The Life and Death of Mussolini
Benito Mussolini was most notably a the Fascist leader of the Italian government from 1922 to 1943 and the leader of the National Fascist Party.
Mussolini was born in Dova di Predappio in July of 1883. As a young boy he was influenced by his father’s beliefs as a socialist who admired many Italian Nationalists. He later moved to Switzerland where he studied various philosophers and slowly became involved in the Italian Socialist movement. He returned to Italy and served in the military for two years.
He left Italy again and moved to Trento, where he worked for the labor party while also doing work for the Socialist party. He became a prominent member of the Socialist party but by WWI, he found himself with an opinion different form the other Socialists who felt that they should not be involved in the war.
Mussolini denounced socialism and took on a more nationalist stance, which eventually transformed into his fascist beliefs. He entered politics and created the Italian Combat Squad, which claimed to oppose social class discrimination but instead supported nationalist ideas like unity. He later founded the Fighting Fascists which gave him a seat in the Parliament in 1921.
By setting fixed general elections, he was able to maintain his position and eventually created a dictatorship. However, living standards declined for many Italians and while life was not getting better for these citizens, Mussolini did nothing to fit the situation.
Mussolini put the Italian nation through wars the Ethiopian War, Spain’s Civil War, finally World War II. He Joined Adolf Hitler and started to attack Jewish people in his own country. Towards the end of the 1930’s, Mussolini found himself with significantly less support.
Because of fear of being overshadowed by other political leaders of the world, Mussolini strived to continue his efforts in World War II, despite a lack of support from Italy’s citizens. His military suffered tremendous losses and defeats from European forces due to lack of food and supplies and lost his power in 1942. While Hitler helped him restore his position a year later, he still struggled through his plans of invasion and occupation as well as through a civil war between 1944 and 1945.
As the end of the war neared, Mussolini struggled to survive. He was arrested but was soon freed. As Allied forces came closer, he attempted to escape with his mistress to Switzerland. He was captured and the next day he was executed.