The beginnings of the revolutionary era: the american revolution

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AP EH CHAPTER 19 NOTES: A Revolution in Politics---the Era of the French Revolution and Napoleon


  1. Reorganization, Resistance, and Rebellion

  1. the immediate causes of the American Revolution stemmed from Great Britain’s response to its victory over France in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), known as the French and Indian War in the American colonies

  2. from the Americans’ point of view, the British colonies were young and vibrant compared to the old and decadent British society

  3. from the British point of view, all people in the empire were part of a single unit and represented indirectly by Parliament which was the supreme authority throughout

  4. in the colonies, where there was a preponderance of independent farmers, 50% of adult males could vote

  5. in Britain, fewer than 20% of adult males could vote

  6. a key result of the Seven Years’ War in North America was growing tensions between American colonists and the English government demanding more revenue from the colonies to pay for the victorious British army

  7. after 1763, the British authorities and colonists came into conflict over British efforts to raise new revenues through increased taxes. (EX: Stamp Act of 1765---very unpopular with Americans)

  8. the Tea Act of 1773 was devised by the British to bail out the British East India Company by allowing it to bypass American wholesalers

  9. 150 colonists responded in Boston by dumping British tea into Boston Harbor while disguised as Native Americans (Boston Tea Party)

  10. the British Parliament responded to the colonists’ Boston Tea party by passing the Coercive Acts

  1. closed the port in Boston until compensation was made for the destroyed tea

  2. restricted town meetings

  3. strengthened the authority of the royal governor in Massachusetts

  1. designed to punish radical Massachusetts as an example to other colonies, the Coercive Acts backfired

  1. colonial assemblies everywhere denounced the British action

  2. led to the meeting of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia (September, 1774)

  3. the 1st CC’s more militant representatives urged the forming of militias to counteract British actions

  1. when the British army under General Gage attempted to stop rebel mobilization in Massachusetts, fighting between colonists and redcoats erupted at Lexington and Concord in April, 1775

  1. The War of Independence

  1. After Lexington and Concord, more than a year passed before the colonists decided to declare their independence from the British Empire

  2. Thomas Paine’s political pamphlet Common Sense (January, 1776) was an important factor in mobilizing public sentiment toward independence

  1. the pamphlet sold 120,000 copies in 3 months in the colonies

  2. argued that it was ridiculous for “a continent to be perpetually governed by an island”

  1. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson

  1. affirmed the Enlightenment’s natural rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”

  2. declared the colonies “free and independent states absolved from all allegiance to the British crown

  3. officially began the American Revolution

  1. the 2nd CC authorized the formation of a Continental Army with George Washington appointed its commander-in-chief

  2. compared to British forces, the Continental Army consisted of undisciplined amateurs whose terms of service were usually brief

  1. British Army: 50,000 British red coats & 30,000 German mercenaries

  2. Continental Army: 400,000 served in army and militias but Washington never had more than 20,000 troops at his disposal for any one battle

  1. Essential to the colonists’ winning independence was the generous military and financial aid provided from various European states, especially France

  2. the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga (October, 1777) was the turning point of the war

  3. despite the fact that the British had won most of the battles they were on the verge of defeat due to the fact that they were squared off against not only the Americans but much of Europe

  4. the decisive battle took place at Yorktown (1781) where a combined Continental and French armies led by Washington along with the French Navy boxed in the British Army under General Cornwallis who was forced to surrender

  5. Treaty of Paris (1783) formally ended the war

  1. recognized the independence of the American Colonies

  2. granted Americans control of western territory from the Appalachians to the Mississippi River

  1. Toward a New Nation

  1. due to their aversion to establishing a united nation with a strong central government, the colonies passed the dish-water weak Articles of Confederation (1781)

  2. after the war’s conclusion, a series of economic, political, and international problems led to a movement for a stronger central government

  3. In the summer of 1787, the Constitutional Convention met to initially revise the Articles but eventually to write an entirely new document

  4. The US Constitution (1789) created a central government distinct from and superior to the governments of the individual states

  1. national government was given the power to levy taxes, raise a national army, regulate foreign and domestic trade, establish a national currency

  2. created a national government with 3 branches

  1. Executive branch headed by a President who could:

  1. execute the laws

  2. veto the legislature’s acts

  3. make judicial and executive appointments

  4. supervise foreign affairs

  5. direct military forces

  1. Legislative branch

  1. upper house called Senate elected by State legislatures (2 Senators per state)

  2. lower house called the House of Representatives elected directly by the people (number of reps for each state based on state’s population)

  1. Judicial branch

  1. Supreme Court

  2. Other lower federal courts

  3. Role was to enforce the Constitution as the supreme law of land

  1. new constitution had to be ratified by popularly chosen conventions in 9 of 13 states before it would take effect

c. The Constitution of 1789 was barely passed by the Continental Congress thanks to the advocacy of Federalists who promised to add a Bill of Rights

d. the Bill of Rights (1791), the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, guaranteed American citizens the freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly, as well as the right to bear arms, protection against unreasonable searches and arrests, trial by jury, due process of law, and protection of property rights

  1. The Impact of the American Revolution

  1. the American Revolution affected Europeans by proving that the ideas of the Enlightenment could be realized politically

  2. a key conduit of ‘enlightened’ American political and moral ideas back to Europe was formed by the hundreds literate and influential French army and navy officers who had fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War

  1. Social Structure of the Old Regime

  1. the French economy of the 18th Century was growing due to increased trade and industrial production

  2. wealth was not evenly distributed in France as French society was divided into legal categories known as estates

  1. First Estate

  1. consisted of the clergy and numbered about 130,000 people

  2. clergy were exempt from paying France’s chief tax called the “taille”

  3. church agreed to make a “voluntary” contribution every five years to the state

  4. great gulf in income still existed between higher and lower clergy

  1. Second Estate

  1. Consisted of the French nobility which numbered 350,000 and owned 25 to 30 percent of the land

  2. on the eve of the French Revolution, the First and Second estates dominated French society

  3. members of this estate held many of the leading positions in the government, the military, the law courts, and the higher church offices

  4. controlled a good deal of heavy industry in France particularly in mining and metallurgy

  5. French nobility was also divided

  1. Nobles of the Robe

  1. derived their status from officeholding

  2. dominated royal law courts and important administrative offices

  1. Nobles of the Sword

  1. claimed to be descendants of the original medieval nobility

  2. attempted to limit the sale of military officerships to 4th generation nobles through the Segur Law

  1. as a group, the nobles sought to expand their privileges at the expense of the monarchy

  2. although there were many poor nobles, on the whole the fortunes of the wealthy aristocrats outstripped those of most others in French society

  3. common to all nobles were tax exemptions

c.Third Estate

  1. consisted of the commoners of French society who constituted the overwhelming majority of the French population

  2. peasants made up 75 to 80 % of this estate

  3. skilled artisans, shopkeepers, and other wage earners in the cities were part of this estate

  4. about 8% of the population was considered middle class or the bourgeoisie (merchants, lawyers, doctors, writers, public office holders, bankers, industrialists)

  5. by the 18th Century, the French bourgeoisie and the nobility were increasingly less distinguishable from each other

  1. Other Problems Facing the French Monarchy

  1. The most immediate cause of the French Revolution was the government’s failure to resolve its debts

  2. As one measure of the French crown’s terrible financial predicament, by 1788 the interest payments on state debt alone amounted to one-half of all government spending

  3. Vital fiscal reform of the French state just prior to the revolution was impeded by nobles of the robe in the thirteen regional French parlements who regularly refused to approve or enforce new royal tax proposals

  4. Just prior to the revolution in France, the number of poor in France went up greatly due to a manufacturing depression which caused food shortages, unemployment, and inflation

  5. 1 in 3 citizens of France were deemed poor on the eve of the revolution

  6. on the verge of complete financial collapse, the French monarchy under Louis XVI called the Estates-General into session for the first time since 1614.


  1. Compared to the American Revolution, the French Revolution was more violent, more radical, and more influential in Europe as a model for rebellion

  2. The French Revolution slogan neatly evoking the ideals of the rebellion was "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity!"

  3. From Estates-General to a National Assembly

  1. the government ruled that when the Estates-General opened on May 5, 1789 that the 3rd Estate would have 600 delegates while the 1st and 2nd Estates would have 300 apiece

  2. the cahiers de doleances, or statements of local grievances, called for the abolishing the fiscal privileges of the church and nobility (written by reform-minded members of the Third Estate)

  3. the Estates-General was divided from the beginning over the issue of voting by orders or by head

  1. Voting by order (estate) meant that each estate would vote separately and have veto power over the other two (supported by nobility and clergy) [won out]

  2. Voting by head meant every delegate would have one vote (supported by commoners)

  1. The National Assembly

  1. the controversy over voting by order versus is voting by head in the Estates-General saw the Third Estate respond by forming a "National Assembly"

  2. most delegates still wanted to make changes within a framework of respect for the authority of the king (Sieyes was a notable exception)

  3. on June 17, 1789, the Third Estate voted to constitute itself a National Assembly and decided to draw up a constitution

  4. on June 20, the deputies of the Third Estate arrived at their meeting place, only to find their doors locked; thereupon they moved to a nearby indoor tennis court and swore that they would continue to meet until they had produced a French constitution (TENNIS COURT OATH)

  5. these actions constitute the first step in the French Revolution since the Third Estate had no legal right to act as the National Assembly

  6. this "revolution of lawyers" in 1789 appeared doomed because the imminent royal use of armed force against them

  1. The Common People Intervene

  1. this revolution was saved by the intervention of armed commoners, especially in urban uprisings against royal forces and armories

  2. armed commoners most famous uprising took place in Paris on July 14, 1789 when they stormed the Bastille which was a royal arsenal and prison

  3. the storming of the Bastille saved the National Assembly because after this Louis XVI was unable to enforce his will because his royal forces were too unreliable after this incident (this encouraged commoners to take matters into their own hands)

  4. a growing resentment of the entire seigneurial system with its fees and obligations, greatly exacerbated by the economic and fiscal activities of the great estate holders in the difficult decade of the 1780s, created the conditions for a popular uprising

  5. viewed aristocracy with suspicion
  1. The Destruction of the Old Regime

  1. One of the first acts of the National Assembly was to destroy the relics of feudalism or aristocratic privilege by voting to abolish seigneurial rights as well as the fiscal privileges of nobles, clergy, towns, and provinces

  2. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (August, 1789)

  1. used as the ideological foundation for the assembly’s actions as well as an educational device for the nation

  2. this charter of basic liberties reflected the ideas of the major philosophes of the French Enlightenment

  3. owes much to the American Declaration of Independence and American state constitutions

  4. guaranteed citizens the right to “liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression”.

  5. Called to an end to exemptions from taxation based on social standing, freedom and equal rights to all men, and access to public office based on talent

  6. The monarchy was to be limited in nature

  7. Freedom of speech and press were coupled with the outlawing of arbitrary arrests

  1. The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (1791)

  1. written by French women’s activist Olympe de Gouges

  2. argued that the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen did not apply to women.

  3. She wrote her declaration to address the needs of French women

  4. Argued that women should be treated as equals to men in both legal and political rights

  5. Was ignored entirely by the males in the National Assembly who did little to improve the lot of women in French society

  1. The King and Church

  1. at first, an otherwise inactive Louis XVI refused to enact the decrees on the abolition of feudalism and the Declaration of Rights

  2. Women’s march on Versailles on October 5, 1789 changed Louis XVI’s thinking

  1. thousands of Parisian women armed with broomsticks, lances, pitchforks, swords, pistols, and muskets marched on Louis XVI’s Palace of Versailles to demand bread and to confront the king and the National Assembly

  2. the women’s action had forced the Parisian National Guard under Lafayette to follow their lead and march with them

  3. when Louis’s assurances that he would send grain to Paris fell short in the eyes of the women, they demanded that the King and his wife and son return to Paris with them

  4. the king complied and brought with him wagonloads of grain with him

  5. he also accepted the National Assembly’s decrees

  6. Louis and his family would be virtual prisoners in Paris from this time onward

  1. the Catholic Church was viewed as an important pillar of the old order and it soon came under attack by reformers

  1. church lands were confiscated by the state

  2. the church was secularized by the new Civil Constitution (1790) which had both bishops and priests be elected by the people, paid by the state, and had to swear an oath to the state

  3. the pope forbade this and only 54% of the French clergy took this new oath to the state

  4. made the church an enemy to the revolution which gave a counterrevolution a popular base from which to operate

  5. church legislation bad mistake by the National Assembly

5. A New Constitution

  1. by 1791, the National Assembly had finally completed a new constitution that established a limited, constitutional monarchy

  2. the king had very few powers that were not subject to review by the new Legislative Assembly

  3. the Legislative Assembly

  1. had the sovereign power of the state

  2. was to sit for two years with 745 representatives chosen by an indirect system of election that preserved the power in the hands of the more affluent members of society

  3. although all citizens had the same civil rights, only men over the age of 25 paying taxes equivalent in value to three days’ unskilled labor could vote (4.3 million male citizens qualified in 1790)

  4. the citizens who could vote did not elect the members of the Legislative Assembly directly, but voted for electors who chose the assembly

  5. electors were men who paid in taxes an equivalent of 10 days’ labor (50,000 electors total)

  6. to be a deputy you had to be a man paying taxes worth at least 54 days’ labor

  7. it abolished all the old local and provincial divisions and divided France into 83 departments of roughly equal size in area and population

  8. bourgeoisie was generally in charge of these departments

  9. passed self-denying ordinance which prevented members of the National Assembly from being re-elected to the new Legislative Assembly

  1. political clubs that were critical of the new government began to pop up by mid 1791

  2. the Jacobins

  1. emerged as the most important radical element in French politics during this time

  2. named after the Jacobin convent in Paris which they took over in 1789

  3. clubs also formed in the provinces where they served primarily as discussion groups (900 clubs by Spring of 1791)

  4. members were usually the elite of their local societies, but they also included artisans and tradespeople

  1. by mid 1791, the government was still facing severe financial difficulties due to massive tax evasion

  2. bourgeois politicians in power remained loyal to the king

  3. king undercut the Assembly badly by trying to flee the country with his family (captured at Varennes and brought back to Paris)

  4. king attempted to work with new assembly upon his forced return

6. Opposition from Abroad

  1. over a period of time, some European countries had become concerned about the French example and feared that revolution would spread to their countries

  2. Austria and Prussia issued the Declaration of Pillnitz (August 27, 1791) which was designed to uplift the French monarchy by means of force if necessary

  3. Rather than wait for an attack, the French Legislative Assembly declared war on Austria on April 20, 1792

  4. The French fared badly in the early fighting

  5. The Sans-culottes

  1. a radical group upset with how the war was going, economic shortages, and the government (king in particular)

  2. organized a mob which attacked the Legislative Assembly and the king’s residence

  3. took the king hostage and forced the Assembly to suspend the monarchy
  1. The Radical Revolution

  1. Before the National Convention met, the Paris Commune (sans-culottes) dominated the political scene

  1. led by minister of justice Georges Danton (1759-1794)

  2. sought revenge on those who had aided the king and resisted the popular will

  1. thousands of presumed traitors were arrested and then massacred as ordinary Parisian trades people and artisans solved the problem of overcrowded prisons by mass executions of their inmates

  1. National Convention

  1. it was called to draft a new constitution

  2. it also acted as the sovereign ruling body of France

  3. its composition was similar to previous conventions:

  1. it was dominated by lawyers, professionals, and property owners (also had artisans represented for the first time)

  2. two-thirds were under the age of 45

  3. almost all had previous political experience as a result of the revolution

  4. almost all were intensely distrustful of the king

  1. one of its first acts, in September of 1792, was to abolish the monarchy and establish a republic

  2. the convention split into factions over what to do with the deposed king with the two largest factions being the Girondins and the Mountain

  1. The Girondins

  1. represented primarily the provinces

  2. feared the radical Parisian mobs

  3. wanted to keep the king alive as a hedge against the future

  1. The Mountain

  1. represented the interest of the city of Paris

  2. primarily middle class

  3. owed much of its strength to the popular and radical elements within the city

  4. wanted the king executed

  1. the Mountain emerged as the victor over the Girondins and controlled the National Convention during the early stages of the "Radical Revolution"

  2. by a narrow margin, the Mountain was able to pass a decree calling for the execution of the king

  3. King Louis XVI was executed by the state on January 21, 1793

  4. His execution created new enemies both domestically and abroad

  1. At the end of May and beginning of June, 1793, the sans-culottes organized a demonstration, invaded the National Convention, and forced the arrest and execution of the leading Girondins

  2. The authority of the National Convention was repudiated in western France particularly in Vendee

  3. Major provincial cities of Lyons and Marseilles favored a decentralized republic to free themselves from the dominance of Paris

  4. After Louis XVI's execution, an informal coalition of Austria, Prussia, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, and the Dutch Republic was formed to fight the French Republic

  5. by late spring after numerous victories over the French Army, some members of the coalition were poised to invade France

  6. to meet these crises, the program of the National Convention became one of curbing anarchy and counterrevolution at home while attempting to win the war by a great national mobilization

3. The Committee of Public Safety and the Reign of Terror

  1. the convention gave broad powers to an executive committee known as the Committee of Public Safety

  2. Committee of Public Safety

  1. gave the country the leadership it needed to weather the domestic and foreign crises of 1793

  2. initially dominated by Georges Danton, Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) became the true leader

  3. on August 23, 1793 the committee decreed a universal mobilization of the nation

  1. in less than a year, the French revolutionary government had raised an army of 650,000

  2. by September, 1794, it numbered 1,169,000 (the largest army in European History)

  3. by 1795, the anti-French coalition's efforts against France had stalled and the coalition itself was breaking up

  4. the French republic's army in the 1790s fueled modern nationalism

  1. Reign of Terror

  1. to meet the domestic crisis, the National Convention and the Committee of Public Safety established the "Reign of Terror."

  2. to preserve the revolution from its internal enemies, rebellious cities were brutally defeated by the Revolutionary Armies

  3. 50,000 people fell victim to this reign (16,000 by guillotine)

  4. victims included Marie Antionette, Olympe de Gouges, leading Girondins, and thousands of peasants

  1. the nobles constituted 8% of the victims

  2. the clergy constituted 6% of the victims

  3. the middle class constituted 25% of the victims

  4. the peasants constituted 60% of the victims

  1. the bulk of the Terror's executions took place in places that had been in open rebellion against the authority of the National Convention such as the Vendee region and the cities of Lyons and Marseilles

4. The "Republic of Virtue"

  1. by the Spring of 1793, the C of PS were sending "representatives on mission" as agents of the central government to all departments to explain the war emergency measures and to implement laws dealing with the wartime emergency

  2. the C of PS established a system of requisitioning food supplies for the cities enforced by the forays of the Revolutionary Armies into the countryside

  3. the C of PS created the Law of General Maximum which established price controls on goods declared of first necessity ranging from food and drink to fuel and clothing (mixed results)

  4. Women continued to play an active role in the radical phase of the revolution

  1. As spectators at political clubs and the National Convention, women made members and deputies aware of their demands

  2. in 1793, two women---an actress and a chocolate manufacturer---founded the Society for Revolutionary Republican Women

  1. composed of largely working class women

  2. viewed themselves as a 'family of sisters' and vowed to defend France at all costs

  1. Still, male revolutionaries reacted disdainfully to female participation

  2. the Paris Commune outlawed women's clubs and forbade women to be present at its meetings

  3. conservative or radical, most men believed a woman's place was still in the home

  4. the National Convention took measures to de-Christianize the republic

  1. the word "saint" was removed from street names & churches were pillaged

  2. priests were encouraged to marry

  3. converted Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris into a Temple of Reason

  4. new French Revolutionary republican calendar was anti-Christian

      1. began being used on October 5, 1793

      2. removed most Christian holidays from the calendar

      3. went to a ten day week, removing Sundays

      4. in addition to its anti-Christian function, the calendar also served to mark the Revolution as a new historical beginning

      5. intensely unpopular with the people

      6. abandoned by Napoleon on January 1, 1806

  5. de-Christianization created far more enemies than friends

f. in 1794, the C of PS under Robespierre’s direction turned against its radical Parisian supporters, executing many of the leaders of the Paris Commune

  1. greatly pacified the commune which was good for general order

  2. this action suppressed the people who had been Robespierre’s chief supporters

g. success militarily versus outside foes made the "Reign of Terror" unnecessary and unwanted by the majority of French citizens

h. Robespierre continued the state ordered executions anyway because he was obsessed with 'purifying' French political scene

i. Finally, an anti-Robespierre coalition within the National Convention gathered enough votes to condemn him death

j. Robespierre was guillotined on July 28, 1794

k. The two chief accomplishments of the National Convention and C of PS: were the preservation of the revolution from being destroyed by foreign enemies and being safe from counterrevolution domestically

  1. Reaction and the Directory

  1. the Thermidorean reaction occurred after the death of Robespierre

  2. the government of the Directory in the period of the Thermidorean reaction increasingly had to rely on military support for its survival

  3. the military was the chief supporter of the Directory

  4. the government was faced with enemies on both the left and right of the political spectrum

  5. new elections in 1797 created even more uncertainty and instability

  6. these problems led to a military coup d'etat in 1799 led by popular general Napoleon Bonaparte


A. The Rise of Napoleon

  1. born in Corsica in 1769 (son of a lawyer)

  2. a child of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution

  3. obtained a royal scholarship to study at a military school in France

  4. his education led to his commission in 1785 as a lieutenant

  5. spent next seven years studying the philosophes and the great military leaders and battles of the past

  6. the French Revolution and the European war that followed broadened his sights and presented him new opportunities

  7. in 1792, he was promoted to captain, and in the following year, he performed so well as an artillery commander that he was promoted to a brigadier general at the age of 25

  8. in October of 1795, he saved the National Convention from a Parisian mob and in 1796 was made the commander of the French army in Italy

  9. his energy, forceful personality, military brilliance allowed him to make quick work of the Austrians in Italy

  10. returned to France as a hero in 1797

  11. chief reason for Napoleon’s fast rise to power was his series of stunning defeats over the enemies of France

  12. opposed an invasion of England, he led an attack of Egypt in 1799 instead

  13. returned to France when English navy cut off his supply lines

  14. participated in a coup d’etat that made him a virtual dictator when he was made 1st consul (made consul for life in 1802)

  15. crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804

B. The Domestic Policies of Emperor Napoleon I

  1. in 1801, Napoleon made peace with the oldest and toughest enemy of the Revolution, the Catholic Church

  1. Napoleon saw the necessity to come to terms with the Catholic church in order to stabilize his regime

  2. Concordat of 1801 accomplished goal

  1. Introduced extensive legal code, the Code Napoleon

  1. reaffirmed the ideals of the Revolution while creating a uniform legal system

  2. recognized the principle of the equality of all citizens before the law

  3. recognized the right of individuals to choose their own professions

  4. allowed for religious toleration

  5. abolished serfdom and feudalism

  6. continued to protect property rights

  7. outlawed trade unions and strikes

  8. father’s control over families in France was restored (undid Revolution family legislation)

  9. women in general were treated as less than equal

  1. Napoleon developed a powerful centralized administrative machine

  2. Replaced local assemblies with prefects who were career civil servants whose careers depended on the central government

  3. Advancement in his government or military was based on demonstrated abilities

  4. Napoleon overhauled the tax collection system making it more efficient

  5. 60 of 73 newspapers were shut down

  6. all manuscripts had to be approved by the government

  7. private mail was routinely read by the government

  1. Napoleon's Empire and the European Response

  1. when Napoleon came to power as consul in 1799, France was at war with a second European coalition of Russia, Great Britain, and Austria

  2. sought to make peace and achieved his goal at Amiens in 1802

  1. left France with new frontiers and number of client territories from the North Sea to the Adriatic

  2. peace did not last due to unresolved animosities between the French and the British

  1. war was renewed in 1803 as France took on Great Britain along with Prussia, Russia, and Austria

  1. Napoleon won a series of victories over the coalition at places such as Ulm, Austerlitz, Jena, and Eylau from 1805 to 1807

  2. His victories allowed him to create a new European order named the Grand Empire

  1. Grand Empire

  1. was composed of three different parts but united under the rule of Napoleon

  2. the empire included: Italy, Spain, Holland, the Swiss Republic, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and eventually a union of German states EXCLUDING Prussia and Austria and Russia (these 3 were allies of France)

  3. within the empire, Napoleon demanded obedience, in part because he needed a common front against the British and in part to feed his ever-growing ego

  4. within the empire, he pushed for legal equality, religious toleration, and economic freedom

  5. tried to destroy old order (nobility and noble-supporting clergy had rights taken away)

  6. empire fell apart quickly due to the survival of Great Britain and the force of Nationalism

  1. The Invasion of Russia

  1. Napoleon's invasion marked the beginning of the end for him and his power

  2. In June of 1812, Napoleon led a Grand Army of 600,000 men into Russia

  3. Napoleon's hope for victory depended on quickly meeting and defeating the Russian Army

  4. the Russian forces refused to give battle and retreated for hundreds of miles while torching their own villages

  5. these tactics stretched supply lines and made it next to impossible for Napoleon's army from finding food and forage

  6. Napoleon's army finally were given the opportunity to fight the Russians at Borodino (indecisive and costly victory)

  7. Napoleon and his weary army finally reached the outskirts of Moscow to find the city ablaze

  8. without food or supplies, Napoleon was forced to abandon Moscow in October and begin his army's "Great Retreat"

  9. lack of supplies and a particularly harsh Russian winter devastated his army on this retreat

  10. by the time it arrived in Poland in January of 1813, only 40,000 troops remained

  11. this military disaster led to a war of liberation all over Europe, culminating in Napoleon's defeat in April of 1814

  1. Final Downfall of Napoleon

  1. the defeated emperor was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, while Louis XVIII (brother of Louis XVI) was established as the Bourbon King of France

  2. Louis XVIII had little support within France

  3. Napoleon escaped from Elba and returned to Paris with the backing of the army in triumph on March 20, 1815

  4. On June 18, 1815, the British Duke of Wellington would defeat Napoleon once and for all at the Battle of Waterloo

  5. Napoleon was exiled by the Allies to St. Helena, an island in the south Atlantic, where he lived out the remainder of his unhappy days

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