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The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

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Derek Dicks

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte When times were simpler... Napoleone Buonaparte was born 15 August 1769 on the island of Corsica to parents of noble Italian descent. He later adopts the name Napoleon Bonaparte, because it sounds significantly more French. Because of his family's status as minor nobles, young Napoleon was sent to a military academy in France where he enjoyed success in math, history and geography, though he was often mocked for his Corsican accent. Napoleon is a well known military strategist and fearless commander. These traits make him very popular with French politicians and population, especially after certain decisive victories. Victory #1: Breaking the Siege of Toulon, 1793 Napoleon led an attack that broke the siege held by the Royal British Navy, helping to eliminate a major threat to the French Republic.
His actions attracted the attention of the Committee of Public safety and Robespierre. He got an awesome promotion for his efforts. Napoleon conquered most of northern Italy in the name of France and developed a taste for governing.
In northern Italy, he moved to suppress religious orders, end serfdom and limit age-old noble privilege. Victory(ies) #2: The Italian Campaign, 1796-1797 Victory #3: The Egyptian Expeditions, 1798-1801 Napoleon and the French in general weren't big fans of the British. As such, they try to disrupt British interests in the Middle East and India.
Egypt is pretty far away from India and the Middle East, so why would he attack here? The Suez Canal: Europe's gateway to the East Though Napoleon enjoyed some success in Egypt, he was eventually driven out by the superior strength of the Royal British Navy Interesting aside... Napoleon brought 167 scientists with him on his Egyptian expedition. One discovery that was made was the Rosetta Stone The significance of this stone is that it contained a decree (statement) written in three different languages. The top was Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle Ancient Egyptian and the bottom Ancient Greek. It was important in the deciphering of hieroglyphs that are present in many of Egypt's ancient archeological sites Napoleon returns to France defeated, but a hero. Finds the nation weak (bankrupt) and in the hands of an unpopular government (the Directory) With the government in disarray, Napoleon launched a successful coup d’ etat on November 9, 1799.
He proclaimed himself “First Consul” [Julius Caesar’s title] and did away with the elected Assembly [appointing a Senate instead].
In 1802, he made himself sole “Consul for Life.”
Two years later he proclaimed himself “Emperor.” Napoleon as “First Consul” Europe in 1800 The people of France were relatively okay with this consolidation of power by Napoleon. Why do you think that is? 1. Council of State
Proposed the laws.
Served as a Cabinet & the highest court.
2. Tribunate
Debated laws, but did not vote on them.
3. Legislature
Voted on laws, but did not discuss or debate them.
4. Senate
Had the right to review and veto legislation. The Government of the Consulate There were also 3 Consuls who were elected by the population for ten year terms. They formed the head of the Consulate and though Napoleon was the First Consul, he was not considered to be the head of state. (in title at least) Though this system was in place, Napoleon managed to continue to consolidate power into his own hands. With this power, he was able to achieve a number of significant things. Napoleon's Achievements as First Consul Helps to promote financial stability in France.
Establishes a more stable from of currency.
Close relationship between the nation and the Banque de France. Napoleon wanted to heal the divisions with the Catholic Church that had developed after the confiscation of Church property and the rampant de-Christianization that occurred during the French Revolution (examples?).
But, Napoleon’s clear intent was to use the clergy to prop up his regime.
"Skillful conquerors have not got entangled with priests. They can both contain them and use them." Napoleon
Why would the clergy be important to prop up his regime? Concordat of 1801 Catholicism was declared the religion of the majority of Frenchmen, but was NOT the official state religion. Religious freedom was maintained.
Papal acceptance of church lands lost during the Revolution.
Bishops remained subservient to the regime (they were state nominated and had to swear allegiance to the state)
Eventually, Pope Pius VII renounced the Concordat, and Napoleon had him brought to France and placed under house arrest. Results of the Concordat 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 and marks the beginning of the formation of a public education system. Lycée System of Education Its purpose was to reform the French legal code to reflect the principles of the Fr. Revolution, creating one law code for France. The code divides civil law into:
Personal status.
Property.
The acquisition of property. Code Napoleon, 1804 The Code Napoleon emphasized a clearly written and easily accessible set of laws that did not discriminate based on birth. Why would clearly written and accessible laws be so important? Meanwhile, across 'the pond,' trouble was a-brewin' Over in Haiti... Some background knowledge: The Caribbean islands had been conquered and colonized by European powers, including France.
These colonies were very profitable as they produced large amounts of coffee, cotton and especially sugar. Labour was provided by African slaves.
There was a strict class system in Haiti (then named Saint-Domingue), where white plantation owners held absolute control over the slave population, even though they were outnumbered 10-to-1. Sound familiar? Revolution! Plantation owners saw the French Revolution as an opportunity to claim Haiti for themselves and make even more $.
Fear of this, along with the release of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, there was a slave revolt which eventually led to a sovereign state consisting largely of former slaves. The sad irony Despite documents like the DotRoM and the Enlightenment ideals of the Fr. Rev., both Napoleon and the French government before him tried to reestablish French rule by force. This begs the question: Is revolution only allowed when it's profitable? Regardless... As things were heating up in Europe, Napoleon sold the colony of Louisiana to the United States for less than $0.03 per acre. Emperor Napoleon The Empress Josephine Josephine’s Bedroom December 2, 1804 “Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon & the Empress Josephine,” 1806 by David “Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon & the Empress Josephine,”
1806 by David Napoleon’s Throne Napoleon’s Bed Chamber The Imperial Image Napoleonic Europe Conquest! The Napoleonic Wars spanned over a decade and are quite complicated in their scope and sequence. However there are a few that are important. How does this system come to be? Results of Austerlitz
Often considered Napoleon's greatest victory
Occupied Vienna (Austria) and humbled the Austrian Empire.
Set the stage for French control of the European continent. By 1806, Napoleon has either direct control of, or influence over much of Europe, but cannot conquer Britain.
As such, Napoleon enacts economic warfare on Britain by implementing the Continental System.
This system was supposed to break Britain's economy by forbidding any nation associated with France from trading with Britain.
This created a system of smuggling and piracy. Not very effective. The Continental System The Continental System British Cartoon Peninsular Campaign: 1807-1810 Portugal did not comply with the Continental System.
France wanted Spain to help enforce the system with France, but they did not comply, so Spain was invaded. Napoleon tricked the Spanish king and prince to come to France, where he imprisoned them.
He proclaimed his brother, Joseph, to be the new king of Spain.
He stationed over 100,000 Fr troops in Madrid.
On May 2, 1808 [Dos de Mayo] the Spanish rose up in rebellion.
Fr troops fired on the crowd in Madrid the next day [Tres de Mayo]. “The Spanish Ulcer” “Third of May, 1808” by Goya (1810) The Surrender of Madrid May, 1809 by Goya Napoleon now poured 500,000 troops into Spain over the next few years.
But, the Fr generals still had trouble subduing the Spanish population.
The British viewed this uprising as an opportunity to weaken Napoleon.
They moved an army into Portugal to protect that country and to aid the Spanish guerillas.
After 5 long years of savage fighting, Fr troops were finally pushed back across the Pyrennes Mountains out of Spain. “The Spanish Ulcer” Significance of the Peninsular War
Drained massive amounts of both supply and man-power from France.
Became one of the first instances of guerrilla warfare (meaning 'little war' in Spanish)
Frustrated Napoleon; he was not used to being defeated. Europe in 1810 Napoleon’s Empire in 1810 Jerome Bonaparte  King of Westphalia.
Joseph Bonaparte  King of Spain
Louise Bonaparte  King of Holland
Pauline Bonaparte  Princess of Italy
Napoléon Francis Joseph Charles (son) King of Rome
Elisa Bonaparte  Grand Duchess of Tuscany
Caroline Bonaparte  Queen of Naples Napoleon’s Family Rules! Napoleon’s Family & Friends/Allies The retreat from Spain came on the heels of Napoleon’s disastrous Russian Campaign (1812-1813).
Russia refuses to submit to the Continental System, breaking the alliance with France.
In July, 1812 Napoleon led his Grand Armee of 614,000 men eastward across central Europe and into Russia. (made up of Italians, Poles, Germans and French soldiers)
The Russians avoided a direct confrontation with Napoleon.
They retreated to Moscow, drawing the French into the interior of Russia [hoping that it’s size and the weather would act as “support” for the Russian cause].
The Russian nobles abandoned their estates and burned their crops to the ground, leaving the French to operate far from their supply bases in territory stripped of food. The “Big Blunder” - Russia September 14, 1812  Napoleon reached Moscow, but the city had largely been abandoned.
The Russians had set fire to the city. Napoleon’s Troops at the Gates of Moscow Moscow Is On Fire! 100,000 French troops retreat—40,000 survive! Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow (Early 1813) Rumours of a planned coup d'etat in Paris, along with the lack of progress in Russia forces Napoleon to retreat.
Poor weather and attacks from Cossacks seriously injure the Grand Armee. Results of the Russian Campaign
Napoleon's armies are in a dire situation. His strategical blunder results in many deaths and puts strains on relations with allies. The Beginning of the End With Napoleon reeling from defeat, Britain, Russia, Prussia and Sweden feel the time is right to finish Napoleon.
Remarkably, Napoleon is able to raise yet another army to face them.
A combination of experience of fighting against Napoleon and far superior numbers led to Napoleon's defeat and resignation in April of 1814. He was exiled to Elba and Louis XVIII resumed the throne. The French Revolution had come full circle. Napoleon’s Abdication Louis XVIII (r. 1814-1824) Napoleon in Exile on Elba The Hundred Days NAPOLEON ESCAPES!
Once he escapes, he resumes his seat of power in Paris, giving the boot to Louis.
The allies have had enough and try to put an end to it. Battle of Waterloo Bye Bye Boneparte The allies make no mistake this time, exiling Napoleon far away from France, or any continent for that matter. Napoleon on His Way to His Final Exile on St. Helena Napoleon’s Residence on St. Helena Napoleon’s Tomb June 28, 1940 Hitler Visits Napoleon’s Tomb What is Napoleon’s Legacy?
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