This chapter examines the history of the empire of Napoleonic Italy, the state founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in Northern Italy. It explains Bonaparte's strategy of exploiting the nationalist sentiments that were breaking down local and communal identities in early nineteenth-century Europe and his promise that that progressive imperial rule would restore Italy to its former greatness. It discusses the similarity of Napoleonic Italy with other empires, the actions taken by rural Italians against Napoleonic centralization and direct state control which led to the quick defeat and collapse of Napoleon's grand European empire.
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