Napoleonic Wars


The Napoleonic Wars were a sequence of wars fought between France and a number of European nations from 1799 to 1815. In 1799 France came under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was the most important member of the ruling Consulate and who was announced Napoleon I, emperor of France, in 1804. The Napoleonic Wars were a furtherance of the wars of the French Revolution, in which the Habsburgs and other dynastic rulers of Europe combined in an effort to conquer the world shattering administration of France and bring back the rule of the French monarchy.

First Coalition of Napoleonic War

In the Napoleonic War of the First Coalition (1793 97), France fought in opposition to an association consisting of Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, and Sardinia. Bonaparte was assigned by the administration of France, the Directory, with conducting armed forces operations against Austrian forces in northern Italy (1796 97). Consequently he was made the leader of an expedition (1798 99) to overcome Egypt as a base for prospect assault against the British control of India. Even though they took place before the Consulate was recognized, these two campaigns are usually regarded as the initial stages of the Napoleonic Wars, since they were the first in which Bonaparte demonstrated on a large degree his intellect as a commander; early battles of the Napoleonic War of the Second Coalition are also included in this class.

Second Coalition of Napoleonic War

Bonaparte’s triumph against Austria in his northern Italian operation had put an ending to the First Coalition. During his absence in Egypt, however, a new union known as the Second Coalition was formed on Dec. 24, 1798; this alliance comprised Russia, Great Britain, Austria, the kingdom of Naples, Portugal, and the Ottoman Empire. The major fighting of the Napoleonic War of the Second Coalition, which broke out at the end of 1798, took place during the subsequent year in northern Italy and in Switzerland. In the previous region the Austrians and Russians, under the control mainly of the noted Russian general Count Aleksandr Suvorov, were consistently successful. They conquered the French in the battles of Magnano (April 5), Cassano (April 27), the Trebbia (June 17 19), and Novi (August 15); captured Milan; put an end to the Cisalpine Republic which had been fashioned under French support in 1797; occupied Turin, and in general deprived the French of the victories they had won in Italy under Bonaparte.

Third Coalition of Napoleonic War

Bonaparte rapidly motivated against the new alliance. In view of the fact that in 1798 he had put forth strain on Great Britain by keeping an army concerted at Boulogne on the English Channel, apparently preparing to attack England; and during the oppositions leading to the outburst of war in 1803, Bonaparte had seriously increased the French military at Boulogne. After the expansion of the Third Coalition against France, he moved his troops from Boulogne to meet the Austrians, who, under Ferdinand III, grand duke of Tuscany (1769 1824), and Gen. Karl Mack von Leiberich (1752 1828), had attacked Bavaria Numerous of German states, together with Bavaria, Württemberg, and Baden, allied themselves with France. Bonaparte overpowered the Austrians at Ulm, taking 23,000 hostages, and then strides his group along the Danube River and captured Vienna. Russian armies under Gen. Mikhail Kutuzov (1745–1813) and Alexander I, monarch of Russia, helped the Austrians, but Napoleon defeated the mutual Austro-Russian forces in the Battle of Austerlitz, at times recognized as the Battle of the Three Emperors. Austria again surrendered, signing the Treaty of Pressburg on Dec. 26, 1805. Among the terms of this treaty was the allowance by Austria to France of land in northern Italy and to Bavaria of region in Austria itself; in addition, Austria recognized the duchies of Württemberg and Baden as kingdoms.

Fourth Coalition of Napoleonic War

Prior to the result of British sea power could be apparent, however, Napoleon amplified his control over the Continent. In 1806 Prussia, aroused by Napoleon’s rising strength in Germany, joined in a Fourth Coalition with Great Britain, Russia, and Sweden. Napoleon poorly crushed the Prussians in the Battle of Jena on Oct. 14, 1806, and captured Berlin. He then routed the Russians in the Battle of Friedland and strained Alexander I to make peace. By the major terms of the Treaty of Tilsit, Russia gave up its Polish possessions and became an ally of France, and Prussia was reduced to the status of a third-rate power, deprived of almost half its territory and crippled by heavy indemnity payments and severe restrictions on the size of its standing army. Through martial action against Sweden on the part of Russia and Denmark, Gustav IV Adolph of Sweden was forced to renounce in favor of his uncle, Charles XIII, on the clause that the latter name as his heir Gen. Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, one of Napoleon’s marshals. Bernadotte became ruler in 1818, as Charles XIV John, beginning the current imperial line.

Originally the Napoleonic Wars enabled the ideological disagreement between ground-breaking France and monarchical Europe. At a few point, yet, the vague dreams of Napoleon himself became their prime and regular reason. The Napoleonic wars, also, bore Napoleon’s special beat, because he determined plan and commanded the French armies.