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.Know More
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
The main social cause of the French Revolution was the high population density in the country. Overpopulation caused an unrelenting strain on natural resources in the country, and this led to a number of complications that eventually gave rise to the revolution.Full Answer >
The causes of the French Revolution of 1848 were both economic and political. The strongest contributing factor was political contentions between the working and bourgeois classes of France.Full Answer >
The Napoleonic Code is the French system of laws first put in place by the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and made effective on March 21, 1804. The laws abolish noble privilege, grant freedom of religion and direct that government jobs be given to the most qualified.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 >