Benito Mussolini is famous for being the dictator of Italy from 1922 until his ouster in 1943. He was also the founder of Facism, a political system in which the government controls the private property of its citizens.
Mussolini began his career in politics as a member of the Socialist Party. The Socialists believed in public ownership of the society's productive capability. After serving in the Italian Army during World War I, Mussolini founded the Fascist Party in 1919 with the hope of restoring Italy to its ancient glory.
In 1922, Mussolini began to exploit political and economic turmoil in Italy, and in 1925, he seized dictatorial power of the country. Under Mussolini's leadership, Italy embarked upon numerous public works projects that reduced unemployment and restored order. Italy also invaded Ethiopia and assisted the Fascists in the Spanish Civil war. Impressed with Mussolini's military success, Adolph Hitler formed an alliance with Italy that ultimately led to Mussolini's demise.
In 1942, the Allies, led by the United States and Great Britain, invaded Sicily and began a steady march up the Italian peninsula that prompted the Italian people to force Mussolini from power and arrest him. He was, however, rescued by German commandos and remained free until he was captured on April 27, 1945, by Italian guerrillas, who executed him the following day.