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The Age of Napoleon World History I.

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1 The Age of Napoleon World History I

2 The Rise of Napoleon The French Revolution ended when Napoleon Bonaparte came to power in 1799. Napoleon rose quickly through the ranks of the French Army, being named commander in Italy in 1796. He won the confidence of his men with energy, charm, and the ability to make quick decisions. After overthrowing the Directory, he established a government called the consulate. As first consul, Napoleon had absolute power. He was named consul for life in 1802 and Emperor Napoleon I in 1804.

3 Napoleon’s Domestic Policies
Napoleon’s policies changed the way French citizens lived. Napoleon quickly made peace with the Catholic Church. The Civil Code, or Napoleonic Code of French Law preserved many gains of the revolution including equality and many natural rights. Napoleon created a bureaucracy of capable officials. Promotion was based on ability, not rank or birth. Napoleon also destroyed some revolutionary ideals. He shut down 60 of France’s 73 newspapers. All manuscripts were to be read by the government before they were published, and mail was opened by government police.

4 Napoleon’s Empire After coming to power, Napoleon went to war with a coalition of European nations in 1803. Napoleon defeated Austria, Russia, and Prussia, leading to Napoleon dominating Europe from His empire had 3 parts: the French Empire, dependent states, and allied states. Napoleon tried to spread revolutionary ideas and destroy the old order in his empire. Legal equality, religious toleration, and economic freedom.


6 The European Response Napoleon’s empire collapsed almost as quickly as it formed. British survival hurt Napoleon’s empire. The British navy defeated Napoleon in 1805 and destroyed any thoughts Napoleon had of invading Britain. Napoleon used the Continental System to cut off British trade from the rest of Europe, but the British traded overseas instead. Nationalism also was an important factor in Napoleon’s defeat. Nationalism is the unique identity of people based on common language, religion, and national symbols. Nationalism grew in areas controlled by Napoleon as hatred for French oppression led to patriotism.


8 The Fall of Napoleon The Russians refused to obey Napoleon and remain in the continental system, leaving him little choice but to invade. In June 1812, an army of 600,000 men entered Russia hoping to defeat Russia quickly. The Russians refused to engage in battle, instead they retreated. As they pushed East to Moscow, Napoleon’s Grand Army found that the Russians had burned their villages, cities, and countryside. Napoleon’s men were forced to retreat because they had no food. They began the “Great Retreat” across Russia in frigid conditions. Other states attacked the weakened French Army. Paris was captured in March, 1814 and Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba. The monarchy was restored with Louis XVIII as the king.

9 Napoleon’s Final Defeat
Napoleon snuck back into France and the king sent troops to capture him. When he met the troops, Napoleon addressed them and the troops went over to Napoleon’s side. He returned to Paris in March, 1815. Napoleon’s enemies vowed to defeat him once more. Napoleon attacked British and Prussian forces at Waterloo and suffered a bloody defeat. He was exiled to St. Helena, a small island in the South Atlantic, and would never return to France.

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