For diplomatic necessities, General Bonaparte did not extend revolutionizing policies to Parma–Piacenza. Already out of step with the reform movement in the area, the country also missed the sister republic phase. Marginalized pro-French allies took the road of exile and Duke Ferdinand remained on the throne until his death in 1802, a peculiar situation that did not prevent the French army from exploiting local resources. At the Cispadan Congress of 1796, Bonaparte promised Italians that they would achieve liberty ‘without the revolution and its crimes’. Paraphrasing Bonaparte, Parma’s citizens experienced the crimes without the revolution and without liberty—with significant consequences for the country’s political culture. As a result, French administrators found themselves confronted with unexpected challenges after 1802, when diplomatic arrangements officially transferred sovereignty to France.