Who is Who in Italian History
1861 - 1930
Luigi Facta was appointed to the position of Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and was the last Prime Minister before Mussolini took power. He was born in 1861 at Pinerolo, province of Torino (Turin). He became a member of the Italy’s Chamber of Deputies in 1892, a position he held for 31 years until 1923.
When Giovanni Giolitti stepped down as a consequence of his unsuccessful attempt to steer Italy on an integration course (integrating the newly elected fascists into Italy’s power structure), Facta rose to become prime minister on February 26, 1922.
In the summer of 1922, Italy faced a civil war among its political parties, as Facta was unsuccessful in coping with the Fascists, who had seized power in Bologna, Milan, and other cities. Benito Mussolini, head of the National Fascist Party, called for Facta’s resignation who was largely viewed as a weak leader. Mussolini also called for the formation of a Fascist government, threatening a coup d’état if his demands would not be met. Facta resigned as Prime Minister on October 22, 1922.
The famous Fascist “March on Rome” on October 28, 1922 compelled Facta (still a member of the Chamber of Deputies) to declare martial law. King Victor Emmanuel III, Italy’s constitutional head of state, refused to sign the decree.
When Mussolini arrived in Rome (coming from Milan by railroad) on October 30, 1922, there were about 25,000 of his Fascist followers (also known as “black shirts”) occupying the capital. The next day thousands more of his followers joined the demonstration of power and surrounded the royal palace. Under pressure, King Victor Emmanuel III refused to sign Facta’s [martial law] decree and asked Benito Mussolini to form a government.