Why was Mussolini appointed Prime Minister of Italy in October 1922?

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                Sophie Morley L6.2

Why was Mussolini appointed Prime Minister of Italy in October 1922?

There is no straightforward answer to why Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy in October 1922; there is a network of reasons. The ultimate decision to who was appointed Prime Minister was the duty of the King’s.

His decision was based around the fear of the civil war if he had not signed Prime Minister Facta’s decree for martial law two days before Mussolini’s planned ‘March on Rome’. This was due to Mussolini and the Ras controlling much of Italy, emphasised by the huge mobilisation of squads in socialist areas at the end of July 1922 when the Alliance of Labour called a strike which had little support and lasted just 4 days. The March on Rome was planned on 16th October ’22 and was a clear sign of power and therefore threat to the collapsing government and King, success was hinted at by the massive rally of 40 000 fascists in Naples on the 24th. Many of the army generals were deeply involved with Fascism (which was symbolic of the governments support), leading to another main factor influencing the King, the growth of Fascist support and power.

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Fascism had strong appeals to many - nationalists, industrialists, the elite, the youth, braccianti and many more. It offered a physical and ruthless resistance to the socialist threat which anyone above working class favoured, because of their trade unions and strikes etc.  To many others it offered excitement and a chance at regaining national pride through unification, with its dynamic appeal of uniform and structure. Fascism eliminated their enemies with the main tactic being violence, and seemed the strong alternative to the weak government who shamed the country with their actions in the Mutilated Victory. The government lost further ...

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