History of Italy

French Italy 1805-1813

In 1802, Napoleon, in another of the numerous twists in his policy on Italy, annexed Piemont, in 1805 Parma and the Ligurian Republic, in 1807/08 Etruria, in 1809 Lazio and Umbria, the remainder of the Papal State.
These regions now an integral part of the Empire Française, saw the introduction of the Code Civile, of the Metric System and many other reforms. Based on the Concordat Napoleon Bonaparte had signed with the Pope in 1801, relations between state and church were placed on a legal basis.
Napoleon regarded Italy a region he could politically toy with, create and exterminate states whenever he pleased or regarded it suitable. The regions directly administrated by France therefore were a little bit more stable than those beyond the French borders. Napoleon had given his son the title King of Rome, a title expressing both political ambition and an emphasis on Italy.
The Italians welcomed many of the reforms introduced by the French (and, during the post-Napoleonic years, strove to get them back), but were put off by Napoleon's arbitrary rule, his nepotism and his disrespect for the wish of many Italians to have Italy unified. Many resented military conscription and the huge financial burden placed on them in order to finance the war.


This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 9th 2002, last revised on March 17th 2006

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