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Mussolini and Matteotti Crisis - Essay Example

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Benito Mussolini, also known as 'Il Duce' or The Leader, is best known as ther dictator of Italy. Mussolini managed to work his way from being a bricklayer in Switzerland to the leader of the Italians for more than 20 years through the clever use of his personality and charisma, and his driving ambition in the midst of much political turmoil and subsequent fall at the behest of his own party is interesting study in itself…
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Mussolini and Matteotti Crisis
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Download file to see previous pages He was executed on April 28, 1945 in Milan, Italy when economic depression and military failures in World War II led to his ousting and subsequent persecution. (Benito Mussolini, 2003; Benito Mussolini, 2007; Benito Mussolini)
Mussolini began his political career when he became editor to Milan socialist paper "Avanti!" in 1911. A gifted orator and writer, Mussolini was brought to the notice of the socialist movement when he was arrested and imprisoned for leading demonstrators protesting the attack by the Italians on Libya. Under socialist concepts, war was merely a way for the rich to get richer at the expense of the common worker. Under his editorship, the newspaper gained popularity. (Benito Mussolini, 2007)
Five months into World War I, however, Mussolini had a change of attitude, regarding war as an opportunity, and for this the socialist party expelled him. In August 1915, Mussolini answered his country's call to arms. In 1917, a mortar bomb signalled his discharge from the army with the rank of corporal. (Benito Mussolini, 2007)
Mussolini developed a political ideology to tie in support of his group, later to be known as Fascism because he named the group Fasci di Combattimento or League for Combat. He was not the first to use the word fasci but his party was the most identified with it. (Rise of Mussolini: to 1922, 2006) World War I threw Italy into an economic crisis and the country was in turmoil. In response, Mussolini formed the National Fascist Party in 1919 and people looked to him to bring order into chaos. He formed the Black Shirt militia, officially the squadre d'azione but popularly described as armed thugs that used violence against all who opposed the Fascist party with special preference for socialist, communists and democrats, and little opposition from authorities. (Rise of Mussolini: to 1922, 2006) In 1921, Mussolini and 35 other fellow Fascists became members of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. (Benito Mussolini, 2003) This was partly due to a coalition Mussolini forged with then Prime Minister Gioletti, who sought to restore authority over the Italian citizenry, which he promptly broke as soon as he gained membership. (Rise of fascism in Italy under Mussolini, 2007)
The Pacification Pact between Mussolini and the socialists in Parliament was an attempt to forge an alliance, but this was strongly opposed by the radical members of the Party, the squadristi, especially by their leaders, the ras. Attempts to disband the squadristi failed and the pact was dissolved. (March on Rome, 2007)
The March on Rome and Military Loyalty
The ruling Leftist party initiated a general strike against the Fascists in August 1922, and Mussolini saw his opportunity for his party to grab power. Mussolini counted on the indecisiveness of the Italian government under Prime Minister Luigi Facta and the growing discontent of the citizenry to hedge his gamble. He threatened a march to Rome of 40,000 strong Black Shirts, ostensibly as an intervention necessary to uphold a weak government as solidified by its failure to the secure the Italian-speaking town of Fiume as due recognition for the contributions of Italy to World ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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