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The first action took place April 19, immediately after its organization, when only 350 members, all distinguished war veterans, attacked and destroyed the offices of Avanti, a Socialist newspaper.
It emerged as a movement in the post World War I period not only to meet the challenges of the international communist movement but also to tackic the various problems which confronted Italy and which the Italian government was not able to tackle. A number of factors contributed to the rise of Fascism in Italy.
In the first place though Italy fought on the side of the victorious Allies in the First World War, she emerged from the war a defeated nation.
Even many of those who supported his anti-communism feared Mussolini’s militaristic rhetoric.
Common to these accounts is the certainty that fascist success depended upon appeals to the Italian middle class and veterans of the First World War.
She was not happy with the terms of peace settlement because she was not given what had been promised to her by the Treaty of London concluded during the war.
At the peace conference as the interests of Italy and Yugoslavia conflicted the Allies preferred to favour Yugoslavia. Hampden Jakson has summed up the position thus “Italians felt themselves disgraced in the eyes of the world, swindled by their own politicians.On account of their mutual differences and bickerings these parties could not take any concerted action against the terrorists and thereby greatly contributed to the rise of Fascism in Italy.Finally, the programme of the Fascists which promised the people of Italy order and glory also greatly attracted the people and they extended willing support to its leaders.The Kansas City identified Mussolini’s fascism with the by-then familiar concept of “100 per cent Americanism,” while joining a host of other observers in praising the Fascist’s unmatched anti-communism and supposed returns to individualism, the rule of law, and respect for private control of property.Papers like the Fort Worth reacted to Mussolini’s rise to power with measured unease rooted in fears of another general European war sparked by Italian conquests along the Adriatic.For the time being they are monarchial, but if tomorrow they should see that a republic would be better for Italy they would be republicans.What they want is the greatest well being and the maximum prosperity for the nation, not by class struggle, but by co-operation among the various classes. Fascism is not a secret organization like the Ku Klux Klan, for everybody knows its constitution, and its members wear uniforms which everybody can see. Until the end of 1914 he was an ardent Socialist and director of Avanti. He founded the Popolo d’Italia, fought bravely in the war, was elected a deputy at the last elections and is now considered the most powerful man in Italy.Anthony Comegna Assistant Editor for Intellectual History “Fascisti Idea to Spread—Exiled Russians Would Adopt Plan in Own Country—One Million Men in Italy are Banded Together to Advance Nationalism and War on Socialists and Communists.”Rome. 9.—FOUNDED BY AN EDITORFascism is not three and a half years old, having been founded in Milan by Sig.Mussolini, editor of Popolo d’Italia in April, 1919.People thought that under the circumstances only a strong and powerful government could take the country forward.The situation was fully exploited by the Fascists under the leadership of Mussolini and they fed the people with the idea of providing a strong truly national government. Fourthly, the faulty system of franchise prevailing in the country also greatly contributed to the rise of Fascism in Italy.