Naples and Napoleon: Southern Italy and the European Revolutions, 1780-1860

Paperback | December 18, 2008

byJohn A. Davis

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Naples and Napoleon rewrites the history of Italy in the age of the European revolutions from the perspective of the South. In contrast to later images of southern backwardness and immobility, Davis portrays the South as a precocious theatre for political and economic upheavals that sooner orlater would challenge the survival of all the pre-Unification states. Focusing on the years of French rule from 1806 to 1815, when southern Italy became the arena for one of the most ambitious reform projects in Napoleonic Europe, Davis argues that this owed less to Napoleon than to the forcesunleashed by the crisis of the Ancien Regime. However, an examination of the earlier Republic and the popular counter-revolutions of 1799, along with the later revolutions in Naples and Sicily in 1820-1, reveals that the impact of these changes was deeply contradictory.This major reinterpretation of the history of the South before Unification significantly reshapes our understanding of how the Italian states came to be unified, while Davis also shows why long after Unification not just the South but Italy as a whole would remain vulnerable to the continuingchallenges of the new age.

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Naples and Napoleon rewrites the history of Italy in the age of the European revolutions from the perspective of the South. In contrast to later images of southern backwardness and immobility, Davis portrays the South as a precocious theatre for political and economic upheavals that sooner orlater would challenge the survival of all th...

John A. Davis is a Professor of History at the University of Connecticut.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:December 18, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199552304

ISBN - 13:9780199552306

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Naples, Napoleon and the Origins of the Two ItaliesPart One: Absolutist Naples1. The Ancien Regime in the South2. Projecting Reform3. Undermining the Old Order4. 1799: The Rise and Fall of the Republic5. Jacobins and Patriots6. The Counter-RevolutionPart Two: Napoleonic Naples7. Naples in the Imperial Enterprise8. The Costs of Empire9. The Promise of Change10. A Kingdom Remodelled? The Provinces and the Capital11. Disorder12. Legacies of EmpirePart Three: Restoration and Revolution13. Losing Naples14. Restoration15. RevolutionConclusion: States of Insecurity

Editorial Reviews

"This is a radical book; it turns the question of political change in Italy in the century before Unification upside down and redefines the south/north dichotomy.... This is the most important and most comprehensive study of southern Italy in that period and it is destined to change the terms of discourse on Italy's Risorgimento."--Marta Petrusewicz, Journal of Modern Italian Studies "John Davis's remarkable study of the largest of the Italian states goes a long way to demonstrating the suggestive and revisionist thesis that in broad outline the kingdom of Naples was in most respects similar to the other imperial satellites.... Naples, in this fascinating reading eventually parted company with its fratelli to the north.... only late in the nineteenth century." --Steven Englund, The Historical Journal "Davis offers a sharp, nuanced synthesis of a complex period, and a persuasive analysis of the Italian South in the age of revolution...a splendid achievement: thorough, solid, innovative, convincing, and appealingly written."--Tommaso Astarita, Catholic Historical Review