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Background. Napoleon is worried about what would happen to his empire after he died. He was worried that it would fall apart unless he had an heir. His wife Josephine had failed to provide him with a child.

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Background

Background

  • Napoleon is worried about what would happen to his empire after he died.

  • He was worried that it would fall apart unless he had an heir.

    • His wife Josephine had failed to provide him with a child.

    • So, he divorced her and created an alliance with Austria and married Marie Louise (grandniece of Marie Antoinette)

      • She gave birth to a son, named Napoleon II who he named king of Rome.


Background

His wife Josephine had failed to provide him with a child.

So, he divorced her and created an alliance with Austria and married Marie Louise (grandniece of Marie Antoinette)

  • She gave birth to a son, named Napoleon II who he named king of Rome.


First costly mistake

First Costly Mistake

  • He was very ambitious, which eventually led to his down fall.

  • Napoleon set up a blockade to prevent trade and communication between Great Britain and other European nations- Continental System.

    • He believed that it would make continental Europe more self-sufficient.


Background

  • Napoleon really intended to destroy Great Britain’s economy.

  • His blockade did not work too well, smugglers managed to bring cargo from Britain into Europe.

    • Napoleon’s allies and even his family disregarded the blockade.


  • Background

    • The blockade on weakened the British trade, not destroy it.

    • Britain came up with their own blockade that was even better than the French.


    Background

    • British navy stopped neutral ships bound for the continent.

    • American ships were among those who were stopped by the British navy.

      • Angry, the U.S. Congress declared war on Britain in 1812.


    Second costly mistake

    Second Costly Mistake

    • The Peninsular War was an effort to get Portugal to accept the Continental System, he sent an invasion force through Spain.

    • The Spanish people protested.

    • Napoleon removed the Spanish king and put one of his brothers on the throne.

    • For 6 years the guerrillas, Spanish peasant fighters, struck at French armies in Spain.


    Background

    • They were not an army that Napoleon could fight inn open battle.

    • They worked in small groups that ambushed French troops and then fled into hiding.

    • To add more trouble, Britain sent troops to aid the Spanish.

      • Napoleon lost about 300,000 men during this time.

      • This would weaken the French Empire.


    Third costly mistake

    Third Costly Mistake

    • The invasion of Russia

      • Even though Alexander I had become Napoleon’s ally, the Russian czar refused to stop selling grain to Britain.


    Background

    Also, the French and Russian rulers suspected each other of having competing designs on Poland. (Remember during the Enlightenment period Poland was very weak and it was ruled by the nobles but disappeared as an independent country for a while).

    Because of this Napoleon had this brilliant idea to attack Russia.

    Napoleon marched his army of 420,000 soldiers into Russia.


    Background

    • People who had once welcomed the French as their liberators now felt abused.

    • The Spanish, German, Italians and other conquered people turned against the French


    March to moscow

    March to Moscow

    • As Napoleon advanced, Alexander pulled back, refusing to be lured into an unequal battle.

    • As they retreated the Russians preformed the scorched-earth policy- burning grain fields and slaughtering livestock so the enemy had nothing to eat.


    Background

    • They finally clashed, and after several hours of fighting, the Russians fell back allowing Napoleon to move on to Moscow.

    • When Napoleon entered Moscow, seven days later is burnt into flames.

      • Rather then to surrender Russia’s “holy city”, Alexander destroyed it.

      • Napoleon stayed there until October when e decided to go back home.


    Background

    • As the snow and temperatures fell, the Russians mercilessly attacked Napoleon.

      • Many died in these attacks, but more dropped from exhaustion, hunger, and cold.

      • By the middle of December the last surviving soldiers straggled out of Russia.

      • Napoleons army had gone from 420,000-10,000.


    Napoleons downfall

    Napoleons Downfall

    • Napoleon was quickly taken advantage of.

      • Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Sweden joined forces against him.

      • Austria also declared war on Napoleon, despite the marriage between him and Marie Louise.


    Background

    • Napoleon managed to raise another army, but most of his troops were untrained and ill prepared.

    • He was going to attempt to fight more battles, but his generals refused.


    The hundred days

    The Hundred Days

    • The British army prepared for battle near the village of Waterloo, Belgium.

      • Napoleon attacked, but the British defended its ground all day.

      • Later that day Prussia’s army arrived.

        • Britain and Prussia attacked the French.

        • 2 days later Napoleon’s troops gave way.


    Background

    This ended Napoleon’s last chance for power, which is known as the Hundred Days.

    • The British shipped Napoleon to St. Helena in the South Atlantic where he lived out his days in exile.


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