Aventine Bloc

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aventine Bloc


an opposition bloc of anti-Fascist parties and groups in Italy.

The Aventine Bloc was formed in 1924 and consisted of representatives of the National (Catholic), Republican, and Socialist parties, and liberal and democratic groups.

As a sign of protest against the murder of G. Matteotti by the Fascists on June 10, 1924, the opposition deputies quit Parliament and established the Committee of Oppositional Factions, which came to be known as the Aventine Bloc, after the legend concerning the withdrawal of the plebeians of ancient Rome to the Aventine hill during their struggle against the patricians. Assuming that these actions of the opposition might serve as a signal for the start of an open mass struggle against Fascism, the Communist Party joined the bloc. At the same time the Communist Party requested that the steering committee of the Aventine Bloc proclaim a general political strike and a fiscal strike (refusal to pay taxes) and that it declare itself a counterparliament. However, the representatives of the other parties on the committee rejected the proposals of the Communists, thus refusing to take any decisive actions against Fascism. Under those conditions the split of the parliament lost all meaning, and the Communist Party therefore decided to return to Parliament in order to expose Fascism from its rostrum. In 1926, Mussolini’s Fascist government banned the opposition’s activities. Deprived of contact with the masses, the remnants of the Aventine Bloc ceased playing any serious role in the struggle against fascism.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.