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Benito Mussolini Benito Mussolini was born on July 29 1883 in Predappio The son of a blacksmith he was largely self-educated He became a schoolteacher and a socialist journalist in northern Italy In 1910 he married Rachele Guidi who bore his five children Mussolini was jailed in 1911 for his opposition to Italys war in Libya Soon after his release in 1912 he became editor of the socialist newspaper in Milan Avanti When WWI began in 1914 Mussolini advocated Italys entrance into the war on the allied side and was expelled from the socialist party He then started his own newspaper in Milan Il Popolo dItalia The People of Italy which later became the origin of the Fascist Movement In 1916 Mussolini enlisted in the military After his promotion to sergeant he was wounded and in 1917 he returned to his paper During the Chaos that Gripped Italy after the war Mussolinis influence grew swiftly Mussolini and other war veterans founded Fasci di Combattimento in March of 1919 This Nationalistic antisocialist movement attracted much of the lower middle class and took its name from the Fasces an ancient symbol of Roman discipline The Fascist movement grew rapidly in the 1920s spreading through the countryside where its Black Shirt Militia won support of the land owners and attacked peasant leagues of Socialist Supporters To take advantage of the opportunity Fascism shed its initial Republicanism gaining the support of the King and Army On October 28 1922 Mussolini led his Fascist March on Rome Mussolini was immediately invited to form the Italian Government by King Victor Emmanuel III Although Mussolini was given extraordinary powers to return order to Italy he governed constitutionally until 1924 after the violence of the 1924 elections resulting in the death of Socialist party deputy Giacomo Mattoetti Mussolini moved to suspend constitutional government and establish a totalitarian regime He proceeded in stages to establish a dictatorship by forbidding the parliament to
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