How Important Was the King in Why Mussolini Became Prime Minister in Italy

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The role of the king was the most important reason why Mussolini was appointed prime minister. There is no single reason why Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy in October 1922; there is a network of reasons. However, the ultimate decision as to who was appointed Prime Minister was the King's, so his role was the most important in appointing Mussolini at that particular time. His decision was based around the fear of the civil war if he had not signed Prime Minister Facta's decree for martial law two days before Mussolini's planned “March on Rome”. This was due to Mussolini and the Ras controlling much of Italy, emphasised by the huge mobilisation of squads in socialist areas at the end of July 1922 when the Alliance of Labour called a strike which had little support and lasted just 4 days. The March on Rome was planned on 16th October '22 and was a clear sign of power and therefore threat to the collapsing government and King, success was hinted at by the massive rally of 40,000 Fascists in Naples on the 24th. The king’s mother, Queen Margherita, had pro-fascist sympathies and was all in favour of a “strong man” to save Italy from revolution. Just before the March on Rome, Margherita publicly showed her approval of the fascist cause by inviting the quadrumvirs to her palace. The king’s cousin the second duke of Aosta, was even more pro-fascist than Queen Margherita. Aosta was a war hero, generally admired by ex-soldiers and his influence over the army was an important factor. The king was aware the Aosta aware that was after his job he was reluctant to try and use force against the fascists to stay on the side of his cousin and mother. The King also refused to authorise the use of martial law against the March on Rome, because he was unsure about the army’s loyalties, thus handing power to Mussolini. Many of the army generals were deeply involved with
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