napoleon: 1769 - 1821. which napoleon would you want as a ruler? napoleon crossing the alps

Napoleon: 1769 - 1821

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Which Napoleon would you want as a ruler?

Napoleon Crossing the Alps

“The truest conquests, the only ones that give rise to no regrets, are those gained over ignorance. The most honorable as well as the most useful activity of nations is to contribute to the advancement of human knowledge. The real strength of the French Republic should henceforth lie in its determination to possess every new idea, without a single exception.”

— Napoleon Bonaparte (upon his election to the National Institute of France)


• Meritocracy: leadership chosen on the basis of abilities and achievements rather than birthright

• Coup d’Etat: the sudden violent overthrow of a government and seizure of political power (especially by the military)

• Abdicate: to give up a high office formally or officially, especially the throne

• Nationalism: proud loyalty and devotion to a nation

Meteoric RiseMeteoric Rise

•Born in Corsica

•Napoleon wasn’t a revolutionary before the French Revolution, but he welcomed the changes

•He rose during the battles of the French Revolution due to meritocracy

•By the age of only 25, Napoleon was made a brigadier general by the Committee of Public Safety

Coup d’EtatCoup d’Etat

• Napoleon’s combination of intelligence, charm, wit, and decisiveness allowed him to win the support of his troops and other people

• Napoleon took part in the coup d’etat that overthrew the Directory

• Even though in theory France was a republic (democracy), Napoleon held absolute power as the first consul of a new government called the consulate

– Napoleon, quoted in Thorpe, Scott, How to Think Like Einstein, Barnes & Noble Books, Inc., 2000, p.167.

"A man will fight harder for his interests than for his


Crowned Himself Emperor of the FrenchCrowned Himself Emperor of the FrenchDecember 2, 1804 Notre Dame

Emperor Napoleon & Empress Josephine-1806 by David

Napoleon placing the crown on his own head, instead of being crowned by the head of the Church. He then crowned Josephine.

Consul vs. EmperorConsul vs. Emperor

Note the plainer appearance of

Napoleon when he first became Consul, as

compared to the much more grand scene of him once

his imperial ambition had been revealed and he

had seated himself as Emperor


• Napoleon appointed members of the bureaucracy, controlled the army, conducted foreign affairs, and influenced the legislature

• Once in power, Napoleon employed generosity, flattery, and bribery to win over some of his enemies

• He was ruthless in suppressing opposition

• He shut down 60 of France’s 73 newspapers, insisting that the government view all manuscripts before they are published, and having government police read people’s mail

• 1802: Napoleon made himself consul for life

• 1804: Napoleon crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I


Napoleon’s ReformsNapoleon’s Reforms

• Centralized the Government• Napoleonic Code of 1804: MOST IMPORTANT!

– Before the Revolution, France had up to 300 separate legal systems, so Napoleon codified the laws

– The most important of the new unified codes was the Civil Code, or Napoleonic Code, which recognized the equality of all citizens before the law

• Concordat of 1801: Normalized relations with the Catholic Church by declaring Catholicism the religion of the majority of the French

• Lycee System of Education: New system of schools under strict government control to ensure well-trained government officials and military officers (education for the masses)

Napoleon in the New World

Sold for $15,000,000-Napoleon needed to money to fight his foreign wars

Louisiana Purchase, 1803

"I closed the gulf of anarchy and brought order out of chaos. I rewarded merit regardless of birth or wealth, wherever I found it. I abolished feudalism and restored equality to all regardless of religion and before the law. I fought the decrepit monarchies of the Old Regime because the alternative was the destruction of all this. I purified the Revolution.“

– Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon’s EmpireNapoleon’s Empire

• Napoleon now could create a new world order

• His Grand Empire had three parts: the French Empire, dependent states, and allied states– The dependent states were kingdoms that

Napoleon’s relatives ruled, including Spain, Holland, Italy, and the Grand Duchy of Warsaw

– The allied states were those Napoleon defeated and forced to join him in war against Britain, including Prussia, Austria, Russia, and Sweden

Napoleonic Europe 1799-1815

Napoleon’s Family Rules!Napoleon’s Family Rules!Jerome Bonaparte King of WestphaliaJoseph Bonaparte King of SpainLouise Bonaparte King of HollandPauline Bonaparte Princess of ItalyNapoléon Francis Joseph Charles (son) King of

RomeElisa Bonaparte Grand Duchess of TuscanyCaroline Bonaparte Queen of Naples

The Continental SystemThe Continental System

• One of Napoleon’s goals was to destroy Great Britain• Napoleon banned British goods in the lands he

controlled in order to hurt their economy• The Continental System was intended to stop British

goods from reaching continental markets• The main flaw in the Continental Plan was that Britain

still had naval dominance• Allied states resented being told they could not buy

British goods, and this strategy failed as well

The Continental System 1806-1810

Fall of NapoleonFall of Napoleon

• Napoleon’s fall began with his invasion of Russia, which had refused to remain in the Continental System

• In 1812, a Grand Army of over 600,000 men entered Russia

• Napoleon needed to score a quick, decisive victory

• The Russians would not fight: they retreated to Moscow, drawing the French into the interior of Russia (hoping that Russia’s size and weather would support the Russian cause)

• The Russians burned crops and villages along the way: this scorched-earth policy left the French without food or shelter

Defeat in RussiaDefeat in Russia

• After reaching Moscow in September, Napoleon realized that he would not be able to feed and supply his army through the long Russian winter so he turned homeward

• The “Great Retreat” – the French retreat from Moscow through the Russian winter (terrible conditions turned the retreat into a battle for survival)

• Only about 20,000 of 600,000 soldiers made it back to France alive

• Other European nations rose up to attack the crippled French army

Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow

Painting by Adolf Northern

Route of the Great Retreat

First ExileFirst Exile• The Russian disaster destroyed Napoleon’s reputation for success and soon

after he was defeated by a new alliance of Russia, Britain, Austria, and Prussia

• The victors forced Napoleon to abdicate and exiled him to the island of Elba

• Louis XVIII, Louis XVI’s brother, restored the Bourbon monarchy

• The king had little support

Louis XVIII r. 1814-1824

Escape from Elba, The Hundred Days,Escape from Elba, The Hundred Days,& The Battle of Waterloo& The Battle of Waterloo

• February 26, 1815: Napoleon snuck past his guards, escaped from Elba, and returned to France

• Paris welcomed him with celebration, and Louis XVIII, the new king, fled to Belgium

• With Louis XVIII gone, Napoleon moved back into the Tuileries

• The period known as the Hundred Days had begun (Napoleon ruled while the allies reassembled their forces)

• June 18, 1815: The opposing armies (French vs. Allies) met in Waterloo, Belgium

• In a one-day battle, the allied British and Prussian forces under the leadership of the Duke of Wellington crushed the French army

Returning to France from Exile in Elba

Defeat at Waterloo

Permanent ExilePermanent Exile• After Waterloo, the allies exiled Napoleon to St. Helena, a

small island in the south Atlantic

• Napoleon’s power ended and he died on the island

Legacy of NapoleonLegacy of Napoleon

• France was a centralized state with a Constitution

• Citizens had rights to property and access to education

• Napoleonic Code consolidated many changes of the Revolution

• Awakening of feelings of national pride and growth of nationalism

Napoleon: OverviewNapoleon: Overview• Rose during the battles of the French Revolution due to

meritocracy• Took part in the coup d’etat that overthrew the Directory• 1799: Became the first consul of France (despite being a

republic, Napoleon held absolute power and was ruthless in suppressing opposition)

• 1801: Lycee – a system of education• 1802: Named himself ‘Consul for Life”• 1804: Crowned himself ‘Emperor of France’• 1804: Napoleonic Code – a civil code that recognized the

equality of all citizens before the law• Napoleon’s Grand Empire

– French Empire– Dependent States = kingdoms ruled by Napoleon’s relatives– Allied States = those defeated by Napoleon and forced to join in war

against Great Britain

Napoleon: Overview Napoleon: Overview (cntd.)(cntd.)• The Continental System: Napoleon banned British goods in

the lands he controlled in order to hurt the British economy (problems: Britain had naval dominance and allied states resented being told what they could/not buy)

• Invasion of Russia:– Scorched-earth policy: Russians burned crops and villages along their

path inland to leave the French without food or shelter)

– “Great Retreat”: French retreated from Moscow through the Russian winter (thousands didn’t make it back)

• First Exile (Elba): Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to Elba

• Escaped from Elba and returned to France (Louis XVIII fled and Napoleon resumed power)

• Waterloo: Napoleon was defeated by a combined British and Prussian army

• Permanent Exile (St. Helena): Napoleon’s power ended

Haitian Revolution: 1791-1804

• Slaves in the New World were inspired by the ideas of the French Revolution

• Toussaint L’Ouverture – a former slave led a revolt to free the slaves in Haiti

• It was a brutal conflict

• Result: the elimination of slavery and the establishment of Haiti as the first republic ruled by people of African and black Caribbean ancestry

Haitian Independence: 1804

• Of the many rebellions that occurred in the New World during the centuries of slavery, only Haiti was successful in achieving permanent independence under a new nation

• The Haitian Revolution is regarded as a defining moment in the history of Africans in the New World

Putting Europe Back Together: Putting Europe Back Together: Congress of ViennaCongress of Vienna (1815) (1815)

Special Thanks to Ms. Stewart

1. Decide what to do with France

2. Maintain a balance in power in Europe

3. Restoration of European monarchies

Basic Agenda

Congress of Vienna(1814-1815)

• European monarchs sought to turn back the clock to 1789 and restore Europe’s Old Regime

• Members included the “Big Four” and France

– Austria – Prince Metternich

– England – Duke of Wellington and Lord Castlereagh

– France – Talleyrand

– Prussia – Frederick William III, Hardenberg, and Humboldt

– Russia – Tsar Alexander I

Metternich (1773-1859)Metternich (1773-1859)

• Conservative leader at the Congress

• Opposed democracy and nationalism

• Claimed that he was guided by the principle of legitimacy: lawful monarchs from the royal families that had ruled before Napoleon would be restored to power

Results of the Congress of Vienna

• Restoration of European monarchies; temporary suppression of democratic and nationalistic ideals

• Concert of Europe – group of leading nations which periodically met to discuss issues regarding stability

• The Principle of Intervention: the great powers of Europe had the right to send armies into countries where there were revolutions in order to restore legitimate monarchs to power and maintain a balance of power; Great Britain did not agree with this policy

• New political map of Europe

• International peace – no general war in Europe until World War I (100 years later)

– Crimean War (1854-1856)– Austro-Prussian War (1866)– Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871)