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Napoleon Bonaparte

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• Napoleon Bonaparte Background: born in
1769 to lesser nobles in Corsica,
• French artillery officer at first
• favored the REV and a fiery Jacobin, during
Thermidorian Reaction his defense of the new
regime won him a command in Italy
By 1795, French arms/diplomacy shattered the 1st Coalition
1797 NB returns to Paris a hero & to confront France’s remaining
enemy – GB.
Attacked British interests through the eastern Mediterranean
NB overran Egypt, but overall the invasion was a failure.
Admiral Horatio Nelson destroyed the French fleet. Napoleon returned
to FR
Invasion of Egypt alarmed Russia who had own ambitions in the Near
East and the Second Coalition was formed-Russians, Austrians, and
Ottomans joined Britain to form this coalition that defeated the
French in Italy and Switzerland
Impact of invasion: marked the 1st major west European assault on
the Ottomans occurring after Russian under Catherine the Great had
taken control of Crimea, significantly it was British not Ottoman forces
that drove the FR out and the OE came to understand that it must
reform if it was to rest other
• Abbe Sieyes-author of What is the Third Estate,
wanted an executive body independent of the
whims of electoral politics based on the principle
of “confidence from below, power from above.”
• This change required a coup d’etat w/ military
• News of France’s misfortunes had reached
Napoleon in Egypt, he left his army and returned
to France to popular acclaim joining Sieyes and
ensuring the success of the coup
The Consulate (1799-1804)
• Establishing Consulate ended the revolution in
• Leading elements of the TE had achieved most of
their goals and the peasants were satisfied with
destruction of oppressive feudal privileges
• Bonaparte seemed just the person to give them
• When he submitted his constitution to the voters,
it was overwhelmingly passed
Europe in 1800
• NB justified public’s confidence by making
peace with France’s enemies
• Treaty of Amiens-brought peace w/ GB and
Fr. and peace to Europe in 1802
Ruthless suppression of
opposition: established a
highly centralized
administration in which
prefects responsible to the
gov. managed all
departments, employed
secret police, stamped out
the royalist rebellion and
made the rule of Paris
effective in Brittany and
Vendee for the 1st time in
The Concordat of 1801
NB wanted to heal
the divisions within
the R.C.C. that had
developed after the
confiscation of
Church property and
the Civil Constitution
of the Clergy.
But, NB’s clear
intent was to use the
clergy to prop up his
Concordat of 1801
Catholicism was declared the religion of
the majority of Frenchmen.
Papal acceptance of church lands lost
during the Revolution.
Bishops subservient to the regime.
Eventually, Pope Pius VII renounced the
Concordat, and Napoleon had him
brought to France and placed under
house arrest.
1802 plebiscite –made NB consul
for life
Codified French law Civil Code of
Safeguarded all forms of property,
secured French society against all
internal challenges,
Privileges based on birth remained
Employment based on merit,
Worker organizations still forbidden,
Napoleonic Code 1804
Fathers granted
extensive control over
children and husbands
over wives,
property distributed
among all children,
males and females,
divorce remained more
difficult for women
than for men
This ended the
patchwork of laws in
France that existed
before NB’s reign.
Napoleon’s Empire
• Overview-B/t his coronation as emperor and
final defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon conquered
most of Europe.
• The wars put an end to the Old Regime and
forced the eastern Euro states to reorganize
themselves to resist NB.
• NB’s advance unleashed the powerful force of
nationalism and mobilization of the French
Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon & the Empress
Josephine,” 1806 by David
Establishing an
of the Emperor
Napoleon & the
by David
Conquering an Empire
• Peace of Amiens was merely a truce,
Napoleon’s ambitions shattered any
hope it might last
• Sent army to restore the rebellious
colony of Haiti to French rule
• Aroused British fears he was planning a
new French empire in America
Haitian Independence, 1792-1804
A French Empire?
British Naval Superiority
• Battle of Trafalgar-naval victory by the British
admiral Horatio Nelson who destroyed the combined
French and Spanish fleets putting an end to all
French hope of invading GB and guaranteed British
control of the sea for the rest of the war
Battle of Trafalgar
Napoleonic Victories in Central Europe
• 1805 – Defeated Austrian/Russian army at
• Reorganized western German states into
Confederation of the Rhine
• Berlin Decrees-forbade allies from importing
British good
• Treaty of Tilsit reduced Prussia to half its
previous size, Prussia openly and Russia
secretly became allies of Napoleon
Continental System
GOAL пѓ to isolate Britain and promote Napoleon’s
mastery over Europe.
Berlin Decrees (1806) British ships were not allowed in
European ports
European Response to Napoleon
• Wherever Napoleon ruled, the NC was
imposed and hereditary social
distinctions were abolished as well as
feudal privileges
• Guilds and local oligarchies that had
been dominant for centuries were
dissolved/deprived of their power
• German Nationalism – 2 phases
• 1st-nationalistic writers emphasized unique admirable
qualities of German culture
• 2nd-German intellectuals began to urge resistance to
Napoleon, critical of German princes who ruled
selfishly and who submitted to Napoleon
• Result of German nationalism: Germans sought to
solve internal political problems by attempting to
establish a unified German state like the example of
Wars of Liberation Spain
“The Spanish Ulcer”
NB invaded Spain in order to
get to Portugal
He proclaimed his brother,
Joseph, to be the new king of
Spain after a Madrid revolt.
He stationed over 100,000 Fr
troops in Madrid.
May 2, 1808 [Dos de Mayo]
the Spanish rose up in
Fr troops fired on the crowd
in Madrid the next day [Tres
de Mayo].
Third of May, 1808” by Goya
Invasion of Spain
Napoleon now poured 500,00
troops into Spain over the next
few years.
But, the Fr generals still had
trouble subduing the Spanish
The British viewed this uprising
as an opportunity to weaken
They moved an army into
Portugal to protect that country
and to aid the Spanish guerillas.
After 5 long years of savage fighting, Fr troops were finally pushed
back across the Pyrennes Mountains out of Spain
Napoleon in His Study
By Jacques Louis David
Napoleon’s Empire in 1810
Invasion of Russia
• At end of 1810 Russia withdrew from the Continental System.
Russians wanted help against the Ottomans but NB would not
provide it.
• NB was determined to punish Russia
• An army of 600K men was raised. Russians resort to scorchedearth
• FR Army could not live off the country and supply lines couldn’t
be maintained over the expanse of Russia
• Terrible weather, shortages of supplies, and courage of Russian
rear guard eroded the morale of Napoleon’s army
Napoleon’s Troops at the Gates of
September 14, 1812 пѓ Napoleon reached Moscow, but the city had
largely been abandoned. The Russians had set fire to the city.
Retreat from Moscow
100K Retreat. 40K survive
Napoleon’s Abdication
Napoleon in Exile on Elba
Congress of Vienna
• Convened in 1814
• Major nations (Quadruple Alliance)
Russia – Alexander I
Prussia –
Austria – Klemons von Metternich*
Britain - Lord Castlereigh
– Also France - Charles Tallyrand
Congress of Vienna
• Principles of the Congress of Vienna
• 1) “Legitimacy” meant returning to power the ruling families
deposed by more than two decades of revolutionary warfare.
• 2) “Compensation” meant territorially rewarding those states
which had made considerable sacrifices to defeat Napoleon.
• “Balance of Power” arranged the map of Europe so that
never again could one state upset the international order and
cause a general war.
Napoleon’s Defeat at Waterloo
(June 18, 1815)
on His Way
to His
Final Exile
St. Helena
Napoleon’s Residence on St. Helena
Napoleon’s Tomb
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