Alessandro Mussolini was the father of Italian Fascist founder and leader Benito Mussolini, the father-in-law of Rachele Mussolini, and the paternal grandfather of Edda Mussolini, Romano Mussolini, Vittorio Mussolini, and Bruno Mussolini.
Mussolini was born on 29 July 1883 in Dovia di Predappio, a small town in the province of Forlì in Romagna. Later, during the Fascist era, Predappio was dubbed "Duce's town" and Forlì was called "Duce's city", with pilgrims going to Predappio and Forlì to see the birthplace of Mussolini.
In 1902, Mussolini emigrated to Switzerland, partly to avoid compulsory military service. He worked briefly as a stonemason in Geneva, Fribourg, and Bern, but was unable to find a permanent job.
In 1903, he was arrested by the Bernese police because of his advocacy of a violent general strike, spent two weeks in jail, and was deported to Italy. After he was released there, he returned to Switzerland.
In 1904, Mussolini attended the University of Lausanne's Department of Social Science, following the lessons of Vilfredo Pareto.
In December 1904, Mussolini returned to Italy to take advantage of an amnesty for desertion of the military. He had been convicted for this in absentia.
After serving for two years in the military (from January 1905 until September 1906), he returned to teaching.
In September 1911, Mussolini participated in a riot, led by socialists, against the Italian war in Libya. He bitterly denounced Italy's "imperialist war", an action that earned him a five-month jail term.
In 1912, he became editor of the newspaper Avanti! to which he gave a violent suggestive and intransigent orientation.
Mussolini supported a number of socialist parties at the beginning of the World War I in August 1914. Mussolini headed up the pro-Bolshevik wing of the Italian Socialist Party who purged moderate or reformist socialists.
On 5 December 1914, Mussolini denounced orthodox socialism for failing to recognize that the war had made national identity and loyalty more significant than class distinction. He fully demonstrated his transformation in a speech that acknowledged the nation as an entity, a notion he had rejected before the war.
In 1915, Mussolini joined the Italian army in World War I. He fought on the front lines and obtained the rank of corporal before being discharged for a war wound.
On 25 December 1915, he contracted a marriage with his fellow countrywoman Rachele Guidi in Treviglio, who had already borne him a daughter, Edda.
Mussolini would ultimately be wounded in action in February 1917 and was injured severely enough that he had to be evacuated from the front.
On 23 March 1919, Mussolini re-formed the Milan fascio as the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento (Italian Combat Squad), consisting of 200 members.
Much later Mussolini said he felt by 1919 "Socialism as a doctrine was already dead; it continued to exist only as a grudge".
Mussolini asserted there was a "natural law" for stronger peoples to subject and dominate "inferior" peoples such as the "barbaric" Slavic peoples of Yugoslavia. He stated in a September 1920 speech.
In 1921, Mussolini won the election to the Chamber of Deputies for the first time.
On the morning of 28 October, King Victor Emmanuel III, who according to the Albertine Statute held the supreme military power, refused the government request to declare martial law, which led to Facta's resignation. The King then handed over power to Mussolini (who stayed in his headquarters in Milan during the talks) by asking him to form a new government.
The 1922 Turin massacre refers to the attack by Italian Fascists against members of a local labor movement in Turin, Italy, during a three-day terror campaign from 18–20 December 1922, to break the resistance of the labor movement and working-class to Fascism.
In 1923, Mussolini sent Italian forces to invade Corfu during the Corfu incident. In the end, the League of Nations proved powerless, and Greece was forced to comply with Italian demands.
In the elections of 6 April 1924. The national alliance, consisting of Fascists, most of the old Liberals, and others, won 64% of the vote.
In 1924, Mussolini made advocating or giving information about contraception a criminal offense.
On 31 December 1924, MVSN (Milizia Volontaria di Sicurezza Nazionale) consuls met with Mussolini and gave him an ultimatum: crush the opposition or they would do so without him. Fearing a revolt by his own militants, Mussolini decided to drop all pretense of democracy.
From 1925, Mussolini styled himself Il Duce (the leader).
A law passed on 24 December 1925—Christmas Eve for the largely Roman Catholic country—changed Mussolini's formal title from "President of the Council of Ministers" to "Head of the Government", although he was still called "Prime Minister" by most non-Italian news sources.
On 7 April 1926, Mussolini survived the first assassination attempt by Violet Gibson, an Irish woman, and daughter of Lord Ashbourne, who was deported after her arrest.
On 31 October 1926, 15-year-old Anteo Zamboni attempted to shoot Mussolini in Bologna. Zamboni was lynched on the spot.
In 1926, Mussolini ordered every Italian woman to double the number of children that they were willing to bear. For Mussolini, Italy's current population of 40 million was insufficient to fight a major war, and he needed to increase the population to at least 60 million Italians before he would be ready for war.
In 1927, Mussolini was re-baptized by a Roman Catholic priest.
Mussolini initiated the "Battle for Land", a policy based on land reclamation outlined.
On 11 February 1929, he signed a concordat and treaty with the Roman Catholic Church. Mussolini tried to win popular support by appeasing the Catholic majority in Italy.
The 1929 treaty included a legal provision whereby the Italian government would protect the honor and dignity of the Pope by prosecuting offenders.
In July 1932, Mussolini sent a message to German Defense Minister General Kurt von Schleicher, suggesting an anti-French Italo-German alliance, an offer Schleicher responded to favorably, albeit with the condition that Germany needed to rearm first.
The principles of the doctrine of Fascism were laid down in an article by eminent philosopher Giovanni Gentile and Mussolini himself that appeared in 1932 in the Enciclopedia Italiana.
In January 1936, Mussolini told the German Ambassador Ulrich von Hassell that: "If Austria were in practice to become a German satellite, he would have no objection".
On 25 October 1936, Mussolini agreed to form a Rome-Berlin Axis, sanctioned by a cooperation agreement with Nazi Germany and signed in Berlin.
In January 1937, Britain signed a "Gentleman's Agreement" with Mussolini intended to limit Italian intervention in Spain, and was seen by the British Foreign Office as the first step towards creating an Anglo-Italian alliance.
In April 1938, Britain and Italy signed the Easter Accords under which Britain promised to recognize Ethiopia as Italian in exchange for Italy pulling out of the Spanish Civil War.
Members of TIGR, a Slovene anti-fascist group, plotted to kill Mussolini in Kobarid in 1938, but their attempt was unsuccessful.
The Axis agreement with Germany was strengthened by signing the Pact of Steel on 22 May 1939, which bound together Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in a full military alliance.
As the Germans invaded France in June 1940, Mussolini announced Italy’s entrance into the war. Italy declared war on France and Great Britain on June 10, 1940.
A third son, Bruno, was killed in an air accident while flying a Piaggio P.108 bomber on a test mission, on 7 August 1941.
Mussolini repeatedly told his son to stop declaring that he was his father. Benito Albino Mussolini was murdered on August 26, 1942, after repeated coma-inducing injections.
Mussolini entered the war in 1940. Italy fared poorly from the outset, with ignominious defeats in North Africa, Greece, and the Soviet Union.
In 1943, Mussolini proposed the theory of economic socialization.
Italian radio statement announcing the dismissal of Mussolini and appointment of Badoglio, 25 July 1943.
Mussolini was rescued by German troops from his prison in Campo Imperatore on 12 September 1943.
Italy finally declared war on Nazi Germany on 13 October 1943 from Malta. Thousands of troops were supplied to fight against the Germans, while others refused to switch sides and had joined the Germans. The Badoglio government held a political truce with the leftist partisans for the sake of Italy and to rid the land of the Nazis.
The fascist republic fought against the partisans to keep control of the territory. The Fascists claimed their armed forces numbered 780,000 men and women, but sources indicate that there were no more than 558,000. Partisans and their active supporters numbered 82,000 in June 1944.
The Banda Carità, a special unit constituted within the 92nd Legion Blackshirts, operated in Tuscany and Veneto. It became infamous for violent repressions, such as the 1944 Piazza Tasso massacre in Florence.
The Porzûs massacre was an intra-partisan massacre of the Italian resistance during late World War II, on 7 February 1945.
On 25 April 1945, Allied troops were advancing into northern Italy, and the collapse of the Salò Republic was imminent. Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci set out for Switzerland, intending to board a plane and escape to Spain.
Mussolini was dead by execution by firing squad at Giulino di Mezzegra, Kingdom of Italy.