Rise of Fascism in Italy


Mussolini editor of Avanti


It was during the biennio rosso and its militant actions Mussolini formed his political movement. After having been released form prison (imprisoned because of his efforts to provoke an revolt against the war in Libya), Mussolini was made editor of the Socialist party's newspaper Avanti, where he promoted revolutionary violence against the Liberal government.

Il popolo d'Italia


After the outbreak of WW1, Mussolini's political views changed dramatically as he was dissatisfaction with the Socialist party's neutral stance on the war. Instead he advocated for Italian involvement and his views became increasingly nationalist. When he got fired from the job as editor o Avanti he founded his own newspaper Il popolo d'Italia (the people of Italy).

Fasci di Azione Rivoluionaria


Whilst the Italian government underwent discussions concerning Italy's involvement in the war, interventionists formed Fasci di Azione Rivoluionaria, organizing street demonstrations in favor of Italy to join the war.

Italy joins the Triple Entente

May 1915

Italy had been part of the Triple Alliance since 1882, but were initially not involved in WW1. They decided to stay neutral since Austria had declared war on Serbia without informing Italy, hence had broken the terms of the alliance. However, the Liberals in power believed that because of their territorial ambitions in Europe, the best solution was to see which side would give Italy the best terms for joining the war. After having negotiated with the Triple Alliance in 1914-15, Italy's government realized that their ambitions would not be met in an alliance with Austria, hence decided to join the Triple Entente (consisting of France, Russia and Britain), who would meet their wishes. Thus, they signed the Treaty of London, promising to fight on the side of the Triple Entente.

General Election


The Fascists win 2% of the votes in the General Election

The red years

1919 - November 1920

In 1917 the Socialist party called for an overthrow of the Liberal govenrment in repsonse to the workers discontent with having their workload increased with the imposition of wartime discipline. The number of members in the Socialist party increased form around 50 000 in 1914 to over 200 000 in 1919. During the latter year the situation in Italy worsened and unemployment rose to 2 million, and the industrial workers' actions became increasingly violent. This continued til November of 1920, and became known as biennio rosso - the two red years.

Treaty of Versailles

10 February 1919

After the Peace Conference in France, many Italians were disappointed as their great hopes of Italy's territorial gains after WW1 were not realized.

Fasci Italiani di Combattimento

23 March 1919

Mussolini forms paramilitary combat groups, Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, in Piazza San Sepolcro, Milan.

Fascio di Combattimento in national election

May 1921

Mussolini tries to bring nationalists and socialists together and a combat group - Fascio di Combattimento - was founded in March of 1919, the founding members later became known as "Fasctists of the first hour". Though Fascio di Combattimento was establisehd in 70 differnet twons, Mussolini's group of violent agitators did not do well in the election. Mussolini himself only managed to secure 5 000 out of 270 000 votes in Milan. Two years later however, Fasci won 35 seats in the national election of 1921, thus the Fascists had gained respect and footing in national politics. From this point onward, Mussolini had great hopes to attain real power.

Fascist party created

4 November 1921

Mussolini creates the National Fascist Party.

Fascist conflicts

2 May 1922

Fascists fights with Communists in the streets, the Fascists triumph with help from the government.

General Strike in Italy

August 1922

There is a general strike in Italy, which the Fascists help to end.

March on Rome

October 22 1922

Mussolini leads a march on Rome

Mussolini Prime Minister of Italy

Approx. October 23 1922 - October 31 1922

Mussolini demands to be made Prime Minister of Italy. After the march on Rome, which Mussolini led, the King (Victor Emmanuel III) caves in to Mussolini's demands. Mussolini's fascist government is in coalition with right-hand liberals, Catholics and Nationalists.

Fascists reach Rome

October 30 1922

The fascists reach Rome.

Corfu incident


The Greek Island of Corfu is invaded by an order form Mussolini after an Italian minister was assassinated on Greek soil.

Milizia volontaria per la sicurezza nazionale, Consiglo del facsismo

January 2 1923

The Fascist "black shirts" (camice nere) is officially renamed as Milizia volontaria per la sicurezza nazionale (Voluntary militia for national security), Gran Consiglo del facsismo (fascist Grand Council) is founded

Mussolini constitutes new law

July 12 1923

Mussolini constitutes new law from the parliament which states that any party with 25% of the general election votes have the right to two thirds of the seats available in the Chamber of Deputies.

Mussolini occupies Fiume

January 1924

Murder of Giacome Matteotti

June 2 1924

Social Party leader Glacome Matteotti is murdered for his public objection against the Fascists excessive use of violence. The public's opinion of fascism instantly deteriorates as a result from this.

Censorship and banning of reunions

October 2 1924

Mussolini, ruling by decree, censors the press and bans all meetings between members of opposing parties. All independent newspapers are forbidden.

Catholic support withdrawed


Pope Pius XI dicontinues the support of the Fascists from the Catholic Popular Party

Speech by Mussolini

January 3 1925

Mussolini holds a speech claiming the Fascists responsibility in the murder of Matteotti, at this point Mussolini is most certainly the dictator of Italy.

Italian women forbidden to teach

September 2 1925

Women in Italy are prohibited for teaching history, Italian language and literature, philosophy, Latin and Greek.

Minstrel structure separated from the Head of Government

December 24 1925

A new law makes the King the only person able to hinder Mussolini's powers, as the position of the Head of Government is separable from the minister.

Mussolini to rule by decree

January 1926

Mussolini gives himself power to issue decrees without the consent of the parliament.

Creation of Tribunale Speciale

November 20 1926

Tribunale Speciale (a special court for political crimes) is created, all non-fascist parties and unions are banned and the death penalty is introduced.

Demographic policies

September 2 1927

New policies concerning demography makes taxes higher for all men and women without children.

Mussolini and the Pope of Pius XI


The Vatican requests Mussolini to make sure that his candidates in an upcoming referendum are "free from any tie with Freemasonry, with Judaism, and in short, with any of the anticlerical parties.". In order to get a Vatican endorsement Mussolini agrees to this.

Single party elections

March 24 1929

The Fascist win with 99% of the votes, being the only legal party in the country.


January 5 1933

IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Indusriale) allows the government to control all economic sectors.

Attack on the League of Nations

November 14 1933

Mussolini attacks the League of Nations.

Opposition of German and Austrian unification


Mussolini reveals his opposition of a unification between Germany and Austria.

Meeting between Hitler and Mussolini

January 4 1934

Mussolini and Hitler have their first meeting in Venice.

Italy and France

January 7 1935

An agreement between Italy and France allows Italy complete freedom of action in Ethiopia.

Invasion of Abyssinia

October 3 1935

The colonial war between Italy and Ethopia reveals the League of Nations lack of control on Italy and protection of Ethiopia.

Italy conquers Ethiopia

May 6 1936

Anti-Comintern Pact

November 1936

Italy, Japan and Germany signs the Anti-Comintern Pact, unifying the countries with the goal to crush the Soviet Union.

Italy leaves the League of Nations

December 11 1937

Manifesto della Razza

July 14 1938

Le leggi razziali fasciste (The Fascist racial laws, a set of legislative and administrative measures) passed in Italy.

Italian possesions

November 30 1938

Italy declares possession of Tunisi, Gibuti and Corisca.

Italy neutral

September 1939

Mussolini declares Italy to be neutral when Germany invades Poland.

Italy enters war


Italy enters the war as they see a German victory to be inevitable. Italy's invasion of Egypt fails, after collision with the British forces.

Italy declares war on France


Italy declares war on France, Britain's attempt to invade Greece fails.

Italy loses Abyssinia


Mussolini deposed


Mussolini is overthrown but then reinstalled in Northern Italy by Germany.

Mussolini executed

April 28 1945

Mussolini is executed during the last days of WWII by a group of Italian Communists in Giulino di Mezzegra, Italy.