The ras wanted to make the transition from local to national power now that it had gained control of northern and central Italy. The opted for a coup after the recent general strike by the Socialists. In early October, pressured from the ras had increased as Mussolini struggled to contain them.
Balbo is said to have stated that the group intended to march on Rome with or without Mussolini and seize power. Mussolini agreed to organize the march in order to make the government concede and appease his followers.
According to the plan Mussolini had drawn, the Local action squads (ras) would be organized into a national militia which would take control of the major towns and cities in Northern and Central Italy. Then some 40,000 Fascists would converge on Rome. Town halls, railway stations and telephone exchanges across Italy were controlled by Fascist squads.
The prime minister, Luigi Facta persuaded the King to declare a state of emergency to stop the converging Fascist groups. The King refused to sign the papers declaring the state of emergency as he was scared that his cousin would replace him as he was a known Fascist supporter, was intimidated by the rise of communism and had lost faith in the Liberal gov't.
Facta resigned in protest.
28th October- King declares state emergency
29th October- Salandra advices the king to appoint Mussolini as Italian prime minister
30th October- Fascists converge on Rome
16th November 1922- Mussolini holds his first speech to the parliament where he proclaimed the strength of the Fascist party, his desire to create a strong and united Italy and requested emergency powers (as he still lacked majority vote) to diminish Italy's economic and political problems. He won enormous vote of confidence from ex-prime ministers and deputies.
Mussolini elects the Liberal Alberto de Stefani as minister of finance as he was considered a good economist.
In addition to this, de Stefani was a Liberalso his appointment was a way of Mussolini's assurance to the elites that Fascism posed no threat to them.
However, his policies favored big industries which upset the left-wing Fascists as they favored "the little man" while right-wingers wanted big businesses to fund the ideas of the party.
Creation of a Fascist Grand Council in December '22 as a supreme decision-making body within the Fascist Party to discuss proposals for gov't action.
The Fascist ministers in gov't made decisions-> passed on to the council for approval.
-January 1923, Mussolini persuaded the Fascist Grand Council to form the regional Facist action squads into a national Fascist militia funded by the gov't funds- reduction of Ras power.
The National Security Guards (MVSN) was to swear allegiance to him and not to the king.
Early 1923- Mussolini announced no measures to be taken against tax evasion (which was common with wealthy individuals and big companies). This won him their support. The small Nationalist Party (member of coalition gov¨t with links to big industries and army) merge with Fascists). This brings additional paramilitary forces to Fascists and confirms Mussolini's increasing shift to the right.
April-June - Mussolini enforces measures such as renouncing atheism, enfocring religious education, banning contraception and swearing in public to increase support from the Catholic sector. In April, he sacked all PPI ministers as pope Pius XI withdrew support from PPI. Conservative Catholics support Mussolini as the pope forces the PPI leaser. Luigi Sturzo to resign.
Acerbo law- was an electoral law outlined by Mussolini to give the party (or alliance) which won most votes two-thirds of the seats in parliament, provided they had at least 25% of votes cast. It was passed by a large majority in July 1923.
The Corfu incident- An Italian general was murdered in Greece while making maps of disputed area on behalf of the Conference of Ambassadors. Mussolini demanded that Greece pay 50 million lire as compensation and an official apology. The Greeks refused and Mussolini ordered the invasion of Italian marines to the Greek Island of Corfu. The Greek gov't paid even though no apology was made. Mussolini was forced to with ´draw his men and was made a national hero by many Italians.