Napoleon as Dictator Napoleons government kept the form of a republic, however, Napoleon was made the dictator of France due to the coup d'état. Napoleonic Era: From 1799-1814, Napoleon’s influence in all of Europe was so great.
The Consulate Looking for stability, the people of France accepted this dictatorship. Napoleon supported many changes of the Revolution, respecting the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and did not attempt to restore feudal practices. The downfall of Napoleon, however, was that aside from allowing freedom of opportunity, he did strictly believe that people should obey his orders as their leader. He gave himself unlimited power. The Consulate: what the first five years of Napoleons rule was known as. *The title of “The Consulate” was derived from the executive branch of the government made up of three consuls, Napoleon being the first consul. Napoleon: Commanded the army & the navy Had the power to appoint or dismiss officials Had the power to propose all new laws. He put the constitution of his new government before the people to vote. Plebiscite: people could vote yes or no but not make any changes. The majority of the French approved this constitution.
Accomplishments in Government Directed by Napoleon, scholars organized French laws into a system called the Napoleonic Code. Napoleon established the Bank of France to serve as a central financial institution. He put into effect the system of public education as planned by the National Convention. This public education system consisted of high schools, universities, and technical schools. Elementary schools remained in the control of churches and local governments. Civil Constitution of the Clergy in 1790: restrained relations between the French government & the Roman Catholic Church. Napoleon ended the conflict through reaching an agreement with the pope, which is referred to as the Concordat. The Concordat allowed religious freedom. The church even gave up claims to property that was taken by the government and sold during the Revolution. Napoleon also undid the alliances that France’s enemies formed, bringing France to peace, a stable government, and economic prosperity.
Napoleon as Emperor Plebiscite in 1804- French voted for France to be an empire Napoleon became the emperor His Wife: Empress Josephine. Pope came to Paris & crowned the couple. Napoleon, however, took the crown from the pope & put it on his own head, showing that the church did to give him the power, but he himself did. The empire extended. Austria, Russia, & Sweden joined with Great Britain in a renewed war with France in 1803 France, allied with Spain, hoped to invade Britain. In 1805, the British fleet led by Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, defeated France & Spain. Though killed in battle, Nelson saved Britain from invasion. Napoleon forbade France and its allies from trading with Britain. This blockade is referred to as the Continental System, because of the control Napoleon had over Europe. The British formed a blockade against France also, hurting them, but not stopping Napoleon from winning battles on land. He crushed the Russian and Austrian forces in December of 1805
The Reorganization of Europe Napoleon took control of Europe by 1809. He forced Prussia and Austria to sign a peace treated that benefited France; Russia also allied with France. He took control of: the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, the Papal States, & the Kingdom of Italy. He abolished the Holy Roman Empire. To control his power, he placed members of large families as the monarchs for the lands he conquered. He wanted to make an heir to protect an empire, however he & his wife Josephine failed to have a child. He left Josephine, & married Austrian princess Marie-Louise, and the soon gave birth to their son: Napoleon II, in 1811. -Increased Nationalism He put the Napoleonic Code into effect, which put an end to feudalism and serfdom. He began to enhance the military across Europe with new techniques. The French increased nationalism in those that were conquered, meaning they influenced the love of one’s country rather than the love of one’s native region. The same feelings of loyalty and patriotism as in the Revolution seemed to be surfacing under Napoleon, however some opposition was created by this, and the armies of the opponents of Napoleon soon grew stronger.
Peninsula War In 1807, the Portugal refused the Continental Trade, seeing as though they mainly depended on trade with Great Britain. Napoleon, in response, drove out the king of Portugal, & made Spain’s king step down as well, replacing him with his brother: Joseph. This made the Spanish revolt in 1808. The future Duke of Wellington led the army that Britain sent to help Spain & Portugal against the French. This war (the Peninsular War) lasted for six years, during which time Napoleon still had control of the Spanish government. In 1813, with the help of the British, Spain drove out King Joseph and wrote a constitution setting up limited monarchy. The Spanish revolts, and the constitution they wrote, represent the influences derived from the French Revolution.
A Russian Catastrophe Napoleon’s control of Europe alarmed Czar Alexander I of Russia, because Russian depended on trade with Great Britain. In 1812, Czar began trading again with Great Britain, angering Napoleon and motivating him to invade Russia.
Napoleon’s Grand Army Napoleon recruited an army of 600,000 soldiers from everywhere in Europe that began a march east to Russia in 1812. As Napoleon grew closer to Russian, the Russian army retreated, but burned & destroyed crops or any other resources the Grand Army would need (called the scorched-earth policy). Though the French captured Moscow, the Russians set the whole city on fire, destroying any shelter to protect the soldiers from the harsh winter coming. Having lost many soldiers already to things such as diseases, Napoleon ordered his Grand Army to retreat on October 19, 1812. This retreat is still to this day one of the greatest military disasters knows. Many soldiers, in making their way back to France, died from cold and starvation. The Grand Army lost two thirds of its troops by time they reached Prussia, and the Russian army had followed them and invaded the French Empire.
The Final Defeat After Napoleons defeat in Russia, monarchs broke their alliances with him. In October 1813, Napoleon met the alliance of Prussia, Austria, Great Britain, and Russia in Leipzig in Saxony. The allies won and captured Paris in March 1814 while Napoleon retreated back to France. Napoleon gave up his power of the throne for himself and his family. They allowed him to go to the small island of Elba, by West Italy The allies restored the Bourbon monarchy, and Louis XVIII (Louis XVI’s brother) became its king.
The Hundred Days Between 1814 and early 1815, the newly restored king made several enemies amongst the French people. In response to this, Napoleon escaped Elba and on March 1, 1815, he returned to France. Hearing of this, Louis XVIII sent soldiers to capture him. Napoleon stated this: “If there be one among you who wishes to kill his Emperor, he can. I come to offer myself to your assaults.” This caused the soldiers to stop resisting, and Napoleon led this army into Paris on March 20th, marking the Hundred Days period. Such retaliation led Louis XVIII to flee to exile, giving Napoleon power once again. Prussia, Great Britain, and the Netherlands sent armies to France to rid Napoleon once again. Though Napoleon assembled an army, on June 18th of 1815 at the Waterloo, The British (under the control of the Duke of Wellington) & their allies won the final defeat against Napoleon. Napoleon once again gave up the throne, and the Bourbon monarchy took power again. The British exiled Napoleon to St. Helena, where he died there under constant guard in 1821. Napoleon’s legend, however, continued to grow. His achievements became memorialized in French art & literature; therefore, the British allowed the French to bring his remains to Paris in 1840, where they still lie today.