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Why was Mussolini able to become a dictator in 1922?

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Why was Mussolini able to become a dictator in 1922? In modern times, the term "dictator" is generally used to describe a leader who holds an extraordinary amount of personal power. This was, to a certain extent Mussolini, though some do not think that he should be described as a dictator. Mussolini actually still had to answer to the King, who had the final say in important matters, and there were also religious borders to cross. In 1922, Mussolini came to power as Prime Minister of Italy. Italians believed that his position in office would not last for long, and that he would continue the coalition government and act well within normal constitutional limits until someone more radical was appointed. There is a debate to whether Mussolini's supposed dictatorship was actually planned, or whether the power he gained as Prime Minister gave him a thirst to gain greater control. ...read more.


Fascist labour syndicates also established exclusive negotiating rights in industrial and agricultural fields, which brought major areas of the economy under their control. The Liberals also supported Mussolini and had complete confidence in the new government. They also granted Mussolini emergency powers to rule by decree for 12 months, including the power to pass laws (the Acerbo Law) without consulting parliament. These laws proved to be a turning point in the parliamentary position of the Fascist party. The Catholic Party split over the issue of the Acerbo Law, due to the pressure of the Vatican, who saw the fascists as a great block against Communism, and also as an excuse to undermine the leadership of the Catholic Party, as some of the members had extreme left-wing sympathies. State authorities harassed Mussolini's opposition, mainly Socialist and Communist rebels, though there was a general acceptance of the dictatorship as most felt that the Acerbo Law gave more political stability and could not see the long term effects the law might have. ...read more.


This shows that Mussolini's party was more powerful than Mussolini and that he probably didn't have as much control over his party and the government than history implies. There were many reasons why Mussolini was able to become leader in 1922. He had little opposition but the main reason people supported him was because they were afraid of communist and socialist rule. Also, the King could have dismissed him but chose not to do so because he was also worried about the effects this might have on the government. I think that Mussolini's party controlled Italy and politics more than Mussolini himself because there was a common fear of their violence, especially after the Matteotti crisis. I think that Mussolini was a powerful leader, but I don't think he led a dictatorship because his part and the parliament did not fully respect him and sometimes did not stay inline. Francesca Eales KAA 20th October 2004 ...read more.

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