Personal Identification System and Political Control (1815-60)
The essay analyzes the relationship between the documentation of individual identity and the political events which involved the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the period between the Restoration and the Italian unification. Procedures for individual identification and a sophisticated documentary apparatus of identity and travel cards were introduced in the Kingdom of Naples by the French kings during the Napoleonic domination. After the return of the Borboni dynasty, the evolution of identification practices, which was one of the fundamental components of the state-building process in 19th century, crossed a particularly delicate political situation. The article reconstructs how, starting from the Restoration, police measures were deeply shaped by political fears rather than on the purpose of improving the identification system. Furthermore, the essay shows how identification techniques and police knowledge were developed and consolidated in the Risorgimento moment, and consequently how the Neapolitan state could count on them to control subjects and foreigners on its territory.