French disdain for their traditions, feared conscription into the French armies, felt crushed by the financial exactions demanded by the French occupiers, and loathed their arrogance. Prominent among opponents of the French invaders were members of the clergy. The churches, as we have seen, suffered under French occupation. For the clergy, French occupation meant not only reduced incomes, but also their marginalization in the new social and political order. In response, clerics frequently denounced from the pulpit the Revolution and its works. They refused to take oaths of loyalty to the governments imposed by the French, and did not obey laws which they deemed anti-Christian. Some clerics went further andjoined resistance movements, givingthese movements the character of religious crusades, of struggles for God.
The late i790s saw a number of popular counter-revolutionary resistance movements which received clerical support and employed Christian imagery. Catholic priests and the imagery of the Sacred Heart played a significant role in the popular resistance to French invasion in the Tyrol in 1796-97 (this was also the case in the popular resistance to the Revolution in the French Vendee, a struggle that was still raging in 1796-97). Catholic priests were prominent in the peasant risings against the French in Switzerland and Belgium in 1798; in consequence French vengeance fell heavily on the church. There were risings in northern Italy in i799, with peasant bands fighting the French under banners emblazoned with images of the Virgin. In the south of Italy, religion was a vital element in the popular rising against the Parthenopean Republic that had been established with French support in January i799 in Naples. Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo gathered and led a peasant army, the 'Santafede', or 'Most Christian Armada of the Holy Faith'. Soon numbering 17,000, the Santafede overthrew the Parthenopean Republic with British naval support in June i799, in the first successful counter-revolutionary rising in Europe. The warfare, with its religious sanctions, was brutal, and the Santafedist victory was followed by massacres of republicans, portrayed as enemies of God. In Italy, popular counter-revolutionary violence was also directed against Jews, who were seen as benefiting from the secularized order imposed by the French. During the 'revolt of the Roman Vespers' in February 1798, drunken crowds in Rome murdered any Jew, as well as Frenchmen, they encountered. The taking of Siena by counter-revolutionary peasant forces in 1799 was followed by a pogrom, including the burning alive of thirteen Jews on the 'liberty tree'.17
With the establishment of the French Empire in 1804 and the expansion of Napoleonic imperial domination in Europe, popular resistance movements became increasingly national in character. They used the language ofnational liberation and national destiny, with the nation defined as the people as a
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