During the War of Spanish Succession, Austria conquered Naples and remained there until 1734 when under Charles III of Bourbon – after the Polish War of Succession – the kingdom became independent again.

Under Charles III, Naples is one of the main European capitals.

The Spanish Habsburgs were replaced by the Viennese, and in 1734 the two kingdoms were united under an independent crown above the head of Charles of Bourbon.
Charles renovated the city with the Villa di Capodimonte and the San Carlo Theater, and housed philosophers such as Giovani Battista Vico and Antonio Genovesi, the jurists Pietro Giannone and Gaetano Filangieri, and composers Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti.

The work of Charles (who in 1759 abandoned Naples to protect the crown of Spain) was pursued by his son Ferdinand IV who had to contain the revolutionary currents and French troops of 1799.

The first king of the House of Bourbons tried to present some legislative and administrative reforms, but they were stopped with the arrival of the news of the French Revolution.
Ferdinand IV was part of an anti-France coalition, with England, Russia, Austria and Portugal.

The population of Naples at the beginning of the 19th century was predominantly constituted by a popular class who called themselves lazzari, they lived in extremely poor conditions, controlled by a strong royal bureaucracy and by the elite of landowners.