Mussolini Comes into Power



In October tens of thousands of fascist supporters of Mussolini marched on Rome demanding power. The government of Premier Facta requested the implementation of martial law but King Emmanuel refused to sign the decree, leading to Facta's resignation. Emmanuel appointed Mussolini Prime Minister, and gave him dictatorial powers in an effort to restore order.

Benito Mussolini had been born in Dovia di Predappio. He had run away to Switzerland to avoid military service. In Switzerland, he became active in the Italian Socialist Party. When Italy offered amnesty to deserters, Mussolini returned there in 1904 and served two years in the military which was a condition of the pardon. He was active in the socialist party and organized protests against the Italian war in Libya. He was an active journalist and became the editor Socialist Party Newspaper Avanti, whose readership grew rapidly under his tutelage.

When World War I broke out, Mussolini supported the war. That put him in conflict many members of the party who opposed the war. He was soon expelled from the party.

He started a new newspaper called Il Popolo d’Italia which actively supported Italian intervention in the war. He abandoned socialism instead began advocating the certain elites run society. He volunteered for the army and participated in combat where he was injured. After leaving the military, he became an active advocate of an Italian form of fascism that combined the rule of the elite with a foreign policy that advocated vital space for Italy.

His ideology attracted supporters. Mussolini led them on a March on Rome. During the night between October 27 and 28th 30,000 black shirt supporters of Mussolini marched in Rome demanding that he be named Premier. When Prime Minister Luigi Facta resigned, King Victor Emmanuel III appointed Mussolini premier on October 3, 1922