Q:

Why did Napoleon invade Russia?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the History Channel, the invasion of Russia in 1812 by Napoleon's Grande Armée of France was intended to force Russia's leader Czar Alexander I to the negotiating table to resolve differences between the two nations The attack was disastrous, leading to the decimation of Napoleon's army and eventually to his exile from France in 1814.

Know More
Why did Napoleon invade Russia?
Credit: Hulton Archive Hulton Archive Getty Images

Full Answer

There were numerous issues between Russia and France that led to Napoleon's invasion. The Russians had broken a commitment to embargo Great Britain, returning to trade with the island because he embargo was hurting Russia's economy as well. The Russians also heavily taxed luxury goods imported from France, driving down demand. Napoleon then angered Russia by creating the Duchy of Warsaw from Prussian lands, which Alexander felt might result in an upswelling of Polish nationalism. Even Napoleon's bid to marry a sister of Alexander was turned down by the Russian leader.

Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed into Russia with 450,000 to 650,000 troops, but by the middle of winter the army was reduced to about 100,000 and began the retreat back to French lands. The invasion led Russia to join with Austria, Sweden and Prussia to fight against Napoleon, leading to the capture of Paris itself.

Learn more about French Revolution
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why did Napoleon attack Portugal?

    A:

    According to Heritage History, Napoleon attacked Portugal due to the country's refusal to join his Continental System. In 1806, he attempted to wage economic war by forcing France, its captured territories and the country's allies to refuse to do business with England in an attempt to weaken the island nation. Portugal refused to play along and signed a treaty with England, and in response, Napoleon invaded Portugal in 1807.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who is Napoleon?

    A:

    Napoleon Bonaparte, also referred to as Napoleon I, was a French emperor and military leader in the 18th and early 19th centuries. He conquered much of Europe during his reign as the Emperor of the French.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Napoleon Bonaparte famous for?

    A:

    Napoleon Bonaparte is famous for being a European revolutionary, soldier, statesman and lawmaker. As suggested by Robert Wilde at About.com, he also exhibited some of the first modern dictatorial behavior, silencing political enemies, as well as severely censoring media publications. Within the context of military history, Bonaparte is often remembered and celebrated as one of the most talented and audacious commanders of all time.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What were Napoleon's three mistakes?

    A:

    Napoleon's three mistakes were using his inferior French navy to battle British naval forces, waging war against Russia and resuming power after he was exiled. These three mistakes greatly damaged his reputation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore