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Naples and NapoleonSouthern Italy and the European Revolutions, 1780-1860$
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John A. Davis

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207559

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207559.001.0001

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Undermining the Old Order

Undermining the Old Order

(p.54) 3 Undermining the Old Order
Naples and Napoleon

John A. Davis (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Despite their similarities, the projects of the reformers and the policies adopted by the Bourbon monarchy were inspired by very different principles and objectives, while new and less visible economic forces were also working in other ways to undermine the feudal order and agrarian relations. This chapter examines how the monarchy's attempts to reform feudalism from within (using feudal law to challenge the nobility's privileges in the army, to exercises the right of devolution of feudal properties, and reintegrate the common lands) and its experiments in absolutism (against the autonomy of the Sicilian nobility and following the Calabrian earthquake in 1783 and the creation of the Cassa Sacra) were unsuccessful but by arousing expectations of reform that could not be met dangerously exacerbated social tensions.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, feudalism, absolutism, trade and commerce, economic growth, agrarian change, common lands, Sicily, Naples, Calabria

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