Italian Republic (Napoleonic)

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Italian Republic

Repubblica Italiana
Italy 1803.jpg
Northern Italy in 1803
(borders between Italy and France are not accurate)
Status Sister Republic of Napoleonic France
Common languages Italian
Roman Catholic
Government Constitutional republic
Napoleon Bonaparte
Vice President  
Francesco Melzi d'Eril
Legislature Legislative Body
Historical era Napoleonic Wars
9 February 1801
 National Meetings in Lyon
26 January 1802
  Monarchy proclaimed
17 March 1805
Currency Milanese scudo, lira, soldo and denaro
ISO 3166 code IT
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806).svg Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire)
Flag of the Repubblica Cisalpina.svg Cisalpine Republic
Flag of the Repubblic of Alba.svg Subalpine Republic
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) Flag of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.svg

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

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.

A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy. It is a form of government under which the head of state is not a hereditary monarch.

Northern Italy Place in Italy

Northern Italy is a geographical and cultural region in the northern part of Italy. Non-administrative, it consists of eight administrative Regions in northern Italy: Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. As of 2014, its population was 27,801,460. Rhaeto-Romance and Gallo-Italic languages are spoken in the region, as opposed to the Italo-Dalmatian languages spoken in the rest of Italy.


The republic

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

The Italian Republic was the successor of the Cisalpine Republic, which changed its constitution to allow the French First Consul Napoleon to become its president. The new constitution changed the name of the state to the "Italian Republic"; it consisted of the same areas that had comprised the Cisalpine Republic, primarily Lombardy and Romagna.

Cisalpine Republic French client republic in Northern Italy (1797-1802)

The Cisalpine Republic was a sister republic of France in Northern Italy that lasted from 1797 to 1802.

Lombardy Region of Italy

Lombardy is one of the twenty administrative regions of Italy, in the northwest of the country, with an area of 23,844 square kilometres (9,206 sq mi). About 10 million people, forming one-sixth of Italy's population, live in Lombardy and about a fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in the region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest regions in Europe. Milan, Lombardy's capital, is the second-largest city and the largest metropolitan area in Italy.

Romagna Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna

Romagna is an Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna, North Italy. Traditionally, it is limited by the Apennines to the south-west, the Adriatic to the east, and the rivers Reno and Sillaro to the north and west. The region's major cities include Cesena, Faenza, Forlì, Imola, Ravenna, Rimini and City of San Marino. The region has been recently formally expanded with the transfer of seven comuni from the Marche region, which are a small number of comuni where Romagnolo dialect is spoken.

The republic had a territory of more than 42,500 square kilometers (16,400 sq mi), and a population of 3,240,000 in 12 départements . Milan was the capital city, the main center having 124,000 inhabitants in 1764. The country was prosperous despite the plundering experienced in preceding centuries. Its economy was based on cereal agriculture and cattle raising, plus flourishing small industries, notably the production of silk.

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,395,274 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Cereal Grass of which the fruits are used as grain, or said fruits

A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain, composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain itself. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat (Polygonaceae), quinoa (Amaranthaceae) and chia (Lamiaceae), are referred to as pseudocereals.

Agriculture Cultivation of plants and animals to provide useful products

Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first.

The flag of the Italian Republic maintained the three Italian-Milanese national colours, but with a new, less revolutionary, pattern. The coat of arms was specified in a decree on May 13, 1802. A treaty of friendship and commerce with the Republic of San Marino was signed on June 10, 1802, the Concordat with the Holy See on September 16, 1803.

National colours are frequently part of a country's set of national symbols.

Holy See episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, is the apostolic episcopal see of the bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, ex cathedra the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, and a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and Papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholic bishops and Catholics around the world organised in polities of the Latin Church, the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.

The government created the National Guard of Italy, a National Gendarmerie, and a finance police; the metric system was introduced and a national currency was planned, although never minted during the Republican era.

The Carabinieri are the national gendarmerie of Italy who primarily carry out domestic policing duties. It is one of Italy's main law enforcement agencies, alongside the Polizia di Stato and the Guardia di Finanza. As with the Guardia di Finanza but in contrast to the Polizia di Stato, the Carabinieri are a military force. As the fourth branch of the Italian Armed Forces, they come under the authority of the Ministry of Defence. In practice, there is a significant overlap between the jurisdiction of the Polizia di Stato and Carabinieri, who are contacted on separate emergency telephone numbers. Unlike the Polizia di Stato, the Carabinieri have responsibility for policing the military, and a number of members regularly participate in military missions abroad.

Gendarmerie military force charged with police duties among civilian populations

A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military component with jurisdiction in civil law enforcement. The term gendarme is derived from the medieval French expression gens d'armes, which translates to "armed people". In France and some Francophone nations, the gendarmerie is a branch of the armed forces responsible for internal security in parts of the territory with additional duties as a military police for the armed forces. This concept was introduced to several other Western European countries during the Napoleonic conquests. In the mid twentieth century, a number of former French mandates or colonial possessions such as Lebanon, Syria, and the Republic of the Congo adopted a gendarmerie after independence.

Guardia di Finanza Italian law enforcement agency

The Guardia di Finanza (GdF) (Italian pronunciation: [ˈɡwardja di fiˈnantsa]; is an Italian law enforcement agency under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance. It is a militarized police force, forming a part of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, not the Ministry of Defence. Guardia di Finanza is essentially responsible for dealing with financial crime and smuggling; it has also evolved into Italy's primary agency for suppressing the illegal drug trade. It maintains over 600 boats and ships and more than 100 aircraft to serve in its mission of patrolling Italy's territorial waters.

In 1805, following Bonaparte's assumption of the title of Emperor of the French, the Italian Republic was transformed into the Kingdom of Italy (Regno d'Italia), with Napoleon as king and his stepson Eugène de Beauharnais as viceroy.

Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic) kingdom on the Apennine Peninsula between 1805 and 1814

The Kingdom of Italy was a kingdom in Northern Italy in personal union with France under Napoleon I. It was fully influenced by revolutionary France and ended with his defeat and fall. Its governance was conducted by Napoleon and his step-son and viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais.

Eugène de Beauharnais French general and adoptive son of Napoleon I

Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg was the first child and only son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, first wife of Napoleon I.

A viceroy is an official who runs a country, colony, city, province, or sub-national state, in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roy, meaning "king". A viceroy's territory may be called a viceroyalty, though this term is not always applied. The adjective form is viceregal, less often viceroyal. The term vicereine is sometimes used to indicate a female viceroy suo jure, although viceroy can serve as a gender-neutral term. Vicereine is more commonly used to indicate a viceroy's wife.

Institutional form

According to the Italian constitution of 1802, sovereignty resided in three electoral colleges of three to two hundred members: the College of Owners (il Collegio dei possidenti), the College of Scholars (il Collegio dei dotti), and the College of Traders (il Collegio dei mercanti), the first having its seat in Milan, the second in Bologna, and the third in Brescia. All the colleges elected a commission of control and supreme rule, called the Censorship (la Censura), composed of twenty-one members and based in Cremona.

The Vice-President of Italy, citizen Francesco Melzi d'Eril Melzi.jpg
The Vice-President of Italy, citizen Francesco Melzi d'Eril

The head of state was the president of the republic (il Presidente della repubblica), Napoleon Bonaparte, elected for 10 years. The president had full executive powers, appointed the vice-president (il Vicepresidente) and the secretary of state, took legislative and diplomatic initiative, chose the ministers, public agents, ambassadors, and chiefs of the army, summoned the executive councils, and prepared the budget. The vice-president, Francesco Melzi d'Eril, acted for the president during his absence. Melzi was described as a gentleman and effectively ruled over the state's domestic affairs during the three years of the republic's life. Never submitting to Napoleon, Melzi was demoted after the monarchy's proclamation in favour of more controllable men; however, Melzi's character ensured him Napoleon's deep private respect during all the years of the French empire. Melzi also introduced obligatory conscription to Italy.

The Consulta (la Consulta di Stato) was a commission of eight members led by the president of the republic and in charge of foreign policy. The commissioners were appointed by the Censorship upon nomination by the three colleges: many former members of the Directory of the Cisalpine Republic entered into office. The Consulta ratified treaties, approved any special decrees concerning state security, and in the event of the death or resignation of the president, appointed the successor. The minister of foreign affairs was chosen from among the commissioners.

The Legislative Council (il Consiglio legislativo) was a commission of at least ten members appointed by the president for three years. Its mission was to allow the president to submit legislation, helping him in the elaboration of laws and being present when they were discussed in parliament. The secretary of state (il segretario di Stato) was the chief of the public administration. He promulgated the laws, guarded the state's seal, and countersigned presidential acts. The first secretary was Diego Guicciardi, soon followed by Pellegrino Nobili and, finally, by Luigi Vaccari.

The government comprised seven ministers (i ministri). The Minister of War was at first Alessandro Trivulzi and then, from 1804, General Domenico Pino; Minister of Interior was at first Luigi Villa and then, from 1803, Daniele Felici; Minister of Foreign Affairs was Ferdinando Marescalchi; Minister of Justice and Great Judge was Bonaventura Spannocchi; Minister of Treasury was Antonio Veneri; Minister of Finance was Giuseppe Prina; Minister of Religion was Giovanni Bovara. To draw up its budgets, the government was assisted by a Commissionership for National Accountancy.

The parliament of the republic was the Legislative Body (il Corpo Legislativo) with limited powers. It was composed of 75 members elected in each department by the three colleges. It was summoned by the president of the republic and could only approve or reject a law, the discussion being reserved to a more restricted Chamber of orators or Chamber of speakers (Camera degli oratori, a committee of fifteen speakers). First appointed at the Meetings of Lyon, one-third of the parliament had to be renewed every two years.

The tribunals were divided into tribunals of first instance (tribunali di prima istanza), courts of appeal (corti d'appello), courts of revision (corti di revisione), and a court of cassation (corte di cassazione). The judges of the first two were appointed by the Consulta, the latter two by the three colleges.

Local administration

Following the French system, The state was divided into 12 départements ( dipartimenti ). The chief of the department was the prefect ( prefetto ), an office created on May 6, 1802. The prefect was the state's representative in each province (dipartimento), and had two main functions: the first was to implement the administrative decisions of the central government and to control the local authorities, the second was leadership of the police. The local legislative body was the General Council (Consiglio generale), composed of representatives of the communes. The government appointed the Central Departmental Administration (Consiglio della prefettura), composed of five or seven members chosen from nominations submitted by the General Council: the Administrations had powers over taxes and public works and, generally, represented local interests.

The departments were divided into districts (distretti) equivalent to the French arrondissements . The chief of the district was the vice-prefect, which had powers similar to those of the prefect, but for a smaller area. However, the structure of the districts was not uniform over all the territory of the republic, and some districts were administered by a district council and a chancellor.

The districts were divided into communes . Communes with more than 3,000 inhabitants had a city council ( consiglio comunale ) of thirty or forty members, chosen by the General council from nominations submitted by the same city council. In the smaller communes, all the taxable citizens were councillors. The council elected a municipality[ clarification needed ] of three to nine members, helped in its executive functions by a city secretary. All city offices were held only by owners and traders, and the leadership of the owners was assured. Each commune had a tax collector.

List of departments and districts


Historical database of Lombard laws (it.)
Text of the Constitution of Italy of 1802 (it.)

See also

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

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