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Chapter 18
Sections 3
Napoleon Bonapartegrew up in Corsica.
At an early age of 9, he
went to the military.
Napoleon Taking Charge
The fact he was not of nobility he was told he
would have no future in the military.
Through many genius moves, Napoleon
would rise in rank quickly.
To reward Napoleon for his victories he was
given the lead of the French Armies to
fight Austria.
Becomes a 26-year-old officer
Upon returning to France, the people lost
faith in the Directory (Robespierre and his
council) and asked Napoleon to lead
Napoleon led a “Coup” that took over.
In 1804, Napoleon was named Emperor by
the people of France.
Restoring Order in France
He was democratically chosen, however,
he held all power.
Napoleon used his vast powers to restore
order in France.
Restored the economy & balanced the
French budget.
In 1804, Napoleon instituted the
Napoleonic Code (France’s first legal
Napoleonic Code
Napoleonic Code- Guaranteed religious
tolerations & granted equal rights before
the law to people of all classes.
Napoleon tried to extend his powers into
nearby countries.
Because of this; Britain, Austria, Prussia
and Sweden formed a coalition to stop
Napoleon Building an Empire
Napoleon quickly defeated this Coalition.
He even came close to defeating the British
however the Naval superiority held the island.
Who was going to stop him??
By 1810, Napoleon ruled an empire that
stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the
border of Russia.
As they marched across Europe they would
spread French Ideas.
Napoleon’s Empire
Napoleon’s Downfall
Napoleon did not recognize the limits of his
Because of the failure to see his limit,
Napoleon made 3 disastrous judgments
that led to his downfall.
1. Cut trade from Britain and the rest of
Europe (Since England controlled the seas
they actually cut trade off to Europe).
Ex: This upset many allies in Europe
2. Misjudging the power of Nationalism.
Ex: Just as it helped France in the late
1700’s. It will help Germany and Spain
protect themselves against Napoleon.
Guerrilla warriors will attack the French often
(300,000 men will be lost).
3. Invading Russia
 Czar Alexander I will refuse to stop selling
grain to France. Due to this, Napoleon will
direct his attention to them.
 Napoleon expected an easy victory over the
small Russian armies
Alexander will use the “scorched earth”
policy as they lure Napoleon inside Russia.
By the time he arrived in Moscow, everything
was gone.
France retreated, suffering many loses.
Napoleon Weakened
Sensing that Napoleon had been
weakened, Britain formed an alliance
with other European powers.
Members of this alliance sought to gain
their lands back.
Within a year, the allies had defeated
Napoleon and exiled him to the island
of Elba. (France, at the request of the
British, went back to a Bourbon King)
Napoleon will escape and return to
A wave of enthusiasm will sweep through
Thousands of citizens will create a new
Army under Napoleon.
In 1815, British and Prussian armies will
rush towards France.
They will meet at a small Belgium village
named Waterloo.
There, the opposing armies waged
desperate battles, with the outcome unclear
until the very end.
Both sides fought hard
Until finally a victory was won by the
strongest side…the weaker of the two
opponents lost
And the winner was…
In the end, Napoleon’s troops were
exhausted and retreated.
Napoleon was captured again and sent to
the island of St. Helena.
This time he lived for 6 years and died.
Connecting Past and Present
As you have seen, the storming of the
Bastille launched the French Revolution and
helped to remove Louis XVI from power.
The French Revolution, however, changed
far more than that. It became a vast political
and social upheaval that influenced events
around the world.
While the French Revolution provided
many reasons for celebrating, it also gave
important warnings about the abuse of
While claiming to defend liberty,
Robespierre used the Reign of Terror to
eliminate his rivals. Napoleon used his
democratic processes to destroy
democracy and seize power.
The ideals of liberty, equality, and
fraternity have inspired many oppressed
people to revolt against tyranny.
As you will see, Hitler and other modern
dictators will use those same strategies to
gain power.