Napoleon and the U.S. Understanding the connection
Who was Napoleon Bonaparte?Bonaparte was a French military officer who made a name forhimself fighting against the Italians and British.In November of 1799, Napoleon seized power from the GeneralAssembly, he gradually increased his own power to the pointthat he named himself Emperor of France in 1804.
Britain vs. Napoleons FranceBetween 1799 and 1814, Britain and France were at waralmost constantly….and had been on unfriendly terms longbefore that. Until 1812, neither side could gain a real significantadvantage. Napoleon could not be defeated on land, Britaincould not be defeated at sea.
Effect on the U.S.....before 1812.1790s: The British and French navies begin seizing Americanships to cut off trade with their respective enemies.1803: Napoleon, desperate for money and having no need for alargely unexplored land claim on the other side of the world,sells Louisiana to the Americans for the price of $15 million.The sale doubles the size of the United States for the price of 3cents per acre.In 1805, France and Britain resume seizing American ships,this time impressing (forcing) American sailors to serve in theirnavies. Britain, who had the larger, more powerful Navy, wasthe worst of the two offenders.