Who's Who

Vittorio Emmanuelle - The Man who Gave Away Italian Democracy

F.G. Stapleton highlights the key role played by the Italian King in the Rise of Mussolini.

The Role of the Individual

On 29th October1922, King Vittorio Emmanuelle III appointed Benito Mussolini as the 30th Prime Minister of the liberal democratic Italian State. Mussolini was 39 years old (astonishingly young to hold office), had no previous governmental experience, was in control of a party which had only attained 35 seats by proportional representation in the last free elections of 1921, and led a paramilitary force which was riddled with internal dissension and had recently challenged his rights to the title Duce (leader). All of these factors considered, it seems astonishing that he should have been offered any governmental ministry at all, let alone the office of the premier.

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