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  • Benito Mussolini was born to a poor family in Italy in 1883. His hostile and violent nature presented itself at an early age, when he was expelled various times from his schools for issues with aggression. Later on, he was arrested and imprisoned many times. 
  • Mussolini was quite intelligent, though, and his political views varied. At first, he fiercely opposed Italy’s intervention in World War 1, but soon after changed his mind, writing articles and making speeches violently in favor of war. He then created the birth cry of fascism and went to fight in the war.
  • Mussolini was a very persuasive speaker. His irresistible way of speaking, with so much feeling embedded in his words, caught the imagination of the crowd.
  • Mussolini began taking actions into his own hands. He threatened the government with a march on Rome, saying that this would only cease if he became a part of the government.
  • In October of 1922, Mussolini became the youngest prime minister in Italian history. He went on to obtain full dictatorial powers for a year, and subsequently secured his personal power through dishonest means. 
  • Many Italians welcomed his authority and were ready to submit to dictatorship, and some kind of order was restored to Italy. However, the costs of this order were staggering. Italy’s fragile economy turned into a one-party state. Free speech and opposition parties were crushed, and anyone who dared to object was killed. Secret police and spies watched over the population, who now lived with enormous social divisions.
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