Little Corsican

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Napoleon in Italy

First Consul of France, 1799-1802 (Station 3)

During the time that Napoleon took over, France was in turmoil. Poverty and corruption were widespread, and people were tired of constant fighting and terror.

Napoleon worked with Emmanuel Sieyes to overthrow the Directory, and succeeded on November 9, 1799. The Directory was replaced by a three-member Consulate, and Napoleon became First Consul. After becoming First Consul, Napoleon reorganized his armies and restructured his defense.

A coalition of countries (Austria, Prussia, Russia, and Great Britain) joined together to combat the increasing power of France. After bitter battles, Russia dropped out of the Second Coalition in 1799. In May 1800, Napoleon led his famous march across the Alps, defeating the Austrian army yet again. Great Britain was left alone and was weary of war. The Treaty of Amiens was signed between the British and French in 1802. The Second Coalition was destroyed. For the first and only time in Napoleon’s reign, France was at peace with the world.

Napoleon as First Consul of France

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