Bourbon Dynasty
History of Italy

Parthenopean Republic, 1799, and restored Kingdom of Naples 1799-1806

Naples was occupied by French troops in January 1799. The Bourbons fled, and the Pathenopean Republic was proclaimed on Jan. 24th (without Sicily, which, protected by Nelson's fleet, could not be conquered). It was named after Parthenope, an ancient name for Naples.
During it's brief history (of less than 6 months) the republic underwent constitutional changes : from Jan. to March, a Provisional Government, headed by a president, was in charge; in April it was replaced by an Executive Committee, in June by a short-lived Executive Directory (in case of the last two a mere change in names, as the president, Ercole D'Agnese, was one and the same).
Among the few reforms that were enacted was the establishment of press freedom; patriotic-republican newspapers were founded.
Already in February, the republic was counterattacked by a royalist army, the Sanfedisti (Followers of the Holy Faith), lead by Cardinal Ruffo (who had returned from exile with a force of English, Russian and Ottoman soldiers) ; in June the city and republic fell, largely due to the assistance provided by the British fleet (Admiral Nelson) to Ruffo. In the course of action, 80,000 Neapolitans were killed.
The Bourbon kingdom was reestablished. King Ferdinand appointed Englishman Lord Acton prime minister.
When the French occupied southern Italy again in 1805, the Bourbons again fled. The Parthenopean Republic, however, was not reestablished; the Kingdom of Naples continued under a new Dynasty, established by Napoleon. Again, Sicily was not part of it.

Entries from Infoplease on Kingdom of Naples and the Parthenopean Republic
Nelson's Honour, from Napoleon Bonaparte Internet Guide, on Nelson's role in ending the Parthenopean Republic
Biography of Eleonora Pimentel Fonseca, from Tour Italy
Alberto Rosa, Vital Signs : the Italian Counterrevolution of 1799, book review
Soap-opera diplomacy in late 18th century Naples, from Concordia's Thursday Report
News, Naples, March 1800, from Annuaire 1800 at La Patience, in French
Repubblica Napoletana, in Italian
DOCUMENTS illustration : 6 Tornesi coin of 1699, featuring Phrygian hat and fasces, from Coins of the French Revolution and First Empire
Image of flag from FOTW
L'Armee de Naples, situation du 26 Mai 1799, from Histofig
List of Presidents of the Provisional Govt. (Jan.-Mar. 1799), of Presidents of the Executive Commission (Apr.-June 1799), of the Executive Directory (June 1799), from World Statesmen : Italian States, 1760-1860 by Ben Cahoon
Naples, from Annuaire 1789-1815, in French
Canto dei Sanfedisti (Song of the Sanfedisti), from Musica Popolare
REFERENCE History of Italian Regions : Naples / Two Sicilies, from History Book Reviews

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on March 16th 2006

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