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OCR AS Napoleon
Transcript of OCR AS Napoleon
To what extent were Napoleon’s domestic reforms during the consulate (1799-1804) based on revolutionary principles?
How far can Napoleon’s military success in Europe from 1796 to 1805 be explained by the weakness of his opponents?
To what extent does British opposition explain Napoleon’s eventual defeat in 1814 and 1815?
The weaknesses of the Directory were the main reason for Napoleon’s rise to power. How far do you agree?
To what extent was Napoleon responsible for his own downfall?
Assess the impact of Napoleonic rule outside of of France
To what extent were Napoleon’s domestic reforms during the consulate (1799-1804) based on revolutionary principles?
To what extent was Napoleon’s generalship the main reason for his successes in military campaigns from 1796-1809?
To what extent did Napoleon export the ideas of the French Revolution to the areas he conquered?
Securing himself in power was the main reason for Napoleon’s reforms during the consulate. How far do you agree?
Assess the reasons for Napoleon’s military successes to 1809?
Napoleon’s military successes were the main reason for his rapid rise to power to power. How far do you agree?
Napoleon was nothing more than a dictator in his rule of France between 1799 and 1815. How far do you agree?
Assess the reasons for Napoleon’s downfall in 1814
Assess the impact of the continental system on Europe after 1806
To what extent did Napoleon’s government during the Consulate bring benefits to France?
To what extent did Napoleon's treatment of conquered states bring benefits to them?
‘The weaknesses of his enemies were the main reason for Napoleon’s military success from 1796
to 1809.’ How far do you agree? THE CONSTITUTION OF YEAR VIII
Sieyes did not envisage any future role for Napoleon with regard to a new constitution but Napoleon had other ideas. He was not prepared to give up the political prominence the coup had given him. He was to force Sieyes to make concessions.
Napoleon knew he had to tread carefully. The coup was not secure and he sought to win acceptance by claiming the coup was intended to secure the gains of the revolution. To win over the army he had to pose as the defender of liberty.
Napoleon agreed with much of what Sieyes proposed, but whereas Sieyes envisaged political authority being shared between three consuls, Napoleon wanted political authority concentrated in his own hands. In the end he agreed to three consuls, but the second and third consul would only have the right to be consulted over policy; they would have no independent executive authority. Napoleon himself would be first consul.
The legislature was not to have a dominant place in the Constitution. The legislative process was to be shared between four bodies:
1.The Council of State would draw up legislative proposals.
2.The Tribunate would discuss legislation but not vote on it.
3.The legislative body would vote on legislation but not discuss it.
4.The Senate would consider whether the proposed legislation conformed to the Constitution.
Sieyes and Napoleon recognised the need for the Constitution to acknowledge the principle of popular sovereignty, but also wanted to ensure that the common people were largely excluded from effective political power. It was therefore agreed that the principle of universal manhood suffrage would be accepted, but ensured the system of election would be indirect and of limited influence on the legislature and executive.
The details of the Constitution of the Year VIII were hammered out over six weeks of negotiation. What emerged gave Napoleon most of what he wanted: effective political power in France. To lend legitimacy to the new constitution it was put to the people in a plebiscite in 1800. the constitution was endorsed by a margin of over 3 million votes to around 1,500. Reforms RELIGION
The Concordat (Agreement) between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII in 1801 was a major achievement and arguably a masterstroke in reconciling French Catholics to the Napoleonic regime.
Catholicism had been a divisive factor in France since the revolution. Church lands had been seized in 1789. The Civil Constitution had been forced on the clergy in 1790 as was the oath of loyalty to the revolution in the same year. In 1791 the pope had denounced the revolution and therefore the Church became associated with counter-revolution and support for the restoration of the monarchy.
Pius VII was elected in 1800 and Napoleon seized the opportunity to seek reconciliation between France and Rome.
Napoleon’s motives were not therefore derived from religious conviction, but from political calculation: ‘In religion I do not see the mystery of the incarnation but the mystery of social order’ (NB). He wanted to win papal support for the regime because he believed it break the link between Catholicism and royalist unrest and the vast majority of French people would have one fewer excuse for opposition. Also, the priest in every parish could be used as the vehicle for Napoleonic propaganda.
Napoleon also wanted the following to come from any agreement:
-effective state control of the church and church appointments.
-a clerical oath of loyalty to the state.
-acceptance of the loss of church lands during the revolution.
In return Napoleon was prepared to offer the following:
-recognition of Catholicism as the ‘religion of the majority of Frenchmen’.
-the restoration of Sunday worship.
-state responsibility for the payment of clergy.
Pius VII would have liked more but his negotiating position was weak as the French army had effective control of Italy.
The Concordat was a remarkable achievement but there were dangers for Napoleon. For many years the French had regarded the Church as being anti-revolutionary. To deal with this Napoleon added the ‘Organic Articles in April 1802. These guaranteed the revolutionary principle of religious toleration and made the Protestant and Jewish churches similarly subject to state authority.
The Concordat had the following results.
-It reconciled the Church to the Napoleonic regime.
-It helped to pacify unrest in the Vendee.
-Bishops became public servants – ‘prefects in purple’.
-Parish priests said prayers for Napoleon and demanded loyalty to the regime.
-In 1804 Napoleon persuaded Pius VII to attend his coronation as emperor thus symbolising papal endorsement for his imperial title. JUDICIAL REFORMS
Judges were Napoleon’s appointees. Judges of the criminal and civil courts and magistrates were chosen from the department lists, whilst the members of the single Supreme Court of Appeal were elected by the Senate from the national list.
There were also special courts set up in 1801 to deal with those suspected of sedition. They consisted of army officers and magistrates and they tried defendants who were denied any right of appeal. There was no jury.
The legal system inherited by the ancien regime and the revolution was chaotic. Attempts were made in the 1790s to produce a single uniform code for all of France but they failed. However, Napoleon succeeded.
In 1804 he published the Civil Code that still forms the basis of French law. It was the product of a committee of legal experts, whose work was considered in over a hundred sessions of the Council of State, often chaired by Napoleon himself.
The code enshrined many of the achievements of the revolution but also included a number of illiberal measures. The main features were as follows.
-the abolition of feudalism was confirmed.
-equality before the law and freedom of conscience.
-gave fixed title to those who had bought church and émigré lands during the 1790s.
-slavery was reintroduced to the French colonies.
-gave employers the upper hand in wage disputes and compelled workers to carry a passbook or livret, effectively limiting their freedom of movement.
-women and children were to have a subordinate position. A man could imprison an adulterous wife or disobedient child. A married woman had few property rights and could only sue for divorce if a husband insisted on his mistress sharing the family home. EDUCATION REFORMS
Napoleon believed education to be very important (although not for women).
‘Public education should be the first object of government. Everything depends upon it, the present and the future. Above all we must secure unity: we must be able to cast a whole generation in the same mould.’ (NB)
Therefore he regarded education as important for the following reasons.
-Secure obedience to the regime (the Church helped in this respect).
-Ensure a steady flow of well-trained and loyal servants to fill both the officer corps of the army and positions in the government.
In 1802 he set a system of 37 state-run lycees, or secondary schools, for the sons of officers, and notables. The curriculum was closely supervised and free thinking was discouraged. Schools taught a utilitarian curriculum based around French, mathematics, history, science and geography. It emphasised the importance of military values and loyalty to the regime.
Independent and Catholic schools continued to flourish, but in order to bring such schools under closer government supervision Napoleon set up the Imperial University in 1806. FINANCIAL REFORMS
Throughout the 1790s revolutionary governments had failed to balance the government books. Napoleon was determined to do so.
He began by bringing tax collection under the control of the Ministry of Finance, developing a hierarchy of paid collectors and building up a comprehensive tax register.
He ensured the flow of credit at reasonable rates of interest by guaranteeing the payment of interest on government debt. This was partly organised through the Bank of France, founded in 1800, which became responsible for the management of government bonds.
The credit and credibility of previous governments had been undermined partly by the inflation associated with paper currency. Napoleon increased financial confidence by reintroducing a metal currency. By these measures the budget was balanced by 1802.
Financial management was aided by other factors:
-military victory in 1801 brought plunder whilst peace in 1802 reduced costs.
-economic policies such as the offer of credit to businesses, the buying-up of foreign grain stocks to ensure bread-price stability and then a series of good harvests all contributed to the healthy economic climate of the Consulate. MINISTRY OF POLICE
The Police were first led by Joseph Fouche and, after 1810, by Savary.
They were responsible for national security with a gendarmerie of 20,000 regular police. Their main purpose was to keep a close watch on all forms of subversion with the use of spies and informers. Fouche reported daily to Napoleon with regard to public opinion. Napoleon also had his own spies who acted as a check on Fouche’s reports. Prefects also monitored public opinion and sent reports to Napoleon.
Those suspected of subversion could be tried by special courts, imprisoned, sent to penal colonies or kept under house arrest. The Ministry of Police also had responsibility for censorship, prison surveillance and monitoring of food prices. Dictatorship OPPOSITION TO NAPOLEON
There were three main areas of opposition to the regime.
1.Jacobins who wanted a more democratic and radical republic. They had much potential support in the army and amongst the lower classes in the towns.
2.Royalists who had particular support in the west of France and were helped by émigrés abroad and occasionally foreign powers.
3.Liberals such as Benjamin Constant and Madame de Stael who wanted the restoration of a constitution in which the power of the executive was more clearly limited by the legislature and which would guarantee such rights as freedom of speech and of the press.
The most immediate threat came from the royalist rebels in the west. At first Napoleon offered an amnesty if they laid down their arms, concessions on religion and an end to laws which attacked émigrés. When the amnesty expired in January 1800, Napoleon ordered in the army to adopt a harsh policy. The rebellion was crushed by April and there was no more widespread royalist unrest during the Napoleonic period.
A royalist threat remained but it was restricted to assassination attempts and reliance on foreign support. Two examples illustrate Napoleon’s response.
1.In 1804 there was a plot involving a member of the Bourbon royal family, the duc d’Enghien. He was captured in Baden, brought to Paris to be summarily tried and executed. Other leaders were imprisoned or banished.
2.On 24 December 1800 there was a bomb plot to kill Napoleon on the way to the Opera. Although there were casualties, Napoleon was unharmed. He used the assassination attempt as an excuse to deport 129 Jacobin leaders and arrest many more. The example was sufficient to neutralise the threat from extreme republicans.
In the longer term dealing with opposition depended on the efficiency and effectiveness of local government, directed by the Ministry of the Interior, and also on the work of the Ministry of Police. The crucial officials at local level were the prefects. These ‘little emperors’ were the link between the centre and the provinces. They took their instructions from the Ministry of the Interior and Napoleon. SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
By 1804 normal constitutional channels of making laws were often ignored. Napoleon preferred the device of senatus consultum to issue decrees. This meant that laws could be passed more quickly and also avoid the potential embarrassment of criticism by various legislative bodies. Therefore, Napoleon quickly established effective control over the legislative process.
He established similar control over the executive. Under the constitution he could appoint the second and third consuls, ministers, the prefects of the departments and the mayors of the larger communes. There was no cabinet system as individual ministers reported directly to Napoleon. Therefore all effective decision making was concentrated in his hands. No minister, prefect etc could take any action unless sure it was authorised by Napoleon. Even at local level government posts were appointed from above and not elected from below. Indeed the government of France was centralised and authoritarian. His control of the government was more absolute than under the monarchy that ruled France before 1789.
The notion that Napoleon ruled by popular sovereignty by the use of plebiscites does not stand up to closer scrutiny. The results of the plebiscites undermined their credibility. On many occasions the results were doctored in favour of the ‘yes’ column. For example, the organiser of the 1800 plebiscite, Napoleon’s brother Lucien – perhaps worried at the republican sympathies of many soldiers – simply added 500,000 votes to the ‘yes’ column for the army. Also, the system of voting was open rather than by secret ballot and the question in the plebiscite only sought approval for a decision that had already been taken. However, plebiscites did lend a degree of legitimacy to Napoleon’s rule and suggested a lack of mass opposition. REVISED CONSTITUTIONS
In 1802 a revised constitution did away with the system of election but not the lists – eligibility for inclusion on them was now determined by tax liability. Napoleon was also made first consul for life. He could also name his successor.
In 1804 the constitution was further revised to recognise Napoleon as emperor.
Both revised constitutions were endorsed by the people in plebiscites. PROPAGANDA
Napoleon had a keen grasp of news management. As he said: ‘The truth is not half as important as what people think to be true.’ His army bulletins made sure his message got full publicity. For example, the Battle of Marengo in 1800 was not a near disaster, but a planned and decisive victory.
He also appreciated the power of imagery. He appointed painters such as David, Ingres and Gros. He was painted in various modes as statesman, romantic military hero, the Roman emperor. The Arc de Triomphe, begun in 1809, is a celebration of his victories. Impact on Europe Military success iv)Weaknesses of Napoleon’s enemies
-The armies of his enemies had not been reformed. They remained largely as they had been in the mid 18th century. They tended to be made up of a mixture of mercenaries and press-ganged subjects drawn from the lowest ranks of society. They had aristocratic officers; many without talent. They moved slowly in long columns and depended on enormous supply trains. They fought according to 18th century methods and had divided command structures and separation of control between army and state. For example, at Austerlitz, Napoleon could plan and issue his orders without fear of interference; Austrian and cRussian generals had to agree and co-ordinate their activities and needed the agreement of their rulers.
-His enemies tended to fight in loose coalitions, without a strong sense of united aims. These coalitions were fragile. The Second Coalition broke down in 1799 partly because Russia could not co-operate with Britain or Austria. Coalition partners were often willing to make separate treaties with France. Austria pulled out of the Third Coalition after Auterlitz and made peace with Napoleon at Pressburg. Russia pulled out after the Battle of Friedland, leaving Britain to fight alone.
-His enemies suffered from practical difficulties. He was able to defeat the Austrians at Ulm before the Russians arrived because Austria and Russia operated different calendars.
-Mutual rivalries hampered an effective opposition to Napoleon. Prussia’s defeat in 1806 was mainly down to the fact that Prussia wanted the satisfaction of defeating Napoleon before their Russian allies arrived. v)Napoleon’s diplomacy
Napoleon’s diplomacy enabled him to become stronger in Europe.
-In the Treaty of Pressburg with Austria in 1805, Bavaria and Wurttenberg agreed to provide Napoleon with forces in future wars.
-The Peace of Tisit in 1807 between France, Russia and Prussia included the following terms: Prussia lost a third of its territory. Napoleon’s brothers became the kings of Westphalia, Naples and Holland. Thus Napoleon was assured of more troops.
-The Treaty of Schonbrunn with Austria in 1809 meant France gained the Illyrian provinces and Trieste. An alliance was formed between Austria and France. Napoleon also married Marie-Louise of Austria, daughter of the Austrian emperor. Account for Napoleon's rise to power in 1799 Ability Assistance from others Ambition Effects of the Revolution Weakness of the Directory HUMBLE ORIGINS EARLY DEATH OF HIS FATHER IMAGE CONSCIOUSNESS DESIRE TO IMITATE PAOLI ARTILLERY CORPS ABANDONS HIS EGYPTIAN ARMY RELIANCE ON THE MILITARY ECOLE MILITAIRE 1795 CONSTITUTION
(YEAR III) SALICETI NAPOLEON THE REPUBLICAN POLITICAL FAILURE SEIGE OF TOULON VENDEMIAIRE ITALIAN CAMPAIGN FLIGHT OF THE EMIGRES THE REVOLUTIONARY WARS MERITOCRACY BARRAS JOSEPHINE SIEYES LUCIEN Born in Corsica (1769) - 5yrs after it becomes part of France
First language is Italian
Too poor to afford private education - Eleve du roi Emphasis on mathematical skill
Requires talented officers, not just well-connected ones Arrives aged 14
Graduates 42nd out of 58 cadets
Leaves after one year of three year course Father, Carlo dies in 1785
Napoleon is 2nd oldest of 8
Takes on responsibility for looking after his family Corsican independence leader
Fled Corsica in 1769 after rout by French troops
By contrast, Napoleon's father chooses to stay and collaborate with the French
Returns 20 years later following the Revolution and assumes leadership of the island Avid reader of Rousseau - 'popular sovereignty' justified Corsican independence
In 1789 he supported the principles of the Revolution, although he was appalled by the mob-violence
Joined the left-wing 'Patriotic Club' in Valence and became its secretary 1789-1792: 6,000 aristocratic army officers fled France DOROM
In the Army, meritocracy = survival
Political suitability also important 23 years of war
Stage on which to Napoleon demonstatrates his ability Royal navy invited into the port by Federalist rebels
Reorganises the artillery
Leads capture of fort overlooking the harbour Corsican politician, member of the Convention and opponent of Paoli
Persuades Napoleon to devote himself to France
As representive-en-mission in south-east France, recommends Napoleon to lead French artillery at Toulon
Aquits Napoleon of Jacobinism charge when he is arrrested following fall of Robespierre 1st wife, marries in 1796
Many affairs with leading politicians and soldiers, including Paul Barras Aim to avoid dictatorship
Seperation of powers produces ineffective government Army repeatedly steps in to ensure Republican government
1798 elections annulled when Jacobin majority is returned Royalist revolt in 1795 against the two-thirds law
25,000 royalists lay seige to the Convention
Napoleon steps in a gives the rioters a 'whiff of grapeshot' - cannonfire Representive-en-mission in south-east France, met Napoleon at Toulon
Appointed him to the defence of the Convention during the Vendemiaire uprising
Becomes Director and plays instrumental role in getting Napoleon the command of the Army of Italy 12 victories in less than a year makes him national hero in France
Wins loyalty and admiration of his 60,000 soldiers
Sent back money to Paris fund the Directory
Negotiated peace (in the short-term) with Austria - Treaty of Campo Formio (1797) Courier d'Italia and La France
Exaggerates victories, minimises casualties
Sends officers to Paris with glowing reports for the Directory
Treaty of Campo Formio is presented to the Directory by Napoleon in an eleborate ceremony at the Luxembourg Palace in Paris Aim to harass British trade routes
Battle of the Nile (1798) sees Nelson destroy the French fleet - crippling French supply lines
In 1799, Napoleon abandons 20,000 men to disease and defeat and returns home Economic: repeal of Law of the Maximum, assignat collapses in 1796, new property taxes
Religious: 100s of non-juring priests imprisoned or exiled
Extreme policies: death sentences for returning emigres, old nobility re-apply for citizenship Representative of 3rd estate at Estates-General
Author of popular pamphlet 'What is the Third Estate?' (1789)
Opposes the Terror, but does not support the Directory
Highly popular - elected as Director in 1799
Plots to overthrow Directory with support of a successful general President of the Council of the 500 during Coup de Brumaire
Swears to kill Napoleon if he endangers the Revolution
Orders Napoleon's troops to clear the Council chambers of deputies
Oversees the passage of the Decree of Brumaire - which ends the Directory and creates a new government led by 3 Counsuls CENSORSHIP
Strict censorship helped deny critics and opponents publicity. Napoleon did not believe in freedom of the press and from the start he restricted the flow and nature of information reaching the public. In 1800 the number of newspapers in Paris was reduced from 73 to 13, and in 1810 to 4.
The press bureau of the Ministry of Police monitored all publications, and editors were forbidden to criticise the regime. Increasingly people tended to rely on official bulletins or articles written in the government newspaper Le Moniteur. Books, plays and art were also censored. THE POLICY OF RALLIEMENT
This was Napoleon’s attempt to reconcile the people to the regime. He was prepared to forgive and forget what people had done in the past as long as they were loyal to the regime. For example, émigrés were allowed home if they were willing to accept his authority.
His appointments were from various political backgrounds. His appointments as second and third consuls, Cambaceres and Lebrun, were an ex-member of the National Convention and an ex-servant of the ancien regime. This policy was followed throughout the government. Some appointments were new men, some nobles, some were ex-royalists and some ex-regicides. The same applied to church appointments.
Ability mattered to Napoleon. He followed the revolutionary principle of meritocracy, careers open to talents. For example, although he appointed judges there is no real evidence of political bias or interference in their work. They were appointed for life on the basis they could do an effective job.
He aimed to bend men of property, both bourgeois and noble, to his regime. The attraction of holding office was one incentive. Another was a conscious effort to look after the interests of the propertied classes (notables) and thus give them a vested interest in the maintenance of the regime. Certainly the notables feared both a royalist restoration and a Jacobin republic. A royalist restoration would threaten the property they had acquired from the sale of church and émigrés lands; whilst a republic carried the threat of mob rule and a similar attack on property.
In the Civil Code and in the Concordat, Napoleon guaranteed the notables possession of their property. Napoleon became the security for the wealth of the notables. Many of them were holders of government bonds; and one of Napoleon’s first acts was to guarantee the payment of interest on such bonds.
Napoleon also restored law and order in France; brigandage in the countryside was eliminated.
Education at the lycees was open to the sons of officers and men of property.
Napoleon’s economic and financial measures were geared to bring social and economic stability, and rises in tax were confined to indirect taxes rather than the direct tax on land. BUT... before you make up your mind about Napoleon... THE HUNDRED DAYS, 1815
Upon his return from exile in March 1815 Napoleon aimed to create a liberal France, with constitutional government and an executive answerable to the people. He consulted with liberals such as Benjamin Constant over changes for governing France. The result was the Acte additionelle, which introduced a liberal constitution guaranteeing freedom of the press, ministers responsible to the legislature and universal suffrage. A plebiscite endorsed the new system.
Very probably Napoleon considered the new system a temporary expedient to win the support of the notables. Liberals remained suspicious of his real intentions. His power base during the Hundred Days lay in the veterans of the army and the peasantry who feared a royalist restoration. THE NATURE OF NAPOLEONIC RULE UNDER THE EMPIRE
The nature of Napoleon’s rule in some ways changed fundamentally after 1804.
By making himself emperor his court began more and more to resemble that of an ancien regime monarch. His brothers and sisters were made princes of the empire and in 1808 an imperial nobility was instituted, with titles ranging from count to duke.
To confirm the change from republican consulate to imperial dynasty, in 1810 Napoleon married Marie-Louise, the daughter of the Austrian emperor.
However, unlike the old monarchy titles depended not on birth but on wealth, and could be given as a reward for service. Napoleon created 3,263 nobles between 1808 and 1814 and he often granted them estates and pensions to provide necessary income. Therefore the imperial nobility linked back to the notion of meritocracy and the Legion of Honour.
The increasing resemblance of the regime to an absolute monarchy aroused fears of a return to feudalism and offended the revolutionary ideals of equality.
Revolutionary national festivals, such as that of 21 September commemorating the establishment of the republic in 1792, were gradually phased out and replaced by days to celebrate anniversaries related to Napoleon. St Napoleon’s Day on 16 August was a religious change that placed emphasis on Napoleon. A new catechism was issued to be taught to children and said in church. It emphasised loyalty and obedience to Napoleon and suggested that the empire’s creation was God’s will.
After 1804 the regime became more authoritarian and restrictions on freedom increased. In 1810 a system of imprisonment without trial was introduced to deal with political suspects and others. But it was used selectively; in 1814 there were just 640 such prisoners.
The criminal and penal codes issued in 1808 and 1810 respectively reintroduced harsh penalties such as branding and mutilation for certain crimes.
Censorship was tightened – in 1811 Paris had only 4 newspapers. From 1810 there was only one in each departement. The number of theatres in Paris was reduced from 33 to 8 in 1807 and any production challenging the regime was banned. Official censors were appointed, half the printing presses in Paris were closed down and publishers were required to obtain a licence and swear an oath of loyalty (1809). Writers critical of the regime faced persecution and were sometimes deported.
In 1802 Napoleon had purged the Tribunate of troublesome elements; in 1807 it was abolished. The Legislative Body remained, but was called to meet less and less frequently. Napoleon preferred rule by imperial decree. AND... 1793 Napoleon helps to secure victory at the Siege of Toulon Napoleon helps to crush royalist Vendemiaire rising in Paris 1795 1796 1797 1798 French Revolution removes king from power Napoleon is given command of the armies fighting in Italy Victory secured in Italy through the signing of the treaty of Campo Formio Napoleon's rise to power- Napoleon exploits the conditions brought about by the French Revolution to come to power through the coup of Brumaire. Egyptian campaign starts well with victory at the Battle of the pyramids. It ends badly after the destruction of the French fleet. The Coup of Brumaire brings Napoleon to power 1799 Napoleon's consolidates power in through the consulate The empire- Napoleon is made emperor and gains extensive military victory in Europe. This comes crashing down by 1814 when he is forced to abdicate. Napoleon returns for 100 days 1800 1801 1802 1803 The constitution of year VIII makes Napoleon first consul
- This is confirmed in a plebiscite Constitution of 1802- Napoleon is made first consul for life. Also restricts democratic processes. Napoleon signs a concordat with Pope Pius VII to agree on good relations with the church. The organic articles brought the church under state control and guaranteed freedom of religion. An important reform of law known as the Civil Code is brought in. 37 state-run Lycees brought in to aid education- mostly for military training etc. Bank of France founded State budget is finally balanced Napoleon crowns himself emperor of France. The Pope attends the coronation. In 1804 there was a plot involving a member of the Bourbon royal family, the duc d’Enghien. He was captured in Baden, brought to Paris to be summarily tried and executed. A bomb plot against Napoleon fails 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810 1811 1812 1813 1814 1805 Battle of Marengo Work starts on the Arc de Triomphe Napoleon marries Marie-Louise, the daughter of the Austrian emperor.
Sign of dynastic rule Acte additionale promises a more liberal government Second Coalition formed Treaty of Luneville with Austria. Treaty of Amiens with Britain Third coalition formed French fleet defeated at Trafalgar.
Victory at Ulm (October) and Austerlitz (December). Treaty of Pressburg with Austria. Victory at Jena and Auerstadt against Prussia. Battle of Eylau against Russia.
Victory at Battle of Friedland against Russia.
French invade Portugal. Treaty of Tilsit with Russia and Prussia. Spanish conflict becomes a consistent problem for Napoleon- his Spanish Ulcer Victory at Battle of Wagram against Austria. Treaty of Schonbrunn with Austria. Spanish resistance begins Napoleon invades Russia.
Battle of Borodino.
Retreat from Moscow. Formation of the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon Defeat at the Battle of Liepzig Napoleon abdicates Napoleon returns from exile on Elba. Napoleon defeated at the Battle of Waterloo Napoleon exiled again to St. Helena i) The Continental System, an attempt to impose an economic blockade of Britain, failed and therefore Britain was able to continue the war with France. The Continental System failed because:
1.France did not have the resources to enforce the system. Following Trafalgar Napoleon did not have the naval power to prevent British ships from breaking the blockade. For the system to be successful France needed the co-operation of her allies and satellite states which was not always forthcoming. They needed British goods.
2.For the system to be successful it needed to be applied consistently, fully and over a long period of time. This proved impossible as France was never in complete control of the continent.
3.The system had a disruptive impact on France and the rest of Europe. For example, Eastern Europe suffered because it was unable to sell its grain, timber and naval stores to Britain.
The failure of the system meant that Britain was able to continue with the constant opposition to France. Britain’s material resources enabled it to fight on and subsidise her allies until Napoleon was defeated.
The Continental System also proved to be a long term cause of Napoleon’s downfall as non-compliance caused France to invade Spain and Portugal in 1807 and Russia in 1812. These were both major reasons for his eventual defeat. The failure of the continental system The Peninsular War The ‘Spanish ulcer’ was a major cause because:
1.The defeat of a small French army at Baylen in 1808 dented the image of French invincibility.
2.Spanish resistance encouraged Austria to go to war with France in 1809, causing Napoleon to leave Spain at a crucial moment.
3.Spanish and Portugese resistance gave Britain a continental theatre of operations against France.
4.The constant guerrilla attacks and lack of a decisive victory damaged French morale, required the maintenance of a force of 200,000 men in the peninsular which strained French resources and increased the levels of conscription and taxation in France. This undermined support for Napoleon. The war cost France 300,000 casualties and 3 billion francs. The number of troops in the peninsular meant there were less available for over parts of Europe.
5.In 1809 and 1812-14 Napoleon was fighting a war on two fronts. The Russian Campaign Defeat in Russia was significant because:
1.In the retreat 500,000 men were lost and they could only be replaced by inexperienced conscripts. More significant was the loss of artillery and cavalry horses. The lack of trained cavalry was to be an important feature in Napoleon’s defeat in 1813 because although he still won battles he was unable to follow them up.
2.It finally blew the image of Napoleon’s invincibility, severely damaged French morale and, most significantly, encouraged other nations – especially Prussia – to take up arms against him. The War of Liberation The War of Liberation was crucial for the following reasons:
1.A strong coalition was formed against Napoleon by the Treaty of Kalisch in 1813 between Russia and Prussia. They were later joined by Austria when Napoleon refused to accept a peace proposal.
2.A decisive battle was fought at Leipzig in October 1813 (‘Battle of Nations’). The allies outnumbered the French by 350,000 to 200,000. Napoleon was defeated with the loss of 70,000 men.
3.The defeat caused the rest of Germany, Italy and Holland to rise up against Napoleon.
4.British intervention ensured final defeat when on 1 March the allies signed the Treaty of Chaumont, by which they agreed to fight until Napoleon was defeated. Without the support of Paris and with waning support from his marshals, Napoleon was forced to abdicate on 6 April 1814. Poor diplomacy Napoleon failed to take advantage of generous peace proposals.
1.Austria had persuaded Prussia and Russia to accept the Treaty of Reichenbach on 26 June 1813 whereby France would lose the grand duchy of Warsaw and the Confederation of the Rhine but keep Italy, Belgium and the Rhine frontier. Napoleon refused to accept the terms and thus Austria joined the allies.
2.After the defeat at Leipzig Napoleon was offered terms on the basis of the 1791 frontiers of France. Again Napoleon refused the terms leading to the invasion of France. 1.Physically he was not fit. He suffered from piles and from bladder and stomach problems.
2.He became prone to outbursts of anger and hysteria, and occasionally something resembling epileptic fits.
3.His character changed too. He grew more intolerant of others’ views, more convinced of his own rightness, more obstinate in his decisions, and less able to distinguish the possible from the impossible.
4.There was a decline in his military leadership. There were no sophisticated tactics adopted after 1806. For example, at Borodino in 1812 there was no attempt to envelop the enemy. Only frontal assaults were employed. He was accused of being lethargic during the Moscow campaign; he lost the chance to envelop the Russians through inactivity or slow movement. He can also be criticised for poor reconnaissance and preparation. He became predictable, and his enemies had successfully learned how to counter his strategies. For example, at Waterloo Wellington successfully adopted the reverse slope strategy to repel the French attack columns. 1.After 1806 the Prussian army was reorganised by Scharnhorst. Every Prussian was to serve in the army before entering the reserve. Therefore Prussia built up a reserve of 150,000 trained men by 1812. The obsolete tactics of the 18th century were abandoned, harsh disciplinary measures relaxed and promotion on merit was introduced for officers. After 1809 Austria also reorganised its military.
2.In terms of military strategy and tactics, the enemies of Napoleon had learned from their mistakes. This is reflected in the strategy adopted then to avoid battle with Napoleon so far as possible until the allies had overwhelming numbers. This strategy was to be successful at the Battle of Leipzig. Reforms of Napoleon's enemies Napoleon's generalship Quality of the French army The quality of the French army had deteriorated since 1806 for the following reasons:
1.The loss of veteran troops through war and their replacement by raw recruits.
2.Increasing proportion of non-French troops. Only half of Napoleon’s force to invade Russia was French. The French army thus became less reliable and less able to adopt flexible tactics.
3.The size of the army and the poor roads in Russia hindered rapid manoeuvre. The logistics of moving and supplying 600,000 men was beyond the capacity of a single commander, especially in hostile territory where living off the land was difficult and the few roads made movement difficult. Rise to power:
‘•The Weakness of the Directory
•Napoleon’s ability as a general and a leader and his reputation
•Napoleon’s involvement in the Coup de Brumaire
•The role of the army
•The war against the Second Coalition
Reforms of the consulate
•Government and administration
•legal and judicial reforms
•Economic and financial reforms
•Religious policy and the Concordat
Was Napoleon a dictator?
•The constitutions of 1800, 1802, 1804 and 1815
•System of government (central and local)
•Censorship and propaganda
•Dealing with opposition and criticism
•Changes in education
•Law and justice over the period
•The Hundred Days in France
Why were his military campaigns such a success?
•Napoleon’s strengths and weaknesses as a military leader
•The nature of the French army and the impact of reforms made before and during Napoleon’s leadership
•The international situation and Napoleon’s diplomacy
•The weaknesses of Napoleon’s opponents.
Reasons for downfall
•The Continental blockade/system
•The Peninsular War
•The Russian campaign
•The War of Liberation
•The Waterloo campaign
•Opposition in France and Europe
•Weaknesses in Napoleon’s leadership and the quality of his armed forces
•The reforms of opponents’ armies
•The development of concerted opposition, including the Fourth Coalition. Can you write paragraphs on all of these headings? When you get into the exam, don't panic!
Read the questions carefully and make sure that you know which one would be best to answer.
Sketch out a quick essay plan and get started. Make sure you leave enough time to add a really good conclusion and spend a equal amount of time on each question. Lessons How significant was the French Revolution? How did Napoleon climb the ladder to power by 1799? Did Napoleon's reforms change France completely? Was Napoleon as bad as Hitler? How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? Why did Napoleon's time in power finish so dramatically in 1814 and 1815? How did Napoleon change the whole of Europe? How do these pictures relate to Napoleon Bonaparte? 1/4. The Bastille:
It started in 1789 when French peasants overran the Bastille prison in Paris “revolution” =“drastic change” 2/4. The Guillotine:
The King and Queen were publicly executed by guillotine 3/4. The Terror:
The new rulers then executed hundreds of the Kings’ supporters – and each other! “revolution” = come “full circle” 4/4. The Corsican:
Control of the country was then seized by Napoleon Bonaparte How significant was the French Revolution? Content: An introduction to the AS course and French Revolution.
Process: Thinking about significance
Big picture: This sets the background to the Napoleonic era How significant was the French Revolution? Introductions
Why are you doing A level History?
What expectations do you think are appropriate for this class?
How much do you know about Napoleon already? Take a look at the lyrics here. How much can Lady Gaga tell us about the French Revolution? How significant was the French Revolution? Look at the images which you have been given.
Can you work out what they show?
What might they tell us about the significance of the French Revolution? How significant was the French Revolution? Napoleon may well have influenced Europe more than any other man in History. However, his origins go back to the French Revolution. Prep organiser
Downloading the Prezi and using the VLE
Specification- take a look at the scraps of paper which you have been given. What do they tell us about the course which you will be taking? Excited Lots of knowledge Not much knowledge Not excited How significant was the French Revolution? Next challenge: Who was the most important figure in the French Revolution?
How are you going to compare them?
How are you going to judge their importance? What can you infer? Now use the criteria which I have given you to compare the different historical figures. How did giving you the criteria change your judgements? How can we use this idea in our Historical thinking/writing? Next lesson: I want to see your Historical writing. Think about some of the ideas and concepts which we have considered. You could even read up on the French Revolution in your books/other resources. Think particularly about significance. Your question is... Why was the French Revolution so significant?
You have roughly 15 minutes to try and write an answer Success criteria
Did you: Talk about important events/consequences/figures?
Use a decent level of detail?
Relate the events to your criteria and make judgements? How did Napoleon fit into the French Revolution?
Use the sheet and pp. 7-11 to answer this question.
How does his importance relate to the other figures of the Revolution? In your groups, try to write a convincing paragraph about the area which you have been given. How did Napoleon climb the ladder to power by 1799? Content: Napoleon's rise to power
Process: Thinking about causation
Big picture: Napoleon wasn't always destined for power. Explaining his rise is an important aspect of this course. How did Napoleon climb the ladder to power by 1799? Using the reading which you did, try to write down as many things as you can about the young Napoleon.
What was he like?
What did he do in his early years etc.?
Did any of these qualities make him a good potential leader? Inferences: What does this video suggest about Napoleon's various strengths during the Coup de Brumaire? Challenge: Revise for a question on Napoleon's climb to power for an unseen question. How did Napoleon climb the ladder to power by 1799? 1. Look at the images which you have been given. What inferences can we make about how Napoleon came to power?
2. Match these with the captions
3. See if you can group these under different headings- is there a least/most important factor? What was the most important factor in Napoleon's rise to power? Your question is... Why was the French Revolution so significant?
You have roughly 15 minutes to try and write an answer Success criteria
Did you: Talk about important events/consequences/figures?
Use a decent level of detail?
Relate the events to your criteria and make judgements? Videos Overview of the course Rise to power Consulate/ early victories Later victories Downfall Napoleon (2002) drama In order to take power, what does an ambitious person have to do? http://tiny.cc/eybmiw Ambition Ability Weakness of Directory Effects of the Revolution Assistance from other people Ambition Weakness of Directory Effects of the Revolution Assistance from other people Ability How did Napoleon climb the ladder to power by 1799? Use the paragraph which you wrote and the feedback given to you to turn your paragraph into a convincing debating speech. How did Napoleon climb the ladder to power by 1799? Constitutional changes
Legal and judicial reforms
Reforms of government and administration
Economic and financial reforms
Education reforms Did Napoleon make things better for France? Content: Reforms during the consulate
Process: Thinking about interpretation and change
Big picture: Napoleon is often judged on his military career but we should also remember his domestic impact. Did Napoleon make things better for France? Watch the clip (roughly 5 minutes). What does it tell us about Napoleon's changes to France? Task: use the analysis which we completed to make a long paragraph which argues for one of the interpretations. Did Napoleon make things better for France? "Napoleon secured the French Revolution for France"
Do we really agree with this interpretation? What was the most important factor in Napoleon's rise to power? Your question is... Why was the French Revolution so significant?
You have roughly 15 minutes to try and write an answer Criteria French Revolution
Change which promoted Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood and Property
His personal power
Change which promoted his position in government, constitutional power and the long-term position of his regime Write down as many things as you possibly can
Is the interpretation reasonably positive? Analysis: It's quite obvious that Napoleon had some good effects on France.
However, what were the motivations behind Napoleon's reforms? How much did they change France?
Look at the reform which you have been given. Try to analyse why Napoleon introduced this reform and how much it changed France. "Napoleon only made reforms in France to further his position as First Consul" Did Napoleon make things better for France? Use the paragraph which you have written to write up a preface for one of these books (roughly 400 words).
1. The terror of Napoleon’s reforms: 1799-1804
2. A glorious legacy: The Reforms of the Consulate Did Napoleon make things better for France? Look at the information which you have been given. Try to chart how successful Napoleon was on each of the key aspects of the Revolution Constitutional changes
Reforms of government and administration
Legal and judicial reforms
Economic and financial reforms
Education reforms Think: Did these reforms safeguard the revolution? Was this Napoleon's intention?
Share your notes to complete your analysis "Napoleon was a patriot and wanted to change France for the better in line with the French Revolution" Napoleon came to power as a dictator from the right — not, of course, as a leader of the old reactionary party, but as a dictator supported by the propertied classes, the financiers and commercial men, the upper bourgeoisie, and speculators, who had made large fortunes out of the revolution and had bought up church or crown lands or the property of émigrés with worthless assignats.
Alfred Cobban Was Napoleon as bad as Hitler? Content: Napoleon as a dictator
Process: Thinking about interpretation
Big picture: Napoleon's legacy is very controversial. Some still revere him, others see him as vicious dictator in the same order as Hitler or Stalin Was Napoleon as bad as Hitler? In 1804, Napoleon was crowned Emperor. Watch the clip and write down what kind of things it suggests. Debate: Was Napoleon the same type of dictator as Hitler?
Try to use the details which we have looked at
Try to refer to the criteria for an Enlightened dictator
Try to use other Historians in your argument Was Napoleon as bad as Hitler? Look at the topic which you have been given. You should try to create a poster which displays as much of the knowledge on this topic as possible.
Next: we are going to share this information with each other
After: I will test your basic knowledge on this topic. You can do additional preparation by doing thorough reading and watching the right videos. What was the most important factor in Napoleon's rise to power? Your question is... Why was the French Revolution so significant?
You have roughly 15 minutes to try and write an answer An enlightened dictator... will tend to allow religious toleration, freedom of speech and the press, and the right to hold private property. Most fostered the arts, sciences, and education. They will follow policies which are in the interests of the people not their personal dictatorship. Time for a test... Was Napoleon as bad as Hitler? Use the paragraph which you wrote and the feedback given to you to turn your paragraph into an essay.
What paragraphs can you use?
What structure might help you?
What argument are you going to pursue? Was Napoleon as bad as Hitler? The Police
Opposition, conscription and the liveret
Patronage and bribery
Censorship and propaganda What is Cobban saying about Napoleon? What was the most important factor in Napoleon's rise to power? Was Napoleon as bad as Hitler? Look at the interpretations of Napoleon which you have been given. What are each of them trying to say? Analysis: Write a one sentence summary of each Historian. Then note down evidence which might support each of their arguments.
e.g. Napoleon's protection of Biens Nationaux seems to show that he was supporting the upper classes. This supports Cobban's argument. Yes No How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? Content: Napoleon's military success
Process: Thinking about causation and significance
Big picture: Napoleon is most famous for his military success. How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? Are Battles won more by luck or by factors which a general can control? How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? Some people say that Napoleon's greatest victory was at Austerlitz
Watch the video and try to decide how Napoleon did it. What was the most important factor in Napoleon's rise to power? Your question is... Why was the French Revolution so significant?
You have roughly 15 minutes to try and write an answer Research task: You will each be given a battle/campaign during this successful era for Napoleon. Make notes for a presentation on the topic which you have been given.
Second Italian Campaign and Battle of Marengo
Jena and Auerstadt
Friedland http://tiny.cc/q3bmiw http://tiny.cc/cscmiw Luck/circumstance
Weakness of his enemies Use your books, videos, notes, prezi etc. How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? If a superior force is given to an average general, could he win easily? How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? Analysis: Could it be that Napoleon only gained success because he was given the tools to do so? Pictionary- draw a picture of the advance which you have been given. This may be difficult but try hard- I will do one too iii)Head of State
He was not only commander in chief but also the head of state. Therefore there was never any conflict between the home and battle fronts. If Napoleon wanted troops there was conscription. If he needed supplies they were organised. His reorganisation of the war ministry ensured relative efficiency. How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? Revise all of the work which we have looked at to get ready for an unseen essay Main question: How did Napoleon gain so much success?
-Try to write in themes
-Try to include a good level of detail
-Try to show criteria
-Try to conclude effectively How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? Focus on conclusions
What makes a good conclusion?
What words could be used? Therefore.... How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? Essay plan: Create an essay plan for "The weakness of his opponents was the key reason for Napoleon's success in Europe 1796-1809. How far do you agree?" Comparisons
What is good about it?
What could be improved? How did Napoleon storm through Europe 1796-1809? Sample essay- have a read through this example essay. What is good about it?
What could be improved?
What mark do you think it deserves? Content: Napoleon's downfall
Process: Thinking about causation
Big picture: Napoleon's downfall is almost as dramatic as his victories across Europe. What was the most important factor in Napoleon's rise to power? Your question is... Why was the French Revolution so significant?
You have roughly 15 minutes to try and write an answer Why was the Peninsular Campaign such a nightmare for Napoleon? Use the cards which you have been given and sort them into groups-
Causes of the conflict
Events of the war
Consequences for Napoleon
Write these up as notes in your own words.
What caused the conflict?
What caused Napoleon to lose?
What consequences did defeat have for Napoleon Why was the Peninsular Campaign such a nightmare for Napoleon? 1807-14, Napoleon waged war in the Iberian Peninsular.
In 1807 he defeated Portugal. In 1808, he tried to bring Spain more closely under his control.
This is one of the things which caused his downfall. Why was the Peninsular Campaign such a nightmare for Napoleon? Content: The Peninsular Campaigns
Process: Card sorting
Big picture: This was the first in a number of events which led to Napoleon’s downfall. Why was the Peninsular Campaign such a nightmare for Napoleon? 1807
He had begun to input the Continental Blockade.
Crushed opposition- except for Britain
Controlled most of Europe
Thought he was invincible
Still in control of a large powerful army
Still weak at sea What position was Napoleon in by 1807? Why was the Peninsular Campaign such a nightmare for Napoleon? Why did Napoleon's time in power finish so dramatically in 1814 and 1815? From what you know already, why do you think Napoleon might have fell from power? 1. From the peace of Tilsit in 1807, Franco-Russian relations had got far worse. The main problem was Russia’s withdrawal from the Continental Blockade.
2. Napoleon collected an army of 600,000 men and in 1812 crossed the river Niemen into Russia.
3. Napoleon lost a great number of men before they finally battled the Russians at Borodino. Both sides lost vast numbers of men.
4. By the time Napoleon made it to Moscow, the Russians had set it on fire. This made survival in the city for the long term impossible. Facing starvation, they headed home.
5. By the time Napoleon had retreated to Germany he had only 25,000 men in his army. The Russian Campaign, 1812 Content: The Russian Campaign and how this led to Napoleon’s downfall.
Process: Working out pictures
Big picture: This is one of the most important events in Napoleon’s fall from power. The Russian Campaign, 1812 Bad management and poor supply
Lack of knowledge and over-confidence- Napoleon thought that he would defeat Russia in only 9 weeks.
The army only had summer clothing and three weeks’ supplies.
There was rare confusion in the French command- this led to poor organisation of forces. The Russian Campaign, 1812 Use pp. 132-136 to try and put the pictures in chronological order. Try to work out what happened in each of the pictures.
Make notes on each of the pictures. The Russian Campaign, 1812 “Napoleon described the Russian Campaign as the greatest and most difficult enterprise that I have ever attempted”
Watch the video clips
What caused the Russian conflict? The Russian Campaign, 1812 Why did Napoleon's time in power finish so dramatically in 1814 and 1815? http://tiny.cc/auhmiw Content: The War of Liberation
Process: Decision-making- how well do you now know Napoleon?
Big picture: This war ended in Napoleon’s abdication in 1814. The War of Liberation, 1813-14 “Bonaparte’s decision to fight in 1814 instead of making peace marks the supreme example of his irresponsibility as a national leader.”
Barnett The War of Liberation, 1813-14 How well do you know Napoleon?
Look at the decisions sheet which you have been given. Try to work out what he did. Answers will come at the end.
Examples- make peace at all costs, try to negotiate, go to war, call up more troops etc. etc. The War of Liberation, 1813-14 What were the consequences of the Russian Campaign for Napoleon? The War of Liberation, 1813-14 Why did Napoleon's time in power finish so dramatically in 1814 and 1815? Analysis Prep: Prepare for the debate and revise for the knowledge test. Which other factors contributed to Napoleon’s fall from power? You have 10 minutes to prepare your section of notes.
We will then begin the Carousel. Which other factors contributed to Napoleon’s fall from power? Content: Napoleon’s fall from power
Big picture: You have seen the events that led to Napoleon’s downfall. Now, the analysis is the
important bit Which other factors contributed to Napoleon’s fall from power? Defeat at Waterloo, 1815
Exile in Elba Exile in Elba, 1814 War of Liberation 1813-14 Russian Campaign, 1812 Peninsular Campaign 1807-1814 Which other factors contributed to Napoleon’s fall from power? To what extent does British opposition explain Napoleon’s eventual defeat in 1814 and 1815? The Composition of the Empire How did Napoleon treat the people he conquered? How and why did Napoleon create the Empire? Did Napoleon stir up Nationalism? What did Napoleon expect from the empire? Napoleon's empire was officially begun when he became emperor of France in 1804. However, since there had been conquests before this date under the revolutionary governments and the consulate, it had really existed already. As with most empires it was quite complicated.
There were three parts to the empire.
1. pays reunis: This was territory directly controlled by Napoleon.
2. pays conquis: This was territory which was controlled by other rulers working for Napoleon- often his relatives.
3. pays allies: These were countries which had pledged allegiance to Napoleon. Some of these were reliable allies like the Confederation of the Rhine or Saxony. However, many of these countries (like Russia, Prussia) only came under Napoleon's control for limited period until the next coalition against him was formed.
Altogether this was known as the Grand Empire. To answer this question, it's important to note the variety in experience for different states. It's important not to make generalisations.
Generally, the longer a state stayed under Napoleonic rule, the more impact he was able to have upon it.
1. Annexed states. These states were taken over before 1799 and included Nice, Savoy, Belgium and parts of Germany. These were controlled as if they were a part of France and quickly included in the French system of government. After Napoleon's reforms under the consulate, Annexed states were expected to adopt changes like the abolition of Feudalism and adoption of the new institutions (Concordat, Imperial University etc.). Historians have been most interested in finding out whether people actually changed or just adapted to the situation.
- In Piedmont, many of these changes were recognised quickly (it had been under occupation since 1796). However, things like the abolition of Feudalism had already started in this area so it could be argued that Napoleon made little difference.
-In the areas west of the Rhine, people were quite willing to adapt to the changes but also seemed to change again when the Prussians took control. This seems to show that administrative changes were made successfully but that the people only adapted.
- Other parts of Germany and Italy which were only annexed from 1806-1809 show very little change at all due to the short period of time.
2. Satellite States. These were the nominally independent states which had their own rulers but were under strict French control. Napoleon wanted to create rulers in his own image and dispensed his advice to these rulers (often his brothers). In his letters, Napoleon suggests that he wanted to do his best for the happiness of his subjects. Traditionally, people thought that Napoleon helped to abolish Feudalism in these countries and promote liberty and equality. However, in reality, many of the nobility and social structures survived i areas of Italy, Germany and Poland that were occupied by the French. This could explain why the allies had little problem in reimposing old rulers when Napoleon was defeated. This might sound like a silly question but it's important to think about why Napoleon saw the need to create an empire.
1. Napoleon's justification
Napoleon said that he wanted to protect the revolution in France from the monarchies, export his reforms and the other gains of the revolution, to end the old regimes in Europe and to protect citizens everywhere against the rule of kings.
- This sounds very noble but in private talked of adding to his power (you probably suspected this anyway).
2. Historians' ideas
Geoffrey Ellis thinks that Napoleon had genuine ambitions to make life in Europe better. Why else would he try to put in all of the reforms which he had made in France himself. Perhaps he saw himself as the saviour of Europe.
Other Historians emphasise Napoleon's massive ambition, his pursuit of glory and the advancement of his own power. However, each of these is probably simplified. Napoleon was quite complicated. There was more going on in his mind than simply a quest for power.
3. Universal Empire
Some people think that he wanted to create a "Universal Empire". It can be argued that he got his inspiration from Charlemagne who was King of the Franks (742-814) and created a huge empire in Europe. Napoleon looked back at Charlemagne with great respect and wished to regain his empire in Europe. Some speculate that he wanted to go even further and re-kindle the Roman Empire, though there is little hard evidence for this. Nationalism is the close identification of a group of people with their culture and shared history. Napoleon was very nationalistic about France but he didn't really want to make other people nationalistic for their own people and countries. He felt that the Empire's main purpose was to serve France.
After Napoleon was finally defeated, he tried to argue that he was trying to promote l'Agglomeration- bringing people together through their shared culture, language and History. However, most Historians see this as an attempt to re-write his own History to show himself as more liberal. In reality, Napoleon did not accept people being nationalistic in his empire. Towards the end of his reign he actually became more despotic, ignoring the wishes of his subjects and doing what he thought was best. As part of his administration of made the map of Europe simpler by organising small states into larger countries. This helped to foster nationalism, even though it wasn't Napoleon's intention.
Even before the French Revolution, people had ideas about people ruling themselves for the good of the country. This seemed to go against the rule of kings who had huge empires. This was made more real in the French Revolution where the spirit of unity and nationalism and unity in France can be seen to have inspired other nations in Europe. Napoleon's universal empire goes against these ideas but throughout his reign nationalism seems to have got stronger in these nations.
Around 1800, Germany (not yet a unified country) was having a boom in the arts and culture. People felt proud of this and a sense of national identity. However, this was shattered when Prussia was defeated at the Battle of Jena ,1806. In the subsequent years, Prussia established Napoleonic reforms to the army and government helped to strengthen the state and the reduction in power of the rival Habsbug empire. This led many people to dream of a future German state. Note: Napoleon didn't plan this, it only happened as a result of his actions.
Italian nationalism didn't take off until well after 1815 and many of the Italian people actually welcomed Napoleon's rule. During the hundred days, Napoleon's brother in law (The King of Naples) encouraged all Italians to rise up against the occupying Austrians. This acheived some success but eventually ended in defeat. It certainly can't be seen as the beginning of risorgimento (movement for a unified Italy), which started much later.
Poland had been independent before 1772 but was split between its powerful neighbours: Russia, Prussia and Austria. Napoleon mainly used the area as a recruiting ground for his army but he did create the Duchy of Warsaw which gave the Poles some hope that they might get independence. They even contributed 98,000 men to Napoleon's army in this hope. The Poles stayed loyal to Napoleon but lost everything. They didn't get their independence but the glory gained on the battlefield meant that Napoleon seems to have been kindly remembered by Polish Nationalists ever since.
Due to the brutal peninsular campaign, the Spanish people were united in the hatred of Napoleon. However, once victory was acheived, this seems to have made little long term difference and the Spanish returned to reasonably ineffective government.
Despite some Historians' claims that the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of the Nations represented a nationalistic uprising against Napoleon, most people fought out of loyalty to the ancien regime. Indeed, most people in the empire had more to worry about than nationalism and it tended to be discussed more amongst the wealthy middle classes than the masses. Napoleon used the Empire for a variety of purposes
1. Military and Financial needs
Napoleon's war machine needed recruits and money to function. The empire could provide both. In the annexed states, citizens enjoyed the same rights and responsibilities that people in France enjoyed. They had to provide conscripts and pay taxes but this was all done in accordance with the rules of Napoleonic France.
Satellite states existed primarily to fulfill this function so provided around one third of the French army and paid tribute monies to fund future campaigns. The Kingdom of Italy is a good example. It's small population was made to provide £1.5 million to France as well as helping to finance the French Navy. It had to recruit and train an army of 55,000 to fight for France on foreign territory. This caused the Kingdom to fall heavily into debt and essentially wrecked its economy.
2. Dynastic and social needs
The empire provided Napoleon with excellent opportunities to make his brothers and sisters monarchs over foreign lands. This meant that he could secure their loyalty and create a dynasty from his family. He also hoped that many would marry into other royal families to give respectability to his family.
The creation of the imperial nobility also meant that Napoleon needed more land to offer as a reward to his new nobility. The empire was the perfect place to do this. The effect was certainly not positive for the empire itself but it served its purpose.
3. Continental blockade
This had a mixed impact on the countries of the empire. Some places benefited from a lack of British competition and were able to sell their products more effectively. Belgium is one example of this as it was able to sell more textiles and
other manufactured goods.
However, the system had a negative effect on Piedmont which produced a lot of Silk. Napoleon wanted to increase Silk production in Lyon (in France) so made it really difficult for Piedmont and the Kingdom of Italy to trade. The Viceroy of Italy
was warned that if he broke these rules, the kingdom might just be annexed. His policies of controlling the economy also had
negative impact on farming since Napoleon favoured French farmers. Napoleon's policies meant that no-one could sell their grain to other countries in Europe. The only farmers allowed to do this were French. Napoleon crowns himself emperor of France. The Pope attends the coronation. i)The nature of the French army
It has been argued that Napoleon inherited an army that was already superior to that of his enemies.
-The key technological development was made by Gribeauval with the manufacture of lighter, more manoeuvrable and standardised cannon. This led to the development of new artillery tactics under Du Teil. For example, the development of horse artillery allowed the movement of artillery around the battlefield so that guns could be concentrated where they were needed. The favourite cannon of the army were the heavy twelve pounders, which used together in grand batteries could have devastating effects on enemy forces. The use of the concentrated artillery barrage became a feature of Napoleonic warfare.
-Guibert introduced a divisional structure to the army which allowed flexibility and speed of movement. The division system also simplified communication and command. As a result of the divisional system the policy of living off the land developed. The effect of this policy was to give the French the advantage of mobility over their enemies. Guibert also developed a more flexible system with regard to tactics on the battlefield. Depending on circumstances commanders were able to adopt column or line deployments or a mixture of both. The shock and momentum of a column attack could thus be combined with the firepower of the line on the battlefield.
-During the French Revolution the principle of ‘careers open to talents’ was adopted in the army. Thus men were promoted on merit and not on status in society. This meritocracy ensured the army had talented young officers.
-The revolution also introduced levee en masse whereby the state was organised for war and introduced universal conscription. France became a nation in arms and by the mid 1790s had a million men under arms. With this level of conscription Napoleon was to boast that he could afford to lose 30,000 men a month. The policy of amalgame enabled the mixing of veterans and raw recruits. Thus the conscripts could be trained on the march and be helped by more experienced colleagues.
-Because they wanted to protect the gains and principles of the revolution, French soldiers were highly motivated and prepared to bear heavy casualties. Owing to the large numbers in the French army training was limited but effective. The column attack was developed as a successful tactic on the battlefield and was further developed with the use of skirmishers. ii)Napoleon’s generalship.
-He was a supreme strategist and military planner. He learned by studying the great generals of the past such as Julius Caesar, and the writings of military thinkers such as Guibert, Bourcet and Du Teil. His approach to warfare was offensive; his aim was to locate and destroy the enemy’s main force. The emphasis was on a war of movement involving a single, short and decisive campaign.
He developed the corps system whereby on manoeuvre his seven corps would advance along separate routes, living off the land and able to move quickly. The aim was that each corps should be within a day’s march of at least two others. Each corps was strong enough to engage an enemy force until neighbouring corps came to their aid. The ideal formation was the bataillon carre, a corps diamond formation, which allowed flexibility and a rapid concentration of force. This system was brilliantly displayed when Napoleon converged on the Austrians at Ulm in October 1805. His movement was so rapid and surprise so complete that General Mack was surrounded and forced to surrender.
Envelopment was employed to destroy an opposing force which had been isolated by manoeuvre or had ventured out on a limb. His south German 1805 campaign is a good example, in which he used an indirect approach to isolate the Austrians on the Danube. The Austrians were also successfully enveloped during the Italian campaign of 1796.
The central position strategy was used to defeat numerically stronger forces separately in detail by achieving local superiority on each battlefield in turn. He used this to great effect against the Austrians in his first campaign in Italy in 1796.
-He employed daring and unconventional tactics on the battlefield. For example, at Austerlitz in 1805 he lured a numerically superior Austro-Russian from a sound position on high ground by deliberately weakening his right wing. Knowing Davout’s corps would be approaching from the south west to support his right wing, he attacked the allied centre on the Pratzen Heights.
-As a commander he was also lucky. The timely arrival of Desaix at Marengo in 1800 turned defeat into victory.
-He knew how to motivate his soldiers. He created a sense of esprit de corps and regimental pride that helped made the French army a formidable force. He appealed to a sense of honour by rewarding success and bravery and punishing weakness and failure. The award of the Legion of Honour and other awards for service helped in this. His presence amongst his men on the eve of battle was important; it gave the impression that he was sharing the hardships of his men. Thus he created a sense of deep personal loyalty amongst his men. The Duke of Wellington once remarked that Napoleon’s presence on the battlefield was worth 40,000 men.
-He had an impressive intellectual capacity. He was clear thinking and a phenomenal memory for detail. He had a tremendous work ethic which enabled him to work up to 20 hours a day. Thus he was able to control the whole army himself and all the important decisions were taken by Napoleon.