The cult of the Leader, from the Risorgimento to fascism looks at the attempts under liberalism and fascism to develop cults around such figures as the king, Queen Margherita, Garibaldi, Crispi and Mussolini. From the time of the Risorgimento it was widely recognised that there was a symbolic deficit in relation to Italian unity. The need to promote the monarchy after 1860 - and in due course other cults - gained urgency as the state institutions, and especially parliament, lost credibility. The failure of the monarchy to emerge as a unifying symbol, powerful enough to deflect mass support away from the Catholics and socialists, created a vacuum which the cult of Mussolini exploited.
Keywords: Monarchia, liberalismo, papato, Parlamento, fascismo, nazionalismo