Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini biography
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Benito Mussolini biography

Benito Mussolini (July 29, 1883 – April 28, 1945), Italian political leader. His full name is Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, was born in the town of Dovia di Predappio, Italy. Coming from a humble family, his father was a blacksmith and his mother a school teacher, Benito was a teacher for a short period, because he decided to redirect his life towards politics. During his youth, he lived in Switzerland and Austria, where he was characterized by his active participation in various socialist movements, such as the Socialist Party, which resulted in the expulsion of Switzerland.

From those moments he already showed his tendency to radicalism. In 1910, he was editor of the weekly La Lotta di Classe and was also secretary of the Provincial Federation of Forli. This faction won the victory in the socialist congress of Reggio nell’Emilia in 1912, making its name more politically relevant. Subsequently, he served as director of the newspaper Avanti, this was used exclusively to spread the news about the Socialist Party. Having such radical tendencies, Mussolini was excluded from the newspaper. Then, he decided to found a newspaper with an ultra-nationalist tendency, Il Popolo d’Italia.

His political and ideological convictions expressed a strong change. It happened to be a strong opponent of the war of Libya and the participation of Italy in the Great War to openly defend a warlike stance, he enlisted in the Italian army for two years, and attacked, through his newspaper, to the left Italian, blaming them for the strong situation faced by Italy at the end of the first decade of the century, with the crisis of the liberal democracies. As a result, he was expelled from the Socialist Party. His ideological change was a contribution to the birth of the phenomenon of totalitarianism, his first manifestation was the creation in 1919 of a violent group called Fasci di Combattimento, they acted, almost with total impunity, against militants of the left.

Because of the collective frustration after the unsuccessful sacrifices of the Great War, which generated the general discredit of the parliamentary regime, the economic crisis and a marked situation of social conflict, by the growing labor and peasant movement, which disturbed the wealthy classes, fearful of the social revolution; the fascists rose up against democracy and the class struggle. Opposed sharply to liberalism and Marxism, advocated national solidarity and presented themselves as defenders of the values ​​of the fatherland, law, and order violently confronted the Italian left.

“The proletariat is not willing to fight in a war of aggression and conquest after which it will simply remain as poor and exploited as before.” Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini managed to win the favor of the great proprietors and for 1921 he held the post of deputy. After this moment began the so-called March on Rome, in a coordinated act, thousands of fascists came together in the capital. The prime minister, Luigi Facta, declared the site stadium and then resigned. King Víctor Manuel III, before the serious situation had to sign the appointment of Benito Mussolini as prime minister in 1922. Shortly after assuming office, he showed his totalitarian character, when he eradicated any opposition and established an effective propaganda program official; He persuaded the population and generated amazing credibility of his political figure.

Fascism as the highest exponent of the conservative order escalated in power with the support of the agricultural landowners was able to defend the national bourgeoisie from the democratic dangers represented by the socialists, with its communist faction. At the end of that year, the meeting of the Fascist Grand Council took place, there it planned the strengthening of the party, as a strategy the extreme anticlericalism was diminished with gestures of approach to Catholicism and the Holy See. Over time, established the Volunteer Militias for National Security, a force that used violence and terrorism to boost the election campaign of April 1924, in which the recent National Fascist Party won 69% of the votes cast.

With this victory Mussolini emerged as the only power, using political violence, annihilating any form of opposition and establishing a dictatorial regime. In addition, the Law for the Defense of the State was issued in November 1926, in which the death penalty was pronounced on anyone who attempted the life of the King or the Head of State. Although not only the violence and the ways of fact were developed by fascism; a rhetoric was developed based on nationalism and the cult of power, hierarchy, and personality of the Duce (title adopted by Mussolini); militarism and colonialist expansionism; xenophobia and Exaltation of a glorious past traced back to the Roman Empire, Romanity was born as a civilizing idea.

Another of the political projects of Benito Mussolini was the suppression of the right to strike and the unions, forcing them to lose individual rights and to join the official corporate organizations, granting all control to the State. Work, economic life and even leisure were regulated by the government, to carry out this work they used the paramilitarization of society, mass propaganda acts, control of the media and education soaked in a fascist doctrine. Thanks to this a psychological euphoria was created, a large part of the Italian people was convinced that their country was experiencing a national rebirth. Taking advantage of this feeling, Benito Mussolini recovered old expansionist projects, such as the conquest of current Ethiopia between 1935-1936 and the annexation of Albania in 1939. The African area was considered by the Duce as a natural zone of expansion and strategic nexus between the colonies Italians from Eritrea and Somalia.

Benito Mussolini approached Nazism, with Adolf Hitler coming to power in Germany. Between both leaders, there was mutual admiration. For this reason, a treaty of friendship was signed in 1936, then the alliance between Rome and Berlin was firmly established in the Pact of Steel (1939). As a joint project, the two leaders gave military support to General Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War, the preamble of the world conflagration. With the outbreak of World War II, Mussolini reaffirmed his pact with Hitler, declaring war on the allies. However, he had to experience the defeat of his illusory army in Greece, Libya, and East Africa, as well as the subsequent advance of the Allied troops who had landed on the island of Sicily, with the purpose of invading Italy. This serious situation caused the Grand Fascist Council to dismiss Benito Mussolini on July 25, 1943. Then, Víctor Manuel III ordered his arrest and imprisonment.

Mussolini was released thanks to the help of Hitler. Benito Mussolini created a fascist republic in the territories controlled by Germany in northern Italy, which he named the Republic of Saló. In the trials of Verona, this Italian dictator condemned and executed the members of the Grand Fascist Council related to his dismissal, including his own son-in-law, Galeazzo Ciano. Before the advance of the allies it undertook the flight along with his wife Clara Petacci towards Switzerland; He tried to cross the border camouflaged as a German officer, but he did not manage to be discovered by members of the Resistance. On April 28, 1945, he was shot with his partner; their corpses were exposed to public derision in the Loreto square in Milan.

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