Unit Description Unit Rationale

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A system Napoleon developed in 1806 in his attempt the defeat Great Britain

  • Unable to defeat them at sea, or invade the island, Napoleon’s goal was to have all the European nations under his control to unleash an embargo on goods coming from Great Britain, in the hope that it would cripple the British economy

  • Nevertheless, the British still had trading dominance with North America and continued to smuggle goods into Europe

  • Napoleon desired to take control of Portugal, when they refused to join the Continental system, leading to the Peninsular War

    The Hundred Days:

    • March 20 to June 18, 1815

    • The time period between Napoleon’s return to France from his exile to Elba and the second Restoration of King Louis XVIII

    • Napoleon returned while the Congress of Vienna was meeting, but shortly after Great Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia raised armies to fight Napoleon

    • The Hundred Days ended when Napoleon was defeated at the battle of Waterloo in June of 1815

    The Napoleonic Code:

    • A Civil Code drafted by Napoleon and his advisors

    • Published in 1804

    • Created one set of laws for France, which previously had regional laws

    • Dealt with everything from civil liberties to private property and citizenship

    • A very patriarchal document which made it clear that a woman’s responsibility was to her husband

    The Napoleonic Wars:

    • Wars that lasted from approximately 1803 to 1815 between the French Empire and surrounding European Nations

    • Napoleon conquered much of Europe, and while doing so created a sense of nationalism within Germany, Italy and the Latin colonies that were a part of Portugal and Spain’s empires

    The Peninsular War:

    • A war from 1808 to 1814 between France and the allied powers of Great Britain, Spain and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula

    • Spain initially gave Napoleon permission to march through the nation to conquer Portugal, but Napoleon then took control of the Portuguese and Spanish thrones

    • The Spanish and Portuguese empires refused to be a part of the French empire, and turned against their imposed French rulers

    • The Spanish and Portuguese colonies followed suit refusing to adhere to French rule

    • When monarchies were restored to both Spain and Portugal, the colonies refused to return to the former mode of government, leading to the wars of Latin American independence

    Appendix 2.6.3

    From The Imperial Catechism, 1806
    Question: What are the duties of Christians toward those who govern them, and what in particular are our duties towards Napoleon I, our emperor?

    Answer: Christians owe to the princes who govern them, and we in particular owe to Napoleon I, our emperor, love, respect, obedience, fidelity, military service, and the taxes levied for the preservation and defense of the empire and of his throne. We also owe him fervent prayers for his safety and for the spiritual and temporal prosperity of the state.

    Question: Why are we subject to all these duties toward our emperor?

    Answer: First, because God, who has created empires and distributes them according to his will, has, by loading our emperor with gifts both in peace and in war, established him as our sovereign and made him the agent of his power and his image upon earth. To honor and serve our emperor is therefore to honor and serve God himself. Secondly, because our Lord Jesus Christ himself, both by his teaching and his example, has taught us what we owe to our sovereign. Even at his very birth he obeyed the edict of Caesar Augustus; he paid the established tax; and while he commanded us to render to God those things which belong to God, he also commanded us to render unto Caesar those things which are Caesar's.

    Question: Are there not special motives which should attach us more closely to Napoleon I, our emperor?

    Answer: Yes, for it is he whom God has raised up in trying times to re-establish the public worship of the holy religion of our fathers and to be its protector; he has re-established and preserved public order by his profound and active wisdom; he defends the state by his mighty arm; he has become the anointed of the Lord by the consecration which he has received from the sovereign pontiff, head of the Church universal.

    Question: What must we think of those who are wanting in their duties toward our emperor?

    Answer: According to the apostle Paul, they are resisting the order established by God himself and render themselves worthy of eternal damnation.

    The Imperial Catechism, 1806.” The Modern History Sourcebook. 30 March 2007.

    Web. 10 Jan. 2010. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1806catechism-


    Appendix 2.6.4


    Of the Enjoyment of Civil Rights

    1. The exercise of civil rights is independent of the quality of citizen, which is only acquired and preserved conformably to the constitutional law.

    2. Every Frenchman shall enjoy civil rights.

    3. Every individual born in France of a foreigner, may, during the year which shall succeed the period of his majority, claim the quality of Frenchman; provided, that if he shall reside in France he declares his intention to fix his domicile in that country

    4. Every child born of a Frenchman in a foreign country is French. Every child born in a foreign country of a Frenchman who shall have lost the quality of a Frenchman, may at any time recover this quality by complying with the formalities prescribed in the ninth article.

    5. A foreigner shall enjoy in France the same civil rights as are or shall be accorded to Frenchmen by the treaties of that nation to which such foreigner shall belong.

    6. The foreigner who shall have married a Frenchman, shall follow the condition of her husband.

    Of the respective Rights and Duties of Married Persons.

    1. The husband owes protection to his wife, the wife obedience to her


    214. The wife is obliged to live with her husband, and to follow him to

    every place where he may judge it convenient to reside: the husband is obliged to receive her, and to furnish her with every thing necessary for the wants of life, according to his means and station.

    1. The wife cannot plead in her own name, without the authority of her

    husband, even though she should be a public trader, or non-communicant, or separate in property.

    1. The wife may make a will without the authority of her husband.

    Of the Administration of the Community, and of the Effect of the Acts of either of the married Parties relating to the conjugal Union.

    1. The husband alone administers the property of the community. He may

    sell it, alienate and pledge it without the concurrence of his wife.

    1. Sentences pronounced against one of the married parties for crime

    importing civil death, affect only such party¹s portion in the community, and his or her personal property.

    1. The wife cannot bind herself nor engage the property of the community,

    even to free her husband from prison, or for the establishment of their children in case of her husband's absence, until she shall have been thereto authorized by the law.

    1. The husband has the management of all the personal property of the wife.

    2. He may prosecute alone all possessory actions and those relating to

    moveables, which belong to his wife. He cannot alienate the personal immoveables of his wife without her consent.

    1. A dowry settled by the husband alone on a common child, in the effects of

    the community, is at the charge of the community; and in the case in which community is accepted by the wife, the latter may contribute a moiety of the dowry, unless the husband have expressly declared that he charged himself with the whole thereof, or with a portion greater than a moiety.

    “The Civil Code Index, 1804.” Research Subjects: Government and Politics and

    Napoleon Series. 2010. Web. 10 Jan. 2010. http://www.napoleon-


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