Napoleon: Europe and Enthusiastic Napoleon Bonaparte Essay

Submitted By gregorykoster22
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Johnny Adams
Mrs. Joyner
Global II Honors G
20 September 2012
Essay Chapter 23 Section 4 During the late 1700s France was completely disoriented. There was no stable government, weak leaders led to country wide debt, and most citizens were living in poverty. However, in October 1795, the young and enthusiastic Napoleon Bonaparte seized power. He was the head of the military, expanded France's territories and got them out of debt in a short amount of time. Napoleon was doing so well with France, that he desired more power. He soon makes himself emperor of France, and goes on wars of conquest across Europe. Napoleon controlled most of Europe by 1812, but he could not seem to conquer England and Russia. His desire for these nations led to some troublesome decisions that changed the way people thought about him forever. Napoleon wanted to control England very much so that he would go to the extremes to conquer them. He very precisely planned an attack on England, but he had to secure the sea between France and England first before invading. However, England had a very strong navy, much better than France did. On October 21, 1805 the Battle of Trafalgar begun. In this battle, Napoleon's fleet was defeated by Britain's navy led by Admiral Horatio Nelson. Even though Napoleon had lost the battle, he still desired England. His first disastrous mistake was setting up the Continental System. Since Napoleon could not conquer England forcefully, he thought if he could cut off all trade and communication between Great Britain and other European nations their economy would be weakened. This decision was extremely unsuccessful and caused tension with other nations such as Portugal. Britain was angered with Napoleons attempt at creating a blockade, so they tried to make one of their own. The difference between Britain's blockade and Napoleons is that Britain's worked much better because of their stronger navy. Napoleon was very quickly burning bridges with his allies and weakening his empire. Napoleons second disastrous decision was his attempt to invade Portugal. With Napoleons great desire to make his Continental System be effective, he needed to make Portugal accept it. Portugal did not want to obey to his system, so Napoleon had to invade. In order to get to Portugal, Napoleon had to send his army through Spain. The many citizens of Spain protested the action and wanted to stop the French before they could do much damage. Fearful of the Church being attacked, the Spanish people set up bands of peasant fighters known as guerillas. These guerillas secretly attacked the French armies in a very stealthy manor. Great Britain, who was an ally of Spain sent in troops to aid the Spanish during their struggles with France. This became known as the Peninsula War and Napoleon lost about 300,000 men during these battles. Adding to Napoleons issues, many French families who had lost a loved one started to turn on Napoleon. Now, other nations such as Germany and Italy turned on the French as well. The third decision that led to Napoleons definite downfall was his attacks on Russia. This decision to attack Russia was the worst of them all. In June of 1812, Napoleon