ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Dictatorship in Europe: Dictatorship in Italy: Benito Mussolini: The rise of Mussolini and the Fascists party
- Benito Mussolini was born in 1883 at Dovia and his mother was a school teacher.
- He was once a socialist journalist, teacher and a soldier.
- When Italy joined the First World War in 1925 Mussolini became a soldier.
- After the war in June 1919 Mussolini formed the Fascist party at a meeting held in Milan.
- The word Fascist was derived from the word fasces (a bundle of wooden sticks or an axe) carried by magistrates in the old Roman (Italian) Empire.
- This was a symbol of authority and power.
- The party’s name had links to the idea of force
- Soon after the First World War, Mussolini supported factory seizures by workers so he was hated by capitalists and property owners.
- Later on he opposed the seizure of property and land by workers and peasants thus gaining the support of property owners.
- The Fascists militia (The Voluntary Militia for National Security) put on black shirts and were thus referred to as the “Black shirts.”
- In May 1921 the Fascists won 34 seats on parliament.
- The Fascists used violent campaigns and in August 1922 they won more support when they crashed the general strike which had been organised by the Socialists.
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