The Rise of Fascism

In 1919, in the midst of these unsettled conditions, Benito Mussolini, a former revolutionary socialist, founded a new movement called "Fascismo". Through a combination of shrewd political maneuvering and widespread violence perpetrated by Mussolini's Black Shirt squads, the Fascists gained increasing support. In October 1922, after the Fascists had marched on Rome, King Victor Emmanuel III named Mussolini prime minister. Within four years, Mussolini had become a dictator, destroying civil liberties, outlawing all other political parties, and imposing a totalitarian regime on the country by means of terror and constitutional subversion. Public works projects, propaganda, militarism, and the appearance of order gained Mussolini considerable prestige, and the Lateran Treaty with the papacy in 1929 gave the "duce" (as he was called) a wide measure of popularity.
Created: November 1996
Updated: 04/07/01
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