The first strengthened work, of the future Maginot Line, is put in building site vis-a-vis Italy, in 1929, in Rimplas (department of the Alps Maritimes). By this act, in military matter, France answers then certain provocations emanating of a growing Fascism.

This document recalls this advent of the Fascism which will worry France of between two wars.

1919: Mutilated victory

Although Italy belongs to the four victorious great powers, its old allies do not respect the treaty of London and thus mutilate the Italian victory

The treaty of London is not any more topicality

Italy belongs to the four victorious great powers: France, Great Britain, Italy and the USA (In 1917 the USA entered the conflict and Russia withdrew itself some, following the Soviet revolution).

On January 8, 1918 the president of the USA, Wilson, had established a program called “message of the fourteen points”, bases political and economic reorganization world. The “principle of nationalities” provided there that the new borders would be traced according to clearly recognizable lines between nationalities. The existence of these “lines” was, obviously, only pure Utopia but the base of agreement proposed by Wilson had been accepted by all the belligerents and it is while resting on it that was created, inter alia, Yugoslavia.

In order to establish state of a solid and lasting peace, the Conference of Peace from January 18, 1919 meets in Versailles. Although 32 states are accounted for there the four victorious great powers assume the privilege of all there régenter.

The chief of the Italian government, Orlando, request thus so that the treaty of London is applied and that is added with the clauses of the treaty the annexation of the port of Fiume, populated as a majority of Italian.

He obtains Trentin and the Tyrol to the collar of Brenner, although this last area is of German language, but in connection with the Adriatique coast and of Fiume he essuie a categorical refusal on behalf of the allies. The latter being based on the “14 points of Wilson” assign the coast to the Yugoslavia news and, considering that Fiume constituted a “natural” outlet of Yugoslavia refuse to satisfy the Italian claim. In all Italy the nationalists express in connection with the “mutilated victory”.

Beginnings of the fascistic movement

In January 1919 gives it political Italian changes very quickly: gift Luigi Sturzo (sicilian priest) founds a new Christian democratic party (Italian Popular party) which competes with the ideas socialist and prosperous at high speed; the war veterans create a little everywhere associations of arditi without relationship with Mussolini; the strong man of the nationalist ideology is the poet and war veteran of Annunzio, national hero.

Also the audience of Mussolini is it extremely reduced in the population, although in its newspaper he speaks “about humiliation” and claims the annexation of Fiume and Dalmatie. On March 23, surrounded by a hundred people it creates in Milan the first “fascio italiano di combatimento” (Italian Beam of combat). This new movement is heterogeneous, moreover Mussolini proclaims it with pride:

We allow ourselves the luxury to be democratic aristocrats and, to be preserving and progressists, to be revolutionists and preserving, to be legalists and illegal at the same time, according to the circumstances, time and the place where we are constrained to act.

As of its creation its members adopt the black shirt like uniform.

The Socialists are, seems it, among the first to give one (perhaps too large) importance to this new movement whose impact is then very modest and, indirectly, médiatisent it quickly. Indeed, on April 15, 1919 they move in force (20000 person) towards its seat which is also that of the newspaper “it Popolo d' Italia” with an aim proclaimed to put fire at it and to hang Mussolini. Some fascists, armed, sink on the procession and disperse it. Then, in reprisals, they will put fire at the seat of the socialist newspaper “Avanti”. The police force does not intervene. The strong manner, even with few individuals, comes to show his effectiveness.

The Orlando government is reversed

The shortly after the victory present, on the economic plan, Italy strongly weakened by the war. Its merchant navy, for example, lost 60% of its capacity and the lack of raw materials, imported primarily by sea route, supports foreign competition. The reconversion of the industry of war in civil industry costs very dear gold Italy has already a foreign debt so important that its receipts cover only between half and the third of its expenditure, the remainder being depend on the appropriations free-anglo-American.

Is this by economic need or to force Italy to ask few territorial compensations? Always it is that in March 1919 the foreign appropriations are removed. It is then the beginning of a long recession which touches all the social classes. Even heavy industry, principal profit of the war and which gave inter alia two giants (Ilva and Ansaldo) international, is not saved. Of course the first to suffer from monetary inflation are the workmen. Their trade unions ask for increases which are refused to them and it is a succession of strikes which nothing but do develop.

On April 23, 1919, whereas the Conference of Peace yet officially did not rule, president Wilson shorts-circuit the diplomacy and addresses directly to the Italian people to show to him that its requirements on Fiume are nonfounded. The Italian public opinion is indignant some and, in sign of protest, Orlando leaves the Conference. Clemenceau, for France, and Lloyd George, for Great Britain, then continue to divide the skins of the overcome countries and even propose, the Italians having left, to regard as null and void the treaty of London! Then, for example, the area of Adalia and Smyrna, of the old Turkish empire, asserted by the Italians is given to Greece; the Italians do not receive any mandate in Asia Mineure and are also excluded from the division of the old German colonies of Africa!

On May 6, in Rome, in Capitole, of Annunzio makes a speech ignited in connection with the Adriatic cities which should return to Italy. It deploys flags, makes sound the alarm bell and causes a great agitation in the population which listens to it. The Orlando following day returns to sit down with the table of the negotiations of the Conference of Peace but can recover only crumbs from what, according to the treaty of London, would have to return to Italy. On May 17 it then makes occupy the area of Smyrna and claims a mandate on all Asia Mineure if its Adriatic claims are not satisfied. The discussions are enlisent, of the brawls burst in Fiume (temporarily occupied by an interallied force) between the French garrison and of the Italian civilians and, on June 19, the Orlando government, culprit to have badly defended the cause of its country, is reversed.

The Nitti government has evil to manage the crisis

The strikes follow one another for various reasons. In the campaigns, behind the PSI or pi of the “agrarian leagues” and the waste lands or badly cultivated occupied are constituted. In July two of them strongly the middle-class frightens because the purpose of they are to protest against the interventions allied in the civil war which prevails in Russia between white and Russian Russian red. In Fiume of new brawls against the French garrison result in the departure of the Italian regiment on August 24.

On September 10 the treaty of German Saint confirms the birth of the Yugoslav state and déboute definitively Italy of its Adriatic claims. The 12 of Annunzio, to the head of a motorized column mixing military in activity and war veterans, is presented in front of Fiume where the garrison lets it enter. He then proclaims the annexation of Fiume in Italy. France, Great Britain and the USA do not react leaving the care then to Italian and the Yugoslavians to solve the problem. 25, written Mussolini:

The started revolution with Fiume can only be concluded in Rome.

Once again one can note that the takeovers by force are paying for those which do them. Nitti is exceeded by the events and pronounces the dissolution of the House of Commons on September 29.

In waiting of the elections Mussolini organizes in Florence the 1st fascistic congress during which it presents a program to the claims at the same time of extreme left and extreme right-hand side. He asks thus that the vote for all is extended to the women, than the representation is done with the proportional one, than the Senate is abolished, than the capital is imposed, than is created a militia, than Italy undertakes an expansionist foreign politics, etc

In Fiume d' Annunzio organizes a plebiscite during which the inhabitants vote with a vast majority for their fastening in Italy and, on its side, the PSI adheres to IIIe Internationale and any more but one acknowledged objective does not have: to set up dictatorship of the proletariat by the multiplication of the strikes in all the country and by the fight against the fascists, the nationalists and the royalists.

When on November 16 the Italians elect by the vote for all and proportional the their new room, on the 508 seats to provide Socialists (PSI) obtain 156 from them and populist (pi) the 100, thus leaving both large winners of the ballot boxes. The party of Nitti obtains from it only 37 and Mussolini none. The next morning a bomb bursts in Milan in the middle of a socialist procession and makes fortunately only nine wounded. At once the police force will search with the seat of the fascistic party what enables him to recover many weapons of which grenades. Mussolini then is stopped then slackened the evening even.

On December 1, at the time of the meeting of opening of the new Room, the deputies of the PSI shout “Live the Soviets! Live the Republic!” and leave the room. They were not elected in optics to take part in another government that theirs east thus refuse very compromised. Also Nitti does not succeed in it constituting a government of alliance (fragile) only with pi, on December 21. Year 1920 is announced difficult to live!

1920. Rise of Fascism

The more time passes and the more socialist agitation worries employers and the leading classes. Mussolini proclaims champion of the counter-revolution then.

General dissatisfaction

In January 1920 there is more than 2 million unemployed and number of them is war veterans who could not find work since their demobilization. The dissatisfaction with 1919 is quite as long-lived and social agitations only will not develop during the following months.

In April a strike movement started in Turin extends little by little to nearly 500.000 workmen. Mussolini supports the strikers of which it qualifies the action of “first great revolution of the Italian people against the exploiteurs”. But, at the same time, in its newspaper “it Popolo d' Italia”, it specifies that the crisis undergone by Italy east that of the middle-class and the leading classes but that it is also that of socialism and that the crisis of socialism is more serious and more tragedy that others.

On April 12, during its 2nd congress, in Naples, pi withdraws its support with the Nitti government of which the days from now on are counted. On May 24, to Rome, a demonstration in favour of Annunzio turns badly and makes five dead including four police officers. Nitti at the beginning of June issues one increases price of the bread. But in front of the opposition of many deputies it makes back machine and resigns on June 9. Italy becomes increasingly ungovernable and Giovanni Giolitti, which replaces it, succeeds has to form a ministry only on one program which, inter alia, envisaged the establishment of a true parliamentary mode and the confiscation of the profits of war.

The workmen take in hand the factories

The new chief of the government is immediately confronted with a series of strikes and employs the army to put an end to it amongst other things to Milan and Piombino. On June 26 the 11th regiment of bersaglieri, in Ancône, mutine and refuses to obey its officers, but the calm cost quickly in the barracks. At the beginning of August the social negotiations in order to adapt the wages to the cost of living, that inflation makes climb at vertiginous speed, are broken by employers and the general strike bursts on August 19. Mussolini ensures the workmen in strike of his sympathetic nerve attention condition however that the movement does not degenerate into violence against the men or the machines.

The 28, the Romeo establishments of Milan try to make occupy their factories by the police force. The reaction of the workmen in Milan and Gènes is immediate: they occupy nearly 500 factories and elect “councils of companies” which replace the owners. These “councils” want to be to be the prelude to the destruction of capitalism and about the private property also Giolitti it worries but remains calm and by precaution made carry out the withdrawal of the Italian troops of Albania in order to reinforce those of the territory. Then, discreetly, it makes occupy the industrial towns without dislodging the workmen. In same time it engages of the negotiations with the trade unions. CGT calms the play and does not follow the workmen whom the occupations of factories want to transform into general insurrection, on the other hand it negotiates the recognition of the principle of working control on the companies. In its Mussolini newspaper is indignant then in connection with slowness at the negotiations:

It does not matter that the factories belong to the owners or to the workmen provided that one works!

On August 27 d' Annunzio gives a revolutionary Constitution to Fiume. The statutes are totalitarian and are appropriate for Mussolini which writes on September 11:

These statutes are “alive” and are not only for Fiume but for all Italy!

On September 21, to Rome, employees, employers and government fall finally from agreement on a bill favorable to the “working control” of the factories. On October 4 work begins again then everywhere and the bill will fall quickly into the oubliettes to the great satisfaction from the leading classes and the employers which believed all to lose in little time.

Rise to power of Fascism

The social movements being temporarily calmed, Mussolini declares counter-revolutionary frankly and invites all the men of order to gather around him, against the Bolchevism and anarchy.

As of this clear standpoint, Fascism becomes powerful as men, tired of the Socialists who disorganize the country all while being caught some to the war veterans made responsible for the war and his catastrophic economic continuations. It still becomes powerful out of money, provided by the large industrialists under the shock of hardly calmed working risings. Finally it becomes powerful by the weapons which the ministry for the war provides him to equip its militia, “squadri”, auxiliaries of the police force vis-a-vis possible future socialist agitations.

At that time the fascists do not represent a considerable force yet. However, vêtus of their black shirt, they organize punitive forwardings then where terror Bolshevik is fought by fascistic terror. The adversaries are coiled blows and are purged with the castor oil. When Italo Balbo, chief of the “fascio” of Ferrara, represses violently a strike of farm labourers, when on October 14, in Trieste, the fascists set fire to the offices of the socialist Newspaper “It Lavatoro”, the police force does not intervene because Giolitti still thinks of being able to control the “squadri”, but it is already too late! How in Trieste, the Room of the Work of Bologna is invested on November 4 and the takeovers by force do nothing but start!

On November 12 Italy signs with Yugoslavia the treaty of Rappallo by which it definitively obtains all Venezia and Istrie, the islands of Cherso, Lussin, Lagosta and Pelagosa as well as the enclave of Zara. N the other hand Fiume is recognized like independent state. However this treaty, favorable to Italian, dissatisfied the nationalists of which with Annunzio which, in reprisals, makes occupy some Yugoslav islands of the neighbourhoods of Fiume,

With or without relationship with the business of Fiume, the nationalist lawyer Giordani, disabled ex-serviceman and city council man of Bologna, is then assassinated. Then, in all Italy, the confrontations between fascists and Socialists redouble violence. On November 21, when the new socialist municipality of Bologna arises to crowd, on the balcony of the town hall, the “squadriti” open fire making 10 killed. They renew their action on December 10 in Ferrara. Then the fascists attack with all the co-operatives and all the local headquarters of the socialist party without the police force not intervening. On December 15 of the workmen try to assassinate Dino Grandi, veteran of the war, under pretext which he dares to carry a military decoration. The Grandi following day is registered with the beam of Bologna, with Balbo it will become one of the chiefs of Fascism.

December 1920. To put a term at equipped with Fiume, which envenime the interior policy and the foreign relations of Italy, Giolitti leaves the care to the Caviglia general, victorious of Vittorio Veneto, to organize a forwarding on the rebellious city. In front of the Italian army of Annunzio refuses to subject itself and the attack begins on December 25. On December 31 d' Annunzio capitulates after four days of engagements more or less symbolic systems but which will all the same have cost the life 54 people. The nationalists are indignant and speak about “Christmas about blood”. It is the end of the political life of Annunzio. Mussolini returns honor to him then will use with its profit its glory, its name, its behaviour symbolized by a black shirt and its war cry. of Annunzio, until its death in 1938, will never forgive it to him.

At the end of 1920, Fascism became a great force of persuasion. It remains to him to become a legal political clout.

1921: Fascism becomes a political party

After being itself taken about it at the cities, the fascistic movement is caught some in the campaigns. Socialists and governments in place cannot stop its increasing rise.

On January 15, 1921, with the congress of the socialist party, moderated and extremists dispute in connection with the policy to hold: to follow that dictated by Moscow or not? And the congress ends in the scission between Socialists (PSI) and Communists (NCV), which weakens socialism in the public opinion. Like, moreover, in several cities, the Marxists attack with the churches and the effigies of the royal family, as in the streets they coil blows some priests and soldiers, by-effect, the fascistic movement is reinforced.

This last, primarily urban, extends then to the campaigns where call the land great landowners who worry about the width taken by the country trade unionism whose “agrarian leagues” adapt more and more rights relating to the culture of the grounds.

Fascistic terror falls down then on the campaigns where the agricultural workers, dispersed, are practically without defense. Some trucks filled of fascists make irruption in a village, the black shirts ransack all that resembles a trade-union room or tries to resist to them, then set out again. The raid lasted only a few hours and the authorities, possibly benevolent, did not have time to intervene. The method seems overall advantageous with the fascistic interests since February sees the creation of the thousandths “fascio”!

On March 23, in Milan, with the Diana theatre, a bomb explodes making 18 dead. The same day, perhaps without relationship with the explosion, Mussolini written in “It popolo of Italia”:

In a few months, whole Italy will be in our capacity

And on April 3, during the first “fascistic festival”, in Bologna, Mussolini justifies the action than muscular more “squadri” by an unambiguous speech:

We must act thus, preceded by a column of fire [etc] It is obvious that we, to impose our ideas on the brains, we must, with the sound of the drubbings, touch the refractory craniums.

The fascists create agricultural trade unions of workers to enlist the rural masses, which is not obvious considering the actions carried out against them, in April, in Ferrara, Italo Balbo and Dino Grandi founds the first fascistic trade union of agricultural workers. Then, by demagogy, fascists and land great landowners concretize a written sentence on March 23 by Mussolini (the single possible revolution in Italy is the agrarian revolution which must give the ground to which work it) and some bad grounds are then distributed to farmers. The propaganda of Mussolini can then put forward, with few expenses, that the Socialists promise and that the fascists realize.

Attempts at oppositions to Fascism

In April of Annunzio which criticizes the fascistic methods and, after equipped with Fiume, does not appreciate Mussolini any more, tries to create a “party of work” associating the moderate pi and Socialists. The Socialists refuse and the attempt fails.

Nothing any more seems to stop the fascists and, better, the Giolitti ministry, indirectly and not intentionally, will support even their entry at the Parliament. Benefitting from a favorable world economic situation, translated by a fall of the tariffs of the basic commodities, Giolitti had succeeded in reducing the Italian chronic deficit. At the beginning of April, to still accelerate the money re-entries, it thinks of acting against a certain tax evasion by issuing the stock exchange actions “personal”. But this constraint removes in the Vatican the possibility of acquiring actions and the government loses at once the support of the catholics of pi. It is put in minority and on April 7 Giolitti dissolves the Parliament.

On May 15 the legislative elections allow the entry the Parliament of 35 fascistic deputies of which Mussolini, Balbo and Grandi, pi gains 7 seats, the Socialists and Communists lose some in all 18 what allows Mussolini, in its first speech at the Parliament, to affirm that socialism does not have any more any chance to be essential.

On June 21, always in the Parliament, Mussolini, savagely atheistic, takes a great interested step in direction of the catholics:

The only universal idea existing today in Rome emanates from the Vatican. If the Vatican gives up its temporal dreams “I believe that currently it is in the process of make it”, Italy, the laic government of Italy, must provide to the Vatican the material aid for the schools, the churches, the hospitals and the other establishments available to the laic capacity. I say this because the development of Catholicism in the world makes that all the parts of the world turn their glances towards Rome what is a reason for pride for us Italian.

At the time of the elections the giolittiens did not obtain that 80 seats also on June 23 Giolitti resigns it. Then it tries to reconstitute a new government and gives up on June 27. On July 4 Ivanoè Bonomi (expelled ex-Socialist of the PSI in 1912 for its moderate attitude) succeeds and gathers a majority to him which excludes only the fascists, the Communists and the Socialists. Then one period of various concerns for Mussolini starts. On July 6 appear in Rome of the “arditi del Popolo” organized by the Socialists and the Communists, on the model of the “squadri”, It is the equivalent of a war of gangs which starts. Then on July 21, in Sarzana, for the first time the police force draws on the “squadriti” killing 20 fascists. On August 3, under the pressure of its backers which started to be anxious because of the atmosphere of harmful violence to the economy of the Mussolini country and the PSI sign the “pact of peace” so that cease the violent aggressions, but the hard wing of Fascism, Balbo and Grandi at the head, refuses to apply this agreement. They organize even a walk on Ravenne to avenge their deaths for Sarzana and all the socialist places of the city are ransacked.

Fascism becomes a political party

In November the Company Of the Nations authorizes Italy “to protect” Albania.

With the second fascistic congress of Rome (November 7), in front of the insistence of the extremists of the movement, Mussolini agrees to put an end to the “pact peace”, under pretext which the Socialists had preserved a revolutionary speech and which the Communists were too sectarian. Then the PNF is officially created (Left National Fascist) which replaces the movement of the “Fasci di Combattimento”. Mussolini is now Duce of the party.

During this same congress is created the trade union “Working Union of the Work” directed by Balbo and Grandi. Mussolini declares whereas the PNF is ready to replace the State each time this one is unable to defend the interests, especially ideal, of the Italian people, and unable to fight the causes of disintegration of the nation.

Year 1921 ends in the publication, the 27, of the program of the new PNF: foreign policy imperialist, liberal economy, monarchical mode except if the latter were not shown with the height in the defense of the Italian ideals.

1922. Legal catch of the capacity

The parties in power cannot face an increasingly violent Fascism. In October the king is brought to propose in Mussolini to constitute a government.

The black Shirts seize the Italian cities

With course of the year 1921, it is inter alia more than 700 head offices of the PSI which was ransacked by the fascists. However, when on January 4, 1922, with the conference interallied in Cannes, Mussolini meets LLoyd George (Prime Minister of Great Britain) and Aristide Briand (President of the French Council for 8 days still) everyone seems to sympathize with Duce,

On January 22 the pope Benoît XV dies. A few days later it is replaced by Pie XI, archbishop of Milan which, as a sign of benevolence with respect to Fascism, had blessed the banners of the black Shirts.

So that the PNF shows that it takes a significant step in direction of the nationalists and middle-class, worried a time by the inaccuracy of the fascistic doctrines, on January 25 Mussolini makes appear the new review “Gerarchia” (hierarchy) to which collaborates the liberal philosopher Benedetto Croce. The object of this publication is to show that Fascism is registered of long time in the history and plunges its roots in the Italian national past. Then it creates the National confederation of the Trade-union Corporations, organization which gathers in its centre owners and paid each corporation. This regrouping which, essentially, condemns the class struggle, fact stopping with the traditional trade unionism reassuring the capitalists but not certain members of Parliament. And on February 2 the Bonomi government is reversed not to have succeeded in dissolving the paramilitary formations which flowered in all Italy, like to have soaked in a financial imbroglio. Giolliti, countered by pi, does not manage to form a new government but one of its close relations, Luigi Facta, painfully succeeds in constituting one with the liberals of them.

An International Conference, called with Gènes in connection with “repairs” that Germany must with the victorious countries of the war, slackens the atmosphere in Italian interior policy temporarily. But, the finished conference, the Socialists organize new strike movements which give to the fascists the opportunity to appear with violence. On May 12 Balbo launches 40.000 black Shirts on Ferrara with an aim of making obtain work with some unemployed and of releasing an imprisoned fascist. As the prefect gives him almost immediately Balbo satisfaction then directs its men on Rovigo then on May 30 on Bologna. There the prefect does not yield to the blackmail and Mussolini, out of regulator, orders and obtains the departure of the fascists.

But the lull is only of short duration and in July the “steps” start again. The black Shirts enter Andria the 3, Viterbo the 12, Crémona the 13, Alatri the 14, in Tolento, Novare and Ancona the 17, in Magenta the 24, and finally in Ravenna, Rimini, Piave and Bielle the 26. Everywhere the seats of the left parties and their newspapers are put at bag and in Cremona Roberto Farinacci, the chief of the local “fascio”, makes, at the same time, ransack the apartments of two members of Parliament, one of the PSI (Gariboti) and the other of pi (Miglioli).

Following this rise of violence which the government does not seem any more to be able (or not to want) to stop, on July 19 Facta is reversed. Certain Socialists are then received by the king and propose to him to support a government really antifascist. But they are not followed by the hard direction of the PSI, which divides a little more the Italian left wing and, by-effect, reinforces the power of the party of Mussolini.

On July 25, in full cabinet crisis, the nonfascistic trade unions “Alliance of Work” decide to organize a general strike in all Italy, August first, in order to protest against fascistic violence. Mussolini immediately issues the general mobilization of the black Shirts and lance an ultimatum:

So in the 48h after the beginning of the strike, the government did not succeed in making it cease, the fascists will undertake themselves them directly.

When finally Facta succeeds in reconstituting a ministry, August first, he is thus immediately confronted with the problem of this strike “legalist” that the black Shirts promised to break by the force.

Muscular threats and persuasions on behalf of the fascists towards the strikers and fascistic strikebreakers who maintain in activity the principal public services make that on August 3 “the Alliance of Work” takes note of its failure and orders the end of the strike. Benefitting from this retreat, Mussolini clamp whereas its party is, obviously, the only force able to save Italy of the “danger Bolshevik” and the fascists continue their violences one week lasting against the seats of the socialist organizations and the municipalities of various cities such as Leghorn, Gènes, Ancona and Milan where the seat of the newspaper “Avanti” is once again burnt.

The fascists also try to seize Forli and of Parma but, there, the working militia are defended with eagerness during five days and the black Shirts, after having had 35 killed, are finally obliged to leave the area.

On August 12 Mussolini still balances between a takeover “legal” and a virtually started coup d'etat. In Rome the Badoglio general, meets Facta and proposes to him to utilize the army against the fascists and to stop Mussolini. Facta hesitates, Badoglio insists while pointing out to him that:

Even if part of the officers is favorable to the nationalist ideas of Mussolini the army is before very faithful to the king and does not hesitate to go against the fascists if they try to reverse the royalty.

But Facta, by fear of reprisals, is opposed to any military intervention.

Walk on Rome

The Socialists are divided, the government recognizes themselves impotent, the public opinion did not react, finally the opponent of Annunzio is temporarily put on the key on August 16 during a reception during which, no one does not know why, it falls from a window and is wounded. Vis-a-vis Mussolini, which does remain?

On September 25 in Milan, during a meeting of the national council of the fascistic party, Duce thus gives a progress report on the situation:

Fascism gains ground everywhere. Our adversaries are not any more in a position to be opposed to us. The police officers are very well laid out in our connection and the army will be of a benevolent neutrality. Facta will not make shoot at us and the monarchists are reassured by my speeches antisocialists. Finally the members of Parliament have nothing any more but one idea at the head: to be well with us! The dark points which remain are: the town of Parma, the king, of Annunzio and the indiscipline of certain fascists. One will be able to regulate the fate of Parma rather easily. Around the king there are elements which will be able to act on him in our favour and of Annunzio, it is possible to operate it. It is thus necessary to continue to subject the opinion and the capacity to a Scottish shower of threats and reassuring denials.

As for the indiscipline of certain fascists, now it is likely to become dangerous only after the catch to be able! Mussolini thus reassures many times the monarchists by declaring inter alia “the crown is not a play, provided that the crown does not want, it, to bring into play itself!”.

The rallying of a considerable part of the nobility (the queen mother for a long time posted already its sympathy to Fascism) becomes obvious with the eyes of the public when on September 28, at the time of a ceremony with Merano, the duke of Aoste, cousin of the king, reviews a formation of black Shirts while the military music carries out the fascistic anthem Giovinezza.

On October 18 Balbo, of Bono and Vecchi meet in Bordighera to develop the ultimate action which must lead them to the capacity: Walk on Rome. The queen mother, Marguerite of Savoy, widow of the king Humberto I, invite them to dine and success for their project concerning with the size of the fatherland wishes them. On October 23 Mussolini meets in Rome the former president of the council, Salandra, and discusses with him the imminent resignation Facta, and the following government which could comprise some fascistic ministers. In fact, on October 24, in Naples, with the National congress of the PNI, in front of 40.000 black Shirts, after having still made the praise of monarchy and the army, Mussolini cuts down its charts:

We do not intend to sell our admirable ideal right of seniority for a flat poor wretch of lenses ministerial. The problem is presented and been essential in the form of a problem of force. We want to become the State. Or they give us the capacity or let us take we it while falling on Rome!

Then it is gone back from there to Milan to await the continuation of the events.

On October 26 the close relations of Mussolini, Cesare Maria de Vecchi and Costanzo Ciano, inform Salandra that Duce organizes a general action of the Black Shirts and that “walk on Rome” will start. On October 27 26.000 black Shirts, protected and supplied by the army, are started towards Rome. The men are divided into three columns: The first, ordered by Perrone Compagni and the Ceccherini general, share of Civitavecchia; The second, ordered by Ulisse Igliori and the Fara general, share of Monterotondo; and the third, ordered by Giuseppe Bottai, share of Tivoli.

The 28, in Rome Facta, which has a strong garrison of 28.000 men, envisages to resist and make stop the fascistic chiefs. But, in front of the refusal of the king, he resigns. The sovereign tries at once to train another cabinet with Salandra, does not arrive there, and is solved to accept that Mussolini takes the succession of Facta. On October 29 in the Mussolini morning, in Milan, is informed by Vecchi of the royal decision. It requires whereas the request is addressed to him officially by telegram. This last reaches him in the afternoon. It is signed of the Cittadini general and precise that Its Magesté the king requires of him to come immediately to Rome so that to him is entrusted the new formation of a ministry.

On October 30 Duce arrives at Rome at 10:42. A crowd awaits it her descent of the sleeping car and acclaims it. When it is presented to the Quirinal castle, in front of Victor Emmanuel III, it changed its middle-class behaviour of voyage and says to him:

I request forgiveness from Your Magesté if I am constrained to still present myself out of black shirt, sign of the unfortunately bloody battle which should have been delivered. I carry in Your Magesté Italy of Vittorio-Veneto and I am the trusty servant of Your Magesté.

Maintenance lasts 3/4 of hour and in the evening with 19:00, the government is already made up: Mussolini cumulates the president's functions of the Council and Foreign affair and Minister of Interior Department. The fascists hold Justice, Finances, the Provinces released like nine under-secretary's departments of State. The other important ministries (Navy, Instruction, etc) are allotted to soldiers, nationalists, the popular ones and liberals. This moderated distribution, in which none the fascistic big bosses (Balbo, Bianchi, Grown and of Bono) receives wallet makes it possible to reassure the public opinion and to rejoin many senior officials. Only the count Carlo Sforza, ex-minister of the Foreign affairs, resign and exile themselves.

On October 31 in the Mussolini morning calms its Black Shirts which have trampled with the doors of Rome for 3 days. To give them the illusion that they gained a great victory it makes organize a parade in front of the royal palace and the evening even, whereas crowd shouts “Viva Italia! Viva it Duce! ”, by special trains, it returns each “fascio” in its area of origin.

Mussolini has not just received legally the capacity, it but does not remain to him any more slowly to be made slip the institutions towards the dictatorship.

Fascio. Fascism

Beam of lictor

Roman lictor with his beam of rods surrounding an axe (according to Cesare Vecellio 1521-1601)

In ancient Rome the lictors are at the same time kinds of bailiffs and bodyguards. Indeed, they carry out the decisions of the magistrates and are also charged to protect the latter. Their distinctive attribute is the “facis” (rods and axe: a whole punitive program).

Beam of the French Republic

France does not have an official emblem but a semi-official emblem which one finds, inter alia, on its passports. In the center one can see a “beam of lictor there”

On the seal (official that one) of France the Republic (Marianne) is reproduced holding a beam of lictor.

Beam: fascio/fasci (in Italian)

The beam, this symbol of the force of public solidarity, is found in many countries (Great Britain, the USA, etc), on monuments and/or coins.

At the XIXe century it is primarily a symbol of left which, by extension, indicates a group of strong individuals because interdependent. For example, in 1893, the sicilian peasants who raised themselves against their lords, are called the “fasci siciliani”; in 1914, the group of nationalists of left which involves Italy in the First World War makes call the “fascio rivoluzionario azione interventista” (revolutionary League for an action interventionist).

Taking again the word and its symbolic system, in 1919, Mussolini creates the “fasci di combattimento” (Beams of combat) and in 1921 he invents the term of “Fascism” related to the “fasci”.


According to the Italian model of Mussolini, the term “Fascism” took a generic direction and indicates from now on a political regime whose doctrines are of totalitarian and nationalist inspiration, with an aim of creating a strong state (Fascism Portuguese, Spanish, German, etc). We will not enter the debate which opposes Fascism and Nazism because it is not the object of this document.

The Allies do not respect the treaty of London.

The fascists employ the strong method without being countered.

Political party.

Legal catch of the capacity.


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Line Maginot - Italy. Takeover by the fascists; Document carried out starting from elements of various origins of which, particularly, for the comments of Paulette Jarrige (teaching of history) which we warmly thank. ER Cima ©2003-2008

0_*; Local files; 1_*; Introduction; 2_*; 1919. Mutilated Victoire; 3_*; 1920. Rise of Fascism; 4_*; 1921. Political Fascism; 5_*; 1922. Seizure of power