Naples and Napoleon

Southern Italy and the European Revolutions, 1780-1860
Davis, John A.
Date published: 
April 2006

John Davis uses southern Italy as the vantage point for a major reconsideration of the country's history in the age of Napoleon and the European revolutions. Taking his central themes from the period of French rule between 1806 and 1815, when southern Italy was the Mediterranean frontier of Napoleon's continental empire, Davis proceeds to show how the South was the first to experience political and economic challenges that would later undermine all the pre-Unification Italian rulers. In so doing, Davis completely reshapes our understanding of how the Italian states came to be unified, and why, after Unification, the South became such a problem.