Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini rose to power during the end of World War I, where he was a leading proponent of fascism. Originally, he was a revolutionary socialist who forged the paramilitary fascist movement in Italy in 1919 and then became prime minister in 1922. With his military strategies and expenditures, he led the country in becoming powerful at certain point in his time. Let us take a look at Mussolini’s accomplishments.
He Created The Fascist Party In Italy And Eventually Made Himself Dictator Prior To World War II.
As an ardent socialist as a youth, Mussolini followed in his father’s political footsteps, but was expelled by the Socialist Party for supporting World War I. He then resumed his political activities, criticizing the government for weakness at the Treaty of Versailles, and organized several right-wing groups into a single force to form the Fascist Party in March 1919. Eventually making himself dictator, he led this movement to oppose social class discrimination and to support nationalist sentiments, hoping to raise the country to levels equivalent to its great Roman past. Along with this, he organized a para-military unit, known as the Black Shirts, who terrorized political opponents and helped increase Fascist influence. To his credit, he also carried out an extensive public works program and brought down unemployment levels, which made him very popular with his people.
He Made Italy a Pre-Dominant Country In The Mediterranean-Red Sea Region.
Following World War I, Mussolini decided his destiny to rule his country as a modern Caesar and to re-create the Roman Empire, forging the paramilitary fascist movement and using it to march on Rome, and then becoming prime minister and seizing dictatorial power. His military expenditures in Libya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Albania made Italy a pre-dominant country in the Mediterranean-Red Sea region.
He Made The Italian Military Strong.
Mussolini saw many achievements while leading his country in both governmental and military sense. In his efforts as prime minister, he conquered territories and seized power of other nations. With his military genius and his alliance with Adolf Hitler to try and turn Italy into a complete totalitarian state, he slowly made the Italian forces strong.
He Established a Relationship With German Dictator Adolf Hitler With The Pact Of Steel.
Impressed with the early military success of Italy, Hitler sought to establish a relationship with Mussolini, who was flattered by Hitler’s overtures, interpreting the recent military and diplomatic victories as evidence of his genius. In 1939, the Italy and Germany had signed the Pact of Steel military alliance, where Hitler influenced Mussolini to institute discrimination policies against the Jews. With the resources of Mussolini’s country stretched to capacity, many Italians believed that the alliance would provide time to regroup after they invaded Greece, but Hitler’s declaration of war against Great Britain and invasion of Poland forced Italy into war not fully prepared, which exposed weaknesses in its military at that time.
He Signed The Lateran Treaty Of 1929.
The Lateran Treaty was one of the Lateran Pacts or Lateran Accords of 1929, which encompassed agreements made between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See, which settled the Roman Question. Under Mussolini’s leadership and his fascist government, the Italian parliament ratified the treaty on the 7th of June 1929, despite the succeeding democratic governments all upholding it. With the treaty, the Vatican was recognized as an independent state, exempting some places from certain laws and taxes, as well as providing compensation for some of the territory it had previously lost, with Mussolini agreeing to give the church financial support in return for the Pope’s public support at the time. In 1947, the Lateran Pacts were incorporated into Italy’s democratic Constitution.
He Created Significant War Production For Germany.
After the victories of the Allies in November 1942, Mussolini implored Hitler to make peace with Joseph Stalin and focus on defeating the British-American forces. However, Hitler refused and invaded Sicily, which convinced the Italian King Victor Emmanuel III and the high command to overthrow Mussolini in July 1943. He was rescued by Hitler and installed as puppet dictator of Northern Italy in September of the same year, facilitating significant war production for Germany and creating large, ruthless fascist counterinsurgency forces.
He Successfully Invaded Ethiopia.
Determined to show the strength of his regime, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1935, with the ill-equipped Ethiopians not being able to match Italy’s modern planes and tanks. Mussolini then incorporated Ethiopia into the new Italian Empire, and in 1939, he sent support to Fascists in Spain in the Spanish Civil War to try and expand his influence.
He Became An Editor For The “Avanti!” Italian Daily Newspaper, Which Was The Official Voice Of The Italian Socialist Party.
In 1902, Mussolini moved to Switzerland to promote socialism, where he quickly gained a reputation for his remarkable rhetorical talents and magnetism. While he was engaging in political demonstrations, he caught the eye of Swiss authorities and was eventually expelled from the country. When he returned to Italy in 1904, he continued promoting a socialist agenda, and though he was imprisoned in a short period, he became editor of the Italian Socialist Party’s newspaper, “Avanti!”, upon his release, giving him a more effective means to expand his influence.
He Was a Schoolmaster.
Mussolini showed much intelligence during his youth, and his father instilled in him a passion for socialist politics and defiance against authority. Although he was expelled from several schools for defying school authorities, he eventually obtained a teaching certificate in 1901 and worked as a schoolmaster for a brief time.
When the Allies successfully took Italy out of the war, securing a beachhead in Sicily in 1942 and then marching up the Italian peninsula, the mounting pressure forced Mussolini to resign and get arrested. However, the Germans managed to rescue him, allowing him to move his government to Northern Italy, hoping to regain influence. But on the 4th of June 1944, the Allies liberated Rome and marched on to take control of the whole country. Though he attempted to escape with his mistress, he was captured by the Italian underground on the 27th of April 1945 and was executed the following day in Mezzegra.