Benito Mussolini

Italian politician and journalist who founded and led the National Fascist Party

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini KSMOM GCTE (29 July 1883 – 28 April 1945) was an Italian politician and journalist. He was also the Prime Minister of Italy from 1922 until 1943. He was the leader of the National Fascist Party.

Benito Mussolini
27th Prime Minister of Italy
In office
31 October 1922 – 25 July 1943
MonarchVictor Emmanuel III
Preceded byLuigi Facta
Succeeded byPietro Badoglio
Duce of the Italian Social Republic
In office
23 September 1943 – 25 April 1945
Duce of Fascism
In office
23 March 1919 – 28 April 1945
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
5 February 1943 – 25 July 1943
Preceded byGaleazzo Ciano
Succeeded byRaffaele Guariglia
In office
20 July 1932 – 9 June 1936
Preceded byDino Grandi
Succeeded byGaleazzo Ciano
In office
30 October 1922 – 12 September 1929
Preceded byCarlo Schanzer
Succeeded byDino Grandi
Minister of the Colonies
In office
20 November 1937 – 31 October 1939
Preceded byAlessandro Lessona
Succeeded byAttilio Teruzzi
In office
17 January 1935 – 11 June 1936
Preceded byEmilio De Bono
Succeeded byAlessandro Lessona
In office
18 December 1928 – 12 September 1929
Preceded byLuigi Federzoni
Succeeded byEmilio De Bono
Minister of War
In office
22 July 1933 – 25 July 1943
Preceded byPietro Gazzera
Succeeded byAntonio Sorice
In office
4 April 1925 – 12 September 1929
Preceded byAntonino Di Giorgio
Succeeded byPietro Gazzera
Minister of the Interior
In office
6 November 1926 – 25 July 1943
Preceded byLuigi Federzoni
Succeeded byBruno Fornaciari
In office
31 October 1922 – 17 June 1924
Preceded byPaolino Taddei
Succeeded byLuigi Federzoni
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
11 June 1921 – 2 August 1943
Personal details
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini

(1883-07-29)29 July 1883
Predappio, Kingdom of Italy
Died28 April 1945(1945-04-28) (aged 61)
Giulino di Mezzegra, Kingdom of Italy
Cause of deathExecution by firing squad
Resting placeSan Cassiano cemetery, Predappio, Italy
Political partyNational Fascist Party (1921–1943)
Other political
Height5' 6​12" (1.69 m)
RelativesMussolini family
ProfessionPolitician, journalist, novelist, teacher
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of Italy
Branch/service Royal Italian Army
Years of service1915–1917 (active)
Unit11th Bersaglieri Regiment

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

Benito Mussolini was named after Benito Juarez, a Mexican opponent of the political power of the Roman Catholic Church, by his anticlerical (a person who opposes the political interference of the Roman Catholic Church in secular affairs) father.[1] Mussolini's father was a blacksmith.[2] Before being involved in politics, Mussolini was a newspaper editor (where he learned all his propaganda skills) and elementary school teacher.[3]

At first, Mussolini was a socialist, but when he wanted Italy to join the First World War, he was thrown out of the socialist party. He 'invented' a new ideology, Fascism, much out of Nationalist and Conservative views.

Rise to power and becoming dictator Edit

In 1922, he took power by having a large group of men, "Black Shirts," march on Rome and threaten to take over the government. King Vittorio Emanuele III gave in, allowed him to form a government, and made him prime minister. In the following five years, he gained power, and in 1927 created the OVRA, his personal secret police force. Using the agency to arrest, scare, or murder people against his regime, Mussolini was dictator of Italy by the end of 1927. Only the King and his own Fascist party could challenge his power.

Fascism as practiced by Mussolini Edit

Mussolini's form of Fascism, "Italian Fascism"- unlike Nazism, the racist ideology that Adolf Hitler followed- was different and less destructive than Hitler's. Although a believer in the superiority of the Italian nation and national unity, Mussolini, unlike Hitler, is quoted "Race? It is a feeling, not a reality. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today".[4]

Mussolini wanted Italy to become a new Roman Empire. In 1923, he attacked the island of Corfu, and in 1924, he occupied the city state of Fiume. In 1935, he attacked the African country Abyssinia (now called Ethiopia). His forces occupied it in 1936. Italy was thrown out of the League of Nations because of this aggression. In 1939, he occupied the country Albania. In 1936, Mussolini signed an alliance with Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Germany.

Fall from power and death Edit

From left to right, you can see the lifeless bodies of the former communist politician Nicola Bombacci, the Duce Benito Mussolini, his faithful lover Clara Petacci, the minister Alessandro Pavolini and the renowned fascist politician Achille Starace, being exhibited in the Plaza Loreto in the city of Milan in 1945.

In 1940, he sent Italy into the Second World War on the side of the Axis countries. Mussolini attacked Greece, but he failed to conquer it. In 1943, the Allies landed in Southern Italy. The Fascist party and King Vittorio Emanuel III deposed Mussolini and put him in jail, but he was set free by the Germans, who made him ruler of the Italian Social Republic puppet state which was in a small part of Central Italy. When the war was almost over, Mussolini tried to escape to Switzerland with his mistress, Clara Petacci, but they were both captured and shot by partisans. Mussolini's dead body was hanged upside-down, together with his mistress and some of Mussolini's helpers, on a pole at a gas station in the village of Milan, which is near the border between Italy and Switzerland.

After death Edit

After the war, several Neo-Fascist movements have had success in Italy, the most important being the Movimento Sociale Italiano. His granddaughter Alessandra Mussolini has outspoken views similar to Fascism.

Sources Edit

  1. Brendon, Piers The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s Vintage Books 2000 page 128
  2. Mussolini, Benito (1998) My Rise and Fall Da Capo Press page 3
  3. Mussolini, Benito My Rise and Fall Da Capo Press 1998 pages 11-12
  4. Archived 2013-09-08 at the Wayback Machine 1941 book "Dictators and Democrats"

Other websites Edit