Mussolini and the Rise of Fascism by Donald SassoonOn the morning of October 30, 1922, Mussolini arrived in Rome to accept the premiership of a constitutional, conservative government. Within five years, however, his regime would morph into a dictatorship that neither his fascist supporters nor the conservative old order could have predicted, and Mussolini himself would be transformed from figurehead to despot. A multiplicity of personalities and wider impersonal forces, including the social upheaval caused by the previous world war, combined to make possible the crisis of 1922 and the Fascist March on Rome. But in fact, Donald Sassoon argues, things could have gone very differently, and the core focus of this illuminating study is not so much what happened, but how. How did Mussolini seize power so effectively that he maintained it for the next 20 years, until he dragged his country, disastrously, into World War II? Social fragmentation, unionization, inflation, and nationalism all played a part in weakening the old political system, while Mussolini seemed to provide answers in a troubling new era. Il Duces ruthless political ambition and cruel authoritarianism would surprise his supporters and opponents alike.
Mussolini founds the Fascist party
Initially, Mussolini, who was appointed prime minister at the head of a three-member Fascist cabinet, cooperated with the Italian parliament, but aided by his brutal police organization he soon became the effective dictator of Italy. In July , the failure of the Italian war effort and the imminent invasion of the Italian mainland by the Allies led to a rebellion within the Fascist Party. Fascist Marshal Pietro Badoglio took over the reins of the Italian government, and in September Italy surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. Eight days later, German commandos freed Mussolini from his prison in the Abruzzi Mountains, and he was later made the puppet leader of German-controlled northern Italy. With the collapse of Nazi Germany in April , Mussolini was captured by Italian partisans and on April 29 was executed by firing squad with his mistress, Clara Petacci, after a brief court-martial. Their bodies, brought to Milan, were hanged by the feet in a public square for all the world to see. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!
From his birth in to the day of his death in Benito Mussolini was many things to many men. Son of a blacksmith of radical persuasion, Mussolini was a born revolutionary. He was named after Benito Juarez, the Mexican revolutionary leader. As he grew up he knew the hunger and hardships of the laboring class. He was s one of them, a natural leader, and a firebrand of the first order.
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. Proposals included the confiscation of war profits, the eight-hour day, and the vote for women. Four people were killed, and the paper shut down for several days. This was the first demonstration of the ability of the Fascists to attack Socialist institutions. Organized militias began to attract support across Italy in an anti-Bolshevik crusade that united various social and political sectors and organizations. Fascist squads, dressed in black-shirted uniforms and often financed by landowners or industrialists, used systematic violence to destroy these organizations.
The early years
Rise of Fascism and Mussolini's March on Rome I Between 2 Wars I 1922 Part 1 of 2
Italian Fascism Italian : fascismo italiano , also known as Classical Fascism or simply Fascism , is the original fascist ideology as developed in Italy. Italian Fascism is also associated with the post-war Italian Social Movement and subsequent Italian neo-fascist movements. Italian Fascism was rooted in Italian nationalism , national syndicalism , revolutionary nationalism and the desire to restore and expand Italian territories , which Italian Fascists deemed necessary for a nation to assert its superiority and strength and to avoid succumbing to decay. Italian Fascism promoted a corporatist economic system whereby employer and employee syndicates are linked together in associations to collectively represent the nation's economic producers and work alongside the state to set national economic policy. Italian Fascism opposed liberalism , especially classical liberalism that Mussolini and Fascist leaders denounced as "the debacle of individualism",  but rather than seeking a reactionary restoration of the pre- French Revolutionary world which it considered to have been flawed, it had a forward-looking direction. While Fascism in Italy did not initially espouse the explicit Nordicism and antisemitism inherent to Nazi ideology , racist overtones were present in Fascist thought and policies from the beginning of Fascist rule of Italy. As Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany grew politically closer in the latter half of the s, Italian laws and policies became explicitly antisemitic, including the passage of the Italian Racial Laws.
Benito Mussolini rose to power on a wave of populism and well-timed propaganda. He was handed the Prime Ministership by the King of Italy, Umberto Emmeline II, in , and by he had all but dissolved the democratic constitution. He would maintain control of Italy for the next two decades. Il Duce ruled with absolute power using his political authority, media savvy, and his loyal, violent Blackshirt followers to silence any opposition. His main aim was to restore Italy to the glory of the Roman Empire, by expanding the Italian territories into Europe, the Dalmatians and North Africa, which he saw as the birthright of the Italian people.
After aligning itself with Italian conservatives, the fascist party rose to prominence using violence and intimidation, eventually seizing power in Rome in under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. Italian Fascism, also known simply as Fascism, is the original fascist ideology as developed in Italy. Italian Fascism was rooted in Italian nationalism and the desire to restore and expand Italian territories, deemed necessary for a nation to assert its superiority and strength and avoid succumbing to decay. This economic system intended to resolve class conflict through collaboration between the classes. In the next few years, the relatively small group was various political actions.