In the summer of 1922, Italy seemed on the verge of a civil war among its political parties; its government especially couldn't cope with the Fascists, who seized power in Bologna, Milan, and other cities. Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), head of the National Fascist Party, demanded the resignation of Italy's premier, Luigi Facta (1861-1930), a liberal though weak leader, and the formation of a Fascist government, threatening dire consequences if his demand were not met. The "March on Rome" (October 28, 1922) by his Faacists compelled Facta to declare (belatedly) a state of siege and to decree martial law. King Victor Emmanuel III (1869-1947), Italy's constitutional head of state, refused to sign the decree, however, and dismissed Facta. Arriving in Rome from Milan in the comfort of a railroad sleeping car on October 30, 1922, Mussolini found only some 25,000 of his blackshirts (Fascists) occupying the captial; but by the next day thousands more of his followers came on special trains, surrounded the royal palace, and cheered the victory of Mussolini, whom the king permitted to form a government to reestablish order.