French rule under Napoleon
Napoleon took control of Italy in 1796, and crowned himself King in 1805.
Napoleon made a series of changes to simplify, such as splitting Italy into three states:
- 1/3 treated as French Empire including Piedmont, Central Duchies and Papel States.
- 1/3 known as Kingdom of Italy. Included Lombardy, Bologna, Modena, Romagna and Ferrara. Napoleon's stepson ruled as viceroy. (representative of the monarch).
- 1/3 became Kingdom of Naples excluding Sicily which was British. Napoleon's brother Joseph was King Kingdom of Naples.
Napoleon conscripted many Italians to the army. 27000 went to Russia and only 1000 returned.
High taxation, in order to make amends for the amount of money spent on war, 60% tax revenue spent on war.
The Church- Suffered badly under Napoleon as its powers were reduced, Papal States governed by French but Pope still head of the Church. Church Lands sold off, but not in small lots that peasents could have afforded. By 1814 almost all monastries had been closed.
The Wealthy- Many did well out of the purchases of Church land.
Urban Groups- Substantial benefit for most of the 10% that live in towns of which the majority were professional men. Lower in the scale ie tradesmen and craftsmen profited also from middle class exchanges.
- Weights and measures were standardised.
- Internal Trade barriers swept away.
- New and better roads were built, transport was improved.
- Code Napoleon adopted to replace each states individual laws.
- Industry encouraged.
- Vaccinations available.
- Street lighting.
- Twoo chamber representative government in each state.
The Peasants- Made up 80-90% of Italians, but were not recieving any of the benefits the middle class and the elite had. The peasants were long ignored.
In the south, couples married at 19 (female) and men (before 25), they were able to do this because the parents offered 'dowry' gifts, however the families to poor to do so just couldnt marry off their daughters. Many a time it was customary that the eldest son of the household must remain a bachelor.
Mainly consumed maize, which led to a vitamin deficiency and led to the disease pellegra. This lead to many men becoming bandits in the countryside to get money.
In conclusion, the French did help to improve the lives of those living in towns that were already middle class, or the tradesmen who supplied middle class people with goods, however once again the poor were forgotten about. Also the church suffered, and that was quite a large part of peasant peoples lives.