Benito Mussolini

Who was Benito Mussolini? Benito Mussolini was the Fascist dictator of Italy. He was dictator from 1922 to 1943. Benito was five foot six inches, with black hair and eyes. He centralized all of the power of Italy in himself and on one else as the leader of the Fascist party and tried but failed to create an Italian Empire. Italy would eventually be in an alliance with the all powerful Germany.

Mussolini was born in Predappio, near Forli, in Romagna, a poverty stricken district of central Italy. He was born on July 9, 1883. His father was a blacksmith whoís name was Alessandro. His twenty five year old mother, Rosa was a school teacher. He slept on a straw mat with his younger brother, Arnaldo in a cubbyhole in the kitchen. Every Sunday he and his mother went to church in San Cassiano. When he was eight years old he spoke out in mass and was banned from the congregation. In revenge he climbed up a tree and throw rocks at the congregationís windows.

His mother enrolled him in a school conducted by Salesian Fathers in Faenza. He was beaten because of his non belief in God. He resented the system that divided the class into groups according to wealth, which he was at the bottom. These were the worst years of his life. After he threw a inkpot at a teacher, the father decided to expel him, but his mother convince them not too. In the summer of 1894 he stabbed another student with his pocket knife, and was kicked out of the school for good.

When he returned his father greeted his eleven year old son as a hero for what he had done. His mother enrolled him a Forli Seculas School, Forlimpopoli Secondary Modern Collage. He was in a brutal fist fight in which he was asked to leave.

In 1901, he qualified as an elementary school teacher. In 1902, he emigrated to Switzerland. He was unable to find a permanent job and he was arrested for vagrancy, he was expelled and returned to Italy to do military service. He joined a newspaper in the Austrian town of Trent in 1908 to 1909. At this time he wrote a novel, subsequently translated into English as The Cardinalís Mistress.

Expelled by the Austrians, he became the editor at Foil of a socialist newspaper, La Lotta Di Classe. In 1910, Mussolini became secretary of the local Socialist party at Forli. At this stage of his life his political beliefs was almost the opposite of what they later became. He boasted of being an anti-patriot. When Italy declared war on Turkey in 1911, he was imprisoned for his pacifist propaganda. Appointed editor of the official Socialist newspaper Avanti, he moved to Milan, where he established himself as the most forceful of all labor leaders of Italian Socialism. He believed that the Proletariat should unite, preparatory to seizing power. Some see this as the start of the Fascist movement.

When World War I broke out in 1914, Mussolini agreed with the Socialists that Italy should not join it. Only a class war was acceptable to him, and he threatened to lead a proletarian revolution if the government decided to fight. But several months later he unexpectedly changed his position on the war, leaving the Socialist party and his editorial spot.

In November 1914, he founded a new paper Il Popolo díItalia, and the prowar group Fasci díAzione Rivoluzionaria. He evidently hoped the war might lead to a collapse of society that would bring him to power. He was called up for military service, he was wounded in grenade practice in 1917 and returned to edit his paper.

Fascism became an organized political movement in march 1919 when Mussolini founded the Fasci de Combattimento. After failing in the 1919 elections, Mussolini at last entered parliament in 1921 as a right- wing member. When the Liberal governments of Giovanni Giolitti, Ivanoe Bonomi, and Luigi Facta failed to stop the spread of anarchy, Mussolini was invited by the king in October 1922, to form a government.

At varies times after 1922, Mussolini personally took over the ministries of the interior, of foreign affairs of the colonies and of the army and the other armed services. At first he was supported by the Liberals in parliament. With their help he introduced strict censorship and altered the methods of elections so that in 1925-1926 he was able to assume dictatorial powers and dissolve all other political parties.

By 1926, the Fascist leader had transformed the country into a single party, totalitarian regime. In his corporative state employers and workers were organized into party controlled groups representing different sectors of the economy. The system preserved capitalism and expanded social services, but abolished free trade unions and the right to strike. The Lateran Pacts with the Vatican ended a half century of fighting between church and state and proved to be long lasting.

Another enduring legacy of fascism was a system of industrial holding companies financed by the state. By adopting an aggressive policy, Mussolini defied the League of Nations and conquered Ethiopia in 1936.

He had to accept the German annexation of Austria in 1938, and the destroying of Czechoslovakia in 1939. At the Munich Conference in September 1938, he posed as a moderate working for peace in Europe. His axis with Germany was confirmed when he made the Pact of Steel with Hitler in May 1939. In April 1939, he occupied Albania after a brief war. Although he had preached for 15 years about the virtues of war and the military readiness of Italy to fight, his armed forces were completely unprepared when Hitlerís invasion of Poland led to World war II.

Benito Mussolini did not enter World War II until June 1940, when the German forces had already overrun France. Italy fought the British forces in Africa, invaded Greece, joined the Germans in destroying Yugoslavia, attacked the Soviet Union and declared war on the United States.

Following Italian defeats on all fronts and the Anglo-American landing in Sicily in 1943, most of Mussoliniís colleagues turned against him at a meeting of the Fascist Grand Council on July 25, 1943. This enabled the king to dismiss and arrest him.

When Mussolini heard that he had to surrender he said, "For once we can say Germany has stabbed Italy in the back! They have always treated us like slaves. And at the end, they betrayed me!" Il Duce thought up a master plan in which he would raise 300,000 men and go to Val Tellina. His was to be the last stand of Italy. Benedictine didnít think he could even raise three thousand men. Mussolini left for Val Tellina, but with only twelve men. Mussolini was taken to Germany with Claretta, his mistress. They were stopped by a Russian roadblock. They allowed the Germans to Proceed, but all Italians must stay. The Germans didnít care because they had already put him in a German Uniform.

The communist Audisio raised the gun to Mussolini. Mussolini opened his coat and said "shoot me in the chest." As Audisio pulled the trigger, Clara grabbed the barrel. She was shot in the chest. Then with the machine pistol Audisio shot Mussolini nine times and killed him. The two corps were taken to Milan. A women shot the body five times for her five murdered sons. People urinated on the face of Mussolini.

In my opinion Benito Mussolini is that he started out as a rebellious child, with no beliefs. He later developed into a talented man who got in trouble with the law. He started to form opinions on the government that would later take him to the top. At first his country loved him. He told them that he could bring Italy back to its glory days (Roman times). It took them a along time to realize that he was a bad military leader. Just like in the Roman times when Caesar was killed by his own people, so was Mussolini.