Benito Mussolini

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Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini full.png
Born 29 July 1883
Predappio, Forlì, Italy
Died 28 April 1945 (aged 61)
Giulino di Mezzegra, Italy
Nationality Italian
Known for Father of Fascism
Occupation politician, soldier, journalist

Party Republican Fascist Party (1943-1945)
National Fascist Party (1921-1943)
Italian Socialist Party (1901-1914)
Spouse Ida Dalser
Rachele Guidi

Term 31 October 1922 – 30 April 1945
Predecessor Luigi Facta
Successor Pietro Badoglio

Duce of the Italian Social Republic
Term 23 September 1943 – 25 April 1945

Benito Andrea Amilcare Mussolini (29 July 1883—28 April 1945) was an Italian statesman, soldier, journalist and revolutionary theorist who as leader of the National Fascist Party was Il Duce of Italy for almost two-decades, in his official role as Prime Minister and head-of-government under the king. He is credited as the father of fascism; a nationalist and heroic worldview, seeking national rebirth; emerging primarily from a national syndicalist and Nietzschean milieu in the period following the First World War. Mussolini jointly held the post First Marshal of the Empire with the king, controlling the military, as well as leader of the MVSN. Many Italians regard Mussolini as a profound national hero.[1][2]

Mussolini's governance was energetic and virile, gaining contemporary acclaim from across the spectrum. Compared to the liberalism which preceded it, the new government under the new system proved much more capable and successful at raising up the standard of the Italian nation with various domestic public works programs. Between the years 1924–1939, the fascists tamed the Pontine Marshes, improved job opportunities and public transport. Mussolini also solved the Roman Question by concluding the Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See. He acquired colonies in Africa and territories previously belonging to Venice.

During World War II, Mussolini and Italy under his governance entered on the side of Germany, becoming one of the Axis powers. After Italy had been invaded Mussolini was deposed by the Grand Council of Fascism and arrested, however he was rescued during the Gran Sasso raid. Following this he led the government of the Italian Social Republic in the north.

As the war came to a close, he tried to escape through Switzerland, but was, according to the "official" version, summarily executed by Italian communists. Various other theories regarding what happened have been proposed.

Background and personal life

Mussolini pictured in 1935 with his sons Bruno and Vittorio. These were a product of his long-lasting marriage to Rachele Guidi.

Mussolini was born in Predappio near Forlì in Romagna (midnorth of Italy). His father Alessandro Mussolini was a blacksmith and socialist activist.

Early career, soldier and political journalist

The national-syndicalists had developed a pro-war disposition, contrary to the pacifists in the Socialist Party. In 1915 Mussolini enlisted in the Italian army. He was wounded accidentally by the explosion of a mortar bomb in his trench in 1917. Archives show that MI5 briefly paid Mussolini for a year in 1917 to continue his support for Italy in the war on the side of the Allies.[3]

The Italian Revolution, birth of Fascism

On March 23, 1919, Mussolini in Milan, Piazza San Sepolcro, organized I Fasci Italiani da Combattimento.

March on Rome and the national Renaissance

Italian Empire, concordat and works programs

Second World War

Pact of Steel and declaration of war

Grandi betrayal, rescue and Salò

Death of Il Duce

Programme of San Sepolcro

In the programme of “Fasci di combattimento” (the original Fascist party, born in 1919 in Milan) [1] are many proposals for political and social reform that were not carried out during period of fascist rule of the Kingdom of Italy. They were later introduced in the Italian Social Republic by the Republican Fascist Party. It’s possible take into consideration an extract of the “San Sepolcro’s” text to make understand easier some of the original progressive proposals: § For the political problem: WE WANT: § 1. Universal suffrage with scrutiny of regional list, with proportional representation, vote and opportunity of election for women. § 2. The minimum age of electors cut down to 18 years; that for deputies cut down to 25 years. § 3. The abolition of the Senate. § 4. The summoning of a National Assembly for the duration of three years, whose first duty is to establish the form of the State’s costitution. § [...] § For the social problem: WE WANT: § 1. The promulgation of a State’s law which ratified for all jobs the legal day of eight hours of work. § 2. The minimum wage. § 3. The participation of delegates of workers to the technical functioning of industry. § [...] § 6. A necessary modification of the plan law of disability and oldness insurance cutting down the age limit, presently at 65 years, to 55 years. § For the military problem: WE WANT: § 1. The institution of a National Militia (with a brief training service) with exclusively defensive purposes. § [...] § For the financial problem: WE WANT: § 1. A strong and extraordinary levy on the progressive capital, which must be a true form of a partial expropriation of all richness. § 2. The attachment of all properties of the religious congregations and the abolition of all bishop-dioceses which constitute a huge expense for the Nation and a privilege for few people.

See also



  1. Italians salute Mussolini on the iPhone. (29 January 2010).
  2. Why do Italians still have a soft spot for Mussolini?. (24 May 2012).
  3. Mussolini worked for MI5 agents. BBC (14 October 2009).

External links