The Italian Social Republic (Italian: Repubblica Sociale Italiana, RSI) was a state proclaimed by fascists has successor of the Kingdom of Italy, once the monarchy was abolished. It existed until the Democratic Revolution the overthrew the RSI and established the Italian Republic.
To the north it bordered France, Switzerland, Austria-Hungary along the Alps. To the south it consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia – the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea – and many other smaller islands. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italy, whilst Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland. It also had colonies in Africa of Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia.
The Lider and the Party
By all practical means the RSI was a one-party state and Fascism integrated into all aspects of life.
The central and supreme political authority of the state was Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, followed by the Republican Fascist Party (Partito Fascista Repubblicano, PFR). Mussolini as supreme leader arbitrated disputes and differences, along a cult or personality
The PFR was founded as the successor of former National Fascist Party (PNF) as an anti-monarchist party. The PFR, as its successor, was effectively the only legally permitted party in the country. This status was formalized by a law passed in 1928 and Italy remained a one-party state until the end of the Fascist regime. Ilaws were passed that allowed all Libyan Muslims and Africans to be permitted to join the National Fascist Party and in particular the "Muslim Association of the Lictor" (Associazione Mussulmana del Littorio) and East African Association of the Lictor.
All state institutions depended on the will of Il Duce and the PFR. The Grand Council of Fascists effectively assured this position. Its members are selected among the party's gerarchi.
Formally and according to the Constitution the RSI (Carta della RSI) was organized in the following way:
- Head of the Republic (Capo della Repubblica), elected by the Constituent Assembly every seven years. The post was held by Benito Mussolini.
- Grand Council of Fascists, it had the power to elect the Fascist Party deputies, nominate the Party Secretary and other party leaders, approval of the party statutes and power regarding the party's policy. It also proposed the candidate for Head of the Republic to the Constituent Assembly;
- Head of Government (Capo del Governo), named by Head of the Republic, along the State Ministers. They were responsible for the administration of the RSI;
- Constituent Assembly, integrated by national representatives of districts, state organizations, social and civic institutions and Italians living abroad. They where elected every seven years or replaced if their institutional mandate expires. Its functions were to elect the Head of the Republic, reform the constitution and serve has consulting body on matters of national interest. Its sessions were called by the Head of the Republic;
- The Chamber of Fasci and Corporations, composed of national councilors of different branches of the trade and industry of Italy. Councilors were elected for a term of five years, and automatically lost their seats upon their defection from the branch they represented. Candidates where designated by the Grand Council of Fascists, the PFR and National Council of Corporations. It acted as the legislative power of the RSI
- National Council of Corporations, chaired by the Head of Government, and integrated by representatives of all levels of the twenty-two key elements of the economy to meet and resolve problems.
- The Supreme Court of Cassation (ordinary justice), State Council (administrative justice), Court of Auditors, lower courts and Chief Prosecutor formed the judicial power of the RSI.
- The Special Tribunal for the Security of the State is autonomous organization only answerable and nominated by the Grand Council of Fascists. It was integrated by members of the PRF, MSVN and RSI Armed Forces.
Italy was divide into Provinces and communes. The Provinces are in charge of a Prefect, named by the Ministry of Interior, who was in charge of all aspects of the state administration and public order. Maintaining the late fascist reforms of the Kingdom of Italy, the chief magistrate of a commune was a Podestà, named by the Ministry of Interior. He was assisted by a consulta municipale, composed of 6 councilors named by the Prefect or Ministry of Interior. Rome has a Governatore, directly named by the Head of the Republic, assisted by a consulta di Roma of 12 councilors named by the Ministry of Interior.
Each of the Italian African territories were in charge of a General Governors, named by Head of the Republic. In Libya, the districts are in charge of a Prefect. The districts of Eritrea and Somaliland are in charge of Governors. All political chiefs where named by Head of the Republic. Only large cities or the capital of the Governor General became communes in Libya, Eritrea and Somaliland
All news media was censored, monitored and licensed by the Ministry of Popular Culture (Ministero della Cultura Popolare). The main national newspaper was the PFR's Il Popolo d'Italia, Printed media of the Catholic Church was allowed to publish, but had to renew their yearly license. The official news agency was Agenzia Stefani.
The radio and television was a state monopoly of the Ente Italiano per le Audizioni Radiofoniche (EIAR).
Armed forces and internal security
The RSI Armed Forces (RSI Forze Armate) were organized in:
- National Republican Army (Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano, or ENR)
- National Republican Navy (Marina Nazionale Repubblicana or MNR)
- National Republican Air Force (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, or ANR)
The internal security and police were in charge of:
- Republican National Guard (Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana, or GNR);
- National Security Volunteer Militia (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale, or MVSN), the former Black Shirts, and MVSN Coloniale
- Italian Africa Police (Polizia dell'Africa Italiana or PAI)
- Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism (Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell'Antifascismo, OVRA)