Murat, Joachim

born March 25, 1767, La Bastide-Fortunière, France
died Oct. 13, 1815, Pizzo, Calabria

French soldier and king of Naples (1808–15).

He served in Italy and Egypt as a daring cavalry commander, and later he aided Napoleon in his coup d'état (1799) and married Napoleon's sister Caroline Bonaparte. He helped win the Battle of Marengo (1800). Appointed governor of Paris, he was promoted to marshal in 1804. After victories at the Battles of Austerlitz (1805) and Jena (1806), he was made king of Naples (1808), where he carried out administrative and economic reforms and encouraged Italian nationalism. He led troops in Napoleon's Russian campaign at the Battle of Borodino (1812) but left the army during its retreat from Moscow. He supported Napoleon again during the Hundred Days in 1815, but he was defeated with his Neapolitan forces at the Battle of Tolentino and was later taken prisoner and shot.

Murat, detail of a drawing by Antoine-Jean Gros; in the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris.

Cliche Musees Nationaux, Paris

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▪ king of Naples
Italian  Gioacchino Murat  
born March 25, 1767, La Bastide-Fortunière, France
died October 13, 1815, Pizzo, Calabria
 French cavalry leader who was one of Napoleon's most celebrated marshals and who, as king of Naples (1808–15), lent stimulus to Italian nationalism.

      The son of an innkeeper, he studied briefly for a career in the church but enlisted in a cavalry regiment in 1787 and, when war broke out in 1792, won rapid promotion. In October 1795 he was on hand in Paris at the moment that Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I) was entrusted with the mission of suppressing a royalist insurrection; Murat's contribution in bringing up cannon won him a place as aide-de-camp to Bonaparte for the Italian campaign of 1796–97. In Italy and later in Egypt (1798–99) he established his reputation as a gifted and daring leader of cavalry, and he again served his chief well in the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire, year VIII (November 9, 1799), by which Bonaparte seized power as first consul. Murat's reward was the hand of Napoleon's youngest sister, Caroline.

      In the Italian campaign of 1800 Murat helped win the decisive Battle of Marengo, and in 1801 he rapidly concluded the campaign against Bourbon-ruled Naples by imposing the Armistice of Foligno. As governor of Paris in 1804, he was included among the first generals promoted to the rank of marshal after Napoleon's coronation as emperor on December 2. In 1805 he played a conspicuous role in the Austerlitz campaign, helping to pin the Austrian Army in Ulm, where it was forced to surrender, and defeating Austrian and Russian cavalry on the field of Austerlitz. At Jena in 1806 his energetic pursuit completed destruction of the Prussian Army, and at Eylau in 1807 his headlong charge saved a desperate tactical situation.

      Rewarded with the title of grand duke of Berg and Clèves, Murat began to have dreams of sovereignty, and when he was sent to act as Napoleon's lieutenant in Spain he tried to gain possession of the unoccupied Spanish throne. His intrigues led instead to Spanish opposition and a rising in Madrid that, though quelled (May 2, 1808), ended his hopes. Though Napoleon gave the Spanish throne to his brother Joseph, he rewarded Murat with Joseph's former place as king of Naples (Naples, Kingdom of), under the name Joachim-Napoléon (or Gioacchino-Napoleone, in Italian).

      In Naples Murat not only satisfied his own vanity by a lavish court display but also carried out important reforms, breaking up the vast landed estates and introducing the Napoleonic Code. The administration was opened to advancement by merit, cotton growing was encouraged, and effective measures were taken against the chronic Neapolitan brigandage. Murat even foresaw the unification of Italy, a development at whose head he sought to place himself through the encouragement of secret societies that eventually played a major role in the Risorgimento.

      In 1812 Murat took part in Napoleon's Russian campaign and once more distinguished himself at Borodino; but, left in charge of the shattered Grand Army during the retreat from Moscow, he abandoned it to try to save his kingdom of Naples. In 1813 he wavered between loyalty to Napoleon and negotiation with the allies. The Austrians signed a treaty with him, but the former Bourbon rulers of Naples raised objections, and his situation was in doubt when Napoleon returned to France in 1815. He then staked his hopes on an appeal to Italian nationalism, but his Neapolitans were defeated by the Austrians at Tolentino, and he was forced to flee to Corsica. In October he made a last, hopeless attempt to recover Naples virtually unaided and was taken prisoner and shot.

      Murat left two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Napoléon-Achille (1801–47), went to the United States in 1821, took U.S. citizenship, and died in Florida. The younger son, Napoléon-Lucien-Charles (1803–78), went to the United States in 1825 but returned to France in 1848 and was recognized as a prince by Napoleon III, with the title of Prince Murat, under the Second Empire. From him descended the princely house of Murat, surviving into the 20th century.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Murat, Joachim — (1767 1815)    military and political figure, marshal of France, king of Naples    Born in Labastide Fortunière (today, Labastide Murat), Joachim Murat joined the army in 1787, became an officer in 1792, and was appointed, during the revolution… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Murat, Joachim — ► (1767 1815) Militar y político francés. Contrajo matrimonio con la hermana de Napoleón, Carolina. Se distinguió por su intrepidez al frente de la caballería. * * * (25 mar. 1767, La Bastide Fortunière, Francia–13 oct. 1815, Pizzo, Calabria).… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Murat,Joachim — Mu·rat (myo͝o räʹ, mü ), Joachim. 1767? 1815. French marshal who aided Napoleon s coup d état (1799) and was appointed king of Naples (1808). * * * …   Universalium

  • MURAT, JOACHIM —    king of Naples, born near Cahors, the son of an innkeeper; entered the army, attracted the notice of Bonaparte, and became his aide de camp; distinguished himself in many engagements, received Bonaparte s sister to wife, and was loaded with… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Murat — Murat, Joachim …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Joachim Murat — King of Naples Grand Duke of Berg and Cleves Reign 1 August 1808 – 3 May 1815 Predecessor Joseph Bonaparte Successor Ferdinand IV …   Wikipedia

  • Joachim I. (Neapel) — Joachim Murat gemalt von François Gérard, um 1800–1810 Joachim Murat (* 25. März 1767 in Labastide Fortuniere, heute Labastide Murat; † 13. Oktober 1815 in Pizzo, Kalabrien) war von 1806 bis 1808 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Joachim, 4ème Prince Murat — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Murat. Joachim, 4ème Prince Murat. Joachim Joseph Napoléon Murat, 4ème …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Joachim I. — Joachim ist ein in Deutschland gebräuchlicher männlicher Vorname. Jochen und Achim werden häufig alternativ oder als Kurzform benutzt. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung des Namens 2 Joachimsthal, Silber, Taler, Dollar, Uran 3 Namenstage …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Joachim II. — Joachim ist ein in Deutschland gebräuchlicher männlicher Vorname. Jochen und Achim werden häufig alternativ oder als Kurzform benutzt. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung des Namens 2 Joachimsthal, Silber, Taler, Dollar, Uran 3 Namenstage …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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