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By Michael Broers

The Politics of faith in Napoleonic Italy explores the serious cultural clash created via French rule in Italy before everything of the 19th century. Napoleon's hope for cultural conformity struck on the center of Italian spiritual existence. but the reforms imposed by means of French rule created resentment and resistance throughout Italy, eventually resulting in Napoleon's recognized quarrel with Pope Pius VII.In this attention-grabbing examine, Mike Broers lines the occasions best as much as the ex-communication of Napoleon and the Pope's arrest and exile from Rome. utilizing formerly ignored French and Italian archival resources, this publication finds how the alliance among Church and other people grew within the face of alien, imperial rule. It exposes the very important function this union performed in combating Italy from being completely assimilated into the French empire.

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He can’t avoid being caught up in the crowd. If there is trouble, how can he control his administrés? The religious festivals are almost as important to the people as the law – and when the altar is not used to stir up fanaticism, they might guarantee him control, but not when the festivals are prolonged … when they lead to disorder. 8 D’Auzers also added that this particular year – the first of the Pope’s captivity at Savona, just along the coast – the festa dei lumi had lasted a 29 T H E R E L I G I O N O F T H E RU L E R S whole week, longer by several days than was usual.

55 The French beheld an Italy full – too full – of churches and clergy, and the conclusion the new imperial rulers drew was not that Italians continued in their corruption in the face of the admonitions of their priests, as Waquet has posited for ancien régime Florence, but that the Tridentine Church itself was part of the corruption, that it had left them rudderless. The French distrusted the confessional not just as a ready weapon of the counter-revolution against the Revolution – although this was very strongly felt from the top to the bottom of the regime – but as a morally corrupting influence in itself.

Neither confession and communion at Easter, nor the ritual reconciliation of estranged neighbours at the foot of the mission cross, were reflected in the dossiers of the French police. What shocked them were their unsolicited origins. Lagarde, the French Director-General of Police in Florence, told Paris clearly that: I have little liking for lightly taken measures and information coming from one sole source, for this channel is usually wrong, especially in Italy, which is a country of timorous, but also hateful passions.

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