Saturday, May 26, 2012
Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy
è ne de Beauharnais. His job was to suppress republicanism (which the first French revolutionaries who overran Italy tried to force on the people) and to manage Italian affairs in accordance with the best interests of the French Empire. And this was, by the European standards of the time, no minor satellite. After the battle of Austerlitz, the Austrians ceded part of Venezia, Istria and Dalmatia to Italy and in 1808 after the partition of the Papal States the border of the Kingdom of Italy was extended all the way to the frontier of the Kingdom of Naples.
é on becoming the law of the land. This was not always to the detriment of Italy, in some ways it was an improvement over the patchwork system that preceded it, however, the Kingdom of Italy suffered greatly because of the ‘continental system’ imposed on all the states under Napoleonic influence to strangle trade with Great Britain. The effects on the British were rather negligible but it had a terrible effect on the Italian peninsula (as well as many other regions in Europe). As with all things Napoleonic, Italy also established a very stylish and highly effective army. Their cockade was in the national colors of red, white and green and was outfitted much the same as the French army but with dark green rather than dark blue being the dominant uniform color. There was a Royal Guard, seven line regiments, two dragoon regiments, a horse artillery regiment and an engineer battalion along with the usual auxiliary and support personnel. The Italian troops the Viceroy led into battle alongside his stepfather proved themselves exceptionally courageous and served with particular distinction at Maloyaroslavets.
è ne (considered by many to be the most talented of Napoleone’s relatives) fought desperately to maintain his piece of Europe but he had never been truly accepted and never had the time to become so. When Lord William Bentinck landed at Leghorn on March 8, 1814 it was only a matter of time and on April 14 at Mantua the Viceroy signed an armistice and the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy was no more. Yet, the ultimate historical impact was significant.