The Iron Heel, or, We Didn’t Have Any Trouble: The Coming of Fascism
Fascism was an era of violence, repression and modernization. Fascism came to Terni mainly from outside but found local support among war veterans, big landowners, and parts of the professional middle class. Fascist squads stormed working-class neighborhoods and communities, and were often met with armed resistance. With management complicity Fascism gained a foothold among the workers at the Arsenal and the steelworks. After Fascism took power nationally (1922) Terni became a provincial seat, with an influx of white-collar workers, the rise of new middle-class neighborhoods, and new forms of consumption and cultural expression. Rural traditions were revised and appropriated by the regime in the Cantamaggio spring parade. Fascism promoted sports as propaganda, while workers claimed it as part of their own culture. Fascism and the Church occasionally conflicted over the control of youth.