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

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9780199552306: Naples and Napoleon: Southern Italy and the European Revolutions, 1780-1860
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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 or later 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 forces unleashed 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 continuing challenges of the new age.

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Review:

Well researched and carefully written. (European History Quarterly)

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)

[Davis] has set a benchmark for research on Naples, Napoleon, the Age of Revolutions, and the Southern Question for future generations of scholars to meet. (The American Historical Review)

About the Author:

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

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9780198207559: Naples and Napoleon: Southern Italy and the European Revolutions, 1780-1860

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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 or later 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 forone of the most ambitious reform projects in Napoleonic Europe, Davis argues that this owed less to Napoleon than to the forces unleashed 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 Naplesand 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 continuing challenges of the new age. Seller Inventory # LIE9780199552306

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