Kingdom of Naples

Kingdom of Naples

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The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

 after secession of the island of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 as a result of the Sicilian Vespers
Sicilian Vespers
The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out on the Easter of 1282 against the rule of the French/Angevin king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks three thousand French men and women were slain by...

 rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of Naples to distinguish it from the island-based polity. During much of its existence, the realm was contested between French and Aragonese/Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it again merged with island-based Kingdom of Sicily to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, commonly known as the Two Sicilies even before formally coming into being, was the largest and wealthiest of the Italian states before Italian unification...

.

Angevin Kingdom of Naples


Following the rebellion, King Charles I of Sicily
Charles I of Sicily
Charles I , known also as Charles of Anjou, was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266, though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262 and was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282...

 (Charles of Anjou) was forced to leave the island of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 by Peter III of Aragon
Peter III of Aragon
Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.-Youth and succession:Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife...

's troops. Charles, however, maintained his possessions on the mainland, customarily known as the "Kingdom of Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

", after its capital city. Charles and his Angevin
Capetian House of Anjou
The Capetian House of Anjou, also known as the House of Anjou-Sicily and House of Anjou-Naples, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily, a son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century...

 successors maintained a claim to Sicily, warring against the Aragonese until 1373, when Queen Joan I of Naples
Joan I of Naples
Joan I , born Joanna of Anjou, was Queen of Naples from 1343 until her death. She was also Countess of Provence and Forcalquier, Queen consort of Majorca and titular Queen of Jerusalem and Sicily 1343–82, and Princess of Achaea 1373/5–81....

 formally renounced the claim. Joan's reign was contested by Louis the Great, the Angevin King of Hungary
History of Hungary
Hungary is a country in central Europe. Its history under this name dates to the early Middle Ages, when the Pannonian Basin was colonized by the Magyars, a semi-nomadic people from what is now central-northern Russia...

, who captured the kingdom several times (1348–1352).

Queen Joan I also played a part in the ultimate demise of the first Kingdom of Naples. As she was childless, she adopted Louis I, Duke of Anjou
Louis I of Naples
Louis I of Anjou , or Louis I of Naples, was the second son of King John II of France and Bonne of Luxembourg...

 as her heir, in spite of the claims of her cousin, the Prince of Durazzo, effectively setting up a junior Angevin line in competition with the senior line. This led to Joan I's murder at the hands of the Prince of Durazzo in 1382, and his seizing the throne as Charles III of Naples
Charles III of Naples
Charles the Short or Charles of Durazzo was King of Naples and titular King of Jerusalem from 1382 to 1386 as Charles III, and King of Hungary from 1385 to 1386 as Charles II. In 1382 Charles created the order of Argonauts of Saint Nicholas...

. The two competing Angevin lines contested each other for the possession of the Kingdom of Naples over the following decades. Charles III's daughter Joan II
Joan II of Naples
Joan II was Queen of Naples from 1414 to her death, upon which the senior Angevin line of Naples became extinct. As a mere formality, she used the title of Queen of Jerusalem, Sicily, and Hungary....

 (r. 1414-1435) adopted Alfonso V of Aragon
Alfonso V of Aragon
Alfonso the Magnanimous KG was the King of Aragon , Valencia , Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica , and Sicily and Count of Barcelona from 1416 and King of Naples from 1442 until his death...

 (whom she later repudiated) and Louis III of Anjou as heirs alternately, finally settling succession on Louis' brother René of Anjou of the junior Angevin line, and he succeeded her in 1435.

René of Anjou temporarily united the claims of junior and senior Angevin lines. In 1442, however, Alfonso V
Alfonso V of Aragon
Alfonso the Magnanimous KG was the King of Aragon , Valencia , Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica , and Sicily and Count of Barcelona from 1416 and King of Naples from 1442 until his death...

 conquered the Kingdom of Naples and unified Sicily and Naples once again as dependencies of Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

. At his death in 1458, the kingdom was again separated and Naples was inherited by Ferrante
Ferdinand I of Naples
Ferdinand I , also called Don Ferrante, was the King of Naples from 1458 to 1494. He was the natural son of Alfonso V of Aragon by Giraldona Carlino.-Biography:...

, Alfonso's illegitimate son.

Aragonese and Spanish Kingdom of Naples


When Ferrante died in 1494, Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII, called the Affable, , was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. Charles was a member of the House of Valois...

 invaded Italy, using the Angevin claim to the throne of Naples, which his father had inherited on the death of King René's nephew in 1481, as a pretext, thus beginning the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

. Charles VIII expelled Alfonso II of Naples
Alfonso II of Naples
Alfonso II of Naples , also called Alfonso II d'Aragon, was King of Naples from 25 January 1494 to 22 February 1495 with the title King of Naples and Jerusalem...

 from Naples in 1495, but was soon forced to withdraw due to the support of Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 for his cousin, Alfonso II's son Ferrantino
Ferdinand II of Naples
Ferdinand II or Ferrante II of Naples , sometimes known as Ferrandino, was King of Naples from 1495 to 1496...

. Ferrantino was restored to the throne, but died in 1496, and was succeeded by his uncle, Frederick IV
Frederick IV of Naples
Frederick IV , sometimes known as Frederick I or Federico d'Aragona, was the last King of Naples of the House of Trastámara, ruling from 1496 to 1501...

. The French, however, did not give up their claim, and in 1501 agreed to a partition of the kingdom with Ferdinand of Aragon, who abandoned his cousin King Frederick. The deal soon fell through, however, and Aragon and France resumed their war over the kingdom, ultimately resulting in an Aragonese victory leaving Ferdinand in control of the kingdom by 1504.

The kingdom continued to be a focus of dispute between France and Spain for the next several decades, but French efforts to gain control of it became feebler as the decades went on, and Spanish control was never genuinely endangered. The French finally abandoned their claims to the kingdom by the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559.
With the Treaty of London (1557) the new territory of "Stato dei Presidi" (State of Presidi
State of Presidi
The Stato dei Presidi was a client state of the Kingdom of Spain situated in central Italy, which included the cities of Orbetello, Porto Ercole, Porto Santo Stefano, Talamone, Ansedonia and Porto Longone, in what is now southern Tuscany...

) was born and was governed directly by Spain, as part of the Kingdom of Naples.

Bourbon Kingdom of Naples


After the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

 in the early 18th century, possession of the kingdom again changed hands. Under the terms of the Treaty of Rastatt
First Congress of Rastatt
At the First Congress of Rastatt, which was opened in November 1713, negotiations were carried on between France and Austria for the purpose of ending the War of the Spanish Succession. These culminated in the Treaty of Rastatt signed on 7 March 1714...

 in 1714, Naples was given to Charles VI
Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles VI was the penultimate Habsburg sovereign of the Habsburg Empire. He succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia , Hungary and Croatia , Archduke of Austria, etc., in 1711...

, the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

. He also gained control of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 in 1720, but Austrian rule did not last long. Both Naples and Sicily were conquered
Battle of Bitonto
The Battle of Bitonto was a Spanish victory over Austrian forces near Bitonto in the Kingdom of Naples in the War of Polish Succession...

 by a Spanish army during the War of the Polish Succession
War of the Polish Succession
The War of the Polish Succession was a major European war for princes' possessions sparked by a Polish civil war over the succession to Augustus II, King of Poland that other European powers widened in pursuit of their own national interests...

 in 1734, and Charles, Duke of Parma
Charles III of Spain
Charles III was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese...

, a younger son of King Philip V of Spain
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

 was installed as King of Naples and Sicily from 1735. When Charles inherited the Spanish throne from his older half-brother in 1759, he left Naples and Sicily to his younger son, Ferdinand IV
Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
Ferdinand I reigned variously over Naples, Sicily, and the Two Sicilies from 1759 until his death. He was the third son of King Charles III of Spain by his wife Maria Amalia of Saxony. On 10 August 1759, Charles succeeded his elder brother, Ferdinand VI, as King Charles III of Spain...

. Despite the two Kingdoms being in a personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 under the Bourbon kings from 1735 onwards, they remained constitutionally separate.

Being a member of the House of Bourbon
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

, Ferdinand IV was a natural opponent of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

. In 1798, he briefly occupied Rome, but was expelled from it by French Revolutionary forces within the year. Soon afterwards Ferdinand fled to Sicily. In January 1799 the French armies installed a Parthenopaean Republic
Parthenopaean Republic
The Parthenopean Republic was a French-supported republic in the territory of the Kingdom of Naples, formed during the French Revolutionary Wars after King Ferdinand IV fled before advancing French troops...

, but this proved short-lived, and a peasant counter-revolution inspired by the clergy allowed Ferdinand to return to his capital. However in 1801 Ferdinand was compelled to make important concessions to the French by the Treaty of Florence
Treaty of Florence
The Treaty of Florence was signed on March 28, 1801 between France and the Kingdom of Naples. Naples ceded some central Italian possessions, the island of Elba, and the Athena of Velletri to France. French garrisons were imposed in several Italian towns, and Neapolitan harbours were closed to...

, which reinforced France's position as the dominant power in mainland Italy.

Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples


Ferdinand's decision to ally with the Third Coalition
Third Coalition
The War of the Third Coalition was a conflict which spanned from 1803 to 1806. It saw the defeat of an alliance of Austria, Portugal, Russia, and others by France and its client states under Napoleon I...

 against Napoleon in 1805 proved more damaging. In 1806, following decisive victories over the allied armies at Austerlitz
Battle of Austerlitz
The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, was one of Napoleon's greatest victories, where the French Empire effectively crushed the Third Coalition...

 and over the Neapolitans at Campo Tenese
Battle of Campo Tenese
The Battle of Campo Tenese was a battle on 10 March 1806 between the II Corps of Napoleon's Army of Naples under General Reynier and the Royal Neapolitan Army under General Damas...

, Napoleon installed his brother, Joseph
Joseph Bonaparte
Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte was the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made him King of Naples and Sicily , and later King of Spain...

 as King of Naples. When Joseph was sent off to Spain two years later, he was replaced by Napoleon's sister Caroline
Caroline Bonaparte
Maria Annunziata Carolina Murat , better known as Caroline Bonaparte, was the seventh surviving child and third surviving daughter of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino and a younger sister of Napoleon I of France...

 and his brother-in-law Marshal Joachim Murat
Joachim Murat
Joachim-Napoléon Murat , Marshal of France and Grand Admiral or Admiral of France, 1st Prince Murat, was Grand Duke of Berg from 1806 to 1808 and then King of Naples from 1808 to 1815...

, as King of the Two Sicilies.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand had fled to Sicily, where he retained his throne, despite successive attempts by Murat to invade the island. The British would defend Sicily for the remainder of the war but despite the Kingdom of Sicily nominally being part of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Coalitions against Napoleon, Ferdinand and the British were unable to ever challenge French control of the Italian mainland.

After Napoleon's defeat in 1814, Murat reached an agreement with Austria and was allowed to retain the throne of Naples, despite the lobbying efforts of Ferdinand and his supporters. However, with most of the other powers, particularly Britain, hostile towards him and dependent on the uncertain support of Austria, Murat's position became less and less secure. Therefore when Napoleon returned to France for the Hundred Days
Hundred Days
The Hundred Days, sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days for specificity, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon I of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815...

 in 1815, Murat once again sided with him. Realising the Austrians would soon attempt to remove him, Murat gave the Rimini Proclamation in a hope to save his kingdom by allying himself with Italian nationalists. The ensuing Neapolitan War
Neapolitan War
The Neapolitan War was a conflict between the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples and the Austrian Empire. It started on 15 March 1815 when Joachim Murat declared war on Austria and ended on 20 May 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza...

 between Murat and the Austrians was short, ending with a decisive victory for the Austrian forces at the Battle of Tolentino
Battle of Tolentino
The Battle of Tolentino was fought on 2 – 3 May 1815 near Tolentino, in what is now Marche, Italy: it was the decisive battle in the Neapolitan War, fought by the Napoleonic King of Naples Joachim Murat to keep the throne after the Congress of Vienna. The battle itself shares many parallels with...

. Murat was forced to flee, and Ferdinand IV of Sicily was restored to the throne of Naples. Murat would attempt to regain his throne but was quickly captured and executed by firing squad in Pizzo, Calabria
Pizzo, Calabria
Pizzo is a seaport and comune in the province of Vibo Valentia , situated on a steep cliff overlooking the Gulf of Santa Eufemia.Fishing is one of the main activities, including that of tuna and coral.-History:...

. The next year, 1816, finally saw the formal union of the Kingdom of Naples with the Kingdom of Sicily into the new Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, commonly known as the Two Sicilies even before formally coming into being, was the largest and wealthiest of the Italian states before Italian unification...

.

Sources