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Napoleon & the
Revolution
Birth & Early Years

Born in 1769, on the Mediterranean island of Corsica

Sent to military school at age of 9, graduated at 16

Served as a lieutenant in the artillery
Early Fame

October 1795= Napoleon stopped rebels from attacking delegates of the
National Convention

1796= Appointed by the Directory to lead a French army against Austria

Won many battles in Italy

Led an expedition in Egypt against the British Empire
Coup d'état

1799= The Directory lost control & confidence of the French people; Napoleon
used his army & troops to surround the national legislature

Coup d'état= “Blow to the state”

Britain, Austria, & Russia joined forces to drive Napoleon from power

Austrians driven from Italy; Peace with Britain achieved in 1802
Napoleon Rules France

Efficient & decent ruler; Strengthened central government & believed in
some goals of the Revolution

Set up efficient method of tax collecting & established national banking system

Removed corrupt gov. officials; Set up lycees

Brought back the RCC to France; Established a separation of church & state

Created the Napoleonic Code; Sets of laws based on Justinian’s Code
Napoleonic Code

Comprehensive system of laws, based on Justinian’s Law Code

Uniform set of laws, eliminated many injustices

Divided laws into 4 categories:

1) Persons

2) Property

3) Acquisition of property

4) Civil procedure
Emperor Napoleon

December 2, 1804= Napoleon crowns himself as Emperor of France

Took place at Notre Dame Cathedral; Paris, France

Took crown from the Pope, & crowned himself
Napoleon Creates an Empire

Napoleon wanted to create a global French Empire

Western Empire= Louisiana, Florida, French Guiana, West Indies; Key possession was SaintDomingue (Haiti), sugar-producing colony

French Revolution created a civil war in Saint-Domingue b/t French planters & enslaved
Africans; Disease & rebel slaves stopped Napoleon from taking back the island

Sold Louisiana Territory to U.S. for $15 million
Conquering Europe

Due to loss of American territories, Napoleon focused on Europe

Annexed the Austrian Netherlands, parts of Italy; Set up a puppet gov. in Switzerland

Britain persuaded Russia, Austria, & Sweden to join them against France

Napoleon was extremely successful; Rulers of Austria, Prussia, & Russia forced to sign
peace treaties
Napoleon’s Empire
Battle of Trafalgar, 1805

One of Napoleon’s few defeats; Naval battle against the British Empire

Took place off the coast of Spain
Napoleon’s Empire Collapses

The Continental System= November, 1806

Blockade to prevent all trade/communication b/t England & rest of Europe

Goal= Make continental Europe more self-sufficient

Didn’t work, England was weakened but not destroyed
Napoleon’s Empire Collapses

The Peninsular War (1808-1814)= Invasion force sent through Spain to get
Portugal to accept the Continental System

Napoleon removed Spanish king and put his brother, Joseph, in charge

The Spanish, influenced by nationalism, were outraged & began to fight back

Spanish fighters called guerillas; British sent troops to aid the Spanish

Napoleon loses over 300,000 troops
Napoleon’s Empire Collapses

The Invasion of Russia (1812)= Former allies, Russia continued to ship grain to
England

June 1812= As French troops invaded Russia, Russian troops retreated; Practiced
scorched-earth policy

No victories for any side, October Napoleon begins his retreat with 100,000 French troops

Due to exhaustion, hunger, & cold, only 10,000 French troops survived retreat back to
France
Russian Campaign Map
The Downfall

Britain, Russia, Prussia, Austria & Sweden wanted to take advantage of
France’s weak state, declared war

April 1814= Napoleon surrenders, gives up his throne; Exiled to Elba
The Downfall


Louis XVII, Louis XVI’s brother, takes the throne; New king was unpopular
though

Napoleon decides to leave Elba; lands in France on March 1, 1815

Thousands of volunteers join his army; Emperor again within days of arrival
European allies get armies together to take down Napoleon; June 18th, 1815
Battle of Waterloo

Prussia & Britain defeat the French military

British ship Napoleon to St. Helena, island in South Atlantic; Dies in 1821
The Congress of Vienna

After Napoleon’s defeat, European powers wanted peace; Held series of
meetings in Vienna

Lasted 8 months; 5 great powers= Russia, Prussia, Austria, England, France

Led by foreign minister of Austria, Prince Klemens von Metternich
The Congress of Vienna

3 goals of COV:

1) Prevent future French aggression; Surround France by strong nations

2) Restore a balance of power

3) Restore Europe’s royal families to the thrones they held before Napoleon’s wars;
Principle of legitimacy
Congress of Vienna Map
French Revolution, Failure?

French Revolution= France’s first experiment with democracy; Experiment
was a failure, but its impact was felt worldwide

Latin American revolutions of 19th century; Colonies of Spain began to declare
independence

Nationalism began to spread, would create new revolutions that would form new nations

Changed social attitudes of Europe; Democracy seen as best way to ensure equality &
justice for ALL