Napoleon Forges an Empire. 23.3 Page 584. Napoleon Bonaparte. 5ft, 3 inches tall Recognized as one of the world’s military geniuses along with Alexander and Julius Caesar Sent to military school in northern France at age 9
Napoleon Forges an Empire
1796, the Directory (France’s new government) appoints Napoleon to lead an army against Austria and the kingdom of Sardinia
Napoleon’s army won a series of battles in Italy, crushing the threat of Austrian troops to France
The newspapers praise Napoleon’s victories
Next, Napoleon’s army moved on to Egypt to disrupt trade between Britain and India
Napoleon’s series of defeats would end, and his luck ran out
His French troops were defeated by British admiral Horatio Nelson
Napoleon was able to keep this defeat from the press
Napoleon vs. Nelson
Napoleon could now focus on restoring France
At first, he pretends to be the constitutionally chosen leader, but in 1800, Napoleon holds a plebiscite (vote of the people) to approve a new constitution
This was the 4th constitution in 8 years
French people are so desperate for strong leadership, voted in favor for power to Napoleon
-eliminated many injustices
-limited and promoted order and authority over individual rights
-freedom of speech and press restricted, as well as women’s rights
-restored slavery in French colonies in the Caribbean where slavery had been abolished
In 1803, U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson agrees to buy the territory for $15 million.
This benefited Napoleon 2 ways:
1) France gains money to finance operations in Europe
2) punished Britain by giving them another rival (the U.S.)
Napoleon has a series of brilliant battles and crushes his opposition
All rulers sign a peace treaty with France except Britain
Napoleon has the biggest empire since the Romans
The only threat is Britain’s Navy
Yep- it’s an island and surrounded by water!
Hey… Why do you think Britain needs to have a strong Navy??
Napoleon vs. Nelson Round 2
“Now I am satisfied,” whispered the admiral. “Thank God, I have done my duty”.
1) assured supremacy of British navy for the next hundred years
2) Napoleon had to give up idea of invading Britain