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The French Revolution and Napoleon

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1 The French Revolution and Napoleon
Section Three Napoleon Forges an Empire

2 Napoleon Seizes Power Napoleon Bonaparte was born in 1769 on the island of Corsica At the age of nine his parents sent him to a military school At the age of sixteen, he finished school and became a lieutenant in the artillery When the Revolution broke out he joined the army of the new government

3 Hero of the Hour In October of 1795 royalist rebels marched on the National Convention Napoleon was ordered to defend the delegates He and his gunners successfully protected the Convention He was considered a savior of the French Republic In 1796 the Directory appointed him to lead French armies against the forces of Austria and Sardinia He won a series of victories in Italy and became a national hero He lost battles in Egypt against Britain, but managed to keep the information out of the public eye

4 Coup d’Etat By 1799 the Directory had lost control of the political situation in France Napoleon returned from Egypt and decided to take control of the nation He surrounded the national legislature and got them to dissolve the Directory They established a group of three consuls with Napoleon as one of them Napoleon soon took control as first consul and seized power as a dictator This is called a coup d’Etat, or French for “blow to the state” Britain, Austria and Russia all wanted napoleon out of power Napoleon could not be defeated and by 1802 all three signed peace treaties with France

5 Napoleon Rules France In 1800 a plebiscite (vote of the people), was held for a new constitution The people voted overwhelmingly for the constitution Napoleon got all real power as first consul

6 Restoring Order at Home
Napoleon supported laws that would both strengthen the central government and uphold the goals of the Revolution. He set up an efficient method of tax collection and a national banking system. He dismissed corrupt officials. He set up lycees (government – run public schools. Open to all male students, graduates were appointed to public office based on merit, not social status.) He signed a concordat (agreement), with the Pope Pius VII. It recognized the influence of the Church on French society, but the Church would stay out of national affairs. He set up the Napoleonic code, (a system of laws), this code limited free speech and freedom of the press. It also restored slavery in French colonies.

7 Napoleon Crowned as Emperor
In 1804 Napoleon decided to make himself emperor, and the French people supported him. On December 2, 1804 he walked down the aisle of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The pope waited for him with a crown, which Napoleon took from him and placed on his own head. This act implied he was more powerful than even the Church.

8 Napoleon Creates an Empire
Napoleon wanted to control all of Europe and have more influence in the Americas He wanted his empire to include Louisiana, Florida, French Guiana, and the French West Indies. He knew the key to this was control of the sugar producing colony of Saint Dominique (Haiti), on the island of Hispaniola.

9 Loss of American Territories
In 1789 the people of Saint Dominique demanded equal rights with the people of France. The slaves demanded their freedom. Civil war broke out under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture In 1801 Napoleon tried to take back control of the colony. He failed due to disease and fierce resistance. Napoleon now decided to cut his loses and pull out of the Americas. He sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States for 15 million dollars. He felt this would give him money he needed to wage war in Europe and create a permanent power to counter the British.

10 Conquering Europe Napoleon now turned his attention toward Europe.
He had already annexed the Netherlands and parts of Italy. He set up a puppet government in Switzerland. Britain, Russia, Austria, and Sweden united against France. Napoleon’s armies could not be defeated. In time Austria, Prussia, and Russia signed peace treaties with France. He now ruled the largest empire in Europe since Roman times. His only major enemy was Britain.

11 The Battle of Trafalgar
Napoleon lost only one major battle in his drive for a European empire. The Battle of Trafalgar took place in 1805 off the southwest coast of Spain. The British commander, Horatio Nelson, was a brilliant naval commander. He split Napoleon’s navy and captured many ships. After this battle Napoleon no longer tried to conquer England.

12 The French Empire By 1812 Napoleon’s Empire controlled most of Europe.
The only countries free of his influence or control were: Britain, Portugal, Sweden, and the Ottoman Empire. Napoleon directly controlled many countries. These included: Spain, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and many German kingdoms. He indirectly controlled some other nations through intimidation, these included: Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Napoleon had total control of his Empire for a total of five years from 1807 to 1812.

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