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.
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).
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 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.
The Fascists win 2% of the votes in the General Election
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.
After the Peace Conference in France, many Italians were disappointed as their great hopes of Italy's territorial gains after WW1 were not realized.
Mussolini forms paramilitary combat groups, Fasci Italiani di Combattimento, in Piazza San Sepolcro, Milan.
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.
Mussolini creates the National Fascist Party.
Fascists fights with Communists in the streets, the Fascists triumph with help from the government.
There is a general strike in Italy, which the Fascists help to end.
Mussolini leads a march on Rome
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.
The fascists reach Rome.
The Greek Island of Corfu is invaded by an order form Mussolini after an Italian minister was assassinated on Greek soil.
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 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.
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.
Mussolini, ruling by decree, censors the press and bans all meetings between members of opposing parties. All independent newspapers are forbidden.
Pope Pius XI dicontinues the support of the Fascists from the Catholic Popular Party
Mussolini holds a speech claiming the Fascists responsibility in the murder of Matteotti, at this point Mussolini is most certainly the dictator of Italy.
Women in Italy are prohibited for teaching history, Italian language and literature, philosophy, Latin and Greek.
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 gives himself power to issue decrees without the consent of the parliament.
Tribunale Speciale (a special court for political crimes) is created, all non-fascist parties and unions are banned and the death penalty is introduced.
New policies concerning demography makes taxes higher for all men and women without children.
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.
The Fascist win with 99% of the votes, being the only legal party in the country.
IRI (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Indusriale) allows the government to control all economic sectors.
Mussolini attacks the League of Nations.
Mussolini reveals his opposition of a unification between Germany and Austria.
Mussolini and Hitler have their first meeting in Venice.
An agreement between Italy and France allows Italy complete freedom of action in Ethiopia.
The colonial war between Italy and Ethopia reveals the League of Nations lack of control on Italy and protection of Ethiopia.
Italy, Japan and Germany signs the Anti-Comintern Pact, unifying the countries with the goal to crush the Soviet Union.
Le leggi razziali fasciste (The Fascist racial laws, a set of legislative and administrative measures) passed in Italy.
Italy declares possession of Tunisi, Gibuti and Corisca.
Mussolini declares Italy to be neutral when Germany invades Poland.
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, Britain's attempt to invade Greece fails.
Mussolini is overthrown but then reinstalled in Northern Italy by Germany.
Mussolini is executed during the last days of WWII by a group of Italian Communists in Giulino di Mezzegra, Italy.