Born in small town of Predappio in the Romagna in 1883
Son of a Catholic Schoolmistress and a blacksmith with revolutionary views
Not academic, but had strong character – being noted for his bullying and overpowering nature
After leaving school Mousolini had a few teaching jobs in village schools
1902 Mussolini went to Switzerland, where he did odd jobs
He did read widely and was soon preaching the need for revolution
Returned to Italy in 1904 to
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riots in favour of intervention
He was conscripted into the army in 1915
Reached only rank of corporal
1917 a training accident caused him to be invalided out of the war
He returned to "Il Popolo d’Italia"
Throughout 1918 his paper sought to create a new political movement that wanted to promote nationalism and social reform
July 1918 he claimed that the paper was not socialist but instead was the "newspaper of combatants and producers"