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Lecture 5

History Lecture 5.docx

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University of Guelph
HIST 2040
William Cormack

The Nation in Arms & the Napoleonic Wars I THE FRENCH REVOLUTION • The Crisis of the Old Regime  Rising cost of war in the 18 century exposed French monarchy’s structural weaknesses  Debts from American War worsened royal deficits and convinced Louis XVI’s government of need for financial & administrative reform  Resistance to reform forced the king to call an Estates-General • The Nation’s Will & the Rights of Man  Deputies of the Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly  Parliamentary revolution’s success ensured by violent action of lower classes  French troops supported the crowds which stormed the Bastille (14 July 1789)  National Assembly abolished privilege and proclaimed the Declaration of the Rights of Man & Citizen  Radicals soon opposed new liberal order  France declared war on Austria (April 1792)  Second revolution overthrew the constitutional monarchy (August 1792) • War & Terror  National Convention executed Louis XVI & expanded the war  French Republic also faced pressure from lower-class militants & provincial rebellion  The Convention declared “Terror the order of the Day” & established Revolutionary Government (September 1793) II TRANSFORMATION OF THE FRENCH ARMY • Mass Mobilization  The Revolution had a profound impact on the French Army  August 1793 the Convention declared the Levee en Masse: not only conscription of all young men, but mobilization of entire population & all of nation’s resources for war  Ex. “Nation in Arms” • Revolutionary Tactics & Organization  French generals departed from linear formations & used columns-in-line  New formations accommodated raw recruits & would not mask new mobile field artillery  Mass armies divided into divisions (infantry, cavalry, artillery) which could fight independently • Citizen Soldiers  Convention tried to indoctrinate soldiers  Troops of the Revolution fought for a cause  Republic also sought to win hearts & minds of enemies  Ideological warfare had returned III NAPOLEONIC WARFARE • Rise of Napoleon & the Empire  Napoleon Bonaparte commanded Army of Italy (1796-1797) & Egyptian expedition (1798)  Returned from Egypt to play key role i
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