Mussolini Timeline

  • Formation of an independent Italy

    Formation of an independent Italy
    1861, the Risorgimento movement fought against divisions within Italy, this movement’s goal was to achieve a politically unified Italy. Their goal was realized in 1861 when Italy became unified and independent.
  • Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy

    Papal States taken over by new nation of Italy
    In 1870 Papal States were incorporated into the now unified Italy. This resulted in hostility between the Catholic Church and the Italian Kingdom. This hostility lasted until the Lateran Treaty of 1929.
  • Failure of First Italo-Ethiopian War with the Battle of Adowa (Adwa)

    Failure of First Italo-Ethiopian War with the Battle of Adowa (Adwa)
    March 1, 1896. The Battle of Adowa was between the Ethiopian army and Italian forces. Italy’s defeat prevented them from expanding their empire. This was the first major defeat a European power had experienced in their attempts to colonize.
    Image: depicts the Battle of Adowa.
  • Italy invades and takes over Libya

    Italy invades and takes over Libya
    September 1911, Italy invaded Libya. Mussolini believed that the Italian race was superior to those of the Africans in Libya and that Italy needed to expand the size of its empire. In 1912 Turkey accepted that it had lost cotrol over its former colony of Libya.
  • Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti

    Mussolini begins work as editor for the Socialist Party newspaper Avanti
    1912 Mussolini became an editor of the socialist paper Avanti! In his articles, he expressed his approval for revolutionary violence.
  • Mussolini kicked out of Socialist Party for pro-nationalistic sentiments regarding WW I

    Mussolini kicked out of Socialist Party for pro-nationalistic sentiments regarding WW I
    November 1914, Mussolini set up Il Popolo d’Italia. He used this paper to express his support for Italy’s involvement in WWI. Soon after he set up this paper, he was kicked out of the socialist party for his pro-war ideology.
  • Treaty of London

    Treaty of London
    In May 1915 Italy signed the Treaty of London in large part because Italy was promised considerable amounts of land if it joined the war on the side of the Triple Entente. There had also been demonstrations on the streets of Italy pressuring the Italian government to join in the war.
    Image: Land in green was what was promised, land in red stripes is what was actually gained by Italy.
  • Beginning of Biennio Rosso

    Beginning of Biennio Rosso
    Biennio Rosso was known as the two red years. They lasted from 1919 to 1920. It consisted of strikes by workers. In some areas, socialists managed to take control of local governments. The government did little to prevent this and it convinced the middle and upper classes of the government’s ineffectiveness. Mussolini sent in action squads to help factory and landowners, this gained him support since he was seen to be acting when the government did not.
    This image shows the anger of the people.
  • Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan

    Fascio di Combattimento formed in Milan
    Founding members of this group are known as the Fascists of the First Hour. Their ideology was unclear, it consisted of left- and right-wing ideas and was intended to attract as wide a range of people as possible. What united these people more than anything was their shared opposition towards the current liberal state. This group had 70 establishments.
    ”fasci” stems from ”fascio”, meaning bundle. This shows the fascist idea of stronger together. This image was a symbol for the fascist party.
  • D’Annunzio takes Fiume

    D’Annunzio takes Fiume
    September 1919, D’Annunzio led 2000 armed men into Fiume and took the city. Fiume had been one of the places that Italy had hoped to gain from the peace treaties but did not. D’Annunzio maintained control in Fiume for 15 months and was seen as a hero by the Italian nationalists. D’Annunzio’s actions overshadowed those of Mussolini and Mussolini adopted some of the practices used by D’Annunzio, like the black shirts of D’Annunzio’s supporters, the Arditi.
    Image: picture of D'Annunzio
  • Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti

    Mussolini forms alliance with Giolitti
    May 1921, Giolitti and the fascists formed an anti-socialist National Bloc. Despite these efforts, the socialists still had the most seats after the May elections, but much to Mussolini’s pleasure, the fascists had won 7% of the vote and now had 35 seats. After this win for the fasciscts, Mussolini changed his mind and decided not to support Giolitti and his coalition government.
    Image: picture of Giolitti
  • Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and is elected its leader

    Mussolini forms the PNF (Fascist Party) and is elected its leader
    August 2nd Mussolini made the ras angry by signing The Pact of Pacification, a peace deal, with the socialists. In response to their anger, he left the Fascist Central Committee. Mussolini then reformed the Fasci di Combattimento into the Partito Nazionale Fascista (PNF) in October 1921. Then in November 1921, Mussolini was elected as leader of the PNF and in return ended the truce he had formed with the socialists. Mussolini now had clear power as the leader of an organized political party.
  • March on Rome and Mussolini becomes Prime Minister

    March on Rome and Mussolini becomes Prime Minister
    At this point the ras had power locally, but they wanted national power. They told Mussolini that they would be marching on Rome with or without him. To keep his support from the ras, Mussolini joined them. To calm things down the king offered Mussolini the post of prime minister. Mussolini accepted on 29 October 1922. Once the fascists and Mussolini actually got to Rome, Mussolini had already been offered the position of prime minister, so they celebrated.
    Image: depicts March on Rome.
  • Acerbo Law passed

    Acerbo Law passed
    July 1923. When told to by Mussolini, Giacomo Acerbo outlined a law which would allow whoever won the majority of the vote by at least 25% to take two thirds of the seats in parliament. This law was known as the Acerbo Law and it was designed to allow the fascist party to take control of the government in a legal manner. Mussolini intimidated deputies into passing the law by placing armed guards by the doors. The law was passed in July of 1923.
    Image: picture of Giacomo Acerbo
  • Corfu Incident

    Corfu Incident
    August 1923. This incident was triggered by the murder of an Italian general on Greek soil. Mussolini demanded 50 million lire from Greece as compensation for this murder, even though Greece was not at fault. In response to Greece’s initial refusal to pay, Mussolini had the Italian marines invade Greece’s island, Corfu. The Greek government then paid what Mussolini had demanded. Italians viewed Mussolini as a hero after this event.
    Image: this is a picture of the island of Corfu.
  • Matteotti Crisis

    Matteotti Crisis
    Matteotti was abducted on June 10th 1924, after speaking against fascist violence. Dumini’s fascist thugs were thought responsible, this decreased support for Mussolini. He had Dumini and his thugs arrested to gain support. Dumini was found guilty and was jailed, but newspapers started sharing evidence of Mussolini’s involvement in the murder. This hurt Mussolini’s reputation and decreased support for him and fascism.

    Image: picture of Matteotti’s body being carried out of the woods in Rome.
  • Aventine Secession

    Aventine Secession
    The Aventine Secession started with the kidnapping of socialist deputy Matteotti by Dumini’s fascists from Rome on June 10th, 1924. Dumini’s fascists were a group of fascist thugs led by Dumini. In order to show support for Matteotti, Mussolini ordered his arrest on June 15th, 1924. By August 18th Matteotti’s body was found and Dumini was found guilty of his murder. As time went on, links have been made connecting Mussolini to the murder. Image: An image of people marching to find Dumini.
  • Battle for Grain

    Battle for Grain
    The Battle for Grain was caused by poor harvests and increases in grain imports. Mussolini wanted to get Italian farmers to grow more cereals (especially wheat). Import controls were imposed and more land was made available to farm. Medals were awarded to the most productive farmers which increased production. This caused misallocation of resources which resulted in Italy having to import olive oil and exports of fruit, wine, and sheep dropping. Image: An image of the Battle for Grain
  • Locarno Treaty

    Locarno Treaty
    The Locarno Treaty was an agreement between Germany, Belgium, France, Britain, and Italy. In this agreement, Italy and Britain committed themselves to help repel any armed aggression across the frontier. The frontier consisting of France, Germany, and Belgium. Image: An image of the Locarno Treaty being written.
  • Battle for Land and Battle for Lira

    Battle for Land and Battle for Lira
    The Battle for the Lira wanted to restore the value of Italian currency abroad. This allowed Italy to keep importing coal and iron for armaments and ship building. Caused declining exports and thus, caused increasing unemployment. Car exports were hurt particularly bad. Also, it started a recession in Italy that was worsened by the Great Depression. Image: Italian currency during the Battle for Lira.
  • Battle for Births

    Battle for Births
    A way to increase Italy’s population and build a larger army to expand Italy’s empire. Mussolini wanted to increase Italy from 40 million people in 1927 to 60 million in 1950. This solved the problem of male unemployment, but women’s status was downgraded. Traditional gender roles were enforced and unemployment for women increased. Number of births dropped, and same-sex marriage, abortion, and divorce were outlawed. Image: Mussolini and his family setting an example for the Battle for Births.
  • Kellogg-Briand Treaty

    Kellogg-Briand Treaty
    The Kellogg-Briand Treaty was an agreement to eliminate war internationally. This is also called the Pact of Paris because of where it was signed. The agreement was between U.S Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand. Image: An image of the Kellogg-Briand Treaty being made.
  • Lateran Treaties

    Lateran Treaties
    A series of secret negotiations between fascists and senior Vatican officials. Ended the conflict and bitterness between the papacy and the Italian state since 1870. Accepted sovereignty over the Vatican state. State gave the pope 30 million Euros and government bonds as compensation for losing Rome. Roman Catholicism declared the official religion of Italy. Divorces could no longer happen without the agreement of the church. Image: An image of the Lateran Treaty being signed.
  • Abyssinian Crisis

    Abyssinian Crisis
    The Abyssinian Crisis started when Italy expanded territory in Africa by building the Wal Wal Fort in Abyssinian territory (modern day Ethiopia) in 1930. In 1934 troops tried to take control of the fort. Italy was in the neutral zone of the League of Nations which failed to stop Italian aggression. Britain even moved the fleet enabling its aggression. Image: A map of where the Abyssinian Crisis took place.
  • Stresa Front

    Stresa Front
    The Stresa Front was a coalition between Britain, France, and Italy to oppose the foreign policy of Hitler. They also wanted to resist any further attempts of Germany to change the Treaty of Versailles. The Stresa Front collapsed in June 1935 when Britain signed the Anglo-German Naval Agreement allowing Germany to increase its navy. Image: An image of the Stresa Front leaders meeting.
  • Italian Involvement in the Spanish Civil War

    Italian Involvement in the Spanish Civil War
    Italy joined the Spanish Civil War in support of the nationalist cause against the Second Spanish Republic. Mussolini joined to expand the fascist influence into the Mediterranean. The Royal Italian Navy played a large role in the Mediterranean blockade. Italy supplied artillery, machine guns, aircrafts, tankettes, and a total of 70,000 men. During 1938 Italian planes carried out most large-scale bombings. Image: An image of Italian soldiers in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty

    Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty
    The Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty was a coalition formed between Italy and Germany made by Italian foreign minister Galeazzi Ciano. This informally linked two fascist countries. This was formalized by the Pact of Steel in 1939. The Axis Powers came to include Japan as well. Image: An image of Italian and German leaders shaking hands after making the Rome-Berlin Axis Treaty.
  • Munich Conference

    Munich Conference
    The Munich Conference was a settlement between Britain, France, Germany, and Italy that allowed Germany to annex Sudetenland in western Czechoslovakia. This averted the outbreak of war. Image: An image of the Munich Conference while it was happening.
  • Italy Invades Albania

    Italy Invades Albania
    The Italian invasion of Albania was a brief military campaign as a result of Mussolini’s imperialistic policies. Albania was overrun, their ruler King Zog I was forced into exile in Greece, and the country was made part of Italy as a protectorate in personal union with the Italian Crown. Image: A map of Italy's invasion in Albania.
  • Italy Enters WW2 on Germany's Side

    Italy Enters WW2 on Germany's Side
    Italy entered World War 2 on Germany’s side with the intention of concentrating Italian forces on major offensives against British territory in Africa and the Middle East. When they joined, France was about to fall, and WW2 seemed over with Germany seeming guaranteed to win. Italy joined Germany hopping for territorial gains. Image: An image of Italian soldiers in WW2.
  • Mussolini Brought Down by Coup in WW2

    Mussolini Brought Down by Coup in WW2
    Mussolini was voted out of power by the Grand Council and arrested upon leaving a meeting with King Vittorior Emanuele after telling him the war was over. He was replaced by Marshal Pietro Badoglio who announced Italian surrender to the Allies on September 8th, 1943. Image: An image of the King walking with Mussolini.
  • Mussolini Killed

    Mussolini Killed
    Mussolini and his mistress were assassinated by communist led Italian partisans at Giulino 2 days before Hitler’s suicide. They also executed 15 other fascist leaders and ministers. They hung the bodies upside down outside a garage in Piazzale Loreto in Milan where partisans had been executed by Germans for resistance activities. Image: An image of Mussolini.