DIRECTIONS: In France, the years from 1789 to 1815 were turbulent. You can trace the changes that took place during this time in French history on a time line. Read the timeline below. Then answer the questions that follow on a separate sheet of paper, adding information to the time line as directed.
1. A. What event marked the beginning of the French Revolution? Add this point to the timeline.
B. How long did the French Revolution last?
2. A. What event marked the beginning of Napoleon’s rule? Add this point to the time line.
B. What event marked the end of Napoleon’s rule? Add this point to the time line.
3. Napoleon ruled from 1799 to 1815. The Consulate accounts for the years 1799 to 1804. The remaining years are called the Napoleonic Empire. What 1804 event caused the change? Then mark this point on your time line.
4. A French historian once said that the French Revolution “turned out badly.” How does your time line illustrate this concept?
Analyzing Information- The French Revolution and Napoleon- Chapter 18.3
The Rise of Napoleon (page 596) In one sense, Napoleon Bonaparte brought the revolution to an end when he took power. However, he always reminded the French that he had preserved the best parts of the revolution during his reign as emperor. His father came from minor nobility in Italy, but the family was not rich. However, Napoleon was talented and won a scholarship to a famous military school. He devoted himself to reading French philosophers and studying military campaigns. Napoleon rose quickly through the ranks. At the age of 24, he became a brigadier general. He won battles against the Papal States and the Austrians that gave France control of northern Italy. Napoleon became known for speed, surprise, and decisive action. His troops were devoted to him. In 1797 he returned to France as a hero. He was given an army to invade Britain. Napoleon knew that such an invasion would fail and suggested taking Egypt, an important colony of Britain’s, instead. However, the British navy defeated the French naval forces supporting Napoleon’s army in Egypt. Seeing certain defeat, Napoleon abandoned his army and returned to Paris. There he took part in the coup d’état of 1799 that overthrew the Directory. He set up a new government, the consulate. In theory, it was a republic, but actually, Napoleon had absolute power. In 1802 Napoleon was made consul for life. In 1804 he crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I.
Why did Napoleon become a hero to the French?
Napoleon’s downfall began when he invaded Russia in1812. The Russian army retreated for hundreds of miles and burned the countryside so the French army could not get food or fuel. Fewer than 40,000 of Napoleon’s 600,000 soldiers returned from Russia. Other countries attacked, and Napoleon was defeated and sent into exile on the island of Elba in 1814. The victorious powers restored the monarchy with Louis XVIII as king. The French did not support the monarchy, and when Napoleon escaped, the troops sent to capture him instead supported him. He entered Paris in triumph in 1815. However, at Waterloo in Belgium, Napoleon suffered a bloody defeat at the hands of a British and Prussian army commanded by the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon was exiled to the island of St. Helena.