Achieve Essay Research Paper Was Mussolini

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Achieve Essay, Research Paper Was Mussolini’s seizure of power due to his own skill or theincompetence of his opponents?On the 23 March 1919 after a series of Communist demonstrations,the almost forgotten Mussolini decided to attempt to revive hisFasci movement. A meeting was held in a hall in a Milan and wasattended by some fifty malcontents. From this seemingly small andinsignificant event the Fascio di Combattimento’ (Combat Group)was born. Initially, it would seem that the Fasci were destinedfor failure with none of their candidates (including Mussolini)winning a single seat in the 1919 elections. How was it that aparty with no clear programme, save a belief in action of somesort, became a ruling dictatorship little more than ten yearslater?By the end of 1919,

Mussolini possessed hardly more than 2% ofthe vote in Milan, less than 5000 votes against 170,000 for theSocialists. Was this a complete disaster? At the time it seemedso; the Socialists were so confident of their success that theystaged a mock funeral in Milan stopping outside Mussolini’s houseto invite him to attend the burial of his party. Incredibly, by 1921 the membership of this previously tiny groupwas to rival the size of the Socialists. How was this achieved?It was certainly by no easy means; Mussolini’s skill and luckplayed a vital role, but he was also helped by the seeminglyblind incompetence of his opponents. Mussolini’s path towards the top of Italian Government washindered by many forms of opposition. However, most of hisopposition came from the Government

and the rival Socialist (PSI)party. Soon after the summer of 1920 the Fascists and theiropposition inevitably clashed. The fact that Gioletti’sgovernment was faced with million workers sitting in infactories showed that Italy was a far from stable country in1920. Did an opportunity present itself for Mussolini to gainground over the Socialist opposition? If it did, Mussolinicertainly did not take it. He was still recovering from hisparty’s humiliating election defeat. Eventually the union leaders, evidently surprised by this sudden,spontaneous revolutionary outburst persuaded the workers to givein in return for higher wages. Although initially it would seemthat the workers had won, the strikes had sown the seeds of fearamongst Italy’s Socialist opposition. The overall

effect of thiswas that many of the opponents of Socialism joined Mussolini’s Fascist’ party. The Socialist party by causing the strike hadunwittingly played into Mussolini’s hands; although this was dueto their own incompetence and not the skill of Mussolini. Interestingly, they were later to make exactly the same mistakeagain. The fact that Mussolini’s party benefitted greatly by offeringaction, showed that political gains could be made from theweakness of the government and from the unrest of the country. It was at this point in 1921 that Gioletti began searching forallies against the Socialists. The Vatican had turned againsthim; This was mainly due to the government’s proposal to tax thebonds which were a main form of Church property at the time. As a result

Gioletti decided to use Fascist support against theSocialists. Why did Gioletti decide to use the Fascist’s supportto combat the Socialists, when there were many other safer waysof doing so? Principally, he believed that he could easilydominate Mussolini and once in power again he would discard the tougher elements’ among the Fascists. He made a grave mistakein believing this.In the winter of 1920-21, Mussolini organized his men into squadre d’azione’ (squads of action) headed by local leaders( ras’) like Balbo in Ferrara and Grandi in Bologna. Primarily,Mussolini’s clever planning was demonstrated by his success: Hisinitial campaign of violence against the Socialists led to 200dead and 800 wounded in the period between December 1920 and May1921. The government, in