The Rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte SSWH14 The student will analyze the Age of Revolutions and Rebellions. c. Explain Napoleon’s rise to power, and his defeat; and explain the consequences for Europe. The Rise of Napoleon • Napoleon Bonaparte dominated French and European history from 1799 – 1815. • The French Revolution made his rise first in the military and then to supreme power of France. • Never ceased to remind the French that they owed him the preservation of all that was beneficial in the revolutionary program. • Possessed an overwhelming sense of his own importance. • He was convinced he was the man of destiny who would save the French people. Early Life • Born in Corsica, an island on the Mediterranean in 1769 • Educated in French military schools which led to his commission in 1785 as a lieutenant in the French army • He was not well liked because he was short, spoke with an Italian accent, and had little money. FRANCE CORSICAFrench Territory Military Successes Rose quickly through the ranks 1792 became a Captain 1794 – Brigadier General 1796- Commander of the French armies in Italy where he used speed, deception, and surprise to win a series of victories • 1797- returned to France as a conquering hero • • • • Consul and Emperor • In 1799, back in Paris, Napoleon took part in the coup d'état that took over the government of the Directory • A new government called a consulate was proclaimed; theoretically it was a republic. • In fact, Napoleon held absolute power. • 1802 made consul for life. • 1804- he crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I Napoleon’s Domestic Policies • Made peace with the oldest enemy of the revolution, the Catholic faith. • 1801 signed an agreement with the Pope recognizing the Catholic faith as the religion of the French people. • Most famous domestic policy was his codification of the laws. • Most important of these was the civil code, or Napoleonic Code, which recognized the principle of equality of all citizens before the law, religious toleration, and the abolition of serfdom and feudalism. • Women’s rights gained under the revolution were limited. New Bureaucracy • Developed a powerful, centralized administrative machine • New aristocracy based on merit; 60% of which were of middle class origin. Preserver of the Revolution???? • Civil Code preserved equality before the law • Concept of opening government careers to more people was preserved • BUT… • Liberty was replaced by despotism that was increasingly arbitrary • Napoleon shut down 60 of France’s 73 newspapers • All manuscripts subject to government scrutiny • Even the mail was opened by the government police!! Napoleon’s Empire • When Napoleon became consul, France was at war with a European coalition of Russia, Great Britain, and Austria • 1807 – 1812 Napoleon was master of Europe • Sought to spread some principles of the French revolution European Response • Napoleon hoped his Grand Empire would last for centuries • Collapsed almost as rapidly as it was formed for two major reasons: – Survival of Great Britain – Force of nationalism (The unique cultural identity of a people based on a common language, religion, and historical symbol.) • Nationalism caused hatred of French as oppressors • French example of nationalism and what a nation in arms could do would not be soon forgotten. Fall of Napoleon • Began in 1812 with his invasion of Russia. • The Russians would not remain in Europe so Napoleon was “forced” to invade • June 1812- 600,000 troops entered Russia; Hope for victory depended on a quick defeat. • Russians refused to give battle and retreated for hundreds of miles, burning the countryside as they went to keep Napoleon’s men from finding food. The Great Retreat • After discovering Moscow ablaze, began the Great Retreat across Russia. • Terrible winter conditions; less than 40,000 arrived back in Poland in 1813 • Other European states rose up and attacked the crippled French • Paris was captured in 1814 and Napoleon was exiled on the island of Elba. • The Bourbon monarchy was restored in the form of Louis XVIII, brother of Louis XVI. Final Defeat • Napoleon slipped back into France • Troops sent to capture him, but instead joined him and entered victoriously into Paris March 20, 1815. • Raised another army and moved to attack forces in Belgium • June 18, 1815 at Waterloo Napoleon met a combined British and Prussian army and suffered a bloody defeat • This time Napoleon was exiled to St. Helena, a small island in the South Atlantic and would only live on in the memories of the French political life. Class Work Create an annotated and illustrated timeline showing the crucial events in the rise and fall of Napoleon. For each entry, explain why each event was important in his rise and fall. Summarize the lasting influence of Napoleon’s rise to power for France and the rest of Europe.