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Growing up, Mussolini proved to be a difficult child. He was disobedient and had a quick temper. Twice he was expelled from school for assaulting fellow students with a penknife. Despite all the trouble he caused, however, Mussolini still managed to obtain a diploma and even worked for a short time as a school teacher.

Looking for better job opportunities, Mussolini moved to Switzerland in July There he worked a variety of odd jobs and spent his evenings attending local socialist party meetings. One of his jobs was working as a propagandist for a bricklayer trade union. Mussolini took a very aggressive stance, frequently advocated violence, and urged a general strike to create change, all of which led to him being arrested several times.

Between his turbulent work at the trade union during the day and his many speeches and discussions with socialists at night, Mussolini soon made enough of a name for himself in socialist circles that he began writing and editing several socialist newspapers. In , he lived for a short time in Austria working for a trade union. He wrote for a socialist newspaper and his attacks on militarism and nationalism resulted in his expulsion from the country.

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After he returned to Italy, Mussolini continued to advocate for socialism and develop his skills as an orator. He was forceful and authoritative, and while frequently wrong in their facts, his speeches were always compelling. His views and his oratory skills quickly brought him to the attention of his fellow socialists. In , the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand set off a chain of events that culminated in the start of World War I. On August 3, , the Italian government announced it would remain strictly neutral. Mussolini initially used his position as editor of Avanti!

However, his views of the war soon changed.

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On May 23, , the Italian government ordered the general mobilization of armed forces. Mussolini, accepting his call to the draft, reported for duty in Milan on August 31, , and was assigned to the 11th Regiment of the Bersaglieri a corps of sharpshooters. Mussolini was severely wounded, with more than 40 pieces of shrapnel embedded in his body.

After a long stay at a military hospital, he recovered from his injuries and was discharged from the Army. After the war, Mussolini, who had become decidedly anti-socialist, began to advocate for a strong central government in Italy.


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Soon he was also advocating for a dictator to lead that government. Mussolini wasn't the only one ready for a major change. World War I had left Italy in shambles and people were looking for a way to make the country strong again. A wave of nationalism swept across Italy and many people began to form local nationalist groups.

It was Mussolini who, on March 23, , personally assembled these groups into a single, national organization under his leadership.

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Mussolini called this new group Fasci di Combattimento the Fascist Party. Mussolini formed groups of marginalized ex-servicemen into squadristi. In the summer of , the Blackshirts made a punitive march through the provinces of Ravenna, Forli, and Ferrara in northern Italy. It was a night of terror; squads burned down the headquarters and homes of every member of both socialist and communist organizations.

Women, Italian Facism, and Culture

By September , the Blackshirts controlled most of northern Italy. On October 28, armed squads of Blackshirts marched on Rome. Although badly organized and poorly armed, the move left the parliamentary monarchy of King Victor Emmanuel III in confusion. Mussolini, who had stayed behind in Milan, received an offer from the king to form a coalition government.

Mussolini then proceeded to the capital supported by , men and wearing a black shirt. On October 31, , at the age of 39, Mussolini was sworn in as prime minister of Italy. After elections were held, Mussolini controlled enough seats in parliament to appoint himself Il Duce "the leader" of Italy. On January 3, , with the backing of his Fascist majority, Mussolini declared himself dictator of Italy.

For a decade, Italy prospered in peace. See details. See all 2 pre-owned listings. Buy It Now. Add to cart. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information Somewhere between Mussolini's stereotypes of woman as domestic model or degenerate intellectual lies the reality of feminist experience under the Italian Fascist state.


Eight essays by feminist and Italian scholars explore how women negotiated the Fascist ideology, and the issues of gender identity,. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Show More Show Less. Pre-owned Pre-owned.

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