In the spring of 1796, the Army of Italy under the leadership of Bonaparte invaded the Italian peninsula, entered major cities, occupied Northern and Central Italy, and gradually reorganised old units into sister republics – satellite states under strict French control. Everywhere in Italy, pro-French republican militants, called giacobini, helped set up new institutions and worked on aligning public opinion with French-inspired revolutionary goals. The Duchies of Parma and Piacenza stood out as the only exception to this course of action. Bonaparte and his representatives made every effort to thwart the enthusiasm of their own supporters there and allowed the Duke of Parma to repress a burgeoning pro-French republican movement. It was an exercise in Real Politik motivated by diplomatic necessities: Spain exercised political custody over the duchies, and the Directory wished to secure Spain’s neutrality. The atypical decision of suppressing pro-French activities resulted in a cancelled revolution that hindered France’s long-term political objectives in the area.
|Journal||Napoleonica. La Revue|
|State||Published - Sep 15 2020|