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HIS103Y Lecture 23 December 5th. The Awakening of Europe: Spain and Russia

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University of Toronto St. George
Vasilis Dimitriadis

HIS103Y Lecture 23 December 5 . th The Awakening of Europe: Spain and Russia • The battle of Trafalgar meant the Great Britain would have stamina in the struggle against France and could possibly lunch amphibious assaults on the French coast • However in 1809 British forces could not entrench themselves in the Scheldt Estuary • What the British needed was a continental up-rising against Napoleonic rule • Napoleon would provided this opportunity, by making his own mistake • Fall of 1807 Austrian ambassador to French court, Metternich, ‘there has been a total change in the methods of Napoleon, he seems to think that he has reached a point where moderation is a useless obstacle.’ • In the years following Tilsit Napoleon’s foreign policy and his political and economic sanctions towards his satellites and conquered lands become extreme • Napoleon on his provocation of the Spanish people, ‘That miserable Spanish affair is what killed me.’ • The causes for Napoleons invasion of France complex • Since 1795 Spain has been allies with France, but this alliance had wavered o 1806 support from Prussia o Spain did not like Napoleons continental system • However Napoleon saw Spain as a storehouse of resources and man power which could be used for imperial French goals if only a French governor ruled • In 1808 the French deposed the Spanish royal family • This was an easy task since Ferdinand(son) was fighting Charles IV(father) – the Spanish royal family was fighting over the rule of the kingdom • Napoleon persuaded both Ferdinand and Charles IV secretly without each others knowledge to forfeit their thrown. Napoleon the appointed his brother Joseph Bonaparte to the Thrown of Spain May 1808 • This swindle did immense damage to the legitimacy of Napoleon’s rule. ‘I embarked very badly on the Spanish affair, I confess that the immorality of it was to shocking, the injustice to cynical.’ • When the Spanish people heard that their royal family was cheated out o their thrown in such a way they rebelled to fight for Spanish liberation • The Spanish army as well as gorillas, won the battle of Bailen – this was a moral victory that electrified the rest of Europe to stand up against French rule and gave the British what they wanted a continental up rising • Wellington lands in Spain and British, Spanish, and Portuguese forces defeat French at Vimeiro • Napoleon brings Grand Armee which crushes anti-French forces • Napoleon then left his marshals in charge, because he believed the uprising was quelled • However bloodiest war broke out that lasted from 1809-1813, where the French suffered 300,000 casualties • Wellington’s strategy, stay behind Portuguese fortifications until ready to strike in 1813 • At the battle of V
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