Mussolini and the Birth of Fascism

Mussolini and the Birth of Fascism

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Mussolini and the Birth of Fascism


From an early age Mussolini had revolutionary ideas inherited from his
father, a blacksmith in Predappio, his rural Italian village. At
school Mussolini had always had a bulling and overbearing manner and
was from a young age, a leader rather than a follower. After a string
of failed jobs Mussolini travelled to Switzerland to study for a year
in poverty. Within a year of study Mussolini preached the need for
violent revolution. After his stay in Switzerland he became a
journalist and by 1910 was the editor of a small socialist weekly
paper in Forli, his home province. He was soon to be removed from this
post and but in gaol but his sheer determination was to lead him to
greater things.

After he was released from gaol in 1912, much like Hitler, Mussolini
became a frequently heard name within his party and it gained him
recognition for his past work. As a result he was appointed editor of
Avanti, the socialist parties national paper. His articles were
aggressive and passionate and he condoned the use of violence and
unruly behaviour amongst followers and made it plain revolution was a
necessary process.

During WWI, Mussolini resigned from Avanti and created a new paper
called Il Popolo d’Italia which campaigned for Italy to join the war.
His articles incited many riots and eventually the government was
forced, unwillingly, into war.

After being made to leave the army Mussolini took his post as editor
at his paper once again and condemned the government and its failings
in the war. He claimed that Italy needed a dictatorship and thought
that he was the man for the job. He wanted Italy to have a political
party, which promoted nationalism and social reform and appealed to
solders that no longer wanted to return to poverty in their homes. He
created a party called the combat group and, although they had little
in common, drew up a manifesto and aimed to take government.

Mussolini’s first attempt was to fail however government failings were

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to promote the growth of the fascists parties and within the space of
a year they were a force to be reckoned with.

Was Mussolini more interested in Leadership and Action rather than
politics?

Yes. Mussolini was in the position more for power then politics as he
wasn’t a particularly bright man to be deeply involved on the
political scene and preached the need for violent revolution for the
majority of his ‘political’ life. Most of his articles were only on
the need for violence rather than socialist ideas and manifestos, “His
journalism was aggressive…condoning the use of violence”. He felt that
rather than have to go through the lengthy process of politics he
would like to be a dictator and not have to confer his ideas or have
them turned down or questioned. He wanted action and as fast as he
could get it. He saw WWI as this opportunity and attacked the
government for its every fault rather than preach to people is
improved ideas. Mussolini was an extremist not a politician.
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