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French Revolution, Napoleon

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Denis Smyth

5) French Revolution, Napoleon The French Revolutionary Wars Part 1 November 14 • Prussian army 34 000 strong- two French troops united • Frederick William II – wanted the battle to be over quickly 20 September 1792- battle of Valmy th ◦ typical 18 century confrontation, started off with artillery fire ◦ Prussians realized the French army were well trained- despite carnage volunteers didn't run ◦ before Kellerman (French general) died cried “Vive la nation” not la rey- new concept ◦ Goethe-Prussian campfire-“this day place opened up new phase in history of the world” • though battle seemed modest victory, French Convention restructured and declared republic ◦ military sphere- Valmy foreshadowed military changes - mass artillery, national anthems ▪ growing signs of volunteer citizens - majority had joined in beginning of revolution ◦ French showed talent for integrating these new soldiers into army- learn on the job ▪ Dumouriez (French general) Oct 1792- invasion of Belgium (Austrian Netherlands) • battle of Jemappes 6 Nov more bloody than Valmy- hard fought-Austrians routed ▪ 19 November- French National Convention- Europe would never accept French republic ▪ 26 November- Brissot head of government -“we can only be at peace once Europe and the whole of Europe at that is blazing from end to end”- convert Europe by force ◦ Danton- January 1793- Deputy Commisioner to Dumouriez ▪ made demand public 31 January 1793 right of French people to their natural frontier “marked out by nature at the Ocean (Atlantic), at the Rhine, at theAlps, at the Pyrenees” • William de Pitt (younger ) Feb 1792- had assured Britain he saw 15 years of peace for Britain ◦ after Danton's claim and Dumouriez changed British minds ◦ 16 Nov 1792- French occupation at Belgium-port ofAntwerp- breach of Westphalia • French believed could dictate terms -William V appealed to England for help- England entered ◦ British fear of what France might do in Low Countries- key factor that drove Britain to war • execution of Louis treason by guillotine-French declared war 1 Feb 1793 on Britain and Dutch ◦ no great alliances but by late spring 1793 rose European power to arms against France ◦ Prussia and Austria had already been in battlefield and 65 million pounds to subsidize allies ◦ Britain persuaded Russian Catherine the Great and Sardinia to enter war ▪ France against Spain, Portugal,German states, Dutch, Prussia,Austria, Russia, Sardinia • French Republic faced internal challenges -efforts to conscript ◦ Vendee region and country areas challenged authority of Revolutionary government ◦ French armies invaded the Dutch Republic ▪ Neerwinden 18 March 1793- Dumouriez army soundly defeated byAustrian ▪ Dumouriez never true revolutionary- offer to joinAustria and restore Louis but rejected ◦ 1793 summer defeat for France -lost Conde,Valenciennes, Mainz, Roussillon and Dunkirk ▪ Mediterranean base of Toulon anti-revolutionary handed over French ships to British • thought that revolution couldn't survive - but managed to sustain and surprise the world French Revolutionary Wars Part II November 19 • enemy bloc not as united or focused as French effort ◦ Russians and Prussians concerned with Poland, Russia harassed French commerce in Baltic ◦ Britain couldn't resist diverting some of its forces to Caribbean -underestimated their enemy • 23 Aug 1793- French NationalAssembly conscription-levee en masse- French army 1,100,000 ◦ Feb 1793 “Amalgame”-basic mobile/ fighting unit of French army-effective fighting force ▪ marching formations learned to live off land- Napoleon- “war nourishes war” ◦ military democratic- monthly mandate and elected by majority of National Convention ▪ “act offensively and in mass and pursue the enemy until he is utterly destroyed” ◦ 1793 Hondschoote, Wattignies, Toulon all victorious ◦ key front remained in Flanders -26 Jun 1794- routedAustrians at Fleurus • Prussians April 1795- Treaty of Basle - conceded all German territory left bank of Rhine ▪ France recognized Prussia's sovereignty in Northern Germany and promised neutrality • now France focus on Austria and Britain- Britain difficult to access- primary targetAustria • French army in Italy-starved, dressed in rags, underfunded- Napoleon Bonaparte into command ◦ 1796- drove Sardinia out, occupied Milan and sieged Mantua- could move throughAustria ◦ Austro-French October Peace of Campo Formio -recognized French dominance • only Britain remained-royal army several defeats on French allied (Dutch and Spanish) fleets ◦ French dominance on land and British dominance on sea • France established pro-French local republics -Swiss confederation- made into French satellite • attention on Egypt (Turkish territory)= Napoleon 17 May 1798- invasion force to Egypt ◦ invaded Malta, took port ofAlexandria and defeated Turks in the battle of the Pyramids ◦ Britain installed Nelson -battle of Nile 1Aug 1798- decisively defeated French fleet ◦ Russians antagonized by Malta and entered war with English ▪ 1798 Russians even allowed onAustria, Mar 1799- France declared war on Russia • Suvorov(Great Russian general)Aug 1799- battle of Novi-smashing blow on French • Directory believed that they needed to strengthen leadership inside so that France could eliminate external threat - wanted a strong man who could initiate a coup d'etat ▪ Napoleon had escaped from Egypt- pure accident that he was chosen • expected him to give power back after few months Bonaparte and the Demise of Balance of Power: FromAusterlitz to Tilsit November 21 ◦ Nov 10- reorganized legislative body- seized opportunity to consolidate personal rule ▪ named himself emperor of France • needed resounding victory to gain permanent position- decided campaign in Northern Italy ▪ 14 June 1800 at Marengo- outgunned and outnumbered-but still won battle ▪ Austrians still in field – not fully convinced to make peace • Pitt Feb 1801= forced to resign prime ministership • 25 Mary 1802 peace atAmiens- Napoleon the Conqueror became Napoleon the Peacemaker ◦ Britain essentially conceded to France left bank of Rhine and other territory ◦ negotiations broke down - size of Napoleonic France threatened Britain • May 1803 England declared war-Austria and Russia also ◦ Tsar Alexander I- succeeded -by 1803 realized Napoleon had become threat ▪ “that man is insatiable. His ambition knows no bounds. He is the scourge of the world. ◦ Aug 1805-Holy Roman emperor believed he should join Europe against fighting Napoelon ▪ inspired by Britain- Sep 1805- invaded Bavaria (allied to France) • Napoelon's invasion of England on coastline frustrated • England hemming France from west, andAustria and Russia from the East ◦ by Aug 1805 allies were together to pursue same goal despite different interests • Napoleon- extreme feat in supplying and keeping in good military order the Great army ◦ 19 Nov- France enteredAustrian capital without firing a
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