Author Date


Degree Name



Political Science


Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Professor Mark I. Choate

First Faculty Reader

Professor Judson Burton

Honors Coordinator

Professor Daniel Nielson


Fiume, D'Annunzio, Fascism, Nationalism, Mussolini, Italy


Italian novelist and poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, through skillful rhetoric and daring leadership, inspired Italian nationalists to seize the port of Fiume on the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic Sea. His rule over the people of Fiume through his gifted oratory and forced citizen participation in government ceremonies had a mass appeal; attracted to such a prospect of widespread popularity, Benito Mussolini, and subsequently Adolf Hitler, adopted D’Annunzio’s theatrics within their respective fascist parties. Despite obvious similarities between Italian Fascism, German Nazism, and D’Annunzio’s authoritarianism, D’Annunzio was not a proto-fascist, as the few scholarly works on D’Annunzio tend to assert. This exposition of D’Annunzio’s endeavors in Fiume hopes to divorce the poet from Mussolini’s radical movement and demonstrate that, although D’Annunzio inspired fascists, the Regency of Carnaro failed to have fundamental characteristics of fascist regimes. A brief analysis of Fiume’s legal charter, co-written by D’Annunzio and De Ambris, further exonerates D’Annunzio of the charge of being a fascist.