A fascist leader of Italy form 1922 to 1943, BENITO MUSSOLINI, centralized all of his power as the leader of the powerful fascist party and tried to make an Italian empire in coalition with the German dictator Adolph Hitler. The conquering of the Italian army in WW2 led to the end of his grand dream and the downfall of his empire. He was born in the town of Predappio close to Forli in Romagna in July 29 1883 to a Black smith name Alessandro and a School teacher Rosa. Just like his father, Mussolini became a keen socialist.
In 1901 he qualified as an elementary schoolmaster. The next year he migrated to Switzerland. There he was having difficulty in finding a stable job and was later arrested because of vagrancy, he was barred from Switzerland and was returned to his native land of Italy to serve in the Military. Due to some more trouble with the police, he started working in a newspaper in the town of Trento in Austria where he wrote a novel The Cardinal’s Mistress which was later translated into English. Socialist Associations
He was later barred by the Austrians too. He later became an editor of a socialist newspaper La Lotta di Classe (The Class struggle) in Forli. His early passion for Karl Marx was enhanced by a combination of ideas from the innovative policy of Auguste Blanqui, syndicalism of Georges Sorel and the thinking of Friedrich Nietzche. Benito later became a secretary of a local Socialist party in Forli in the year 1910. At this point of life, he had a political view totally opposite to what was to come later. He was antipatriotic.
In 1911 when Turkey was to be attacked by Italy, he was jailed for his propaganda of peace keeping. He was later editor of an official Socialist newspaper by the name of Avanti in Milan where he recognized himself as one of the most powerful labor leaders in the Italian communism. He had a viewpoint that the working class should unite into a formidable unit prepared to seize power at any time. From here on than the Fascist movement started. When the WW1 started in 1914, Benito along with other communists agreed that Italy should not be a part of it.
The only war acceptable to him was the Class war, and he threatened the government that he will lead a When World War I broke out in 1914; Mussolini agreed with the other Socialists that Italy should not join it. Only a class war was acceptable to him, and he threatened to be the leader of a People’s revolt against the government if Italy was a part of the WW1. After several months he suddenly changed his viewpoint on the war and decided to leave the editorial chair along with the socialist party. Birth of Fascism
He established a new paper in November of 1914 by the name of Popolo D Italia and prewar group Fascia d Azione Rivoluzionaria. He clearly hoped that the WW1 would result in the collapse of the Italian government which would gain him power. He was to serve in the military later where he was injured in a grenade practice and because of that he returned to his newspaper editing. In March 1919 Fascism developed into a planned political movement when Mussolini established the Fasci de Combattimento. He failed in the 1919 elections but later in 1921 he entered into the Parliament as a right wing member.
Armed squads were established by the Fascist to terrify Benito’s former communist co workers. The government rarely hampered the movement. He got support from the industrialists and in return he gave his support to strike breaking and later he deserted radical demonstrations. The moderate governments of Giovanni Giolitti, Luigi Facta and Ivanoe Bonomi failed to prevent the increase of chaos, Benito was asked by king in October of 1922 to establish a government. Fascist Dictatorship He was supported by the Liberals in the parliament.
With their support he initiated stringent censorship and changed the way elections were held in 1925-26 so that he had absolute power and could suspend all other political parties to work. As he had control over the press, he slowly made a legend of Duce, a human being capable of making everything right and had the ability to solve all the problems whether they are political or economic. Soon Italy became a police state. Whoever resisted him like Giacomo Matteotti did of the Socialist party he was very much cruel to them. He had a great skill in propaganda that he had very little opposition.
After 1922, many time he personally took over seven departments at the same time like foreign affairs, ministry of the corporations, Army and other armed service, public works, interior ministry along with the premiership. He was the leader of the Powerful Fascist party which was established in the 1921 and also was the leader of the Fascist armed Militia. This made him to be successful in keeping power in his own hands and averting the surfacing of any competitor. This all came at a price of making a government which was corrupt, over centralized and totally inefficient.
He spent most of his time on propaganda whether he was in Italy or some where else, here his training as a journalist was precious. Each and every mode of information was carefully monitored to create a fantasy that fascism was the main principle of the 20th century and was take the place of equality and freethinking. He wrote an article in which he laid down the principles of this policy which appeared in Encyclopedia Italiana in 1932. An agreement was signed in 1929 with the Vatican, which finally recognized the Italian State. His leadership finished the parliamentary system.
He rewrote the law codes. The teacher teaching in universities or schools were swearing on an oath to secure the regime of Fascist. Mussolini himself started choosing editors of the newspapers and no other editor could establish a newspaper without the permission of the Fascist party. Trade unions were not given total independence were included in what was called the corporative system. The main aim was to place all the Italian public in different organization and corporations which were professional but all under the rule of the government.
Mussolini had the idea of shifting the industries from public to private owners with the help of his financial backers. But later in 1930 he started moving back to the conflicting intensity of inflexible governmental control of industry. A huge sum of money was spent on different public works due to which the Italian economy suffered a great deal as he had placed so much money on the heavy industry to make Italy self sufficient but this was not possible as Italy was lacking numerous resources. Military Aggression
In his foreign policy Mussolini started shifting from a peace loving anti imperialism to a tremendous outline of violent self rule. In 1923 the bombing of Corfu is an example of his self rule. After setting up a dummy government in Albania and re capturing Libya, he had a dream of making the Mediterranean Sea Italian Sea. Later in 1935 he along with others established an anti Hitler policy at the Stresa Conference to protect the freedom of Austria. His successful battle against Ethiopia (than Abyssinia) was opposed by the League of Nations.
Because of this he made a deal with the Nazi Germany, which before had been introverted from the league. Any prospect of a settlement between Britain and France ended when took an active part in the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War and took the side of General Francisco Franco. After having to make a deal with the Germans, he had to accept the German capturing of Austria and Czechoslovakia’s dismemberment. In 1938 at the Munich Conference, he portrayed himself as a fair person functioning for peace in Europe.
His allegiance with Germany was later confirmed when in 1939 he made a Pact of Steel with Adolph Hitler. Being an inferior partner to the Germans, Benito followed the same racial policy as did the German’s did against the Jews. When World War 2 was coming nearer, Mussolini made his intention clear to conquer Tunisia, Malta and Corsica. He conquered Albania after a short war in 1939. He didn’t realize that by gaining more power he would have a power balance in Europe, instead he favored a policy pretending and threaten to persuade the Western powers to make way for his growing territorial demands.
He lectured for 15 years regarding the merits of war and the military keenness of Italy to battle, but his army was totally unprepared when the attack on Poland by Hitler led to the World War 2. He remained quite for a while until n unless he was sure who will win. He declared war in1940 after the collapse of France, thinking that the war will only last for a few weeks. He later attacked Greece which showed everyone that he was not prepared for a successful military machine. He had no alternative left but to pursue Hitler in announcing war on Russia and United States both in 1941.
After Italy was defeated all ends, and the landing of Anglo American in Sicily in 1943 led to many of Benito’s co workers to turn against him at a conference in Fascist Grand hall on July 25, 1943. This also led to the king dismissing him and ordered for his arrest. The Germans rescued him after a couple of months, after being rescued he set up a Republican Fascist state in north of Italy. Under the German’s he was not more than a dummy. Benito later returned to his ideas of collectivization and communism. He executed the Fascist leader who turned against him including his own son in law.
He blamed the Italian public for this although they had been supporting all along his colonial dream. When the Allied Armies reached Milan on April 27 in 1945, Benito along with his mistress Clara Petacci were captured by the Italian enthusiasts, when he was trying to flee into Switzerland. Assassination A day later, Benito and his mistress were both shot dead near a village of Dongo, along with his 15 colleagues, comprising of ministers and officials. The killings were conducted by Colonel Walter Audisio; he was given the order to kill Benito by the National Liberation Committee.
Later a witness by the name of Bruno Giovanni confessed that he had killed Benito and his mistress but these reports were never confirmed. After the killings, both the bodies were hanging upside down on meat hooks in Milan along with the fifteen colleagues killed, to confirm that the once mighty leader has been killed. This was to discourage the fighting by the fascists. The body was to become a thing of mockery and mistreatment by those who felt he was a cruel ruler. His body was later taken down and buried in an unmarked grave in Milan. Later his body was stolen but retrieved and brought to Predappio.
Here he was buried in his family vault. A large marble of himself sits on top of the tomb. He was survived by his wife, Rachel, two sons Romano and Vittorio and his daughter Edda, whose husband was killed by Benito. His third son was killed in an air incident. Bibliography • Benito Mussolini from Answers. com. Retrieved March 27, 2007. From http://www. answers. com/topic/benito-mussolini • Benito Mussolini from Wikipedia (2007). Retrieved on March 28, 2007. From http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini • Benito Mussolini Background. Retrieved on March 28, 2007.
From http://library. thinkquest. org/17120/data/bios/mussolini/background/backg1. html • Mussolini, Benito from BartleBy (2005). Retrieved on March 28, 2007. From http://www. bartleby. com/65/mu/Mussolin. html • Benito Mussolini. Retrieved on March 28, 2007. From http://www. info. tampere. fi/a/amuri/tyot/ilduce3. htm • Benito Mussolini from Spartacus Educational. Retrieved on March 28, 2007. From http://www. spartacus. schoolnet. co. uk/2WWmussolini. htm • Benito Mussolini. Retrieved on March 28, 2007. From http://www. moreorless. au. com/killers/mussolini. html