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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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THE FRENCH REVOLUTION (1789-1815) AND NAPOLEON

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The french revolution 1789 1815 and napoleon

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION (1789-1815)

AND NAPOLEON


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


Questions

QUESTIONS?


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