Napoleon Forges an Empire
Napoleon Forges an Empire
Napoleon Creates an Empire
Napoleon was not satisfied with just being the master of France. He wanted to control the rest of Europe and to reassert French power in the Americas.
He pictured his western empire including Louisiana, Florida, French Guiana, and the French West Indies. He knew that the key to this area was the sugar-producing colony of Saint Domingue(Haiti) on the island of Hispaniola.
Loss of American Territories
In 1789, when the ideas of the revolution reached Saint Domingue, they demanded that the National Assembly give the same privileges to them as the people of France.
Enslaved Africans in the colony demanded their rights too(their freedom). A civil war erupted, and enslaved africans under the leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture seized control of the colony.
How did L’Ouverture’s revolution benefit the United States?
It gave Napoleon the idea to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States.
In 1801, Napoleon decided to take back the colony and restore its productive sugar industry. The French forces had been taken over by disease and the rebels proved to be tough fighters.
After the failure of the expedition to Saint Domingue, Napoleon decided to cut his losses in the Americas. He offered the Louisiana Territory to the United States. In 1803, President Jefferson's administration bought the land for $15 million.
Napoleon says there was 2 benefits of the sale. 1. He gained money to finance operations in Europe. 2. He would punish the British.
Having abandoned his imperial ambitions in the New World, Napoleon turned his attention to Europe. He had already annexed the Austrian Netherlands and parts of Italy to France and set up a puppet government in Switzerland.
Now he looked to expand his influences further. Fearful of his ambitions, the British persuaded Russia, Austria, and Sweden to join them against France.
Napoleon met this challenge with his usual boldness. In a series of brilliant battles, he crushed the opposition. The enemies armies could never predict his next move and often toon heavy losses. After the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, Napoleon issued a proclamation expressing his pride in his troops.
Napoleon's battlefield successes forced the rulers of Austria, Prussia, and Russia to sign peace treaties. These successes also enabled his to build the largest European empire since that of the Romans. France's only major enemy left undefeated was the great naval power, Britain.
Battle of Austerlitz
The Battle of Trafalgar
In his drive for a European empire, Napoleon lost only one major battle, the Battle of Trafalgar. This naval defeat was more important than all of his victories on land.
The battle took place in 1805 off the southwest coast of Spain. The British commander, Horatio Nelson, was as brilliant in warfare at sea as Napoleon was in warfare on land. In a bold maneuver he split the larger French fleet, capturing many ships.
The destruction of the French fleet had two major results. 1. it ensured the supremacy of the British navy for the next 100 years. 2. it forced Napoleon to give up his plans of invading Britain.
He had to look for another way to control his powerful enemy across the English Channel. Napoleon's efforts to crush Britain would lead to his own undoing.
How did the Battle of Trafalgar show the importance of Naval power?
Britains victory saved it from being invaded.
Battle of Trafalgar - Nelson's Winning Plan
The French Empire
In the first decade of the 1800's, Napoleon's victories had given him mastery over most of Europe. In 1812, the only places not under his control were Britain, Portugal, Sweden, and the Ottoman Empire.
Napoleon also controlled numerous supposedly independent countries. These included Spain, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and a number of German Kingdoms in Central Europe.
The rulers of these countries were Napoleon's puppets; some were members of his family. The powerful countries of Russia, Prussia, and Austria were loosely attached to Napoleon's empire through alliances. They were not directing under his control, but were easily manipulated by threats of military action.
How long did Napoleon’s empire remain at it’s peak?
Napoleon was able to maintain it at the greatest extent for only 5 years. 1807-1812
How did Napoleon’s belief in equal opportunity conflict with his method of selecting leaders for puppet governments?
Yes because he often chose family members as leaders.
Napoleon Rules France
Napoleon pretended to be a constitutionally chosen leader first. But he kept all the real power
Restoring Order at Home
Napoleon did not try to rule like King Louis, but rather supported laws that allowed a stronger central government.
First Napoleon established a stronger economy by creating an efficient taxing collection and banking system.
To reduce corruption within the government he fired dirty officials and to provide more educated men to fill their place, created Lycées, publicly run schools.
Listening to peasants and clergy, Napoleon restored religion back to its natural glory, minus the power in national affairs, after he signed the an agreement with Pope Pious.
Perhaps, in Napoleon's head, his greatest achievement was the Napoleonic Code. Which was a comprehensive uniform set of laws for France.
Napoleon Crowned as Emperor
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These laws eliminated limited injustices but promoted social order over liberty. For example, freedom of speech, which was a big large part of the revolution, existed under codes.
What caused Napoleon to reach an agreement with the Pope?
The wishes of peasants and the clergy.
What made the admissions policies of the Lycees significant?
Backgrounds did not matter, unless you were female of course (can't have that).
In general, did Napoleon make the French government stronger or weaker?
He made the government stronger. Napoleon had made strides with the French government, for example setting up a school system or crafting an efficient tax collection. The central government was stronger when Napoleon was in office.
Napoleon Seizes Power
He was born in 1796 on the Mediterranean island of Corsica
He was sent to a military school when he was only 9 years old, and finished when he was 16
After finishing military school, Napoleon became a lieutenant in the artillery
Napoleon then joined the army of the new government when the Revolution broke out
The French Revolution & Napoleon's Role
Why do you think he was sent to military school at such a young age?
Setting the Stage
Napoleon was a short man, but has casted a long shadow over the history of modern times
He is known as one of the world's greatest military geniuses
In only four years, Napoleon had rose from a small position as an officer in the French army to a master of France
Hero of the Hour
In 1795, when royalist rebels marched on the National Convention, a government official had told Napoleon to defend the delegates, giving him a chance for glory
Napoleon and his gunners had fired heavily on the royalists
The attackers had then fled in panic and confusion, and Napoleon Bonaparte became the hero of the hour and was hailed throughout Paris as the savior of the French republic
The Directory appointed Napoleon to lead a French army against the forces of Austria and the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1796
Napoleon had won a series of remarkable victories in Italy
Napoleon had also led an expedition to Egypt, but was unable to repeat the successes he had achieved in Europe
His army was pinned down in Egypt and his naval forces were defeated
But, Napoleon was able to keep stories about his defeats out of the newspapers, meaning he remained a great hero to the people of France
What evidence shows that Napoleon cared about his image?
By keeping his defeats out of the newspapers, it really showed that he didn't want people to know he lost, meaning he cared a lot about his image and what people thought of him
Defeat in Egypt
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Directory had lost control of the political situation and the confidence of the French people by 1799
Napoleon was urged to seize political power when he returned from Egypt
In November of 1799, Napoleon had took action. His troops had surrounded the national legislature and drove out most of the members
The lawmakers that were remaining had voted to dissolve the Directory
In its place, they had created a group of three consuls, one had been Napoleon
Napoleon had taken the title of the first consul and assumed he had powers of a dictator, which was known as a coup
Napoleon as First Consul
France was still at war at the time of Napoleon's coup
Britain, Austria, and Russia had joined forces with the goal to drive Napoleon from power in 1799
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How would you compare Napoleon's actions in October 1795 and November 1799?
In both of these, Napoleon had protected France's stability. He did this by defending the government, then by overturning it
Meaning, "blow to the state"