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Napoleon Bonaparte

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Hero or Tyrant?
Napoleon - Who Is He?
1804 Declared
himself Emperor of
Brilliant embodiment
of French Revolution
ideals of
egalitarianism and
The creator of
modern warfare
At height of his
power he ruled 70
million people
Napoleon Bonaparte
1804 -1814 or1815
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte dominated European
history from 1799 to 1815.
• He preserved what was beneficial in the
revolutionary program.
• Napoleon was born in 1769 on the
Mediterranean island of Corsica.
• He went to a military school in France on
a royal scholarship.
• In 1785, he was commissioned as a
lieutenant in the French army.
Napoleon Bonaparte
The French Revolution and the European
wars that followed it gave him the chance to
use his knowledge.
• By the age of only 24, Napoleon was made a
brigadier general by the Committee of Public
Napoleon Bonaparte- A Brilliant Military Commander
Napoleon Bonaparte
1796-1797 The Italian Campaigns. He conquered most of Italy for France.
He captured 540 cannon and 170 standards
In northern Italy, he moved to suppress religious orders,
end serfdom, and limit age-old noble privilege.
He took Venice- ending 1,100 years of independence
Napoleon Bonaparte
He was a brilliant strategist.
• He used deception on the field
and off
• During the Italy campaigns of
1797 he created 2 newspapers:
1 for the troops and 1 for
• When he returns to France he
is a hero
Napoleon Bonaparte
1798 the Directory rules France. Napoleon helps
them stay in power....
He wants to destroy England (of course!) but knows
the French navy is not equipped to defeat the
strongest naval force on earth.
So Napoleon turns to Egypt where he hopes to cut
off the trade route between India and England.
(India, a British colony, provides immense wealth to
England...remember the British East India Tea
Company; the world’s largest corporation...with its
own army)
Napoleon Bonaparte
1798- Napoleon in Egypt
He took along 167
chemists, etc.
Their discoveries
included the Rosetta
Napoleon Bonaparte
What made Napoleon’s army so terrifying anyway?
Speed and Surprise
Very mobile army - marched 500 miles in 5
weeks to capture Vienna, Austria
It was said, the emperor
Napoleon won his battles
with legs rather than arms.
He could calculate the
marching speed and
distance so exactly that he
knew with certainity when
his support troops would
Napoleon Bonaparte
What made Napoleon’s army so terrifying anyway?
Napoleon was brilliant at divide and conquer
• He could “see the field” and knew exactly
where the enemy would march - he often set
successful traps and he often deceived the
enemy as to his intent or the size of his troops
Napoleon Bonaparte
What made Napoleon’s army so terrifying anyway?
French Cannon could shoot an 8 pound
projectile (other armies used a 6 pounder) and
it was very mobile
Napoleon Bonaparte
What made Napoleon’s army so terrifying anyway?
But the PRIMARY WEAPON of the French
forces was Napoleon’s mind
Napoleon was a brilliant tactician. Duke of
Wellington said,
“Napoleon’s hat on the battlefield is worth
50,000 men”
Napoleon Bonaparte
What made Napoleon’s army so terrifying anyway?
This could be your next evil headquarters...
This is a 30-foot-tall Martello Tower in Suffolk,
England. It has one door, 13-foot-thick walls, and was
built to keep Napoleon out of England
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
Back in France, the French Republican army is not
doing to well fighting the Second Coalition.
Over time there are 6+ different
coalition forces against France
and Napoleon.
Coalition Allies against
England, Prussia, Austria,
Russia, Spain (and just about
everyone else)
Napoleon Bonaparte
1799-1804 The Consulate
The Directory is overthrown in a coup d’etat
The Consulate (3 men- 1 of which is Napoleon) will
rule until 1804
Napoleon Bonaparte
1801-1802 Temporary Peace in Europe
France isn’t yet ready to
invade England
• A temporary peace is
• Napoleon under the
Consulate issues
significant reforms
Napoleon Bonaparte Reforms Under Napoleon
1. Civil code of law- Napoleonic Code of Law was
clearly written and accessible
Its purpose was to
reform the French
legal code to
reflect the
principles of the Fr.
Create one law code
for France.
Napoleon BonaparteReforms Under Napoleon
Napoleonic Code of Law
1. All people equal in the eyes of the law:
no special privileges for clergy, nobles,
2. Feudal rights are ended
3. Trail by jury guaranteed
4. Religious freedom guaranteed
5. Wives could own her own property (with
her husband’s permission in writing)
Did Napoleon preserve the
ideals of the French
Revolution, as he claimed,
in his domestic policies?
Napoleon Bonaparte
Reforms Under Napoleon
Influence of the Napoleonic Code of Law
Wherever it was implemented (in the conquered territories), the Code Napoleon swept away feudal
property relations.
Napoleon Bonaparte Reforms Under Napoleon
2. Centralized administration
Napoleon developed a powerful, centralized administrative machine with
promotion based on ability.
Opening government careers to individuals based on their ability was one
change the middle class wanted.
Napoleon created a new aristocracy based on merit in the state service.
He created 3,263 nobles between 1808 and 1814. More than half were military
officers and from the middle class.
Napoleon Bonaparte
Reforms Under Napoleon
3. Centralized bank and currency
Napoleon Bonaparte
Reforms Under Napoleon
4. Concordat of 1801 with Catholic Church
Catholicism was declared the religion of the
majority of France
• Papal acceptance of church lands lost during the
• Catholic bishops are subservient to the regime
Napoleon Bonaparte
Reforms Under Napoleon
5. Legion of Honor- highest award possible in France
Palace of the Legion of Honor, Paris
Napoleon Bonaparte Reforms Under Napoleon
6. Higher Education
Public education does not
suit women,
as they are not called
upon to live in public…
marriage is their whole
In France, women are
considered too highly. They
should not be regarded as equal
to men,
In reality they are nothing more
than machines for producing
Napoleon Bonaparte Reforms Under Napoleon
Higher Education
Lycee Education
System of
Established by Napoleon in 1801 as an educational reform.
Lycées initially enrolled the nation’s most talented students [they had to pay tuition, although there
was some financial help available for poorer student].
Lycées trained the nation’s future bureaucrats.
Napoleon Bonaparte
These revolutionary ideals that Napoleon
established will influence other nations and other
Touissant L’Ouverture
Napoleon Bonaparte
1804 Napoleon declares himself Emperor
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon is still a military man and he wants
to increase his empire
What makes his army so different?
How do the Napoleonic Wars become the
beginning of modern warfare?
Napoleon Bonaparte
It a different world by the 1800s.
• The coalition forces fought in the old European
manner- one filled with established social classes,
centuries of military habits, and one where noble
blood meant you led men.
• The French army fought in the manner of the
French Revolution- a more egalitarian, patriotic
citizentry where officers rose in rank, no matter
their birth, but according to ability
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
Battle of Austerlitz 1805
Considered Napoleon’s most brilliant battle
Considered one of history’s most brilliant battles
Napoleon destroyed
the Third Coalition
in this battle
Napoleon Bonaparte
Battle of Austerlitz 1805
Napoleon willingly gave up the high defense ground knowing how poorly
organized the Allied forces were.
The Allied or Coalition forces were led by the Russian Czar AlexanderRussia was still using the old Julian calendar rather than the European
Gregorian calendar. That meant they were 12 days behind the Gregorian
calendar. Incredibly, no one in the coalition forces saw this mistake.
During the battle the Austrian general Mac was awaiting support from the
Russian troops - surely they were near?
No - they were 200 miles away.
Napoleon Bonaparte
Battle of Austerlitz 1805
Napoleon held some troops behind the hill- knowing the Austrians would
take the bait and come forward into his hinged trap
men dead
They did
Napoleon ruled the
mainland of Europe
Napoleon Bonaparte
The Battle of Trafalgar 1805
The British Navy destroys
Napoleon’s navy
The British hero Horatio Nelson
achieves lasting fame
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon wants to defeat the British.
He uses the Continental System - a circling of
Europe in order to prevent England from trading
with the continent. With this plan, Napoleon
hopes to break the financial back of the British
It failed.
Everyone still traded with England
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon turns to Russia
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon meets his end at
Duke of Wellington
Napoleon Bonaparte
So what defeats Napoleon in the end?
1. Continental System did not work - he could not
defeat the British
2. The Russian campaign seriously weakened
his forces.
3. The very item he spread - nationalism or pride
in one’s nation - would become the source of
revolt against his rule
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