Il Duce. Benito Mussolini. Image by

Il Duce. Benito Mussolini. Image by

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Dictatorship in Europe: Dictatorship in Italy: Benito Mussolini 

Post war Italy was chaotic and plagued by a lot of problems creating a fertile hotbed for the rise of Fascism and dictatorship under Benito Mussolini and his Black Shirts.

Post War problems

Economic Problems

  • High unemployment rate, inflation ( hyperinflation), high prices of goods, low wages, high cost of living, food shortages, low industrial output, war debts and land seizures by ex-soldiers.

Social Problems

  • Poverty, hunger, diseases and death, industrial actions like strikes, lawlessness including robbery and banditry, looting and property seizure, overpopulation, prostitution, homelessness and poor health facilities.

Political problems

  • Political instability as a result of too many political parties, political violence. weak governments, inefficient and corrupt civil servants, disappointment by the peace treaties, conflict between church and state and fear of communism and socialism especially by the capitalists.


  • Born Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini on 29 July 1883
  • He was a journalist
  • He later became a politician and the leader of the National Fascist Party ( Italian Partito Nazionale Fascista ) abbreviated PNF
  • He ruled as the Italy as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943
  • He ruled constitutionaly until 1925 when he established a legal dictatorship
  • He became known as Il Duce
  • He was the founder of Italian Fascism

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