The Napoleonic Wars were caused by the French Revolution, the bankruptcy of France as a nation under the monarchy, and the overthrow of the French aristocracy and royal family. Named for French general and dictator Napoleon Bonaparte, the Napoleonic Wars involved France's rise to power over much of western Europe from 1792 to 1815.
After the French Revolution, which began in 1789, France's new republic form of government differed greatly from surrounding monarchies in Europe. Countries such as Prussia, Spain, Austria and Great Britain formed coalitions, at the behest of the French aristocracy, that opposed the new French government. Steps were taken in 1792 to defend these monarchies against the French rebels. In response, France had the ability to call up any man for military service on a moment's notice.
General Napoleon Bonaparte took this power to new heights. He formed armies of 250,000 men and marched against his enemies with unprecedented speed and precision. The impetus for France's military maneuvers against other European countries revolved around spreading the French Revolution and the overthrow of monarchies on the continent.
It took Europe more than two decades to finally defeat Napoleon. The emperor's boldness was his undoing because he tried to invade Russia and spread his forces too thin. After escaping an 11-month exile in 1815, Napoleon tried to rally his forces before his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.Learn More
Although slavery is viewed by many as an egregious practice, along with many other human rights issues, it led to several important social and political reforms in the United States. The introduction of slaves to the U.S. was received with mixed reactions by citizens across the nation. For those in the Southern states, slavery was not considered as harmful as it was in most Northern states, which eventually started a movement to create social reform for the slaves.Full Answer >
The main forms of transportation in the 1930s were automobiles and trains. By the end of the decade, commercial air travel grew in popularity. Travelers began to have new methods of transportation opened to them.Full Answer >
According to the British Library, the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 occurred as a result of the anger of Parisian citizens, who saw the prison fortress as the symbol of an oppressive monarchy. The crowd also wanted to obtain a supply of ammunition being stored in the building. The event was the beginning of the French Revolution.Full Answer >
During the Napoleonic Wars, France conquered Egypt, Belgium, Holland, much of Italy, Austria, much of Germany, Poland and Spain. France directly conquered or controlled through alliance most of western Europe by 1812.Full Answer >