Alternate History

Roman Revolution (Napoleon's World)

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The Roman Revolution is the name given to the political and popular uprising in Rome in March and April of 1944, shortly before the end of the French Civil War, as a response to the encroaching Turkish Army and the inevitable defeat of the Italian Alliance by the European Alliance. The revolution violently removed the Roman elite, in particular the Bravanatti family and their allies, from power and installed the "Revolutionary Government of Rome" - headed by a triumvirate consisting of the incumbent and relatively popular pope, Innocent XVII, Roman chief of police Luigi Pampini, and General Carlo Petronelli.

While the removal of the Bravanattis had long been a dream of the papacy as well as several other factions of the Roman government, the more immediate impetus for the revolution was the fear amongst city and local leaders that the Turkish Army, comprised mostly of Muslims, would sack and desecrate Rome and use the destruction of the city as a symbolic victory for Islam over Christianity. This fear was successfully instilled in the populace, with Pampini's police officers standing idle during the mass riots in late March and the Church itself having encouraged the notion that Duke Niccolo Bravanatti would soon preside over the embarrassment of Catholicism by the Turks should he not fall from power. Once Bravanatti was overthrown in the effective coup, Innocent XVII and Pampini arranged a ceasefire and absolute surrender of the Roman Campagna and Umbria to the Turkish Army as well as the immediate ceasefire of all Roman forces on the lone caveat that the Turks not enter the city of Rome itself. While many Turkish officers were skeptical of this plan, Sebastien Bonaparte put heavy pressure on his allies to comply with the agreements and allow his own Christian army to occupy the city.

The revolution extended deep into the fall and winter of 1945, as the new government in Rome struggled with maintaining order in war-torn Italy and forming a more permanent system of rule that excluded the old Roman and Neapolitan nobles from power, and by September had come to struggle with the realities of military occupation and the formation of a new nation-state with the absorption of the old Kingdom of Naples into the Holy See. Due to infighting amongst the new leaders and the execution of a variety of old Bravanatti-era government officials with experience in secular governance, the Pampini-Petronelli alliance collapsed and the dream of a secular Italy died, for the time being, with it. Out of the destructive infighting emerged a Catholic Church with near-absolute powers throughout Italy now charged with being the nation's secular and religious authority, with Innocent XVII the unquestioned leader.

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