Matteotti Crisis

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Benito Mussolini (1883—1945) Italian Fascist statesman, Prime Minister 1922–43



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Giacomo Matteotti (b. 1885, d. 1924), the secretary of the newly formed Socialist Unity Party (Partito Socialista Unitario, PSU) and protégé of Turati, was an outspoken opponent of Fascism. In a parliamentary speech on 30 May 1924 he exposed and denounced Fascist foul play in the recent parliamentary elections and demanded that they be annulled. On 10 June, he was abducted and murdered by members of the Fascist movement, and it soon emerged that several Fascist leaders, including Mussolini himself, were implicated in the murder. There resulted a public outcry which extended even into Fascist ranks. Most of Italy's non-Fascist parliamentarians reacted with the Aventine Secession, which gave them moral high ground but rendered them unable to influence political developments in the capital. Mussolini was thus able to use the fraternization of the anti-Fascist parties to outlaw them all and strengthen his own position.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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