History Of The Napoleonic Wars:Today we’re going to talk about the Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon Bonaparte is an extremely controversial figure some scholars see him as the man who led France out of the chaos.
That was the French Revolution and went on to take down their enemies.
Others see him as a man who seized control during political instability a militaristic, power-hungry dictator whose reign saw millions of soldiers and civilians killed.
So how exactly did Napoleon take power in the first place?
Before the French Revolution the French government was divided into three broad classes, the clergy the nobility, and the Third Estate or everyone else.
France had supplied financial aid during the American Revolution and was now in an economic crisis.
King Louie the 16th placed heavy taxes upon the peasants who were starving and suffering from bread shortages.
Furthermore a movement known as the Enlightenment began to question the hierarchy of government and whether the king was truly chosen by God to rule.
The Enlightenment promoted reason and science and these ideas soon spread the nobility and wealthy businessmen in 1789 King Louie the sixteenth called together these.
Representatives from these classes to meet at the estate general unable to make an accord on anything the Third Estate left and formed their own national assembly the King disagreed with these actions resulting in riots throughout Paris on the 14th of July.
1789 the revolution storms the Bastille fortress freeing half a dozen prisoners and seizing weapons and ammunition.
The National Assembly abolished feudalism and formed a new constitution the revolution had begun most people wanted a constitutional monarchy.
However, the revolution took a dark turn it became a bloodbath with internal and external Wars an extremist group known as the Jacobins took control, and around 16,000 people including the King were executed.
The other monarchies of Europe were worried about the revolution and tried to stop it from spreading and formed several coalition’s these coalition’s failed and France ended up creating several puppet states in Italy the Netherlands and Switzerland and this is where your boy Napoleon comes in.
After spending his childhood at military school Napoleon was given command of an army at the age of 26 after fighting against Austria.
Italy and a failed campaign in Egypt Napoleon returned to France where a new government known as the directory were growing them popular in 1799.
Napoleon overthrew the directory in a coup and became the first console of the republic napoleon soon sold French Louisiana to the United States to save it from being captured by Britain.
The same year Napoleon sent troops to put down revolts in Haiti.
But this failed and Napoleon gave up on his dream of an empire in the West.
In 1803 Britain sent an ultimatum to France to leave the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Napoleon tried to reason with Britain but no agreement could be made and so began the Napoleonic Wars the Royal Navy blockaded France as Britain continued to rule the waves.
Napoleon was declared Emperor and soon declared king of Italy but a third coalition was then formed consisting of Britain.
Austria Sweden and Russia to push France out of the Netherlands and Switzerland in 1805.
France paralyzed Spain joined naval forces at the Battle of Trafalgar.
But were defeated by Lord Nelson on land Napoleon and his army moved across the Holy Roman Empire defeating Austria.
He occupied Vienna before the combined forces of Austria and Russia arrived the armies clashed at the battle of Austerlitz.
25,000 Austrian and Russian soldiers died while Napoleon only lost 7,000 soldiers.
Napoleon conquered the Holy Roman Empire and reorganized the area into the Confederation of the Rhine.
With various duchies and kingdoms allied to France.
Austria pulled out the war but another coalition was formed with Prussia Russia Britain.
Saxony and Sweden in 1806 the French army known as the Grand Army was formed through conscription. It was made up of hundreds of thousands of soldiers during the Industrial Revolution.
Weapons were mass-produced for the artillery infantry and cavalry.
Napoleon defeated Prussia and pushed to the Russian frontier creating more puppet States and the Duchy of Warsaw.
In 1806 Napoleon set up the Continental System which stated no country could trade with Britain.
Fearing Napoleon would use Danish ships to invade Britain attacked neutral Denmark, Norway to capture and destroy their fleet.
This angered Denmark of Russia who then sided with the French.
Portugal continued to trade with Britain as they were long-term allies together Spain and France invaded Portugal.
However, Napoleon turned on Spain taking control of the Iberian, Peninsula.
This would be a turning point for Napoleon as the Spanish would fight for years using guerilla warfare.
Napoleon invaded Russia after it refused to abide by the Continental System.
In 1812 over half a million troops marched into Russia and burned Moscow.
But the Russians retreated and refused to surrender.
Napoleon left Moscow undersupplied as the Russian winter set in only.
27,000 troops returned while 380 thousand died the rest were presumed missing or captured.
The sixth coalition was formed and Napoleon lost at the bus of Leipzig and retreated to Paris where he surrendered.
He was exiled but returned in 1815 though. He was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and sent into exile again where he died.
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