Benito Mussolini The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was head of the Italian government from to A Fascist dictator, he led Italy into three sucessive wars, the last of which overturned his regime.
The political crisis of the postwar years provided an opportunity for militant, patriotic movements, including those of ex-servicemen and former assault troops, students, ex-syndicalists, and former pro-war agitators.
He was a bully at school and moody at home. Because the teachers at the village school could not control him, he was sent to board with the strict Salesian order at Faenza, where he proved himself more troublesome than ever, stabbing a fellow pupil with a penknife and attacking one of the Salesians who had attempted to beat him.
He was also intelligent, and he passed his final examinations without difficulty. He obtained a teaching diploma and for a time worked as a schoolmaster but soon realized that he was totally unsuited for such work.
At the age of 19, a short, pale young man with a powerful jaw and enormous, dark, piercing eyes, he left Italy for Switzerland with a nickel medallion of Karl Marx in his otherwise empty pockets.
For the next few months, according to his own account, he lived from day to day, jumping from job to job. At the same time, however, he was gaining a reputation as a young man of strange magnetism and remarkable rhetorical talents.
He read widely and voraciously, if not deeply, plunging into the philosophers and theorists Immanuel KantBenedict de SpinozaPeter KropotkinFriedrich NietzscheG. HegelKarl Kautskyand Georges Sorelpicking out what appealed to him and discarding the rest, forming no coherent political philosophy of his own yet impressing his companions as a potential revolutionary of uncommon personality and striking presence.
While earning a reputation as a political journalist and public speaker, he produced propaganda for a trade unionproposing a strike and advocating violence as a means of enforcing demands. Repeatedly, he called for a day of vengeance.
More than once he was arrested and imprisoned. When he returned to Italy ineven the Roman newspapers had started to mention his name. For some time after his return little was heard of him. So successful was this paper that in he was appointed editor of the official Socialist newspaper, Avanti!
Soon, however, he changed his mind about intervention. He resigned from Avanti! Mussolini went to fight in the war.
Rise to power Wounded while serving with the bersaglieri a corps of sharpshootershe returned home a convinced antisocialist and a man with a sense of destiny.
Three months later, in a widely reported speech in Bologna, he hinted that he himself might prove to be such a man. The following year the nucleus of a party prepared to support his ambitious idea was formed in Milan. In an office in Piazza San Sepolcro, about assorted republicans, anarchists, syndicalists, discontented socialists, restless revolutionaries, and discharged soldiers met to discuss the establishment of a new force in Italian politics.
So fascism was created and its symbol devised. At rallies—surrounded by supporters wearing black shirts —Mussolini caught the imagination of the crowds. His physique was impressive, and his style of oratory, staccato and repetitive, was superb. His attitudes were highly theatrical, his opinions were contradictory, his facts were often wrong, and his attacks were frequently malicious and misdirected; but his words were so dramatic, his metaphors so apt and striking, his vigorous, repetitive gestures so extraordinarily effective, that he rarely failed to impose his mood.
Fascist squads, militias inspired by Mussolini but often created by local leaders, swept through the countryside of the Po Valley and the Puglian plains, rounded up Socialists, burned down union and party offices, and terrorized the local population.
Hundreds of radicals were humiliated, beaten, or killed. In latethe Blackshirt squads, often with the direct help of landowners, began to attack local government institutions and prevent left-wing administrations from taking power.
Mussolini encouraged the squads—although he soon tried to control them—and organized similar raids in and around Milan. By latethe Fascists controlled large parts of Italy, and the left, in part because of its failures during the postwar years, had all but collapsed.
The government, dominated by middle-class Liberals, did little to combat this lawlessness, both through weak political will and a desire to see the mainly working-class left defeated. As the Fascist movement built a broad base of support around the powerful ideas of nationalism and anti-Bolshevism, Mussolini began planning to seize power at the national level.
The remnants of the trade-union movement called a general strike. Mussolini declared that unless the government prevented the strike, the Fascists would.
Fascist volunteers, in fact, helped to defeat the strike and thus advanced the Fascist claim to power. Later that day, Mussolini and other leading Fascists decided that four days later the Fascist militia would advance on Rome in converging columns led by four leading party members later to be known as the Quadrumviri.
Mussolini himself was not one of the four. He was still hoping for a political compromise, and he refused to move before King Victor Emmanuel III summoned him in writing.
Meanwhile, all over Italy the Fascists prepared for action, and the March on Rome began.A march by which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party came to power in the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia). The march took place from 22 to 29 October Mussolini and his blackshirts, through threats of an armed takeover of Italy, scared King Victor Emmanuel into appointing Mussolini Prime Minister of Italy.
Benito Mussolini, in full Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, byname Il Duce (Italian: “The Leader”), (born July 29, , Predappio, Italy—died April 28, , near Dongo), Italian prime minister (–43) and the first of 20th-century Europe’s fascist dictators. Benito Mussolini served as Italy’s 40th Prime Minister from until He is considered a central figure in the creation of fascism and was both an influence on and close ally of Adolf Hitler during .
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (July 29, – April 28, ) was the prime minister and dictator of Italy from until , when he was overthrown from power. He established a repressive fascist regime that valued nationalism, militarism, and anti-communism combined .
Benito Mussolini served as Italy’s 40th Prime Minister from until He is considered a central figure in the creation of fascism and was both an influence on and close ally of Adolf Hitler during World War II. Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (29 July April ) was the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy from to (succeeding Luigi Facta and preceding Pietro Badoglio) and Duce of Fascist Italy from to