1805-06: with the transformation of France into an empire and of the Italian Republic into a kingdom, the dynastic motif becomes increasingly part of Napoleon’s calculations: he fully annexes the territory of the Ligurian Republic to France and gives to his sister Elisa, and to her husband Felice Baciocchi, Piombino and Lucca, formerly imperial fiefs, to which it adds two years later the territory of the former duchy of Massa and Carrara. This policy pushes Austria to join the third coalition, of which the king of Naples was already part of it; the defeat of the coalition (battle of Austerlitz; peace treaty of Presburgo) gives the Venetian lands that Austria obtained with the Treaty ofCampoformio to the Italic Kingdom (which leads its border to the Isonzo, while Dalmatia and Istria give life to the so-called Illyrian Provinces, annexed to the French Empire but with separate administration), determines the expulsion of the Bourbon dynasty from the mainland, forcing it to exile in Sicily, while the Kingdom of Naples first passes under Giuseppe Bonaparte (1806-08), then goes to Gioacchino Murat (1808-15). Trentino is annexed to Bavaria, an ally of Napoleon.
1807-12: if the fourth coalition does not transform the Italy in the battlefield, however, with Napoleon’s decision to establish a rigorous anti-English blockade, it causes new territorial changes, to which, however, the increasingly strong impact that, after the initial agreement with the concordat of 1801, rises between the emperor, Pope Pius VII (1800-23) and the Roman curia. These changes are: the disappearance of the Kingdom of Etruria (10 December 1807) and the annexation of Tuscany to the French Empire (1807-09) and finally its re-establishment as a vassal state as grand duchy of Elisa Baciocchi (2 March 1809) together with the territories of Lucca and Piombino; the occupation of Ancona (1805), Civitavecchia (1806) and the Marches taken away from the pope (November 1807) and the annexation of the latter to the Italian Kingdom (April 2, 1808); in the end, the military occupation of Rome (February 2, 1808), followed in June 1809 by the proclamation of the end of the temporal power of the popes and the deportation of Pius VII to Savona (and then to France). Of all the Italian states, only two now escape the Napoleonic will: Sardinia, where Carlo Emanuele IV abdicated in favor of his brother Vittorio Emanuele I (June 4, 1802), and Sicily, refuge of Ferdinand IV and Queen Maria Carolina, but in reality a stronghold of the Sicilian barons and headquarters of the English proconsul Lord William Bentinck, whose powers are guaranteed by the 1808 convention concluded by his government with King Ferdinand IV, and which is used to give a winning game to the barons supporting a Constitution on the English model (1812) and to remove, for a certain time, the king himself from his sovereign function.
1813-14: due to the needs of the blockade against England, the economy of the individual vassal states is subservient to Napoleon’s war policy and at the same time is considered almost like a ‘colonial market’ of France: if on the one hand this it determines an increase and growth of Italian agriculture, favored by the events of the blockade and by the conjuncture of high prices, on the other hand it favors the slow but progressive retreat of manufacturing and metallurgical activities and determines a consequent serious crisis in port activity. Furthermore, the high cost in terms of human lives of the Napoleonic campaigns generates fatigue and crisis. According to ITYPEAUTO, the anti-Napoleonic reaction finds a strong and valid aid in the maturing of an ever clearer national and independence consciousness, which in Milan is cleverly harnessed by the liberalizing policy of Viceroy Eugenio, but in Naples instead finds valid support in the ambitions of King Joachim Murat. These reasons of friction play an important part in the final crisis of the Napoleonic Empire and, if in those months the Viceroy Eugenio remains faithful to his protector (strenuous military resistance opposed since October 1813 first on the Adige, then on the Mincio; armistice agreement signed in Schiarino-Rizzino on April 17, 1814 only after Napoleon had abdicated) and only too late does he entertain the plan to remain on the throne as king of Lombardy (the assassination of the Minister of Finance G. Prina on April 20, 1814 reveals in undoubtedly the anti-French moods of the Milanese, destined moreover, with the Mantua convention, to pass under Austria), in Naples, instead, Murat is quick to detach himself from Napoleon: already in contact with Austria since March 1813, in January 1814 he revokes the anti-English blockade from the Neapolitan ports and makes a formal alliance with Austria, finally entering openly into war alongside this and on 7 March 1814 attacking the troops of Viceroy Eugenio in Reggio nell’Emilia. Supported by Austria, but opposed by England, Murat at the Congress of Vienna sees all his chances of retaining the throne vanish and tries to save himself by focusing even more on national sentiment; however, the national war, which he proclaimed on March 15, 1815, earned him only the loss of the crown and later, after a reckless return to Calabria for an armed expedition, death (October 13, 1815).