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On This Day… Mussolini Seizes Power

Written by: George Chittenden : 09 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 28th Oct, back in 1922 when Benito Mussolini and around 25,000 Fascist supporters marched on the city of Rome and Benito seized power. The tactic was risky because the fascist party were no match against the Italian army, however Mussolini had judged the situation well. When the Italian Prime Minister, Luigi Facta, asked the King to declare a state of martial law and allow the army to squash Mussolini and his followers, the King refused as he was worried that it would spark a civil war. The Prime Minister resigned, and it’s no surprise who stepped into his shoes.

Mussolini taking part in the march

Mussolini taking part in the march

The situation in Italy wasn’t great following WWI, and people were disappointed over Italy’s meagre gains from the peace settlement. This created a favourable environment for Mussolini’s rise to power. The march on Rome was planned on Oct 24th, and even though Mussolini joined the march at various stages to have his photograph taken and be seen marching shoulder-to-shoulder with his men, he didn’t enter the city with them.

Following the Prime Minister, Luigi Facta’s resignation King Emmanuel III asked Mussolini to form a government hoping to tame him by constitutional means. Mussolini became prime minister, therefore, in a more or less constitutional manner. Arriving on the express train from Milan, Mussolini quickly organised a triumphant parade for his followers to show the fascist party’s support for his rule.

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