March on Rome

The March on Rome (Italian: Marcia su Roma) was an organized mass demonstration in October 1922, which resulted in Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista, or PNF) ascending to power in the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia). In late October 1922, Fascist Party leaders planned an insurrection, to take place on 28 October. When fascist troops entered Rome, Prime Minister Luigi Facta wished to declare a state of siege, but this was overruled by King Victor Emmanuel III. On the following day, 29 October 1922, the King appointed Mussolini as Prime Minister, thereby transferring political power to the fascists without armed conflict.[1][2]

March on Rome
March on Rome 1922 - Mussolini

Benito Mussolini and Fascist Blackshirts during the March
Date28–29 October 1922
Location
ActionBlackshirts assembled on the plain of the river Po and took position at strategic points. Armed fascist troops gathered outside Rome before marching into the city. The march precipitated the bloodless transfer of national political power to the fascists.
Result Fascist coup d'état, Benito Mussolini formed a new government
Belligerents
 Kingdom of Italy

National Fascist Party

Blackshirts
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Italy Luigi Facta
Kingdom of Italy Antonio Salandra
Benito Mussolini
Emilio De Bono
Italo Balbo
Cesare Maria De Vecchi
Michele Bianchi
Political support
Liberal and Socialist parties Military and the business class
Military support
Italian Police and Armed Forces 30,000 Militiamen

Context

In March 1919, Benito Mussolini founded the first "Italian Combat Leagues" (Fasci Italiani di Combattimento) at the beginning of the "two red years" (biennio rosso). He suffered a defeat in the election of November 1919 mainly due to Mussolini's attempt to "out-socialist the socialists" at the ballot box.[3] But in the general election of 1921, Mussolini was elected to Parliament.

The Fascists formed the Voluntary Militia for National Security (Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale) that became known as the 'Blackshirts' or 'Squadristi'. In August 1920, the militia was used to break the general strike which had started at the Alfa Romeo factory in Milan. In November 1920, after the assassination of Giulio Giordani (a right-wing municipal councillor in Bologna), the Blackshirts were active in violent suppression of the socialist movement (which included a strong anarcho-syndicalist component), especially in the Po Valley.

Trade unions were dissolved while left-wing mayors resigned. The fascists, included on Giovanni Giolitti's "National Union" lists at the May 1921 elections, then won 35 seats. Mussolini withdrew his support from Giolitti and his Italian Liberal Party (PLI) and attempted to work out a temporary truce with the Italian Socialist Party by signing a "Pact of Pacification" in summer 1921. This provoked protest with more radical members of the Fascist movement, the Squadristi and their leaders the Ras ("Dukes", from an Ethiopian term). In July 1921, Giolitti attempted without success to dissolve the squadristi. The contract with the socialists was nullified during the Third Fascist Congress on November 7–10, 1921, where Mussolini negotiated a nationalist program and renamed his political party the National Fascist Party, which boasted "2,200 fasci and 320,000 members" by late 1921.[4] In August, an anti-fascist general strike was triggered, but failed to rally the Italian People's Party (Partito Popolare Italiano) and was repressed by the fascists. A few days before the march, Mussolini consulted with the U.S. Ambassador Richard Washburn Child about whether the U.S. government would object to Fascist participation in a future Italian government. Child encouraged him to go ahead. When Mussolini learned that Prime Minister Luigi Facta had given Gabriele d'Annunzio the mission to organize a large demonstration on 4 November 1922 to celebrate the national victory during the war, he decided on the March to accelerate the process and sidestep any possible competition..

March

March on Rome 1922 - Alle porte di Roma
Fascists travelling towards Rome.

The quadrumvirs leading the Fascist Party, General Emilio De Bono, Italo Balbo (one of the most famous ras), Michele Bianchi and Cesare Maria de Vecchi, organized the March, while the Duce was waiting in Milan. He did not participate in the march, though he allowed pictures to be taken of him marching along with the Fascist marchers, and he comfortably went to Rome the next day.[5] Generals Gustavo Fara and Sante Ceccherini assisted to the preparations of the March of 18 October. Other organizers of the march included the Marquis Dino Perrone Compagni and Ulisse Igliori.

On 24 October 1922, Mussolini declared before 60,000 people at the Fascist Congress in Naples: "Our program is simple: we want to rule Italy."[6] Meanwhile, the Blackshirts, who had occupied the Po plain, took all strategic points of the country. On 26 October, the former prime minister Antonio Salandra warned current Prime Minister Luigi Facta that Mussolini was demanding his resignation and that he was preparing to march on Rome. However, Facta did not believe Salandra and thought that Mussolini would govern quietly at his side. To meet the threat posed by the bands of fascist troops now gathering outside Rome, Luigi Facta (who had resigned but continued to hold power) ordered a state of siege for Rome. Having had previous conversations with the King about the repression of fascist violence, he was sure the King would agree.[7] However, King Victor Emmanuel III refused to sign the military order.[8] On 29 October, the King handed power to Mussolini, who was supported by the military, the business class, and the right-wing.

The march itself was composed of fewer than 30,000 men, but the King in part feared a civil war since the squadristi had already taken control of the Po plain and most of the country, while Fascism was no longer seen as a threat to the establishment. Mussolini was asked to form his cabinet on 29 October 1922, while some 25,000 Blackshirts were parading in Rome. Mussolini thus legally reached power, in accordance with the Statuto Albertino, the Italian Constitution. The March on Rome was not the seizure of power which Fascism later celebrated but rather the precipitating force behind a transfer of power within the framework of the constitution. This transition was made possible by the surrender of public authorities in the face of fascist intimidation. Many business and financial leaders believed it would be possible to manipulate Mussolini, whose early speeches and policies emphasized free market and laissez faire economics.[9] This proved overly optimistic, as Mussolini's corporatist view stressed total state power over businesses as much as over individuals, via governing industry bodies ("corporations") controlled by the Fascist party, a model in which businesses retained the responsibilities of property, but few if any of the freedoms. By 1934 Mussolini claimed to have nationalized "three-fourths of the Italian economy, industrial and agricultural", more than any other nation except the Soviet Union.[10]

Mussolini pretended to be willing to take a subalternate ministry in a Giolitti or Salandra cabinet, but then demanded the presidency of the Council.[11] Fearing a conflict with the fascists, the ruling class thus handed power to Mussolini, who went on to install the dictatorship after the 10 June 1924 assassination of Giacomo Matteotti – who had finished writing The Fascisti Exposed: A Year of Fascist Domination – executed by Amerigo Dumini, leader of the Ceka, the secret police agency precursor to the OVRA.[12][13]

Other participants

See also

References

  • Carsten, Francis Ludwig (1982). The Rise of Fascism. University of California Press.
  • Cassells, Alan. Fascist Italy. Arlington Heights, IL: H. Davidson, 1985.
  • Gallo, Max. Mussolini's Italy: Twenty Years of the Fascist Era. New York: Macmillan, 1973.
  • Leeds, Christpher. Italy under Mussolini. Hove, East Sussex: Wayland, 1988 (1972).
  • Chiapello, Duccio. Marcia e contromarcia su Roma. Marcello Soleri e la resa dello Stato liberale. Rome: Aracne, 2012.
  • Gentile, Emilio. E fu subito regime. Il fascismo italiano e la marcia su Roma. Rome-Bari: Laterza, 2012.

Notes

  1. ^ Lyttelton, Adrian (2008). The Seizure of Power: Fascism in Italy, 1919–1929. New York: Routledge. pp. 75–77. ISBN 978-0-415-55394-0.
  2. ^ "March on Rome | Italian history". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-07-25.
  3. ^ Denis Mack Smith, Modern Italy: A Political History, University of Michigan Press (1997) p. 297
  4. ^ Charles F. Delzell, edit., Mediterranean Fascism 1919–1945, New York, NY, Walker and Company, 1971, p. 26
  5. ^ Morgan, Philip (1995). Italian Fascism 1919-1945. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan Press. p. 58. ISBN 0-333-53779-3.
  6. ^ Carsten (1982), p.62
  7. ^ Chiapello (2012), p.123
  8. ^ Carsten (1982), p.64
  9. ^ Carsten (1982), p.76
  10. ^ T Gianni Toniolo, editor, The Oxford Handbook of the Italian Economy Since Unification, Oxford University Press (2013) p. 59; Mussolini’s speech to the Chamber of Deputies on May 26, 1934
  11. ^ Lyttelton, Adrian (2009). The Seizure of Power: Fascism in Italy, 1919–1929. New York: Routledge. pp. 75–77. ISBN 978-0-415-55394-0.
  12. ^ Speech of 30 May 1924 the last speech of Matteotti, from it.wikisource
  13. ^ F. Andriola, Mussolini, prassi politica e rivoluzione sociale, Rome, 1981.

External links

1924 Italian general election

General elections were held in Italy on 6 April 1924. They were held under the Acerbo Law, which stated that the party with the largest share of the votes would automatically receive two-thirds of the seats in Parliament as long as they received over 25% of the vote. The National List of Benito Mussolini (an alliance with Catholics, liberals and conservatives) used intimidation tactics, resulting in a landslide victory and a subsequent two-thirds majority. This was the last multi-party election in Italy until 1946.

1946 Italian institutional referendum

An institutional referendum (Italian: referendum istituzionale, or referendum sulla forma istituzionale dello Stato) was held in Italy on 2 June 1946, a key event of Italian contemporary history. Until 1946, Italy had been a kingdom ruled by the House of Savoy, kings of Italy since the Risorgimento and previously rulers of Savoy. However, Benito Mussolini imposed fascism after the 28 October 1922 March on Rome, eventually engaging Italy in World War II alongside Nazi Germany. The popular referendum resulted in voters favouring the replacement of the monarchy with a republic. Monarchists had suspicions of fraud, but were never able to prove these. A Constituent Assembly was elected at the same time.

2nd Blackshirt Division (28 October)

The 2nd Blackshirt Division 28 Ottobre was an Italian Camicie Nere (Blackshirt) militia unit formed for the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.

It was named 28 ottobre (Italian for "28 October") in honor of the Fascist March on Rome (28 October 1922).

Benito Mussolini

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (Italian: [beˈniːto mussoˈliːni]; 29 July 1883 – 28 April 1945) was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy from his golpe in 1922 to 1943, and Duce of Fascism from 1919 to his execution in 1945 during the Italian civil war. As dictator of Italy and founder of fascism, Mussolini inspired several totalitarian rulers such as Adolf Hitler.A journalist and politician, Mussolini had been a leading member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) from 1910 to 1914, but was expelled from the PSI for advocating military intervention in World War I, in opposition to the party's stance on neutrality. Mussolini served in the Royal Italian Army during the war until he was wounded and discharged in 1917. Mussolini denounced the PSI, his views now centering on nationalism instead of socialism and later founded the fascist movement which came to oppose egalitarianism and class conflict, instead advocating "revolutionary nationalism" transcending class lines. Following the March on Rome in October 1922, Mussolini became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history until the appointment of Matteo Renzi in February 2014. After removing all political opposition through his secret police and outlawing labor strikes, Mussolini and his followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship. Within five years, Mussolini had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means and aspired to create a totalitarian state. In 1929, Mussolini signed the Lateran Treaty with the Vatican, ending decades of struggle between the Italian state and the Papacy, and recognized the independence of Vatican City.

Mussolini's foreign policy aimed to expand the sphere of influence of Italian fascism. In 1923, he began the "Pacification of Libya" and ordered the bombing of Corfu in retaliation for the murder of an Italian general. In 1936, Mussolini formed Italian East Africa (AOI) by merging Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia following the Abyssinian crisis and the Second Italo–Ethiopian War. In 1939, Italian forces occupied Albania. Between 1936 and 1939, Mussolini ordered the successful Italian military intervention in Spain in favor of Francisco Franco during the Spanish civil war. At the same time, Mussolini's Italy tried to avoid the outbreak of a second global war and took part in the Stresa front, the Lytton Report, the Treaty of Lausanne, the Four-Power Pact and the Munich Agreement. However, Italy distanced Britain and France by forming the axis powers with Germany and Japan. Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, resulting in declarations of war by France and the UK and the start of World War II.

On 10 June 1940—with the Fall of France imminent—Italy officially entered the war and occupied parts of south-east France, Corsica and Tunisia. Mussolini planned to concentrate Italian forces on a major offensive against the British Empire in Africa and the Middle East, while expecting the collapse of the UK in the European theatre. The Italians invaded Egypt, bombed Mandatory Palestine, and occupied British Somaliland with initial success. However, the British government refused to accept proposals for a peace that would involve accepting Axis victories in Eastern and Western Europe; plans for an invasion of the UK did not proceed and the war continued. In October 1940, Mussolini sent Italian forces into Greece, starting the Greco-Italian War. The British air force prevented the Italian invasion and allowed the Greeks to push the Italians back to Albania.The Balkan campaign was significantly prolonged until the definition of the Axis occupation of Greece and Yugoslavia. Furthermore, the German invasion of the Soviet Union and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour forced Mussolini to send an Italian army in Russia and declare war on the United States. Mussolini was aware that Italy, whose resources were reduced by the campaigns of the 1930s, was not ready for a long conflict against three superpowers but opted to remain in the conflict to not abandon the fascist imperial ambitions. In 1943, Italy suffered major disasters: by February the Red Army had completely destroyed the Italian Army in Russia; in May the Axis collapsed in North Africa despite previous Italian resistance at the second battle of El Alamein. On 9 July the Anglo-Americans invaded Sicily; and by the 16th it became clear the German summer offensive in the USSR had failed. As a consequence, early on 25 July, the Grand Council of Fascism passed a motion of no confidence for Mussolini; later that day the King dismissed him as head of government and had him placed in custody, appointing Pietro Badoglio to succeed him as Prime Minister.

After the king agreed the armistice with the allies, on 12 September 1943 Mussolini was rescued from captivity in the Gran Sasso raid by German paratroopers and Waffen-SS commandos led by Major Otto-Harald Mors. Adolf Hitler, after meeting with the rescued former dictator, then put Mussolini in charge of a puppet regime in northern Italy, the Italian Social Republic (Italian: Repubblica Sociale Italiana, RSI), informally known as the Salò Republic. In late April 1945, in the wake of near total defeat, Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci attempted to flee to Switzerland, but both were captured by Italian communist partisans and summarily executed by firing squad on 28 April 1945 near Lake Como. His body was then taken to Milan, where it was hung upside down at a service station to publicly confirm his demise.

Biennio Rosso

The Biennio Rosso (English: "Red Biennium" or "Two Red Years") was a two-year period, between 1919 and 1920, of intense social conflict in Italy, following the First World War. The revolutionary period was followed by the violent reaction of the Fascist blackshirts militia and eventually by the March on Rome of Benito Mussolini in 1922.

Caesar's Civil War

The Great Roman Civil War (49–45 BC), also known as Caesar's Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire. It began as a series of political and military confrontations, between Julius Caesar (100–44 BC), his political supporters (broadly known as Populares), and his legions, against the Optimates (or Boni), the politically conservative and socially traditionalist faction of the Roman Senate, who were supported by Pompey (106–48 BC) and his legions.Prior to the war, Caesar had served for eight years in the Gallic Wars. He and Pompey had, along with Marcus Licinius Crassus, established the First Triumvirate, through which they shared power over Rome. Caesar soon emerged as a champion of the common people, and advocated a variety of reforms. The Senate, fearful of Caesar, demanded that he relinquish command of his army. Caesar refused, and instead marched his army on Rome, which no Roman general was permitted to do. Pompey fled Rome and organized an army in the south of Italy to meet Caesar.

The war was a four-year-long politico-military struggle, fought in Italy, Illyria, Greece, Egypt, Africa, and Hispania. Pompey defeated Caesar in 48 BC at the Battle of Dyrrhachium, but was himself defeated much more decisively at the Battle of Pharsalus. The Optimates under Marcus Junius Brutus and Cicero surrendered after the battle, while others, including those under Cato the Younger and Metellus Scipio fought on. Pompey fled to Egypt and was killed upon arrival. Scipio was defeated in 46 BC at the Battle of Thapsus in North Africa. He and Cato committed suicide shortly after the battle. The following year, Caesar defeated the last of the Optimates in the Battle of Munda and became Dictator perpetuo (Dictator in perpetuity or Dictator for life) of Rome. The changes to Roman government concomitant to the war mostly eliminated the political traditions of the Roman Republic (509–27 BC) and led to the Roman Empire (27 BC–AD 476).

Italian Campaign (World War II)

The Italian Campaign of World War II consisted of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to 1945. The Joint Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ) was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre and it planned and led the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, followed in September by the invasion of the Italian mainland and the campaign in Italy until the surrender of the German Armed Forces in Italy in May 1945.

It is estimated that between September 1943 and April 1945, 60,000–70,000 Allied and 38,805–150,660 German soldiers died in Italy. The number of Allied casualties was about 320,000 and the German figure (excluding those involved in the final surrender) was over 330,000. Fascist Italy, prior to its collapse, suffered about 200,000 casualties, mostly POWs taken in the Allied invasion of Sicily, including more than 40,000 killed or missing. Over 150,000 Italian civilians died, as did 35,828 anti-Fascist partisans and some 35,000 troops of the Italian Social Republic.In the West, no other campaign cost more than Italy in terms of lives lost and wounds suffered by infantry forces of both sides, during bitter small-scale fighting around strongpoints at the Winter Line, the Anzio beachhead and the Gothic Line. The campaign ended when Army Group C surrendered unconditionally to the Allies on May 2, 1945, one week before the formal German Instrument of Surrender. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican, both surrounded by Italian territory, also suffered damage during the campaign.

Italian Nationalist Association

The Italian Nationalist Association (Associazione Nazionalista Italiana, ANI) was Italy's first nationalist political movement founded in 1910, under the influence of Italian nationalists such as Enrico Corradini and Giovanni Papini. Upon its formation, the ANI supported the repatriation of Austrian held Italian-populated lands to Italy and was willing to endorse war with Austria-Hungary to do so. The party had a paramilitary wing called the Blueshirts. The authoritarian nationalist faction of the ANI would be a major influence for the National Fascist Party of Benito Mussolini formed in 1921. In 1922 the ANI participated in the March on Rome, with an important role, but it was not completely aligned with Benito Mussolini' party. Nevertheless, the ANI merged into the Fascist Party in 1923.

Kingdom of Italy

The Kingdom of Italy (Italian: Regno d'Italia) was a state which existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946—when civil discontent led an institutional referendum to abandon the monarchy and form the modern Italian Republic. The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state.

Italy declared war on Austria in alliance with Prussia in 1866 and received the region of Veneto following their victory. Italian troops entered Rome in 1870, thereby ending more than one thousand years of Papal temporal power. Italy entered into a Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1882, following strong disagreements with France about the respective colonial expansions. However, even if relations with Berlin became very friendly, the alliance with Vienna remained purely formal as the Italians were keen to acquire Trentino and Trieste, corners of Austria-Hungary populated by Italians. So in 1915, Italy accepted the British invitation to join the Allied Powers, as the western powers promised territorial compensation (at the expense of Austria-Hungary) for participation that was more generous than Vienna's offer in exchange for Italian neutrality. Victory in the war gave Italy a permanent seat in the Council of the League of Nations.

"Fascist Italy" is the era of National Fascist Party government from 1922 to 1943 with Benito Mussolini as head of government. The fascists imposed totalitarian rule and crushed the political and intellectual opposition, while promoting economic modernization, traditional social values and a rapprochement with the Roman Catholic Church. According to Payne (1996), "[the] Fascist government passed through several relatively distinct phases". The first phase (1923–1925) was nominally a continuation of the parliamentary system, albeit with a "legally-organized executive dictatorship". Then came the second phase, "the construction of the Fascist dictatorship proper, from 1925 to 1929". The third phase, with less activism, was 1929 to 1934. The fourth phase, 1935–1940, was characterized by an aggressive foreign policy: war against Ethiopia, launched from Italian Eritrea and Italian Somaliland, which resulted in its annexation; confrontations with the League of Nations, leading to sanctions; growing economic autarky; and the signing of the Pact of Steel. The war itself (1940–1943) was the fifth phase with its disasters and defeats, while the rump Salò Government under German control was the final stage (1943–1945).Italy was an important member of the Axis powers in World War II, battling on several fronts with initial success. However, after the German-Italian defeat in Africa and Soviet Union and the subsequent Allied landings in Sicily, King Victor Emmanuel III placed Mussolini under arrest, and the Fascist Party in areas (south of Rome) controlled by the Allied invaders was shut down. The new government signed an armistice on September 1943. German forces immediately occupied northern Italy with Fascists' help, setting up the Italian Social Republic, a collaborationist puppet state still led by Mussolini and his Fascist loyalists. As a consequence, the country descended into civil war, with the Italian Co-belligerent Army and the resistance movement contended the Social Republic's forces and its German allies. Shortly after the war and the liberation of the country, civil discontent led to the institutional referendum on whether Italy would remain a monarchy or become a republic. Italians decided to abandon the monarchy and form the Italian Republic, the present-day Italian state.

Luigi Facta

Luigi Facta (16 November 1861 – 5 November 1930) was an Italian politician, journalist and last Prime Minister of Italy before the leadership of Benito Mussolini.

Facta was born in Pinerolo, Piedmont, Italy. He studied law and later became a journalist. He entered politics in 1892 when he was elected to the chamber of deputies for Pinerolo, a seat which he held for 30 years. Facta, a member of the Liberal Party, served as undersecretary of the justice and interior departments in the coalition cabinets for much of his time in Parliament. He was also finance minister from 1910 until 1914 and 1920 until 1921. At the outbreak of World War I, Facta supported neutrality for Italy, but then supported the war when Italy entered it. His son was killed in the war, and he said that he was proud to give a son to his country.

Facta was appointed Prime Minister in February 1922. At the time, Italy was in political turmoil, and was dealing with Mussolini's fascist insurgency. When Mussolini decided to march on Rome, Facta reacted and wanted to declare the martial law and send the army to stop Mussolini. Such a declaration needed to bear the monarch's signature before it could take effect. Facta always refused to explain the secret reasons that brought the King, Victor Emmanuel III, not to sign the declaration of emergency. The following day Facta and his government resigned to demonstrate they did not approve the King's decision. The King then requested that Mussolini come to Rome to form a new government.

In 1924, King Victor Emmanuel III named Facta senator.

Facta died in Pinerolo, Italy, in 1930 with the general population believing him to have been too feeble and faithful to the King to take a more active role in stopping Mussolini and the rise of Fascism.

March on Rome (film)

March on Rome (Italian: La marcia su Roma) is a 1962 comedy film by Dino Risi with Vittorio Gassman and Ugo Tognazzi, aimed at describing the March on Rome of Benito Mussolini's blackshirts from the point of view of two newly recruited, naïve blackshirts.

The movie's main theme is the gradual betrayal of all the promises of the National Fascist Party: the two gradually tick all the main points of the fascist program as described on a propaganda flyer every time they are contradicted by practice. In its early stages fascism was a radical republican movement, suspicious of large businesses, nobility and the Catholic Church (Mussolini himself had been a socialist earlier in his career, being cast out of the Italian Socialist Party when his nationalism grew more and more pronounced). When arriving in Rome, and having ticked them all off, they leave the fascist party in the moment of its victory.

My Autobiography (Mussolini)

My Autobiography is a book by Benito Mussolini. It is a dictated, narrative autobiography recounting the author's youth, his years as an agitator and journalist, his experiences in World War I, the formation and revolutionary struggles of the Fascist Party, the March on Rome, and his early years in power. It was first published in 1928; Richard Washburn Child, together with Luigi Barzini, Jr., served as the book's ghostwriter.

National Fascist Party

The National Fascist Party (Italian: Partito Nazionale Fascista, PNF) was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism (previously represented by groups known as Fasci). The party ruled Italy from 1922 when Fascists took power with the March on Rome to 1943, when Mussolini was deposed by the Grand Council of Fascism.

Preceding the PNF, Mussolini's first established political party was known as the Revolutionary Fascist Party (Partito Fascista Rivoluzionario, PFR), which was founded in 1915 according to Mussolini. After poor November 1919 election results, the PFR was eventually renamed the National Fascist Party during the Third Fascist Congress in Rome on 7–10 November 1921.The National Fascist Party was rooted in Italian nationalism and the desire to restore and expand Italian territories, which Italian Fascists deemed necessary for a nation to assert its superiority and strength and to avoid succumbing to decay. Italian Fascists claimed that modern Italy is the heir to ancient Rome and its legacy and historically supported the creation of an Italian Empire to provide spazio vitale ("living space") for colonization by Italian settlers and to establish control over the Mediterranean Sea.Fascists promoted a corporatist economic system whereby employer and employee syndicates are linked together in associations to collectively represent the nation's economic producers and work alongside the state to set national economic policy. This economic system intended to resolve class conflict through collaboration between the classes.Italian Fascism opposed liberalism, but did not seek a reactionary restoration of the pre-French Revolutionary world, which it considered to have been flawed, and not in line with a forward-looking direction on policy. It was opposed to Marxist socialism because of its typical opposition to nationalism, but was also opposed to the reactionary conservatism developed by Joseph de Maistre. It believed the success of Italian nationalism required respect for tradition and a clear sense of a shared past among the Italian people alongside a commitment to a modernized Italy.The National Fascist Party along with its successor, the Republican Fascist Party, are the only parties whose re-formation is banned by the Constitution of Italy: "It shall be forbidden to reorganize, under any form whatsoever, the dissolved fascist party".

Proletarian nation

Proletarian nation was a term used by 20th century Italian nationalist intellectuals such as Enrico Corradini and later adopted by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini to refer to Italy and other poorer countries that were subordinate to the Western imperialist powers. These powers were described by Mussolini as "plutocratic nations" (nazioni plutocratiche). Corradini associated the proletariat with the economic function of production and believed that the producers should be at the forefront of a new imperialist proletarian nation. Mussolini considered that the military struggles unfolding in Europe in the mid-20th century could have revolutionary consequences that could lead to an improvement in the position of Italy in comparison with the major imperialist powers such as Britain.

Nazism rejected the Marxist concept of internationalist class struggle, it identified "class struggle between nations" and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation while it identified Germany as a proletarian nation fighting against plutocratic nations.

Quadrumvirs

Quadrumvirs (Italian: quadrumviri) may refer to:

In ancient Rome, quadrumvirus was an elective post assigned to four citizens having police and jurisdiction power. They were elected by the Senate.

At the beginning of Italian Fascism, they were a group of four leaders that led Benito Mussolini's March on Rome in October 1922. They were all involved in the Fascist party under Mussolini and had been involved in politics and/or war for many years leading up to the Fascist dictatorship. They were:

Michele Bianchi, a revolutionary syndicalist leader

Emilio De Bono, a leading Italian General who had fought in World War I

Cesare Maria De Vecchi, a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, as well as a colonial administrator

Italo Balbo, a Blackshirt leader and leader of the Ferrara Fascist organisation and "heir apparent" to Mussolini's dictatorship

Sulla

Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; c. 138 BC – 78 BC), known commonly as Sulla, was a Roman general and statesman. He had the distinction of holding the office of consul twice, as well as reviving the dictatorship. Sulla was a skillful general, achieving numerous successes in wars against different opponents, both foreign and Roman. He was awarded a Grass Crown, the most prestigious Roman military honor, during the Social War.

Sulla's dictatorship came during a high point in the struggle between optimates and populares, the former seeking to maintain the Senate's oligarchy, and the latter espousing populism.

In a dispute over the eastern army command (initially awarded to Sulla by the Senate but withdrawn as a result of Gaius Marius's intrigues), Sulla marched on Rome in an unprecedented act and defeated Marius in battle. In 81 BC, after his second march on Rome, he revived the office of dictator, which had been inactive since the Second Punic War over a century before, and used his powers to enact a series of reforms to the Roman Constitution, meant to restore the primacy of the Senate and limit the power of the tribunes. Sulla's ascension was also marked by political purges in proscriptions. After seeking election to and holding a second consulship, he retired to private life and died shortly after.

Sulla's decision to seize power – ironically enabled by his rival's military reforms that bound the army's loyalty with the general rather than to Rome – permanently destabilized the Roman power structure. Later leaders like Julius Caesar would follow his precedent in attaining political power through force.

Sulla's first civil war

Sulla's first civil war was one of a series of civil wars in ancient Rome, between Gaius Marius and Sulla, between 88 and 87 BC. This was also the first in a succession of several internal conflicts, which eventually led to the dissolution of the Roman Republic and establishment of Julius Caesar as dictator.

Victor Emmanuel III of Italy

Victor Emmanuel III (Vittorio Emanuele Ferdinando Maria Gennaro di Savoia; Italian: Vittorio Emanuele III, Albanian: Viktor Emanueli III, Amharic: ቪክቶር ኢማንዌል, romanized: vīkitori īmawēli; 11 November 1869 – 28 December 1947) was the King of Italy from 29 July 1900 until his abdication on 9 May 1946. In addition, he held the thrones of Ethiopia and Albania as Emperor of Ethiopia (1936–1941) and King of the Albanians (1939–1943). During his reign of nearly 46 years, which began after the assassination of his father Umberto I, the Kingdom of Italy became involved in two world wars. His reign also encompassed the birth, rise, and fall of Italian Fascism and its regime.

During World War I, Victor Emmanuel III accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Paolo Boselli and named Vittorio Emanuele Orlando (the premier of victory) in his place. Following the March on Rome, he appointed Benito Mussolini as Prime Minister and later deposed him in 1943 during World War II.

Victor Emmanuel abdicated his throne in 1946 in favour of his son Umberto II, hoping to strengthen support for the monarchy against an ultimately successful referendum to abolish it. He then went into exile to Alexandria, Egypt, where he died and was buried the following year. His remains were returned in 2017 to rest in Italy, following an agreement between Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

He was also called by the Italians Sciaboletta ("little saber") due to his height of 1.53 m (5 ft 0 in), or Il Re soldato (The Soldier King) for having led his country during both the world wars.

Zoltán Böszörmény

Zoltán Böszörmény (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈzoltaːn ˈbøsørmeːni]; 5 January 1893-?) was a leading exponent of Fascism in Hungary before the Second World War.

The son of a bankrupt landowner, he initially worked a series of odd jobs, ranging from a labourer to a porter. He first flirted with politics in 1919 when he became involved in activity against Béla Kun, albeit on a very minor scale. Whilst studying at the University of Budapest he became leader of the state student movement and a supporter of Gyula Gömbös. Whilst at University he also became a poet, writing largely patriotic verses published by two agents who would later become involved in the organisation of his political movement.He formed the National Socialist Party of Work in 1931, and a meeting with Adolf Hitler that same year convinced him further of the benefits of Nazism. The group followed Hitler's lead closely, adopting the brown shirt and swastika whilst publishing the newspaper National Socialist. As the Scythe Cross, Böszörmény's movement grew to have some 20,000 followers at its peak, although Gömbös, fearing the growing power of the movement, suppressed it. As lead of the movement Böszörmény insisted on the title vezér or 'great leader' in imitation of Hitler's Führer. A word-for-word translation of the Nazi Party's National Socialist Program served as the founding document for the Scythe Cross.Despite government attention, Böszörmény managed to hold on to his power base in the Tisza, preaching a mixture of anti-Semitism and land reform. Böszörmény was certainly confident of his own abilities as a leader and thinker, writing in 1932 that "even among the giants of intellect I am a giant, a great Hungarian poet with a prophetic mission". Despite this supreme confidence Böszörmény was frustrated in his attempts to gain power, frequently attempting to contest by-elections but failing to gain the necessary recommendations for candidacy on all but one occasion (when he captured only a few hundred votes).He was impressed by Mussolini's March on Rome and planned to launch a similar coup on Budapest. Dressing his followers in second-hand uniforms, Böszörmény attempted to launch a revolution on 1 May 1936 but it was quickly put down and Böszörmény, who pleaded insanity at his subsequent trial, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. He escaped to Germany in 1938 and saw out the war there. He petitioned Mátyás Rákosi to allow him to return to Hungary in 1945 as a member of the Hungarian Communist Party, although permission was denied and he is believed to have died in Germany.

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