The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Teacher Notes

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The Rise and Fall of Napoleon

Teacher Notes

Ch 20.3 & Ch 20.4
Napoleon’s Rise

  • Came to claim national hero status due to a series of military victories (or [perceived victories)

    • 1793 – defeats British at the port of Toulon

    • 1795 – fires on Royalist crowd in Paris – promoted to general in charge of protecting the Fr. Interior

    • Invaded Italy – success

    • Invades Egypt – defeats the Ottoman Army but trapped in Egypt by the British navy during Battle of the Nile

Napoleon Seizes Power

  • Directory grown weak and corrupt which creates a power vacuum

  • November 1799 – Napoleon seizes power in a coup d’etat

    • Forms Consulate and becomes 1st Consul or dictator

  • Popular move – promised stability and peace

  • In 1804 – crowns himself Emperor – makes his rule hereditary

Forming an Empire

  • Americas –

    • tried to re-establish control over Haiti but this is a disaster ends up selling Louisiana to US in 1804.

  • Europe

    • Starts Napoleonic Wars (lasts until 1815) - main foe in Great Britain

      • Plans to invade GB but Battle of Trafalgar destroys French navy in October 1805

    • Continental System – a European wide blockage of English trade with Europe put in place by Napoleon

    • Peninsular War

      • Portugal refuses CS so Napoleon invades both Sp and Port

    • Family

      • Brothers – Kings of Holland, Westphalia, Naples, Spain

      • Sister – Grand Duchess of Tuscany

      • Stepson – King of Italy


  • Church-State – Concordat mends fences with RC Church

    • Catholicism was declared the religion of the majority of Frenchmen.

    • Papal acceptance of church lands lost
      during the Revolution.

    • Bishops subservient to the regime.

  • Economics – est. Bank of France; efficient tax collection

  • Legal – Napoleonic Code

    • It divides civil law into:

      • Personal status.

      • Property.

      • The acquisition of property.

    • Its purpose was to reform the French legal code to reflect the principles of the Fr. Revolution.

    • Create one law code for France

  • Education – Est. a national education system

    • Lycées initially enrolled the nation’s most talented students [they had to pay tuition, although there was some financial help available for poorer student].

    • Lycées trained the nation’s future bureaucrats.

Napoleon’s Fall

  • Russian Campaign

    • June 1812 – Napoleon invades Russia – example to encourage others to maintain Continental System

      • Napoleon had troops troubles and the Russian army simply withdrew deeper in Russia and forced Fr. Army to chase it

        • Withdrawal and burn tactics

      • Reach Moscow in Sept but Russians burn it

        • Napoleon forced to evacuate Moscow and retreat for winter

        • Retreat becomes a disaster – constant small attacks, no supplies and winter – destroys army

          • 94000 survive out of 600000

  • Allies (GB, Russia, Austria) attack France/Napoleon

    • October 1813 – French lose Battle of Leipzig

    • March 1814 – Paris falls

  • Napoleon escapes Elba and returns to France

    • Enters Paris on March 20 1814 and starts “Hundred Days”

    • Battle of Waterloo – June 18, 1815

      • Duke of Wellington defeats Napoleon

  • Napoleon sent to the Saint Helena (South Atlantic) and died 6 years later.

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