SNC022 Trooper, 2nd Regiment Italian Chasseurs, 1812
In the wake of the French Revolution Napoleon saw that the inhabitants of northern Italy were ripe for conversion to the cause. No idealistic revolutionary, but anxious to export Republican ideas for his own ends, Napoleons Italian victories of 1798 and 1800 secured his hold on the area, and he at once began reorganising the many small states which then made up the territory of modern Italy into units more suitable for his military and dynastic ambitions.
Napoleons disregard for the conditions of the Treaty of Lunlle (8 February 1801), which guaranteed the independence of the Ligurian and Cisalpine (from 1802 renamed the Italian) Republics, led to the creation in 1805 of the Kingdom of Italy. Of this Napoleon made himself sovereign, crowning himself in Milan Cathedral with the ancient iron crown of Lombardy.