Benito Mussolini

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Benito Mussolini
Head of Government of Italy and
Duce of
Fascism
In office
24 December 1925 – 25 July 1943
Monarch Victor Emmanuel III
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Office abolished
27th Prime Minister of Italy
In office
31 October 1922 – 25 July 1943
Monarch Victor Emmanuel III
Preceded by Luigi Facta
Succeeded by Pietro Badoglio
Duce of the Italian Social Republic
In office
23 September 1943 – 25 April 1945
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Office abolished
First Marshal of the Empire
In office
30 March 1938 – 25 July 1943
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Office abolished
Personal details
Born Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini
29 July 1883(1883-07-29)
Predappio, Forlì
Kingdom of Italy
Died 28 April 1945(1945-04-28) (aged 61)
Giulino di Mezzegra, Como
Kingdom of Italy
Resting place San Cassiano cemetery, Predappio, Forlì, Italian Republic
Nationality Italian
Political party Republican Fascist Party
(1943–1945)
National Fascist Party
(1921–1943)
Italian Fasci of Combat
(1919–1921)
Fasci of Revolutionary Action
(1914–1919)
Autonomous Fasci of Revolutionary Action
(1914)
Italian Socialist Party
(1901–1914)
Spouse(s) Rachele Mussolini
Relations Ida Dalser
Margherita Sarfatti
Clara Petacci
Children Benito Albino Mussolini
Edda Mussolini
Vittorio Mussolini
Bruno Mussolini
Romano Mussolini
Anna Maria Mussolini
Profession Dictator, politician, journalist, novelist, teacher
Religion None (atheist)
Signature
Military service
Allegiance  Kingdom of Italy
 Italian Social Republic
Service/branch  Royal Italian Army
Years of service active: 1915–1917
Rank First Marshal of the Empire
Corporal
Unit 11th Bersaglieri Regiment
Battles/wars World War I
World War II

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

Biography[change | change source]

Early life[change | change source]

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 Socialist views.

Rise to power and becoming dictator[change | change source]

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[change | change source]

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[change | change source]

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 some of Mussolini's helpers, on a pole at a gas station in the village of Mezzegra, which is near the border between Italy and Switzerland.

After death[change | change source]

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[change | change source]

  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. http://www.kennethbillings.org/mussolini.html 1941 book "Dictators and Democrats"

Other websites[change | change source]