Italian Fascism, also known simply as Fascism (Italian: Fascismo), is the original fascist ideology, as developed in Italy. The ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party, which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party that ruled the Italian Social Republic from 1943 to 1945, the post-war Italian Social Movement and subsequent Italian neo-fascist movements.
Italian Fascism is rooted in Italian nationalism and the desire to restore and expand Italian territories, which Italian Fascists deemed necessary for a nation to assert its superiority and strength and to avoid succumbing to decay. Italian Fascists claim that modern Italy is the heir to ancient Rome and its legacy, and historically supported the creation of an Italian Empire to provide spazio vitale ("vital space") for colonization by Italian settlers and to establish control over the Mediterranean Sea.
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini (Italian pronunciation: [beˈnito mussoˈlini]; 29 July 1883 – 28 April 1945) was an Italian politician, journalist, and leader of the National Fascist Party, ruling the country as Prime Minister from 1922 until his ousting in 1943. He ruled constitutionally until 1925, when he dropped all pretense of democracy and set up a legal dictatorship. Known as Il Duce ("the leader"). Mussolini was one of the key figures in the creation of fascism.
Originally a member of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI), Mussolini was expelled from the PSI due to his opposition to the party's stance on neutrality in World War I. Mussolini denounced the PSI, and later founded the fascist movement. Following the March on Rome in October 1922 he became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history. After destroying all political opposition through his secret police and outlawing labor strikes, Mussolini and his fascist followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship. Within five years he had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means, aspiring to create a totalitarian state. Mussolini remained in power until he was deposed by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1943. A few months later, he became the leader of the Italian Social Republic, a German client regime in northern Italy; he held this post until his death in 1945.
The Kingdom of Italy (Italian: Regno d'Italia) was a state founded in 1861 when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy. The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state. It existed until 1946 when the Italians opted for a republican constitution.
Italy declared war on Austria in alliance with Prussia in 1866: despite an unsuccessful campaign, it received the region of Veneto following Bismarck's victory. Italian troops entered Rome in 1870, ending more than one thousand years of Papal temporal power. Italy accepted Bismarck's proposal to enter in a Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1882, following strong disagreements with France about the respective colonial expansions. However, even if relations with Berlin became very friendly, the alliance with Vienna remained purely formal, as the Italian lands of Trentino and Trieste were still under Austro-Hungarian rule. So, in 1915, Italy accepted the British invitation to join the Allies in World War I because the western allies promised territorial compensation (at the expense of Austria-Hungary) for participation that were more generous than Vienna's offer in exchange for Italian neutrality. Victory in the war gave Italy a permanent seat in the Council of the League of Nations.
The National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista; PNF) was an Italian political party, created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism (previously represented by groups known as Fasci; see also Italian Fascism). The party ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943.
Along with its recognised successor, the Republican Fascist Party, it is the only party whose re-formation is banned by the Constitution of Italy: "it shall be forbidden to reorganize, under any form whatever, the dissolved fascist party" ("Transitory and Final Provisions", Disposition XII).