Reason's for the fall of Napoleon (Continental system announced in…
Reason's for the fall of Napoleon
announced in Berlin decrees, Nov 1806.
To prevent all trade and communication between Great Britain & other European nations - Napoleon hoped to deplete the British economy so they couldn't continue with war with the added benefit of protecting French industries from British competition
Effects on Europe:
system created tensions between Napoleon satellite states
e.g. Portugal's refusal to take part led to the Peninsular war, while Russia's withdrawal led to the Russian campaign 1812
Effects on France:
Decline in Trade for France e.g. in seaport economy BUT new trade routes (Alps) opened up
Effects on Britain:
Britain not really affected, new trade in South America BUT 1811 Britain's trade with continent fell 50%.
Britain's efforts to counter-blockade France was one cause of the Anglo-American war of 1812
Role of Britain
HOW THIS CONTRIBUTED:
Sir Arthur Wellesley at Waterloo and the Peninsular War.
British subsidies (£600 million) to France's opponents, better troops than Napoleon by the end
Pitt persuaded rest of Europe to oppose Napoleon in 1803. In 1812 Austria, Prussia, and Russia were united against Napoleon.
Britain more effective at sea, due to British naval power preventing an invasion but couldn't alone bring about defeat. continental system couldn't work, Trafalgar 1805. When the joint French and Spanish fleet was attacked and weakened by Nelson's fleet, preventing any attempt to invade Britain giving Britain naval domination protecting the channel and damaging French trade and colonies.
BUT Britain only had 60,000 troops, nowhere near Grand Armee.
Battle of Waterloo, 18th June 1814
in Napoleon's 100 days, he invaded Belgium. Wellesley led an Anglo-Dutch army which blocked his way to Brussels. Taking a defensive position at Waterloo, British forces defended themselves against French attacks until the Prussian forces arrived. The losses Napoleon suffered and his defeat ended the 100 days and he was taken captive and imprisoned at St. Helena where he died in 1821
Led to the second treaty of Paris - French lost more territory
the Peninsular War 1808-14
(Campaign in Spain)
HOW THIS CONTRIBUTED:
Guerilla warfare's success by the Spanish illustrated a fault in Napoleon's strategy as it disrupted their lines of supply and communications
tied down thousands of troops as the Grande Armee was brought there following a small defeat
this conflict was a constant drain on French resources in terms of men, money, morale and prestige
War on two fronts, Napoleon's victories were generally at the same time, couldn't fight the Austrians and Spanish at once
in an attempt to enforce the blockade in Spain, Napoleon replaced the Spanish king with his brother, Joseph = UNSUCCESSFUL
After a series of victories at Salamanca, 1812, and Vitoria, 1813, Spain was liberated and the French driven back over the Pyrenees
Napoleon called it the 'Spanish ulcer'
the Russian Campaign 1812
HOW THIS CONTRIBUTED:
Won at Borodino, "won" in the traditional sense, but scorched earth and cossacks were effective. Napoleon left with 600k and came back with 120k. The winter.
Russians refused to fight the formal battle that Napoleon believed would give him a decisive victory
The Russian army was much larger and Napoleon failed to have clear objective - SHOWED WEAKNESSES
Suffered high casualties BEFORE the winter as well.
Tsar Alexander withdrew from the Continental System at the end of 1810
Also tension between Russia after Napoleon's marriage to the Austrian princess, Marie Louise, in 1809, after divorcing the Empress Joséphine, since Russia and Austria were rivals
the 1813-4 Campaigns
The 6th Coalition 1813-14
had a common aim, the liberation of Germany
Included all four major European powers (Austria, Russia, Prussia, Britain)
members all had reformed their armies and tactics
France was in decline
The coalition partners adopted and followed a unified military strategy
allies were aware of his tactics
allies = 800K compared to Napoleons 600K
The Battle of Dresden was a French victory, but Napoleon found himself outnumbered (link to Russia) at Leipzig in October 1813
Here, the so-called Battle of the Nations saw Napoleon wage an effective defensive battle, allowing him to withdraw into southern Germany where he defeated Bavaria and got back to France
allies offered peace proposals in November 1813
(France to its "natural frontiers", kept territories such as Belgium). NAPOLEON TURNED IT DOWN. Worse terms in 1814. - Now faced invasion on France
There was no will among the Senate or the people for a long battle for the homeland
Treaty of Chaumont
1814 marked official unity of european powers against Napoleon.
Lost the political support of the Senate. Paris occupied in 1814.
Bourbon monarchy restored.
Peace of Paris
May 1814, Napoleon exiled to Elba.