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THE FRENCH REVOLUTION (1789-1815) AND NAPOLEON. SOURCES. Dupuy, The Evolution of Weapons and Warfare , pp. 154-168 Dupuy and Dupuy, The Encylopedia of Military History; pp. 730-769

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sources
SOURCES
  • Dupuy, The Evolution of Weapons and Warfare, pp. 154-168
  • Dupuy and Dupuy, The Encylopedia of Military History; pp. 730-769
  • Fuller, A Military History of the Western World, Vol. II, Chronicles 12, 13, 14, 15; ch. 12-15; pp.370-542
  • Montross, War Through the Ages, pp. 459-554
  • Paret, Makers of Modern Strategy, pp123-142 (1986 Sequel)
  • Jones, The Art of War in the Western World, pp.320-358
  • Preston and Wise, Men in Arms, pp. 157-173
  • Mathews, French Revolution, pp. 2-15
  • Roberts, The French Revolution, pp. 21-40
learning objectives
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Know and trace the transition from limited war to unlimited war during the French Revolution
  • Comprehend the uniqueness of the Revolution Army, the role of ideology in the levee en masse, & the problems of controlling such an army
  • Comprehend and relate the rise of Napoleon to the failure of the French Revolution
  • Know and discuss the impact of new technology on warfare in the Napoleonic period
periods of the revolution
PERIODS OF THE REVOLUTION
  • Five sub-periods distinguished by form of government
    • Estates
    • Legislative Assembly
    • National Convention
    • Directory
    • Consulate
    • First Empire
estates
ESTATES
  • General and Constituent Assembly
  • 5 May 1789 - 30 Sep 1791
  • Government a limited, constitutional monarchy
  • Dominance of upper middle class
legislative assembly
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
  • 1 Oct 1791 - 21 Sep 1792
  • Monarchy continued as before until suspended
  • Rising power of the lower class
national convention
NATIONAL CONVENTION
  • 21 Sep 1792 - 25 Oct 1795
  • Height of revolution
  • Convention called to frame new constitution
  • Abolished monarchy
  • Supported reign of terror, then overthrew it
  • Led resistance to foreign foes
  • War with Austria & Prussia politically endued toward democracy
directory
DIRECTORY
  • 26 Oct 1795 - 9 Nov 1799
  • Middle classes recovered influence
  • Party divisions
  • General Bonaparte’s coup d-etat
  • Formed republic with Napoleon as Emperor
consulate
CONSULATE
  • At first provisional, then definitive
  • 25 Dec 1799 - 20 May 1804
  • Civil and military role, virtually of one man
  • Progress of French arms
  • Form still nominally republican
first empire
FIRST EMPIRE
  • 20 May 1804 - 22 Jun 1815
  • Napoleon made France the controlling power on the continent, but was finally overthrown
background
BACKGROUND
  • Spirit of 18th Century
    • devoted to destruction and reformation of existing institutions
    • most notable manifestations: the attacks of French writers upon church and state
  • Agrarian conditions - peasantry mostly free but highly taxed; not downtrodden, but well-off enough to wish to better themselves
background1
BACKGROUND
  • Rise of the middle class
    • generally excluded from politics; growing richer; read and listened to philosophies
  • Unwieldy and inefficient machinery of government
    • irresponsible and unsuited to needs of state
    • taxation was inequitable
    • no representative assembly
    • Letters de Cachet - imprisoning without habeas corpus: served as anti-government propaganda
background2
BACKGROUND
  • Ever-growing deficit
    • proved impossible of reduction
    • May 1789: Louis XVI convened meeting of Estates General (represented 3 estates of French society - Nobles, Clergy and Commons)
    • Commons assumed title of National Assembly and undertook to reform government by formulating a constitution for a constitutional monarchy
national assembly
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • 5 May 1789
    • Meeting of Estates General
    • National Assembly formed by Commons
    • Members of Nobles and Clergy invited to join
    • Many joined the assembly
national assembly1
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • 23 Jun 1789
    • Fruitless royal sitting
    • King ordered assembly to meet in 3 houses
    • Mirabeau (Provencial nobleman) elected principal orator of assembly by 3rd estate
    • King requested nobles & clergy join 3rd estate
national assembly2
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • 14 Jul 1789
    • Concentration of troops near Paris
    • Rumors of kings intention to dissolve National Assembly
    • Necker was dismissed
    • Storming and destruction of the Bastille
national assembly3
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • Necker recalled
    • Lafayette commander of newly established National Guard
    • Rising of peasants against feudal lords
    • Beginning of emigration of nobles
national assembly4
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • 4 Aug 1789
    • Voluntary surrender by representatives of nobles of all feudal rights and privileges to occur over period of years
  • 27 Aug 1789
    • Declaration of rights of man, a bill of rights compounded from English and American precedents and from political theories current with the philosophies
national assembly5
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • 5-6 Oct 1789 - Outbreak of the mob of Paris
    • Liberal monarchical constitution: king could not declare war and conclude peace without consent of chamber
    • Ecclesiastic estates declared public property and notes issued under security of public lands
national assembly6
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • 14 Jul 1790
    • National federation in Paris
    • Constitution accepted by king
    • Abolished hereditary nobility, titles, and coats of arms
national assembly7
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • Power of clubs grow
    • Jacobins under Robespierre
    • Cordeliers under Danton, Marat, Desmoulins, Hebert
    • Feuillants - moderate monarchists separated from Jacobins - Lafayette and Bailly
national assembly8
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • Sep 1790
    • Fall of Necker
    • alliance between Mirabeau and court, who endeavored to stem revolution and prevent overthrow of throne
  • 2 Apr 1791 - Death of Mirabeau
  • 20 - 25 Jun 1791 - Flight of the king
national assembly9
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
  • 14 Sep 1791
    • King accepts constitution
    • Annexation of Avignon and Benaissin to France
  • 30 Sep 1791
    • Dissolution of Assembly
legislative assembly1
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
  • 1 Oct 1791
    • Legislative Assembly, 745 members elected by active citizens
    • still represented primarily middle class
  • 7 Feb 1792
    • Alliance of Austria and Prussia against France
national convention1
NATIONAL CONVENTION
  • War of First Coalition against France
    • 20 Apr 1792 - France declares war on Austria - increases revolutionary excitement in Paris
    • 10 Aug 1792 - Storming of Tuileries by mob - king suspended from functions and confined
    • 20 Aug 1792 - Lafayette, impeached and proscribed, fled from army - Verdun taken by Prussians
    • 2-7 Sep 1792 - September massacres at Paris
    • 20 Sep 1792 - Battle of Valmy - French, under Dumouriey and Kellermann, defeated Prussians
national convention2
NATIONAL CONVENTION
  • 21 Sep 1792
    • National Convention convened
    • Abolition of Monarchy - France declared a Republic
  • Dec 1792 - Trial of Louis XVI
  • 21 Jan 1793 - Execution of Louis XVI
  • 1 Feb 1793 - War declared against Great Britain, Holland, Spain
national convention3
NATIONAL CONVENTION
  • Reign of Terror - Robespierre gradually came to dominate the whole government
    • 23 Aug 1793-Levy of males; 14 armies raised
    • 16 Oct 1793 - Execution of Marie Antoinette
    • Nov 1793 - New army under Jourdan, Hoche & Pichegru
    • Dec 1793 - Retreat of Allies across the Rhine. French captured Worms and Speier, and took Toulon from British (first appearance of Napoleon Bonaparte as young artillery officer)
national convention4
NATIONAL CONVENTION
  • Mar 1794 - Robespierre succeeded in crushing rival powers
  • 27 Jul 1794 - Fall of Robespierre
  • 5 Mar 1795 - Treaty of Bassel between France and Prussia
national convention5
NATIONAL CONVENTION
  • 22 Aug 1795 - Constitution of 1797 - 3rd of revolution
    • Executing power: Directory of five, Council of Elders, and Council of 500
    • First Term: 2/3 of each council taken from Nat. Conv.
    • General Bonaparte placed in charge of troops
national convention6
NATIONAL CONVENTION
  • 5 Oct 1795
    • Paris royalists instigated outbreak of sections in opposition of 2/3 self protection measure of convention for 1st term council
    • Napoleon’s “whiff of grapeshot” led to complete victory for convention
  • 26 Oct 1795
    • Convention dissolved
    • 1797 - Moderate legislative elected
    • End of war - coup d’etat
impact of revolution
IMPACT OF REVOLUTION
  • Larger armies led to unlimited warfare
    • Emergence of democratic ideal; emphasis on individual freedom, equality & popular government
      • John Locke
      • Jean Jacques Rousseau - citizen had responsibility to fight in defense of country (not a logical thought for 18th century monarchies)
      • American Revolution and apologists
      • Conscription is unthinkable without this ideology (governed were now governing, had affirmative obligation to defend government)
impact of revolution1
IMPACT OF REVOLUTION
  • Ability to man, control, arm, feed large armies
    • Larger populations
    • Improved communications systems
    • Beginnings of mass production
    • Improved agricultural methods
  • Line formation of battle vs. the column
    • Line provided more firepower (muskets)
    • Column could break the line
impact of revolution2
IMPACT OF REVOLUTION
  • Military theories of Comptee Jacques de Guibert
    • Ordre mixte; combo of column (approach and maneuver) and line (fighting)
    • Breaking army into smaller units or divisions
      • advance along several routes
      • mass forces at precise time and place
    • Dispersion then concentration at critical time and place
impact of revolution3
IMPACT OF REVOLUTION
  • 13 Jul 1789
    • Crowd seizes 28,000 muskets and some cannon from military storage depot
  • 14 Jul 1789
    • Bastille stormed and governor lynched
  • Jul 1792
    • Paris mob storms palace, massacres Swiss guard
    • Lafayette tries to get men to save king, they refuse and Lafayette goes over to Austrians
    • Louis XVI executed in 1793
impact of revolution4
IMPACT OF REVOLUTION
  • Lazare Carnot succeeded in gaining control of Revolutionary Army
    • Aug 1793 in charge of military affairs for committee of Public Safety
    • Emphasis on offensive in mass
    • Organized National Army
    • Foraging enhanced mobility
    • By 1794 French Army enjoyed both Mass and Mobility, Napoleon and 8 of his future marshals made general @ average age of 33
impact of revolution5
IMPACT OF REVOLUTION
  • Armies created by revolution eventually made Bonaparte Emperor of France (back to autocracy)
    • Moderate legislature elected in 1797 desired end of war
    • 3 radical directors conspired with Bonaparte to arrange coup d’etat
    • In ensuing coup, Carnot escaped to Switzerland
impact of technology
IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY
  • Gribeauval’s artillery reforms
    • interchangeable parts
    • improved cartridges (ball and charge packed together)
    • Tangent sight
    • Ammunition wagons
    • By time of revolution, constant drill had made French clearly superior
impact of technology1
IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY
  • Mobility and communication enhanced by improved roads and maps and signal telegraph
  • Napoleon, resistant to new weapons and technology, failed to make use of balloons and shrapnel
impact of nationalism
IMPACT OF NATIONALISM
  • Mass citizen army fueled by nationalism
    • Felt necessary to defend ones own country
  • Indoctrination of soldiers in Revolutionary Patriotism
  • Ideological Warfare
other military impacts
OTHER MILITARY IMPACTS
  • The Organization of an army into a Division
  • The Generalship became more complicated
  • Staff work became more important
  • Maps became essential
summary
SUMMARY
  • Transition from limited war to unlimited war during the French Revolution
  • Revolution Army unique, the role of ideology in the levee en masse, problems of controlling such an army
  • Impact of new technology on warfare in the Napoleonic period
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