Rangel, Mark 1/26/18 Ms.Fink Benito Mussolini and Fascism Benito Mussolini was an Italian dictator who stood in power for the duration of WWII. He was born on July 29, 1883 in Predappio, Italy to Rosa Maltoni and Alessandro Mussolini. Benito had 2 siblings, Edvinge and Arnaldo Mussolini, who are both younger than him. He was a smart young man as a child, but he was untamed and ill-behaved, partly due to his father, who taught him socialistic ideology and a disrespect for those with more authority. In 1902, Benito traveled to Switzerland to spread the idea of socialism. He was later caught by the Swiss police and thrown out of the country. In 1904, Mussolini came home to Italy but he didn’t stop praising socialism. He got caught up with the law once again and was put in jail. After he was let out, he became the editor of a newspaper, which he would use to spread his ideas. One of those ideas was about World War I, which he did not support originally. He later changed his mind claiming that it could turn Italy into a stronger nation than before. Wanting that stronger nation, he enlisted and rose to the rank of corporal, but after being injured by a mortar, he was discharged and sent home. Because of all this, he was kicked out of the socialist organization. On March 23, 1919 Benito Mussolini founded the fascist political party of Italy, calling it the Fasci di Combattimento. Fascism is the extreme and strict nationalism of a nation that can, and often does, include eliminating other political parties and dictatorship. This party supported Italian nationalism, the idea that Italians are successors to the great Romans. Mussolini himself believed in this idea very much and wanted to see the nation grow into the glory of Ancient Rome. Exploiting the public anger from World War I, Mussolini used his paramilitary forces, the “Black Shirts”, to harass and assault his opponents and to help empower the fascist party. After bringing the country into chaos, he stated that he was the man to fix it. He was deemed worthy enough and given the title of prime minister in 1922. With his power, he eventually removed every democratic custom in the nation. In 1925 he rose higher in power and made himself the dictator of Italy. Benito however, was actually pretty popular with the people because he decreased unemployment. Mussolini wanted to exercise Italy’s military dominance so he ordered that Ethiopia be invaded. Like he commanded, Ethiopia was invaded due to the Italian’s superior weaponry and vehicles. After the invasion, he adopted Ethiopia as a part of his empire. All of Benito’s military achievements caught the eye of Germany’s Adolf Hitler, who wanted to make a diplomatic relationship between the two men and possibly their nations. In 1939 Mussolini lent aid to fascists in the Spanish Civil War just as Hitler did. On May 22 of that same year, a military alliance referred to as the “Pact of Steel” was signed by Italy and Germany. Just like Germany, Italy adopted laws discriminating Jews in Italy. In 1940, Italy decided to attack Greece, this plan had decent success at first but turned out to be a tougher fight than expected. Hitler even blamed his failed assault on Russia onto Italy’s “Idiotic campaign in Greece.” In 1942, Mussolini pleaded with Hitler to make a treaty with Russia and to focus on the Western Allies. Due to his denial and the Allies landing in Sicily, the king and the high command decided to overthrow Mussolini in 1943. Hitler rescued Mussolini with German troops and put him in command of northern Italy. After the 1945 German surrender in Italy, Benito tried to flee with his mistress, Clara Petacci, but was captured but insurgents who then shot them both. Mussolini’s death on April 28, 1945 is accepted to be a large role for Hitler’s suicide just two days later.