Matteotti, Giacomo

born May 22, 1885, Fratta Polesine, Italy
died June 10, 1924, Rome

Italian Socialist leader.

A lawyer, he joined the Italian Socialist Party and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1919. As head of the Socialists in 1924, he strongly denounced the Fascist Party. Two weeks after his speech, he was kidnapped and murdered by fascists. The murder created a worldwide scandal, and Benito Mussolini took responsibility as head of the Fascist Party and dared his critics to prosecute him. Opposition was weak, and the Matteotti crisis enabled Mussolini to further consolidate his power.

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▪ Italian social leader
born May 22, 1885, Fratta Polesine, Italy
died June 10, 1924, Rome

      Italian Socialist leader whose assassination by Fascists shocked world opinion and shook Benito Mussolini's (Mussolini, Benito) regime. The Matteotti Crisis, as the event came to be known, initially threatened to bring about the downfall of the Fascists but instead ended with Mussolini as the absolute dictator of Italy.

      After graduating from the University of Bologna law school, Matteotti entered law practice and joined the Italian Socialist Party. He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1919 and reelected in 1921 and 1924, by which time he had become secretary general of his party. In the meantime, Mussolini, who had succeeded in gaining power, was conducting terroristic attacks on leftists. On May 30, 1924, Matteotti addressed a ringing denunciation of the Fascist Party to the Chamber. Less than two weeks later (June 10) six Fascist squadristi kidnapped Matteotti in Rome, murdered him, and hastily buried his body outside the city near Riano Flaminio.

      Matteotti's disappearance created a sensation, as did the discovery of his body a few weeks later. The Italian public had no doubt that Fascists were implicated in the crime and reacted against Fascist rule. Fascist party badges disappeared overnight; the antechamber of Mussolini's office, usually full, stood empty.

      The opposition deputies withdrew from the Chamber, in an action known as the Aventine secession, to protest the murder and to work for the overthrow of Mussolini. But the parliamentary forces, powerless before in the events leading to Mussolini's seizure of power in 1922, proved ineffective in keeping public opinion aroused and failed to take decisive action against Mussolini. Despite a prolonged judicial inquiry, the six suspects arrested for the murder were allowed to go free.

      Mussolini, at first taken aback by his loss of public favour, decided to take the offensive. On Jan. 3, 1925, in a speech to the Chamber, he took full responsibility for the murder as head of the Fascist party (although whether he gave a direct order for the murder remains uncertain) and dared his critics to prosecute him for the crime, a challenge that never was made since they were too weak to take it up.

      The Matteotti Crisis marked a turning point in the history of Italian Fascism. Mussolini abandoned any plan of working with Parliament and took steps to create a totalitarian state, including suppression of the opposition press, exclusion of non-Fascist ministers, and formation of a secret police.

      After World War II the democratic regime instituted a new inquiry, and the surviving three assassins were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Matteotti, Giacomo — (1885–1924)    A socialist martyr, Giacomo Matteotti’s murder by the Fascists led to the definitive end of liberal Italy and the advent of Benito Mussolini’s dictatorship. Matteotti was born in Rovigo, near Venice, the son of a lower middleclass… …   Historical Dictionary of modern Italy

  • Matteotti, Giacomo — (22 may. 1885, Fratta Polesine, Italia–10 jun. 1924, Roma). Líder socialista italiano. Abogado, se unió al Partido Socialista Italiano y fue elegido diputado en 1919. Como líder de los socialistas en 1924, denunció fuertemente al Partido Fascista …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Matteotti — Giacomo Matteotti (* 22. Mai 1885 in Fratta Polesine; † 10. Juni 1924 nahe Rom) war ein italienischer Politiker und Generalsekretär der Partito Socialista Unitario (PSU). Die Ermordung Matteottis durch italienische Faschisten im Jahr 1924 gilt… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Giacomo — (as used in expressions) Domenico di Giacomo di Pace Giacomo Della Chiesa Carissimi Giacomo Casanova Giovanni Giacomo Francesco di Marco di Giacomo Raibolini Leopardi Giacomo Manzù Giacomo Giacomo Manzoni Matteotti Giacomo Meyerbeer Giacomo… …   Universalium

  • Giacomo — (as used in expressions) Domenico di Giacomo di Pace Giacomo Della Chiesa Carissimi, Giacomo Casanova, Giovanni Giacomo Francesco di Marco di Giacomo Raibolini Leopardi, Giacomo Manzù, Giacomo Giacomo Manzini Matteotti, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Giacomo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Giacomo Matteotti — Matteotti am Anfang seiner politischen Karriere Giacomo Matteotti (* 22. Mai 1885 in Fratta Polesine; † 10. Juni 1924 nahe Rom) war ein italienischer Politiker und Generalsekretär des Partito Socialista Unitario (PSU). Die Ermordung Matteottis… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Matteotti — es un apellido italiano. Es el apellido de: Giacomo Matteotti político y antifascista italiano. Giancarlo Matteotti político italiano, hijo de Giacomo Matteotti. Gianmatteo Matteotti periodista y político italiano, hijo de Giacomo Matteotti.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Giacomo Matteotti — (Fratta Polesine, provincia de Rovigo, 22 de mayo de 1885 – Roma, 11 de junio de 1924) fue un político socialista italiano. Nacido en una familia adinerada, Matteotti se licenció en Derecho en la Universidad de Bolonia, donde entró en contacto… …   Wikipedia Español

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