Parthenopean Republic


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Parthenopean Republic

(pär'thənōpē`ən) [from Parthenope, an ancient name of Naples], state set up in Naples in Jan., 1799, by the French Revolutionary army under General ChampionnetChampionnet, Jean Étienne
, 1762–1800, French general in the French Revolutionary Wars. Placed in command of the Army of Rome in 1798, he captured (1799) Naples from the Second Coalition and set up the Parthenopean Republic.
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 and by liberal Neapolitans after the flight of King Ferdinand IV (later Ferdinand IFerdinand I,
1751–1825, king of the Two Sicilies (1816–25). He had previously been king of Naples (1759–99, 1799–1805, 1815–16) as Ferdinand IV and king of Sicily (1759–1816) as Ferdinand III.
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 of the Two Sicilies). In 1798, Ferdinand had joined the Second Coalition against the French Revolution (see French Revolutionary WarsFrench Revolutionary Wars,
wars occurring in the era of the French Revolution and the beginning of the Napoleonic era, the decade of 1792–1802. The wars began as an effort to defend the Revolution and developed into wars of conquest under the empire.
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). His army was unable to halt the French, and Naples was conquered. In February, Cardinal Ruffo, at the head of royalist troops, landed in Calabria and attempted to oust the French. Military reverses in N Italy prompted the evacuation by the French of Naples in May, and in June the republic fell. Admiral Horatio NelsonNelson, Horatio Nelson, Viscount,
1758–1805, British admiral. The most famous of Britain's naval heroes, he is commemorated by the celebrated Nelson Column in Trafalgar Square, London.
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, whose role in the victory was crucial, ignored Cardinal Ruffo's generous convention with the surrendering revolutionists and started the brutal reprisals that were continued by the restored king. The executions and imprisonments brought to an end the 18th-century Englightenment in Naples.

Parthenopean Republic

 

a bourgeois republic proclaimed in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies on Jan. 22, 1799, by Neapolitan republicans who had overthrown the Bourbon monarchy with the aid of troops of the French Directory, who were occupying Naples. The name of the republic was derived from the ancient Greek designation for Naples—Parthenopeia.

Formed on January 24 and headed by Carlo Lauberg, the government of the republic carried out a number of progressive reforms. However, because it acted primarily in the interests of the landed bourgeoisie and the nobility, it did not take decisive measures on behalf of the peasant masses, who had been awaiting the abolition of the feudal order. The law on the abolition of feudal rights was adopted too late (April 25), when the republic’s days were already numbered. Thus, the peasantry was abandoned to the reactionary camp. The peasants’ reactionary tendencies were also encouraged by acts of violence and looting by French troops, as well as by counterrevolutionary propaganda by the agents of the Bourbons and the clergy, who organized antirepublican revolts in various parts of the republic.

Defeated by Austrian troops in northern Italy, the French troops left the Parthenopean Republic in May. The republican forces were defeated by the counterrevolutionary army of Cardinal Ruffo, who, with the aid of the British fleet, occupied Naples on June 23. The authority of the Bourbons was restored. The government of Ferdinand IV (I) massacred the republicans, violating the honorable capitulation of June 23, which had guaranteed their lives. Among those executed were the outstanding Italian thinkers F. M. Pagano and V. Russo.