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French Revolution:. Napoleon Forges An Empire. Objectives:. Explain how Napoleon came to power in France. Summarize the steps Napoleon took to stabilize France and institute revolutionary reforms. Describe the full extent of his empire up to 1812.

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french revolution

French Revolution:


  • Explain how Napoleon came to power in France.
  • Summarize the steps Napoleon took to stabilize France and institute revolutionary reforms.
  • Describe the full extent of his empire up to 1812.
Napoleon Grasps Power
    • Napoleon wins key battles to save the struggling French Republic.
      • 1796- key victories against Austria/Sardinia gave France claim to part of Italy
      • Leads French invasion of Egypt
        • bogs down  cut off from supply lines to France
        • leaves army in Egypt and returns to France
Napoleon seizes political control from the Directory (1799)
    • stages a successful coup d’etat ( blow to the state-revolt)
    • success in battle and in diplomacy (making peace) leads to restoring some order back to France and in bring temporary peace to Europe.

Napoleon Rules France
    • Fourth Constitution approved by the people gives Napoleon dictatorial powers in his position as First Consul of the Republic
    • Issues several new reforms that reflect the spirit of the revolution
      • est. a National Bank and more equal system of taxation
      • est. a civil service based on merit (ability) rather than rank
      • est. a lycee system (public schools) to educate work force
      • makes peace with the Pope and the Church (The Concordat)

est. a comprehensive/ uniform set of laws and justice for the Empire (The Napoleonic Code)
  • Crowns himself Emperor of France (1804)

Napoleon Creates/Expands an Empire
    • New World Holdings
      • plans to use America as a “bread basket” for a New World Empire he plans on establishing
      • revolt in Saint Domingue (1801) under able leadership of ex-slave Toussaint L’Ouverture changes his plan
      • sells New World holdings (Louisiana) to U.S. in 1803
Conquers most of Europe
    • annexes the Austrian Netherlands & parts of Italy
    • est. a “puppet govt.” in Switzerland
    • Russia, Prussia, Austria, Sweden, and finally Britain form the Third Coalition to defeat him
    • Napoleon wins smashing military victory at Austerlitz (1805) against Austria (peak of Napoleon’s career)
    • signs treaties with all foes except Britain & immediately begins planning invasion of that country
    • Battle of Trafalgar (1805)
        • naval battle off the southern coast of Spain
        • Adm. Horatio Nelson defeats the French fleet
        • Ends any threat of a French invasion of Britain
Napoleon’s Empire in 1812
    • All Europe under his control except Britain, Portugal, & Sweden
        • either by military conquest, through puppet govts., or by political alliances
    • the empire was huge but very unstable
        • many nations under his control resented French domination and became very nationalistic
        • would soon begin to crumble (only after 5 yrs.) due to some serious miscalculations on Napoleon’s part