join ITO, promising elections within the year. This announcement sent shockwaves throughout the entire Roman Alliance, who had never seen a member apply to leave before. While it may have been imaginable back in the days of Mussolini to have violently crushed potential defectors, by now there was no strong leadership or belief anywhere within the group to justify such an action. Instead, Italian troops based in Spain meekly left their positions and flew home. ITO enthusiastically embraced Spain and promised integration into Europe. The most immediate knock-on effect was in Morocco, where King Hassan was now without an immediate patron but still retaining a lot of enemies. A coup quickly resulted in the mutilated monarchy, with a Republican government soon established under respected military leader Mohamed Oufkir. In return for continued good relations between Spain and Morocco, King Carlos would hand over most of the annexed Moroccan coastline, which had only been a boondoggle in terms of resources and maintenance. At the same time, the major coastal cities would remain under Spanish control as independent islands (given that they were overwhelmingly Spanish. Agadir, Safi and Casablanca would stay under Spanish rule. Transport between the cities was guaranteed and Morocco swore to forsake all territorial claims on Spanish Africa (which was of substantial size, even excluding Equatorial Guinea). To this date, despite misgivings among more nationalistic groups, Morocco has made no further progress in retaking land from Spain - its unwieldy democracy seemingly always on the verge of tottering over but never entirely. Its politics is mainly divided between poorer ‘Arabs’ and richer and more cosmopolitan ‘Berbers’ - with the latter pursuing closer relations with the West. Spanish Morocco has been well integrated with French Algeria through road and rail, and the two mother nations have gone on to have a close economic relationship. Despite misgivings, Spain also retained Equatorial Guinea and refused to readmit the vast majority of the population it had expelled to Cameroon – a fact that was overlooked due to Western ingratiation.

The sudden announcement of Spain’s departure rocked the entire Roman Alliance, but once again hampered by a populace that was sick of war and a King who was sick of Fascism as an experiment, Ciano had no choice but to make do with a stinging diplomatic rebut. One of the more immediate effects of Spain’s defection was to officially light a fire in the hearts of the mainland Portuguese to enact their own changes – perhaps not one the ruling party would gladly accept without force. Duarte had naively excepted the end of the war and full integration of the colonies to mean the end of most of the grievances against his state. However, the full integration of these territories only continued to cycle of more attention and funds being seen as spent on a borderline foreign entity while the mainland continued to suffer. On May 2nd 1978, protests and strikes all across mainland Portugal brought the country to a total standstill. There was no way of using the army against protestors now, and King Duarte (despite immense popularity in Portuguese Africa) found himself faced with an outpouring of popular anger. Fleeing to Luanda, the Portuguese army on the mainland knew the time had come and laid down arms. Mário Soares, who had been the unofficial leader of the General Strike, was now in the bizarre position of being the de facto ruler of Portugal, if only its mainland while Portuguese Africa stood firmly behind the King. Soares was no extremist and was worried that if he pushed his luck too far he would invite Roman Alliance retaliation, which had only been stayed due to Spain, France and Britain refusing transit to Roman Alliance troops to get to Portugal. Soares offered Duarte a way back to the mainland. He would become a ceremonial King for now, with a later referendum to determine whether he would keep even that. At the same time, full democracy would be restored to Portugal for the first time in living memory. Duarte, who was always opposed to bloodshed though attached to the notion of Divine Kingly Right, reluctantly accepted the terms. Rumours suggest that even Ciano demand he accept it to avoid another potential conflict. King Duarte returned to his Palace on May 24th, now under effective house arrest. He would not even be allowed to campaign on his behalf during the referendum, being told he could not leave the Palace. Mainland Portugal proceeded to undo the legacy of the regime, with unions forming in every quarter openly, schools being secularised, and status of Salazar torn down. By contrast, Portuguese Africa stuck doggedly to their old ways, with regional leaders assuring the locals that the Church would maintain its role in society no matter what happened in the mainland.

Iberia’s sudden crash out of the Roman Alliance made the urge for reform across the rest of the Bloc almost impossible to ignore. By now, it was obvious a tidal wave was rolling over the entire Fascist world and there was little if anything their leaders could do to stop it. In Latin America, the effects of the fall of Franco and his regime would be particularly strongly felt due to language and shared history. Carlos Andrés Peréz would lead the calls in Venezuela to enact reform, which was particularly disturbing to world Fascist leaders as Venezuela had prospered greatly under its dictatorship due to OPEP’s global stranglehold on oil. Yet here too, especially due to British pressure in Guyana (that would force Jenkins to finally accept the admittance of Guyana into the United Kingdom) and the American Navy alongside the Brazilian army, the Junta in charge of Venezuela accepted their time had come and agreed to reforms and amnesty for the old regime. Argentina by contrast, under the Fascist dictatorship of Isabel Peron in the image of her late husband (as well as the only female leader of the Roman Alliance), was not ready to go gently into the night. After losing in the final of the 1978 World Cup, held on her home ground no less, against Anti-Fascist Brazil, a crippling sense of anger and frustration had poured from the pitch onto Peron herself. Her own regime was desperate to hold onto power, and both her and the Junta that surrounded her were sure they knew just how. There had negotiations at the time with President Salvador Allende in Chile over the status of the islands of Picton, Lennox and Nueva at the Beagle Channel. This was a longstanding dispute between the two powers with both claiming sovereignty over the islands (Argentina also has a lesser known claim to the Falkland Islands but their full annexation into the nuclear weapon-owing UK made any talk of return a useless quest). As protests began in Buenos Aires, Peron ordered her generals to take evasive action and to save the fortunes of the regime. On June 3rd 1978, Argentine troops under the command of General Galtieri occupied the entirety of Tierra del Fuego (not simply the three islands) while threatening to invade the rest of Chile unless Allende surrendered his claims. It certainly had the intended effect at home – protests against the regime stopped and joyous, patriotic marches crying ‘Isabel!’ began to bring life to a halt. As Chile was not formerly an ITO member, no one was obligated to come to its side in the event of conflict. Instead, the Chilean Navy began an almighty bombardment against the Argentine forces while American and Brazilian aid came rolling in. As Argentina began the war, the Roman Alliance was not obligated to come to her defence. General Pinochet, the head of Chile’s armed forces, announced that there would be a ‘War to the Death’ with the Argentines. President Brooke spent little time, with the support of his Foreign Secretary Henry Kissinger, in funding Allende’s government and ensuring the vast undertaking of a war stretching across their entire border would not overwhelm them. The Beagle War would be technically fought along the vast breadth of the Chilean-Argentine border, but fighting was overwhelmingly concentrated in the far south, where naval power was almost as important as the ground operations. With British help from the Falklands (mainly in terms of reconnaissance), the Chilean Navy was able to identify and overwhelm Argentine formations before they knew what hit them. While initial enthusiasm for the war had aided Isabel Peron’s government, this quickly petered out as multiple military setbacks began to be circled around the rumour mill. On the other hand, Chileans on both wings of politics united against the common menace – following the conservative Pinochet’s election in 1980, he would specifically thank and salute his predecessor and Social Democrat electoral rival Allende for “Refusing to let partisan politics hold back the partisans in the field”.

Most other countries in the Roman Alliance went through a similar wave of reforms. In Bulgaria, King Simeon II declared on September 2nd that he would maintain his membership of the Roman Alliance while instituting a broad range of democratic and liberal reforms in response to protests. In Croatia, the protests were quite different from the rest of the Roman Alliance. Here, the main Faultline was among the Bosnian population who had slowly seen their culture get erased and neglected by the dominant Croat majority and the Ustache’s unwritten but obvious favoritism for Catholics. King Timoslav III was faced with protests in Sarajevo demanding more rights for the Bosnians while these groups were often attacked by Croat extremists. Finally, on September 10th, in response to ethnic violence that left thirty dead across the country after rioting, Timoslav announced wide-reaching reforms of Croatia, the largest of which would be the creation of the dual-kingdom of Croatia-Bosnia, in the mould of Austria-Hungary. The rights of both groups would be guaranteed but both would be self-governing within their own territories. The hardliners of the Ustache were outraged and called it treason by a ‘Foreign King’. On September 22nd, a badly organised coup was attempted by Ustache hardliners and was almost immediately put down by forces loyal to Timoslav. In response, Timoslav went even farther than most Roman Alliance countries in their transition – he outright abolished the Ustache and called for elections in both Croatia and Bosnia for that November. Though Timoslav is often portrayed as altruistic and enlightened for the move, he would go on to tell King Simeon in 1983, “I did it so my descendants could be kings”. Regardless, he was quite victorious in his efforts, as the Ustache’s popularity had never recovered from the disaster of the Croat-Serb War and the people did not much miss them. Croatia-Bosnia would go on to be officially formed at the end of the year as a democracy, albeit one with an exceptionally powerful monarch who justified his power in the name of keeping harmony between the two nations. The monarch of Croatia-Bosnia indeed has more power in practice than any other monarch in Europe today for that very reason, and not for a lack of kings in Europe.

Of course, in the midst of all the tumult of change in Europe was Italy. The end of the Ethiopian War bought barely any time for the regime, if at all. There was still a gigantic problem of reintegrating a traumatised workforce, not to mention the costs of continuing to occupy East Africa. With change now happening on all sides, it was inevitable it would start to reach Italy. The inciting incident was actually the death of Pope John Paul I on September 28th, whose sudden death had led to an outpouring of rumours within the country that the government had a hand in his death for his supposed opposition to the regime. Fearing he had been poisoned or assassinated, the Vatican closed ranks and proceeded to finish the funeral as quick as possible, which only caused further rumours. Eventually, false rumours of the Pope’s murder (false in that no definitive proof was ever found of Fascist involvement in his death) led to Italians finally losing all patience for the regime. It began with student protests in Rome, Milan and Florence on October 11th 1978 that were quickly joined by the underground trade union Solidarietà, which had united many of the warring, disparate trade unions that had been ravaged in the aftermath of Fascism’s ascendency. On October 13th, Solidarietà called for a nationwide, general strike with the demand of restoring democracy to Italy, legalising trade unions and allowing freedom of expression. Life in the world’s second largest nuclear power was brought to a firm halt. The trash rotted in the streets, blackouts were commonplace and, yes, even the trains stopped running on time. Protests were most intense on mainland Italy, as those in Libya were generally more supportive of the regime. At the same time, the industrial north was affected particularly hard, with the economic impact soon sending shocks right through the entirety of the Roman Alliance. The Blackshirts had long come to be a drinking club of scoundrels who were often too fat to fight, while the army was so livid with the regime for its pointless waste in Ethiopia that Ciano knew they could not be trusted to end the stalemate on their terms. The Grand Fascist Council was consequently locked in an interminable deadlock between those who wanted to crush the protestors and those who wanted to come to an accord with the strikers. On October 15th, however, Ciano would be absolved from making that decision.

King Umberto II had never been a fan of Fascism, tolerating it to a large degree owing to Mussolini’s evident success in making Italy an international power as well as giving leeway to Balbo and Ciano for their respect of the Royal Family. But he had always been aware of Mussolini’s attempts to install a Republic and consequently knew that Fascism could be a long-term threat to the Monarchy. At the same time, he had a strong working relationship with Ciano, who had helped Umberto receive the reins of power after his father’s death. It cost Ciano his chance of being Duce after Mussolini’s death, but he was still ultimately Duce nonetheless. By this time, Ciano would later confess that he was confident Fascism was doomed and that the only question was the method with which it was doomed – violence or transition. Dino Grandi, one of the older members of the Fascist Council, outright stated he would launch a Second March on Rome if Ciano announced an election. On October 15th, he received a visit from King Umberto. Umberto explained to Ciano that the One-Party system could not survive the current economic contraction and that the time had come to “End Fascism to save the Fascist Party”. Umberto said he would take the decision out of Ciano’s hands and announce it himself on national television that the government would be dissolved with new elections to come thereafter. Umberto was deeply worried that he had pushed Ciano too far with the order, but hearing that the King was working over his head came as an immense relief to Ciano, who said, “You’ve finally paid me back from when I helped you be King”. Thus, King Umberto made a televised address on the evening of October 15th 1978, announcing that the ruling government was abolished, an official inquest would be made into the death of Pope John Paul I, that a caretaker government was to be formed between leaders of the Fascist Party and the opposition (in which he explicitly mentioned Berlinguer) and that the first multi-party elections would take place in Italy that December for the first time in nearly sixty years. Dino Grandi, himself an ardent monarchist, took the decision with good faith as it had come directly from the king. To that extent, there was no coup or any major form of Fascist paramilitarism in the coming days and weeks. Enrico Berlinguer found a jail officer unlocking his cell, into the wide world where he was now free. Before an ocean of international photographers, Berlinguer’s first words to the press upon his freedom would be, “I better go home – I think I left the gas on”. Privately, of course, he was being briefed by the King about other political leaders who had been released from prison and ordering him to come to Rome to deal with the consequent issue of forming a new government. When Berlinguer asked if it was okay if he could form a government for the King as he was a Republican, Umberto replied, “And so was Mussolini”. Berlinguer would arrive at the steps of the Italian Parliament on October 16th to shake hands with Count Ciano with King Umberto standing in between. Some on the Left were appalled that Berlinguer had sought dialogue with the Fascists, others on the Right were appalled that a ‘One-time Communist’ was standing on the steps of the Italian Parliament. However, most were simply impressed at how extraordinarily bizarre the scene was. The sight of these three men, representing the Populist Right, Socialist Left and the Liberal Aristocracy standing together in unity produced one of the most surreal images in all of human history.

Berlinguer and Ciano began an intensive ten days to agree on the terms of transition. The first and foremost was that Berlinguer had to accept amnesty for all acts of violence committed by the Fascist Party, army, Blackshirts or anything else. In return for releasing a number of Socialists from prison (including several who had shot and killed Fascists), this was granted. This one act ensured Berlinguer was considered ‘Just another Italian’ by Ethiopians who hoped for a level of retribution to come on those who wrecked their country. Upon his arrival in Ethiopia in 1980, he was hit by a stone from angry demonstrators who felt he had betrayed them by not arresting Ciano and others. When Berlinguer was asked why he had given amnesty to those who had locked him away and imprisoned him, he replied, “Prisoners think about vengeance – freed men do not”. The Fascist Party would likewise be allowed to contest elections, though rules were put in place to ensure they could never become a new dictatorship, mostly by ensuring the veto power of the King over any such government. The Parliamentary system would be open to any and all parties with the exception of those who ‘vowed violent overthrow of the Italian government’. This was to rule out Communists from taking power, but it also forced the Fascist Party to put in their manifesto that they would always adhere to democracy in future. The Social Democrat Party and the Christian Democrats soon came into the open and began to canvas their people to spread the word on their campaigns.

In the subsequent elections that December, the Social Democrats won a landslide 52% of the vote. To this date, it remains the only time in history any party in the Italian Parliament won an outright majority of the vote. Even more surprising, the Fascists were beaten by the Christian Democrats, with the later taking 25% of the vote and the Fascists taking an astonishingly meagre 17%. This was far lower than what polling experts around the world had predicted. To the jubilation of the West, Enrico Berlinguer was now the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Italy in living memory. Many (over-confidently) predicted that Fascism would wither into nonexistence after a few elections. While not exactly accurate in Italy, it would certainly prove the death-knell of many budding Fascist parties throughout Free Europe, particularly in Poland, where there was still some debate as to the direction the new state would go. With the originator of Fascism having pulled the plug on the project, continuing it in other countries proved a much trickier ask.

The first victim would be Austria, which had devolved into a military Junta after President Schuschnigg’s death in 1977. The reason the unpopular regime hadn’t completely collapsed at the beginning of Juan Carlos’s first flick of the domino was simply that the opposition was too broadly divided. There were traditional Social Democrats who wanted a simple Austrian state, those who wanted union with Hungary’s King Otto to recreate the Hapsburg regime and those who wanted reunion with Germany. The latter in particular had encountered a surge in popularity due to the broad outrage against Italy for publicly denying the democratic call of East Germany for reunion to the West. East Germany by now had fallen into total disrepair, with more than half of its 1970 population having moved to the West and its government a self-confessed proxy for West Germany’s own decisions. The stupidity of denying East Germany’s re-admittance to the Kaiser’s domains when the state was, in the words of Roy Jenkins ‘Begging for death’, had allowed the Pro-Anschluss Austrian Freedom Party (who had more than a few former SS members in their ranks) to become the vanguard of the Austrian resistance. Austria declared elections for the same day as Italy soon after Umberto had made his pronouncement. However, these results were much less clear-cut. The largest individual party was the Austrian Freedom Party at 28%, with the Social Democrats on 27% and 23% for the Pro-Hapsburg Austrian People’s Party. The unnerving results would ultimately lead to a Grand Coalition between the Social Democrats and People’s Party, with the Austrian Fascist Party and Austrian Freedom Party serving as awkward opposition bedfellows. The results put a dampener on the news of moderation’s triumph in Italy, and quickly forced Berlinguer to make a decision: East Germany would be allowed to unify with the West. Britain, France and America, who had all privately supported the division of Germany had made broad public statements in support of union while Italy called off the remarriage. When Berlinguer changed Italy’s tune, they awkwardly supported the move, not wanting to re-empower the Fascists within Italy by undermining her new democratic leader. Thus, on the night of December 24th, 1978, to cheering crowds across Germany, the East German Parliament officially voted for their Frankenstein country to finally be reunited under the reign of King Ferdinand V. On January 1st 1979, the thirty-five year long division of Germany finally came to an end to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Whether Berlinguer’s gamble that this would dissolve support for the Freedom Party in Austria was still to be proven.

One further development that aided in the fall of Fascism was the rise of Pope John Paul II that October. He was considered something of a compromise between warring camps within the Vatican, as his Polish ancestry had made him quite resistant to Communism while he had aided many Christian dissidents within Fascist Italy during the lighter days of the regime in the early 1950s and early days of the Balbo Era. He came to power amidst incredibly uncertain times, coming to power on the same day that Berlinguer came to the steps of the Italian Parliament. The two would meet on October 17th, with Berlinguer beginning by joking, “I’m sorry Father, but I must confess I’m an Atheist.” The Pope replied, “Mr. Berlinguer, if I only had to talk to those who were true Catholics then I would have to throw out most of the Vatican”. The two would go on to have a very strong relationship, with the Pope publicly supporting the wave of democratic reforms sweeping across the Roman Alliance. His first major acts were to broker peace in the Beagle War between Chile and Argentina. By now, a white peace was something the Argentines were quite looking forward to, as their armies had been forced into retreat by Pinochet’s rebuffs. On October 31st, the guns fell silent on Patagonia in time for All Saints’ Day. The second came that November in Portugal. In early September, Portugal held her referendum on the Monarchy, which the governing Social Democrats expected would be an easy victory owing to their dominance over the airwaves on the mainland. Much to their horror, the results gave a narrow victory to the Monarchy owing to the overwhelming support Duarte III had in Angola and Mozambique, even among Black Portuguese for his insistence that they would be counted as full citizens to despite pressure from more reactionary quarters to expel or discriminate against them. This had created a constitutional crisis where the African tail was wagging the mainland dog in a complete reversal to the traditional situation where colonial outposts are at the whim of their mainland leaders. Now came a bizarre situation where the mainland was planning on declaring independence from … itself. As the questions began to escalate, the Pope was soon dragged into another diplomatic storm that November. In discussions with the King, Soares and the Pope, it was agreed that Portugal would become a federal state with the country divided into the three territories of the mainland, Angola and Mozambique – all of whom would now have their own Parliaments. King Duarte himself would move to Luanda in more hospitable company. He was given unique privilege over the Parliaments of Angola and Mozambique in terms of their opening ceremonies, but he would have a borderline non-existent role in mainland Portugal for everything but state visits. Needless to say, he would not have the same powers he once had over government policy. Restrictions were put on place with respect to how much state support any one region of the country got to stop inter-communal tension. These changes were able to quell the calls on the mainland, at least for the time.

The effects of Fascism’s downfall had primarily affected the European and South American states, at least initially. But after the Italian reform, the speed of reform soon reached Asia and Africa. Each Roman Alliance member would now be forced to make a slew of changes to their government. But five years from the dawn of 1979, many would have very different futures indeed. But of particular interest to Berlinguer, who agreed to stay in the Roman Alliance while 'demanding the internal reform that this Bloc needs to survive' was negotiating an amicable solution to the Rhodesian and South African dilemmas. In early 1979, Argentina descended into riots, with the Peron regime doomed to fall that March as rioters engulfed Buenos Aires, leading to the arrest and death of most of the military leaders of the country and the creation of a relatively stable government after elections by the end of the year. Peron herself attempted to flee to friendly Paraguay, only for Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner to be deposed while she was flying over the border and replaced by the unsympathetic General Andrés Rodríguez, who ordered her arrest and announced the recreation of Paraguayan democracy. Berlinguer was determined to bring about peaceful change within the Roman Alliance, but he could not be sure it could always be peaceful, or even more uncomfortably, sure it could always change.
 
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