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The Napoleonic Wars A Fragile Peace The War of the Second Coalition ended with Austria at the Treaty of Luneville in Feb. 1801. The British continued the war, forcing the surrender of the French remaining in Egypt in summer of 1801 The treaty of Amiens, signed in March 1802, created a fragile peace between France and Britain. War of the Third Coalition (1805-07) Both sides were not content with current peace. In 1803, Great Britain renewed its war against France. In 1805, Austria and Russia joined the coalition (Prussia remained neutral at the outset.) Napoleon moved into Germany, defeating the Austrians at the Battle of Ulm on Oct 17, 1805. War at Sea Throughout 1804-1805, Napoleon planned to invade Britain. The British Navy blockaded French controlled ports throughout Europe, keeping most of the fleet bottled up. Across the globe both sides engaged the other, attempting to disrupt the trade of the other side. Battle of Trafalgar Just four days after Napoleon’s victory at Ulm, the combined French and Spanish fleets were smashed at the Battle of Trafalgar (Oct. 21, 1805). The strategic daring of Admiral Nelson and the tactical superiority of the British fleet won the day. With reduced naval power, Napoleon had to suspend his invasion plans. War on Land Moving East from Ulm, Napoleon defeated a combined Austrian and Russian force at Austerlitz on Dec. 2, 1805. Austria signed Treaty of Pressburg, relinquishing most of its Italian possessions (Third Coalition dissolves). In July, 1806, Napoleon reorganized western Germany into a satellite called the Confederation of the Rhine (provided buffer). French Victories on Land Napoleon dissolved the Holy Roman Empire (Francis II became Francis I of Austria) War of Fourth Coalition begins. Prussia entered the war, on Oct, 14, 1806 Napoleon defeated them a the Battles of Jena and Auerstadt. Napoleon took the capital Berlin in late October. Napoleon moved into East Prussia in spring, 1807, defeating the Russians at Friedland on June 13 th. The Treaties of Tilsit Napoleon meets with Tsar Alexander I and Frederick William III of Prussia. Treaties end War of Fourth Coalition. Prussia losses half of its territory to Saxony and The Grand Duchy of Warsaw (Polish satellite of France) Russia was given a free hand to deal with the Ottoman Empire in return for support against Britain. 1807 We Are Family… Treaties allow Napoleon to place his family members on the thrones of Europe. – Brother Joseph – King of Naples (and later Spain), replaced by Marshall Murat and Napoleon’s sister Caroline. – Brother Louis – King of Holland – Brother Jerome – King of Westphalia – Napoleon divorces Josephine in 1810, marring princes Marie Louise of Austria (Habsburg) Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte and bears him a son the following year. The Continental System Unable to beat the British at sea, Napoleon launched the Continental System with the Berlin Decrees of 1806 (expanded through the Milan Decree of 1807). Any ship from Britain of caring British goods were banned from European ports. The British responded with the Orders in Council, requiring all ships entering or leaving European ports to stop at British ports. The Continental System The two blockades caused considerable economic hardship across Europe. The blockade hurt British trade and caused soaring unemployment and rioting in 1811. France suffered from a lack of imported raw materials. French satellites suffered as well, causing widespread discontent, even though smuggling was rampant. The Peninsular War (1807-1814) Portugal and France’s ally Spain both failed to enforce the Continental System. In late 1807, the French occupied both nations. In early 1808, Napoleon deposed the Bourbon monarchy and installed his brother Joseph on the throne. The Spanish rose in revolt, which was brutally Francisco Goya: The Third of May, 1808 suppressed by the French. The Peninsular War (1807-1814) The British sent troops under Sir Arthur Wellesley (later Duke of Wellington) to support the insurgents. The British Naval superiority was used to support the expeditionary force. The war continued until 1814, slowing wearing down the French and keeping vital troops and supplies from other fronts. War of the Fifth Coalition (1809) Along with British and Spanish warfare on the Iberian Peninsula, Austria rejoined the fight against Napoleon in spring 1809. Napoleon defeated the Austrians at Wagram in July 1809, occupying Vienna. Under the Treaty of Schonbrunn, Austria ceded land to Bavaria, Warsaw and France. Napoleon takes Pope Pius VII prisoner for opposing Continental System and annexed the Papal States. Changes in the Colonial Empires Spain is convinced to return Louisiana to France, but due to French naval inferiority, Napoleon sells it to the United States in 1803. In Haiti, a slave revolt led by Toussaint L'Ouverture leads to Haitian independence in 1804. The Spanish colonies took opportunities as well under Simon Bolivar to gain independence. The Russian Campaign, 1812 Tensions rise between Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I refuses to support the Continental System. Napoleon raises a “Grande Armée” of 691,501 men to invade Russia in June, 1812. By mid August, French advance 300 miles with no major battles. Russians retreat, trading for space and time and burning all left behind (“scorched earth”) The Russian Campaign, 1812 On Sept.7, the Russians under Mikhail Kutuzov battle French at Borodino, 75 miles west of Moscow; no clear victor. On Sept. 14, Napoleon entered a burned Moscow. Tsar Alexander refused to surrender. Low on supplies, Napoleon began to retreat on Oct. 19th The Russian winter soon set in, and by December, only 22,000 men in the Grande Armee remained alive. French Troop Numbers in Russia War of the Sixth Coalition (1812-14) A.k.a. – Wars of Liberation. Coalition of Austria, Prussia, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and a number of German States (notably Bavaria) to take advantage of Napoleon’s Russian defeat. Napoleon raises an army of around 400,000 French troops supported by a quarter of a million French allied troops to contest control of Germany. In Germany, national resistance grows in Bavaria, Prussia and Austria, who join the Russians in opposing Napoleon. Revolts in Spain continue to drain men and resources. The Battle of Nations The Battle of Leipzig, Oct. 16-19 1813. Napoleon soundly defeated by Russians, Prussians and Austrians in the largest battle in European history to that point. The Fall of Napoleon Napoleon was offered a peace settlement keeping his throne, but he refused. Nov. 1813, the Dutch revolted. The British army led by the Duke of Wellington advanced from Spain into Southern France. Jan. 1814, Russian, Prussian and Austrian forces invade France and enter Paris on March 31st. The Abdication April 11, 1814, Napoleon abdicated. Retains title and exiled to island of Elba. Bourbons restored with Louis XVIII (r.1814-24), younger Napoleon’s abdication order brother of Louis XVI. Reasons for Napoleon’s Fall Imperial overreach – the attempt to defeat all enemies and dominate Europe. National resistance – the despotic nature of the empire led to nationalist revolts. Loss of support at home – French war weary after 25 years of war.
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