Illyrian Provinces

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  • Topic: Croatia, Slovenia, Italy
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  • Published : April 14, 2012
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Illyrian Provinces

The Illyrian Provinces was an autonomous province of the Napoleonic French Empire, founded by Napoleon on the north and east coasts of the Adriatic Sea between 1809 and 1813. The creation of the Illyrian Provinces raised great expectations among adherents of the Serb and Croat movements in Dalmatia, and the Slovene cultural movement in Carniola. Founding of the Provinces, Territory and Population

After the battle of Wagram, which took place from the 5th to the 6th of July 1809, the Illyrian provinces were founded on 14. October 1809. With the Treaty of Schönbrunn, Austria was forced to abdicate large portions of its territory to France. Among those territories were Istria and Trieste, part of Croatia (south west from the river Sava), the Croatian Military Frontier, the western part of Carinthia, and Carniola. The former Republic of Ragusa, Dalmatia and the Bay of Kotor were excluded from the Kingdom of Italy and included in the Illyrian provinces on their founding day. A part of east Tyrol, including the town Lienz was additionally included in 1810. In all, the Provinces covered 55,000 km2 and had a population of around one and half million, including Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Germans and Italians. Reasons for Creation

Napoleon had strategic and economical reasons to form the Provinces. Firstly, France cut of Austria from the Mediterranean and formed a boarder with the Ottoman Empire on land. Secondly, they gained military and economical control over both coasts of the Adriatic Sea, and thirdly, the Provinces were formed as a defense line of Italy, by which the French south-east boarder was protected, and it also secured the Alpine crossings towards Germany. Administration

The Provinces were formally not part of the French Empire, still they were completely subjected to it. Ljubljana (Leibach) became the capital. The provinces had a special status among the territories conquered by Napoleonic France: their inhabitants held Illyirian...
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