Cisalpine Republic

Last updated
Cisalpine Republic

Repubblica Cisalpina
1797–1802
Flag of the Repubblica Cisalpina.svg
Flag [1]
Seal of the Cisalpine Republic.svg
Seal
Norditalien und Mittelitalien 1799.jpg
The Cisalpine Republic (green) in 1799
Status Sister Republic of France
CapitalMilan
Common languages Italian
GovernmentConstitutional republic
First Director  
 1797–1799
Francesco Melzi d'Eril
Head of Government 
 1797
Pietro Verri
 1797–1798
Giuseppe Parini
 1798–1799
Alessandro Volta
Legislature Legislative Council
Council of Elders
Council of Juniors
Historical era Napoleonic Wars
29 June 1797
17 October 1797
27 April 1799
2 June 1800
26 January 1802
Currency Milanese scudo, lira, soldo and denaro
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Repubblica Transpadana.svg Transpadane Republic
Flag of Repubblica Cispadana.jpg Cispadane Republic
Mantua Flag 1575-1707 (new).svg Duchy of Mantua
Flag of Most Serene Republic of Venice.svg Republic of Venice
Italian Republic (Napoleonic) Flag of the Italian Republic (1802).svg

The Cisalpine Republic (Italian : Repubblica Cisalpina) was a sister republic of France in Northern Italy that lasted from 1797 to 1802.

Contents

Creation

After the Battle of Lodi in May 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte organized two states: one to the south of the Po, the Cispadane Republic, and one to the north, the Transpadane Republic. On 19 May 1797, Napoleon transferred the territories of the former Duchy of Modena to Transpadania and, on 12 Messidor (29 June), he decreed the birth of the Cisalpine Republic, creating a Directory for the republic and appointing its ministers. France published the constitution of the new republic on 20 Messidor (7 July), establishing the division of the territory into eleven departments: Adda (Lodi), Alpi Apuane (Massa), Crostolo (Reggio), Lario (Como), Montagna (Lecco), Olona (Milan), Panaro (Modena), Po (Cremona), Serio (Bergamo), Ticino (Pavia), and Verbano (Varese).

The rest of Cispadania was merged into the Cisalpine Republic on 27 July, with the capital of the unified state being Milan. On 1 Brumaire (22 October), Bonaparte announced the union of Valtelline with the Republic, after its secession from the Swiss Three Grey Leagues. Austria acknowledged the new entity in the Treaty of Campoformio of 17 October, gaining in exchange what remained of the Venetian Republic. On 25 Brumaire (15 November), the full international recognition and legality of the new state was ratified by the law governing the final annexation of the conquered territories.

The parliament, composed of two chambers (the Great Council and the Council of the Seniors), was appointed directly by Napoleon on 1 Frimaire (21 November). He justified this undemocratic action as a necessity of war. New departments joined the eleven original ones and Valtelline in the following months: Benaco (Desenzano) on 11 Ventose (1 March 1798), Mella (Brescia) on 13 Floreal (2 May), Mincio (Mantua) on 7 Prairial (26 May), and five departments of Emilia. The structural phase of the republic was terminated on 14 Fructidor (31 August), when France dismissed all the authorities of the republic, replacing them by a stronger executive power under a new constitution.

Institutional form

First constitution

The Cisalpine Republic was for many years under the dominion of the House of Austria.

The French Republic succeeded it by right of conquest. It now renounces this right, and the Cisalpine Republic is free and independent. Recognized by France and by the Emperor, it will soon be equally acknowledged by the rest of Europe.

The Executive Directory of the French Republic, not content with employing its influence, and the victories of the Republican armies, to secure the political existence of the Cisalpine Republic, extends its care still further; and convinced that, if liberty be the first of blessings, the revolution which attends it is the greatest of evils, it has given to the Cisalpine people their peculiar Constitution, resulting from the wisdom of the most enlightened nation.

From a military regime, the Cisalpine people pass to a constitutional one.

That this transition should experience no shock, nor be exposed to anarchy, the Executive Directory though proper to nominate, for the present, the members of the government and the legislative body, so that the people should, after the lapse of one year, have the election to the vacant places, in conformity to the Constitution.

For a great number of years, there existed no republic in Italy. The sacred fire of liberty was extinguished, and the finest part of Europe was under the yoke of strangers. It belongs to the Cisalpine Republic to show to the world by its wisdom, its energy, and the good organization of its armies, that modern Italy is not degenerated, and is still worthy of liberty.

(Signed) Buonaparte.

Proclamation of General Buonaparte (later became the Preamble to the Constitution of the Cisalpine Republic), Montebello, 11 Messidor, year V (29 June 1797). [2]

The institutions of the new republic were very similar to those of France. The territory was divided into departments which elected the judges of peace, the magistrates and the electors, one for every 200 people having the right to vote. The latter elected two councils: the Consiglio dei Seniori ("Council of the Seniors") and the Gran Consiglio ("Great Council"). The first was initially composed of 40 to 60 members and approved the laws and modifications to the Constitutional Chart. The second initially had from 80 to 120 members and proposed the laws. Both councils discussed treaties, the choice of a Directory, and the determination of tributes. The legislative corps included men like Pietro Verri, Giuseppe Parini and the scientist Alessandro Volta. The electors had to be landowners or wealthy.

The Directory was composed of five directors and represented the executive power: leaders were local politicians like Gian Galeazzo Serbelloni, the first president. The Directory chose its secretary and appointed the six ministers: for justice, war, foreign affairs, internal affairs, police, and finance. The supreme authority, however, was the commander of the French troops. The republic also adopted the French Republican Calendar.

Each department had its own local directory of five members, as did communes between 3,000 and 100,000 inhabitants. The biggest communes were divided into municipalities, with a central joint commission to handle the general affairs of the cities. The smallest communes were united in districts with a single municipality, with each commune having its own municipal agent.

Second constitution

General Brune attempted a coup d'etat in autumn 1798. Guillaume Marie-Anne Brune.jpg
General Brune attempted a coup d'état in autumn 1798.

The first constitution did not have a long life. On 14 Fructidor, year VI (31 August 1798), the French ambassador Claude-Joseph Trouvé (who was only thirty years old) dismissed the Directory, and the next day he promulgated a new constitution with a stronger executive power.

The departments numbered eleven again, now covering larger geographical areas: Olona (Milan), Alto Po (Cremona), Serio (Bergamo), Adda and Oglio (Morbegno), Mella (Brescia), Mincio [3] (Mantua), Panaro (Modena), Crostolo (Reggio), Reno (Bologna), Basso Po (Ferrara), Rubicone (Forlì). The membership of the local directories was reduced to three, and the municipalities for communes between 3,000 and 10,000 inhabitants were disbanded.

Trouvé appointed the new Directory, which had stronger powers, and a new parliament composed of two councils: the Anziani ("Elders") and the Giuniori ("Juniors"). The first was composed of 40 elected members together with the former directors. The second had 80 members.

A new coup d'état, attempted by French general Guillaume Marie Anne Brune the next autumn, was disavowed by the French Directory on 17 Frimaire (7 December).

Directors

The first Directory of the republic was appointed by Napoleon the same day as the proclamation of the birth of the State, on 12 Messidor, year V (29 June 1797).

The second Directory of the Republic was appointed by Trouvé the same day as the proclamation of the second constitution, on 14 Fructidor, year VI (31 August 1798).

On 21 Germinal, year VII (10 April 1799) the Directory received special powers to meet the Austrian and Russian invasions after the formation of the Second Coalition. The next day, a Military Committee, a Finance Committee and a Public Health Committee were established. On 7 Floreal (26 April) an order was given to evacuate the Legislative Council. On 29 April 1799, Austrian rule was restored and the Directory abolished.

Treaty of alliance

Formally, the Cisalpine Republic was an independent state allied with France, but the treaty of alliance established the effective subalternity of the new republic to France. The French, in fact, had control over the local police and left an army consisting of 25,000 Frenchmen, financed by the Republic. The Cisalpines were also required to form another army of 35,000 of their own men to take part in French campaigns.

On 4 March 1798, the Directory presented this treaty to the Great Council for ratification. The council did not agree with the terms and delayed taking a decision, but in the end, the French general Berthier compelled acceptance by the members. The Elders, however, refused it from the very beginning, as the new state was unable to finance the requested institutions. Berthier threatened to impose a military government but was later replaced by general Brune. The latter, after replacing some Elders and Juniors, achieved the signing of the treaty on 8 June.

Relations with Switzerland

The new government aimed to unite all Italian lands into a single state. This fact created tensions with Switzerland, which included Italian-speaking areas south of the Alps. On 10 October 1797, the French supported a revolt in Valtelline. The Cisalpine Republic ended up taking control of Campione d'Italia and the Valtellina from Grisons and joining them to the republic. A Cisalpine attempt to conquer Lugano by surprise failed in 1797.

Second republic

30 soldi coin (equal to 1 /2 lira) of the Cisalpine Republic, 1801 Repubblica Cisalpina - 30soldi 1801.jpg
30 soldi coin (equal to 1 2 lira) of the Cisalpine Republic, 1801

The republic was dissolved after the defeat of France by the Second Coalition in April 1799. It was occupied by General Suvorov's Russian and Austrian forces, which appointed a provisional administration led by the Imperial Commission of the Mantuan Count Luigi Cocastelli. They departed only on 30 May 1800, just a few days before Napoleon won the Battle of Marengo.

The Cisalpine Republic was restored by Napoleon on 15 Prairial, year VIII (4 June 1800). On 28 Prairial (17 June), the First Consul appointed an Extraordinary Commission of Government of nine members and a legislative Consulta: the final list of the executive and legislative institutions was published on 5 Messidor (24 June). On 16 Messidor (6 July) all the acts issued during the Austrian occupation were annulled, and afterwards, the tricolour flag was restored.

Napoleon's new victories gave him a chance to stabilize the political situation in all of northern Italy. On 3 Vendemiaire, year IX (25 September), the powers of the Extraordinary Commission were concentrated in the hands of a more restricted Committee of Government, composed of three members: Giovan Battista Sommariva, Sigismondo Ruga and Francesco Visconti, reflecting the institution of the French Consulate. On 21 Vendemiaire (13 October), owing to the refusal of the escaped King Charles Emmanuel IV of Savoy to sign a treaty of peace settling the situation of the occupied Piedmont, Napoleon ordered the annexation of Novara to the republic, shifting its western border from river Ticino to the river Sesia. After the surrender of Austria and the signing of the Treaty of Lunéville on 9 February 1801, the territory of the republic was extended to the east as well, placing the frontier with the Holy Roman Empire on the river Adige without the exceptions agreed in Campo Formio. On 23 Floreal (13 May), the territory of the republic was divided into 12 departments, adding Agogna (Novara), restoring Lario and abolishing Adda-e-Oglio.

The Consulta of the Republique cisalpine receives the First Consul on 26 January 1802, Nicolas-Andre Monsiau, 1806-08 MonsiauConsultaRepubliqueCsalpine1808.jpg
The Consulta of the République cisalpine receives the First Consul on 26 January 1802, Nicolas-André Monsiau, 1806–08

On 21 Brumaire, year X (12 November), an Extraordinary Cisalpine Consulta was summoned in Lyon. In January 1802, the Consulta decided to change the name of the State to the Italian Republic, when Napoleon had himself elected president, on 24 January, on the advice of Talleyrand. Two days later, in a scene officially commemorated by Monsiau, Bonaparte appeared in the Collège de la Trinité of Lyon, attended by Murat, Berthier, Louis Bonaparte, Hortense and Joséphine de Beauharnais, and heard the assembled notables proclaim the Italian Republic. On 21 Pluviose (10 February), the new constitutional government was proclaimed in Milan by Sommariva and Ruga. The same day, the Gregorian calendar was restored.

See also

Notes

  1. The flag of the Cisalpine Republic was the Transpadane vertical Italian tricolour, with the square shape of the Cispadane flag.
  2. John Debrett , A Collection of State Papers Relative to the War Against France Now Carrying on by Great Britain and the Several Other European Powers (1798) 96. Debrett's.
  3. The Constitution was written so fast that the department of Mincio was erroneously listed as Milano.

Sources

Coordinates: 45°28′N9°10′E / 45.467°N 9.167°E / 45.467; 9.167

Related Research Articles

French Directory Executive power of the French Constitution of 1795-1799

The Directory or Directorate was a five-member committee that governed France from 2 November 1795, when it replaced the Committee of Public Safety, until 9 November 1799, when it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, and replaced by the French Consulate. It gave its name to the final four years of the French Revolution. On the other hand, according to the mainstream historiography - for example F. Furet and D. Richet in “French Revolution” - with the aforementioned terms is indicated also the regime and the period from the dissolution of the National Convention of Tuileries Palace on 26 October 1795, which was superseded by the two new elected Councils, and the coup d’état by Napoleon. Only in 1798 the Council of Five Hundred moved to the Palais Bourbon.

Treaty of Campo Formio 1797 treaty between Napoleonic France and Habsburg Austria

The Treaty of Campo Formio was signed on 18 October 1797 by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Philipp von Cobenzl as representatives of the French Republic and the Austrian monarchy, respectively. The treaty followed the armistice of Leoben, which had been forced on the Habsburgs by Napoleon's victorious campaign in Italy. It ended the War of the First Coalition and left Great Britain fighting alone against revolutionary France.

This is a glossary of the French Revolution. It generally does not explicate names of individual people or their political associations; those can be found in List of people associated with the French Revolution.

Coup of 18 Brumaire coup that brought Napoleon to power

The Coup of 18 Brumaire brought General Napoleon Bonaparte to power as First Consul of France and in the view of most historians ended the French Revolution. This bloodless coup d'état overthrew the Directory, replacing it with the French Consulate. This occurred on 9 November 1799, which was 18 Brumaire, Year VIII under the French Republican Calendar.

War of the Second Coalition Attempt to contain or eliminate Revolutionary France

The War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802) was the second war on revolutionary France by most of the European monarchies, led by Britain, Austria and Russia, and including the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Naples, various German monarchies and Sweden, though Prussia did not join this coalition and Spain supported France.

Roman Republic (18th century) republic at the Apennine Peninsula between 1798-1799

The Roman Republic was proclaimed on 15 February 1798 after Louis Alexandre Berthier, a general of Napoleon, had invaded the city of Rome on 10 February. The Roman Republic was one of the Italian "sister republics" of Revolutionary France. It was placed under the French Directory and was composed of territory conquered from the Papal States. Pope Pius VI was exiled to France and died there in 1799. It immediately took control of the other two former-papal revolutionary administrations, the Tiberina Republic and the Anconine Republic. The Roman Republic was short-lived, as the Papal States were restored in October 1799.

Hugues-Bernard Maret, duc de Bassano French statesman and journalist

Hugues-Bernard Maret, 1st Duc de Bassano, was a French statesman, diplomat and journalist.

Constitution of the Year III French constitution

The Constitution of the Year III is the constitution that founded the Directory. Adopted by the Convention on 5 Fructidor Year III and approved by plebiscite on September 6. Its preamble is the Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and of the Citizen of 1795.

Italian Republic (Napoleonic) republic on the Apennine Peninsula between 1802 and 1805

The Italian Republic was a short-lived (1802–1805) republic located in Northern Italy. Napoleon served as President and its capital was Milan.

Cispadane Republic 18th-century former country in Italy

The Cispadane Republic was a short-lived republic located in northern Italy, founded in 1796 with the protection of the French army, led by Napoleon Bonaparte. In the following year, it was merged with the Transpadane Republic to form the Cisalpine Republic. These were French client states organized by Napoleon after the Battle of Lodi in May 1796. The republic's name refers to the "near side" of the River Po.

Transpadane Republic former country

The Transpadane Republic was a revolutionary, provisional and internationally unrecognized government established in Milan by General Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Treaty of Tolentino was a peace treaty between Revolutionary France and the Papal States, signed on 19 February 1797 and imposing terms of surrender on the Papal side. The signatories for France were the French Directory's Ambassador to the Holy See, François Cacault, and the rising General Napoleon Bonaparte and opposite them four representatives of Pius VI's Curia.

1795 French Directory election

The French elections of 1795 were held from 12 October to 4 November 1795 Constitution of the Year III. The elections elected the fifth member of French Directory, new collective government of France, and renewed 150 deputies (one-third) of the French Council of Five Hundred. The rest of the Corps législatif remained unelected, as express by Constitution. There was a census suffrage, so only 30,000 citizens expressed their votes.

François Sébastien Letourneux (1752–1814) was a French lawyer and politician who was Minister of the Interior under the Directory.

Army of Italy (France) field army of the French Revolutionary Army

The Army of Italy was a field army of the French Army stationed on the Italian border and used for operations in Italy itself. Though it existed in some form in the 16th century through to the present, it is best known for its role during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars.

Claude Louis Petiet French general and politician

Claude Louis Petiet was a Commissioner of war in 1778, elected to the Council of Elders in 1795, and was appointed Minister of War on 8 February 1796. He was dismissed on 14 July 1797 by the French Directory of Paul Barras, Jean-François Reubell and Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux. Appointed to the State Council by Napoleon Bonaparte, he became steward of the army camp at Boulogne in 1805 and senator in 1806.

The Constitution of the Cisalpine Republic, was the second constitution of the Cisalpine Republic, a Sister Republic of France under Napoleon Bonaparte, roughly comprising the modern-day northern regions of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. It came into effect on 31 August 1798, replacing the 1797 Constitution.

Marie Jean Fran├žois Philibert Lecarlier dArdon French police chief

Marie Jean François Philibert Lecarlier d'Ardon was a wealthy French landowner who entered politics during the French Revolution and was Minister of Police for a few months.

The Constitution of the Cisalpine Republic, was the first constitution of the Cisalpine Republic, a Sister Republic of France under Napoleon Bonaparte, roughly comprising the modern-day northern regions of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. It came into effect on 20 messidor V.

Convention of Alessandria treaty

The Convention of Alessandria was a treaty signed on 15 June 1800 between the French First Republic led by Napoleon and Austria during the War of the Second Coalition. Following the Austrian defeat at the Battle of Marengo, they agreed to evacuate Italy as far as the Mincio and abandon strongholds in Piedmont and Milan. Great Britain and Austria were allies and hoped to negotiate a peace treaty with France, but Napoleon insisted on separate treaties with each nation. The negotiations failed, and fighting resumed on 22 November 1800.