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NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. Born in Corsica in 1769 Father was minor and impoverished Italian noble Sent Napoleon to military school on the mainland Graduated as young commissioned officer in middle of Revolution

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napoleon bonaparte
  • Born in Corsica in 1769
  • Father was minor and impoverished Italian noble
    • Sent Napoleon to military school on the mainland
      • Graduated as young commissioned officer in middle of Revolution
  • Decided that the best way to advance was to abandon all principles and side with whoever looked as though they were going to win
rapid rise to the top
  • Rose through ranks rapidly
    • First came to notice for retaking the port of Toulon in 1793 and crushing royalist uprising in Paris in 1795
    • Became Directory’s official enforcer
  • Conducted Italian campaign brilliantly
  • At age of 30 he had achieved success, glory, popularity and fame
    • And with coup d’état of November 1799, he also achieved political power
first consul
  • Produced new constitution within a month of taking power
    • Created three-house legislature which actually was a three-stage rubber stamp for legislation prepared by Council of State
      • Executive committee whose members were all appointed by Napoleon
  • First Consul had exclusive power to appoint all officials and judges, conduct diplomacy, declare and wage war, and to maintain internal law and order
  • Napoleon created a new monarchy under a republican facade
  • Put constitution into effect on his own authority and then, after the fact, held a plebiscite
    • Popular referendum
  • Results were:
    • 3,011,007 FOR
    • 1562 AGAINST
  • Plebiscites became permanent part of Napoleon’s arsenal
popular support
  • Power did not rest solely on tricks
  • Had broad support of French people
    • Only diehard royalists and republicans never accepted him
      • And neither group had much influence
  • Napoleon gave the rich what they wanted, the poor what they expected, and gave everyone a measure of glory they seemed to crave.
    • At the same time he built an institutional foundation that brought every aspect of political, economic, and social life under the direct control of the state
  • All departmental officials were responsible to the central government through a clear chain-of-command
  • Judiciary put under control of central state
    • All judges and justices of the peace were appointed by Napoleon
  • Control of the economy was centralized
    • Napoleon applied price and export controls as he saw fit
    • He promoted industries through government subsidies
    • Created extensive network of roads
    • Created Bank of France in 1800
    • Streamlined and centralized tax collection system
napoleonic code
  • Also called Civil Code of 1804
  • Attempt to unify and rationalize the various laws and administrative practices into single national code of law
  • Included civil and legal equality, religious toleration, and the abolition of feudalism, social orders, and hereditary aristocracy
    • But it also resurrected spirit of paternalism that had existed in the Old Regime
      • Emphasis was on the downflow of authority
        • From state to individual, from employer to employee, from husband to wife, and from parent to child
concordat of 1801
  • War between Revolution and Church had been costly for both sides
    • Church driven underground
    • Millions of devout French people alienated from state
  • Napoleon realized that religion would held him govern
    • Concordat of 1801
      • Vatican recognized confiscation of its property in France and allowed clergy to be salaried state employees
      • Pope was recognized as head of the Church and Catholicism declared the religion of the “majority of Frenchmen
    • State reconciled with the Church without giving up its power to control it within France

Pope Pius VII


Declared himself “Consul for Life” in 1802

Took title of “Emperor” in 1804 and created new aristocracy to reward relatives and supporters

Summoned Pope Pius VII to preside over coronation but took crown out of his hands and put it on his own head

military situation
  • French fought to extend their revolution, keep its momentum going at home, and to acquire buffer zones for defense
  • Anti-French forces had no positive goals at the beginning and they tended to desert one another in moments of crisis
    • More concerned with each other than they were with France
    • Did not take French seriously in the beginning
army of the future
  • French military successes took rest of Europe by surprise
  • French army broke every rule of military practice yet kept winning
    • New recruits trained in battle
    • Discipline was slight
    • Supplies always short
    • Sanitation non-existent
  • Officers were men from any class who showed flare for maneuvers and courage in battle
    • Promotions based on merit
    • Napoleon’s marshals included a former cooper, miller, mason, and stable boy
      • Average age was 30
  • Army of the future defeating the armies of the past

Joachim Murat, Marshal

Former stable boy

renewal of war
  • In 1799, France’s enemies revived and, spearheaded by Russian troops, drove French out of Italy and moved towards French border
  • Napoleon launched brilliant counter-attack
    • Between 1800-1801
    • Forced Austria and Russia to surrender
    • England still undefeated but still forced to sue for peace and accept French terms
      • Treaty of Amiens (March 2, 1802)
war again
  • Anti-French coalition revived again in 1805
    • Financed by England
    • Included England, Austria, and Russia
  • Napoleon defeats Austria at Battles of Ulm and Austerlitz
    • Austria forced to accept dictated peace
  • British destroy French fleet at Battle of Trafalgar
    • Commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson
    • October 21, 1805
    • Ends Napoleon’s plan for sea-born invasion of England

Battle of Trafalgar

france triumphs again
  • Prussia blunders into war in 1806 and is quickly defeated
  • Russians defeated at Battle of Friedland
    • June 1807
    • Tsar Alexander I sues for peace
      • Peace of Tilsit
      • Napoleon receives Poland and Alexander’s promise to help against England

Napoleon and tsar Alexander I

napoleonic europe

Brother Joseph made king of Spain; brother Louis made king of the Netherlands; brother Jerome made king of Westphalia; and brother-in-law Joachim Murat made king of Naples

Dominated Europe from Atlantic Ocean to the steppes of Poland and from Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean

Spain, Switzerland, central Germany, and most of Italy organized as satellites and parceled out to relatives

Prussia, Austria, Denmark and Sweden forced to be “allies”

founding a dynasty
  • French Empire was inherently unstable
    • Built too quickly
    • Included too many countries that didn’t want to be a part of it
    • Violated balance of power principle
    • Many harbored secret doubts about its ability to survive
  • Napoleon’s only hope lay in founding a dynasty
    • Divorced first wife, Josephine
    • Married Princess Maria-Louisa of Austria
      • Had son in 1811—the King of Rome


King of Rome

Maria Louisa

  • Continental System backfired
    • British slipped through embargo at will
    • British navy at same time blockaded French ports
    • Internal trade declined throughout Europe
  • Awakening of national pride
    • German nationalism limited to intellectuals
    • Spaniards rose up in spontaneous guerilla war against French
      • Napoleon ended up sending 200,000 mento Spain without results
      • Situation made worse in 1812 when British force linked up with Spanish rebels
        • Led by Duke of Wellington
invasion of russia 1812
  • Alexander I dropped out of Continental System in 1812, resumed trade with England, and set up tariffs against French products
  • Napoleon decides to teach tsar a lesson and invade Russia in June 1812
    • With Grand Armée
      • 600,000 men
    • Figured on short, decisive campaign
      • Troops had rations for only four days
      • Supply convoys only equipped for an additional three weeks

Napoleon in 1812

Alexander I

deepening crisis in russia
  • Russian army refuses to fight and retreats deeper into interior
  • Napoleon catches them outside of Moscow
    • Battle of Borodino
    • September 1812
    • Fails to win decisive victory
defeat by general winter
  • Napoleon enters Moscow
    • Alexander orders evacuation and destruction of city
      • Deprived French of supplies and shelter
  • Napoleon withdraws in October 1812
    • Mired by mud and snow
    • Harassed by Russian partisans
    • Devastated by severe cold
  • 500,000 soldiers perished during retreat
    • Only 100,000 made it back
    • Shattering defeat
the apparent end
  • Napoleon raises new army of 250,000 men
    • Against new coalition of England, Prussia, Austria, Sweden, and Russia
    • Defeated at Battle of Nations (October 1813)
  • Napoleon is forced back into France
    • Refuses initial peace offer and allies invade
    • Napoleon is finally surrounded and cut off in Paris and abdicates

Battle of Nations

louis xviii
  • Allies make Count of Provence new king as Louis XVIII
  • Signs moderate peace treaty
    • France returns to 1789 boundaries
    • Napoleon exiled to island of Elba
      • Off west coast of Italy
      • Retained title of emperor
      • Granted a pension of 2 million francs per year
  • Louis XVIII issues Constitutional Charter
    • Paid lip service to principles of legal and social equality
    • Confirmed the Napoleonic Code
    • Created two-house legislature
      • Dominated by large landowners
  • “Ultras” dissatisfied with king’s moderation
    • Wanted to settle old scores and restore Old Regime
    • Their activities cost new regime much credibility
back again
  • Napoleon escapes Elba on March 1, 1815 and lands on southern coast of France
    • With 1000 men
    • Troops sent to stop him join him
      • As did thousands of demobilized veterans
    • Reaches Paris with huge army
      • Louis XVIII flees
      • Napoleon ruler of France again
  • Former allies declare Napoleon a “public outlaw” and vow to destroy him
  • Napoleon goes on offensive and invades Belgium
  • Defeated at Battle of Waterloo by joint British/Prussian army
    • Commanded by Duke of Wellington
  • Napoleon flees to Paris
    • But arrested by British before he could leave for America
    • Louis XVIII brought back
    • Napoleon’s return only last 100 Days
sad end to a great story
  • Napoleon exiled this time to Sainte Helena
    • Bleak and barren island off west coast of Africa
    • 4000 miles from Europe
  • Died there in 1821
    • From stomach cancer and complications of syphilis
    • 52 years old
congress of vienna

Met in September 1814

Viscount Castlereagh

Klemens von Metternich

First general congress of European powers since Peace of Westphalia in 1648


Prince Hardenburg

Alexander I

congress at work
  • Wanted to restore old order as much as possible
    • Also prevent any single state from dominating Europe again
    • Also contain the “virus” of revolution
  • Developed two-part strategy
    • Create structure of collective security
    • Agree to suppress radical activity whenever it occurred
      • Embodied in concept of Concert of Europe
        • Informal great power consensus that kept peace in Europe until 1914
        • Included Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, Russia, and France (after 1818)
different views
  • Basic innovation was the recognition that war had become too dangerous a luxury for Europe to afford
    • Because it unleashed revolutions
  • Alexander I saw collective security not only as a political instrument but also as a spiritual compact
    • Pressured fellow rulers to sign a “Holy Alliance” against war and for Christian concord
  • Metternich saw collective security as a sanction to intervene in the affairs of any state threatened by revolution
  • British refused to commit themselves to any sort of joint command and never supported Metternich’s interventionist schemes
  • Prussia was skeptical about anything Russia and Austria agreed on
  • Alexander insisted on taking Poland over as king
    • To get Prussian support for this plan, he offered it Saxony
  • Metternich would not stand for this and sought support of Castlereagh and Talleyrand to block plan
  • Issue finally settled by compromise
    • Alexander received smaller Poland (other part going to Austria
    • Prussia got 2/3s of Saxony
  • Illustrated inherent contradiction of the congress system
    • It presupposed cooperation between individually sovereign states whose interests were often different and antagonistic

England also got West Indies, Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, Mauritius, and Singapore

Upper-most was creation of buffer zones against France and also Russia

germany and france
  • Germany remained 39 states linked in a loose confederation
    • Including Prussia and Austria
    • Main function was to prevent smaller states from gravitating towards France
  • France lost a few small pieces of territory, had to pay 700 million francs indemnity, and had to endure presence of an occupation army for three years
  • Diplomats of Congress of Vienna were men formed under the Old Regime
    • Their conception of society was patriarchal
  • In redrawing map of Europe, they acted in a high-handed manner
    • Parceled out peoples and territories solely according to abstract needs of power politics
    • Not concerned whether any of the peoples involved wanted to be handed out to others
      • And they didn’t and they eventually rebelled
  • Saw job as merely rewarding victors and punishing losers in a great war (with moderation) and restoring an order in which the established powers could play the old game of politics
    • Never realized just how much the French Revolution had changed Europe
    • Never realized that the rules of the game had dramatically changed