Matteotti, Giacomo (jäˈkōmō mät-tāôtˈtē) [key], 1885–1924, Italian Socialist leader; the outstanding opponent of the Fascist regime during its early days. He was a member of parliament, and his murder by Fascist hirelings precipitated a parliamentary crisis that Mussolini overcame by disavowing the murder and by tightening police control. With the crushing of the opposition aroused by Matteotti's assassination, Mussolini's dictatorship may be said to have begun. The murderers and their accomplices received only nominal sentences.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.