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.
How did Mussolini Rise to Power as the Dictator of Italy?
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. His father was a blacksmith. Employment prospects in the area were poor so in Mussolini moved to Switzerland, where he became involved in socialist politics. He returned to Italy in , and worked as a journalist in the socialist press, but his support for Italy's entry into World War One led to his break with socialism. He was drafted into the Italian army in September In March , Mussolini formed the Fascist Party, galvanising the support of many unemployed war veterans.
Mussolini went by the nickname “Il Duce” (“the Leader”). Mussolini and his mistress were executed on April 28, , their bodies hung on display in a Milan plaza. Benito Mussolini created the Fascist Party in Italy in , eventually making himself dictator prior to World War II.
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Mussolini and Fascist Italy
While working for various labour organizations in Switzerland, Benito Mussolini made a name for himself as a charismatic personality and a consummate rhetorician. After returning to Italy, he amassed a large following while working as an editor for the socialist magazine Avanti! His political beliefs took a hairpin turn to the right midway through World War I , when he stopped decrying the war effort and began advocating for it. After World War I he began organizing fasci di combattimento —nationalist paramilitary forces known for wearing black shirts. In Mussolini and other fascist leaders organized a march on Rome with the intention of forcing the king to yield the government to Mussolini.