In retrospect, the period from October 1922 to January 1925 marked the transition from the liberal parliamentary system to the Fascist state. Like many political transitions it was an untidy and complicated process, a hybrid of elements of the old and new political order as one overlapped with and superseded the other. It seems difficult to establish precisely what were the intentions of Mussolini and the PNF. Were they intending all along to set up a single-party totalitarian dictatorship? Or were they aiming at something rather less drastic, a strong government certainly, but still one compatible with the existing parliamentary and constitutional framework until driven off course by the fallout from an unpredictable event, the murder of the Socialist deputy, Giacomo Matteotti, in June 1924, which precipitated the definitive rupture with the parliamentary system?
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