01:510:304 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Toussaint Louverture, Helvetic Republic, War Of The Third Coalition
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Palmer Chapter 10 1
X. Napoleonic Europe
The impact of France under Napoleon on Europe was based on military subjugation. Some peoples worked
with Napoleon to gain changes; in other cases, resistance to Napoleon was the factor that brought change. The
period from 1792-1814 was not a world war, but a series of short, sharp, distinct episodes; only Great Britain
remained at war for the full period, and only in 1813 was there full cooperation in the field against Napoleon.
The period is complicated by the continuation of past stories: Britain’s economic growth, Russian pressure on
Poland and Turkey, Prussia’s push for German leadership, and Austrian dreams of territorial expansion. In
pursuit of their own aims, governments were as willing to ally with Napoleon as to fight him. Only gradually, after
repeated provocations, did they conclude that their main interest was to dispose of the French emperor entirely.
47. The Formation of the French Imperial System pp. 418-425
A. The Dissolution of the First and Second Coalitions, 1792-1802
1. The First Coalition (1792) was between jealous rivals who cooperated only in seizing Polish territory.
Prussia, Spain, and Austria made separate peaces with France; Spain allied with France because of its
animosity towards Britain.
2. The Second Coalition dissolved because Russians feared that a British victory in Egypt would block
their Middle Eastern concerns.
3. Peace in 1802 allowed Napoleon to try to crush the Haitian revolt of Toussaint L’Ouverture and build
a sugar empire in America. Napoleon gained control over Switzerland (Helvetic Republic) and created the
North Italian Cisalpine Republic. He helped break up the Holy Roman Empire, thus enlarging the states
of Bavaria, Baden, Wurtemburg, and Prussia--all now indebted to Napoleon.
B. Formation of the Third Coalition in 1805
1. Britain declared war in 1803. Forced to retreat from Haiti by the British navy, Haitian guerrilla tactics
and yellow fever, Nap sold Louisiana to the US.
2. In 1804 Napoleon crowned himself emperor; shortly after, Francis II created the Austrian Empire,
realizing any attempts to regain control of the Holy Roman Empire were futile.
3. The Third Coalition was formed by Austria, Russia and Great Britain. Alexander I Romanov, raised by
Catherine to be an “enlightened despot,” wished to control Poland. German liberals saw him as the
protector of Germany from France. Moralistic and self-righteous, he saw himself as Napoleon’s rival.
Europe’s leaders saw him as either a “Jacobin” or a Russian imperialist. His contribution to western
thought was a conception international collective security and the notion of the indivisibility of peace.
Upset by the crude force of Nap, he wanted a society with rights secured by international agreement and
C. The Third Coalition, 1805-1807: The Peace of Tilsit
1. Napoleon wanted to invade Britain, but it was defeated by Nelson’s fleet and the potential threat of the
Austrian and Russian armies. When these forces moved west, Napoleon attacked and defeated a large
Austrian force at Ulm in Bavaria. But Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar over the combined Spanish-French
fleet prevented any idea of invasion and made England master of the sea until 1900.
2. Napoleon next crushed the combined Austro-Russian army at Austerlitz. He took Venetia and began
building a new fleet to challenge Britain. He merged the German states into the Confederation of the
Rhine, with himself as “protector.” Upset, Prussia declared war on France and was smashed in two battles,
Jena and Auerstadt. Nap next defeated the Russians at Friedland. Alex I agreed to the Peace of Tilsit,
allying with Napoleon and recognizing France’s dominance.
D. The Continental System and the War in Spain
1. Napoleon declared the Continental System to shut out British goods and ruin their commerce. Russia,
Prussia, and Austria followed, declaring war on Britain. Portugal’s refusal to join brought Nap’s invasion
of the Iberian peninsula. After Nap placed his brother on the Spanish throne, the Spanish began guerrilla
warfare, aided by the British. The resulting Peninsular War dragged on for five brutal years. French
losses roused anti-French feeling in Germany and Austria.
2. Napoleon upset Alexander I by creating the Grand Duchy of Warsaw and refusing to back Russian
interests in the Balkans. Talleyrand encouraged the Tsar to play a waiting game; in case Napoleon’s plans
failed, T. wanted a refuge.
3. Austria declared war on France and for the fourth time was defeated--bringing the rise of Clemens von
Metternich, who was to dominate European politics until 1848. Metternich saw Russia as the long-term
problem and worked for a French alliance--secured by Nap’s marriage to Marie Louise. [Nap II was born
48. The Grand Empire: Spread of the Revolution pp. 425-431
A. The Organization of the Napoleonic Empire