Napoleonic Era in Italy
Europe was soon involved in a series of wars that eventually involved Italy. Between 1796, when troops under General Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Italy, and 1814, when they withdrew, the entire peninsula was under French domination.
Several short-lived republics were proclaimed early in the period. After two decades of Napoleon’s modern but harsh rule, profound changes took place in Italy; many Italians began to see the possibilities of forging a united country, free of foreign control. Following the restoration of European peace in 1815, Italy consisted of the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont, Sardinia, Savoy, and Genoa); the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (including Naples and Sicily); the Papal States; and Tuscany and a series of smaller duchies in north central Italy. Lombardy and Venetia were now controlled by the Austrians.