Joseph Bonaparte


Joseph Bonaparte

Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte, King of Naples and Sicily, King of Spain (during "a time") and the Indies (never de facto and never de iure), Comte de Survilliers (Corte, France, January 7, 1768 – Florence, Italy, July 28, 1844) was the elder brother of French Emperor Napoleon I, who made him King of Naples and Sicily (1806–1808) and later King of Spain. He was king of Spain from June 6, 1808 [Gazeta de Madrid de 14 de junio [http://www.boe.es/datos/imagenes/BOE/1808/057/A00568.tif page 568] ] to December 11, 1813, but from June 13, 1812 he was back in France. Fact|date=December 2007

Early years

Bonaparte was born Giuseppe Buonaparte to Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino at Corte in Corsica. As a lawyer, politician, and diplomat, he served in the "Cinq-Cents" and was the French ambassador to Rome. He married Julie Clary on August 1, 1794 in Cuges-les-Pins, France. They had had three daughters, Julie Joséphine Bonaparte (1796–1796), Zénaïde Laetitia Julie Bonaparte (1801–1854) and
Charlotte Napoléone Bonaparte (1802–1839). He claimed the surviving two daughters as his heirs. He also sired two children with Maria Giulia, the Countess of Atri (Giulio, born 1806 and Teresa, born 1808).

In 1795 Joseph was a member of the Council of Ancients where he used his position to help his brother overthrow the Directory.

The Château de Villandry had been seized by the French Revolutionary government and in the early 1800s Joseph's brother, Emperor Napoleon, acquired the château for him. In 1806, Bonaparte was given military command of Naples, and shortly afterward was made king by Napoleon, to be relaced after two years by his sister's husband, Joachim Murat, when Joseph was made king of Spain in August 1808, soon after the French invasion.

He somewhat reluctantly left Naples and arrived in Spain just in time for their revolt against French rule, and the beginning of the Peninsular War, in which the French were eventually expelled by Spanish and British armies. After retreating with much of his army to northern Spain he attempted to abdicate the Spanish throne and exchange it back for the Neapolitan Throne; Napoleon dismissed this as out of hand and sent reinforcements to assist in suppressing Spain. The rest of his reign there would be tenuous and constantly warring with Spanish guerrillas. He would never establish complete control over the country.

The Spanish people nicknamed him "Pepe Botella" ("Bottle Joe") and the usual hypothesis has to do with an alleged tendency to drunkennessFact|date=May 2007. Another theory though, points the name as a maligned confusion where when Joseph Bonaparte went outside of the castle where he resided, he looked around with a spyglass - which looked like a bottle, or was "made" to look like a bottle by his detractors Fact|date=December 2007.

Joseph Bonaparte's supporters were called "josefinos" or "afrancesados" ("frenchified"). During his reign, he ended the Spanish Inquisition, partly because Napoleon was at odds with Pope Pius VII at the time. Despite such efforts to win popularity, Bonaparte's foreign birth and support, plus his membership in a Masonic lodge [Ross, Michael The Reluctant King, 1977, pp. 34-35] , virtually guaranteed he would never be accepted as legitimate by the bulk of the Spanish people. During his rule of Spain, Venezuela declared independence (1810) from Spain, the first nation to do so. During the Peninsular War, his command of French forces in Spain proved to be only nominal, as his commanders insisted on checking with the king's younger brother before carrying out Joseph's instructions.

Bonaparte abdicated and returned to France after defeat at the Battle of Vitoria. He was seen by Bonapartists as the rightful Emperor of the French after the death of Napoleon's own son Napoleon II in 1832, although he did little to advance his claim.

In America

Bonaparte lived for a time in the United States, initially in New York City and Philadelphia, where his house became the center of activity for French expatriates [ [http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/DOH/markerresults.asp?secid=31&namesearch=Joseph+Bonaparte&Submit=Search+by+Marker+Title PHMC Historical Markers Program] ] , but later moved to an estate called Point Breeze in Bordentown, New Jersey near the Delaware River. Joseph's home was on a hill because of his fear of attack by agents of France's enemies, England or Spain as well as Americans unfriendly to his cause. The grounds contain tunnels which are fortified with brick and were high enough for people to walk through standing erect. [ [http://www.flatrock.org.nz/topics/new_jersey/new_jerseys_ex_king.htm Joseph Bonaparte at Point Breeze] ] He was also reputed to have encountered the Jersey Devil while hunting there. [ [http://www.americanfolklore.net/folktales/nj6.html American Folklore: Joseph Bonaparte and the Jersey Devil] ]

Joseph Bonaparte returned to Europe where he died in Florence, Italy and was buried in the Les Invalides building complex in Paris. [cite news |first=Leslie |last=Kwoh |title=Yes, a Bonaparte feasted here |work= |publisher=Star Ledger |date=Sunday, June 10, 2007 |url=http://www.monmouth.edu/newswire/default.asp?iNewsID=4461 |authorlink= |quote=Bordentown hardly seems like the setting for a lavish European palace, but the sleepy Burlington County community was once fit for a king. Joseph Bonaparte, who had abandoned the throne of Spain while younger brother Napoleon was losing his grip on Europe, noshed on generous servings of oyster, chicken and wine while living on soil probably inhabited by Native American fishermen thousands of years before, a Monmouth University archeology class has found. |accessdate=2008-02-19 ]

Legacy

*Joseph Bonaparte Gulf in the Northern Territory of Australia is named after him.
*Lake Bonaparte, located in the town of Diana, New York, United States, is also named after him.
*A main character in Golden Boy by Clifford Odets is named Joe Bonaparte after him.

References

ee also

* Alan Schom "Napoleon Bonaparte: A Life"

External links

* [http://www.flatrock.org.nz/topics/new_jersey/new_jerseys_ex_king.htm Joseph Bonaparte at Point Breeze]
* [http://www.americanfolklore.net/folktales/nj6.html Joseph Bonaparte and the Jersey Devil]

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