The Napoleonic Era
I. Napoleon Bonaparte
War w/Brit., Austria, & Sardinia gave opps. for
1795-1799: Napoleon Bonaparte
Suppressed uprising in Paris
Military school in Fr. (artillery officer)
Ambitious & military genius
Napoleonic Wars (1796-1815)
Could move troops rapidly to critical pts.
1796: Directory appointed Nap. to lead army against Aust. &
Defeated Aust. 4 times
Took control of northern Italy
Directory worried about his rising status
Nap. cont’d to seek new conquests (Egypt)
1798: Nap. failed near Alexandria (Brits.)
Lied about successes—still the hero!!
Second Coalition: Brit., Aust., & Russia
Drove Fr. out of Italy
A. Napoleon’s Seizure of
Poor domestic conditions gave Nap. opp.
By 1799: people had lost confidence in Directory
Plot to place Nap. in power
Drove out 4 directors
coup d’etat (seizure of power by force)
Nap. became dictator of Fr.
1799-1814: Napoleonic Era or Age of Napoleon
People accepted this
He supported changes by Fr. Rev.
II. Napoleon & the Consulate
Nap. reorganized admin. of Fr.
Executive branch (3 Consuls) –the Consulate
Nap. = “First Consul”
None of Consulate’s legislative bodies had real power
Nap. submitted his const. to people for vote thru a
Fr. laws revised into the Napoleonic Code
Promoted authority over individual rights
Nap. est. Bank of Fr.
Civil Rights of the Clergy (1790)
Nap. signed the concordant w/Pope (1801)
Restored position of Church in Fr.
Nap. destroyed the Second Coalition
He kept his promises for peace, govt., & economic
III. Napoleon as Emperor
1804: people declared Fr. an empire & Nap. as
Coronation at Cathedral of Notre Dame
Nap. undermined Pope’s authority
Fr. Empire was great!
Was Brit. next?
Battle of Trafalgar (1805)
Brit. destroyed Fr. & Spanish fleets
Brit. no longer in danger
A. The Continental System
Nap. sought to disrupt Brit. trade
The Continental System = Fr. blockade of Brit.
Brits. imposed blockade against Fr.
Nap. cont’d to win
Dec. 1805: Third Coalition collapsed
B. The Reorganization of Euro
by 1808: Nap. dominated Euro
Aust. & Prussia signed treaties
Russia allied w/Fr.
Confederation of the Rhine
Abolished H.R. Emp.
Unified all northern Italian states
Placed members of fam. on conquered thrones
Napoleonic Code, abolished feudalism & serfdom
Awakened a nationalist spirit in those conquered
Opposition copied Nap’s military strategies
C. The Peninsular War
1807: Port. refused to observe Continental System
Fr. occupied Port.
Nap. conquered Spain
Placed Joseph Bonaparte (bro) on throne
1808: Spanish revolt
Brits. sent army to Spain & Port.
1814: Spain gave Joseph the boot
New const. = limited monarchy
D. Catastrophe in Russia
Czar Alexander I = alarmed w/Nap’s domination
Continental System disrupted Russian/Brit. Trade
1812: Russia ignores it
Nap. invaded Russia w/his Grand Army
Not as “driven” as earlier Fr. armies
Spring 1812: Nap. marched into Russia
Russian approach = scorched-earth policy
Fall 1812: Fr. captured Moscow
Russians burned it
Harsh Russian winter
Oct. 19, 1812: Fr. Retreat
Nap’s retreat = one of greatest military disasters
By Dec. = Grand Army lost over 2/3 of troops
Russians pursued Fr.
E. Final Defeat
W. Euro. monarchs broke ties w/Nap.
Prussia, Aust., G.B. joined Russia (alliance)
Nap’s old strategy failed
Oct. 1813: Nap. defeated at Saxony
March 1814: allies captured Paris
Nap. gave up claims to throne
Retired to Elba
Allies = Fr. will NEVER disrupt Euro again!
Restored Bourbon monarchy (Louis XVIII)
F. The Hundred Days
Restored Bourbons made many enemies
Nap plotted his return (escaped from Elba)
If there be one among you who wishes to kill his
Emperor, he can. I come to offer myself to your
Nap triumphed in Paris—began prd. called the
Louis = fled
Prussia, Brit., & Netherlands moved into Fr.
June 18, 1815: Fr. army defeated at Waterloo
Nap. abdicated, Bourbons returned
Nap. sent to St. Helena (d. 1821)