Impact of Napoleonic Wars: French Revolution, British Reform Facts, Timeline, History

Research Topics Presentation Tips History Essays British History Napoleonic Wars Impact

  • 1789 French revolution
  • National Assemble organized
  • French declaration of right of man and citizen
  • Charles Fox leader of opposition in British parliament praises French
  • Joseph Priestley detested established church and applauded the French revolutionaries assault of the church of French

Whigs consider themselves friends of liberty

  • Edmund Burke ; French revolution was subverting the social order
  • Burke ; reformer
  • Burke attacked the French principle that sovereignty resides in the entire body of citizens
  • Thomas Paine supported the American revolution wrote common sense
  • Paine 1791 published the rights of man attached the whole nature of British society. Outlined a welfare system similar to the one in use today in US.
  • Paine indicted for treasons flees to France where he has to flee again to US
  • Mary Wollstonecraft writes the Vindication of the Rights of women ; mother of Shelly who wrote Frankenstein

War breaks out

  • 4 years after Revolution
  • French expansion into low countries and across alps
  • French soldiers enthusiastic changed the fighting man ; French army moved swiftly and triumph

Impact of war on England

  • Conquests toppling old order on continent
  • Taxes high
  • Huge debt
  • Shipbuilders and munitions makers experiencing a boon
  • High inflation
  • Crops not doing well

Impact of French revolution on Britain

  • Government paranoia
  • All government critics labeled traitor and deemed sympathetic to French cause
  • Paranoia leads to crack down on liberties
  • 1795 treasonable practices Act broadens the law of treason
  • Seditious meeting act required license for gathering of 50 or more
  • Freedom of press curtailed
  • Loyal societies grow
  • King George III hailed as the symbol of his nations will to resist

Naval conflict

  • Hatio Nelson = hero at sea ; left his post without orders interposed his vessel between the divided French ships to keep them from uniting
  • Captured 2 Spanish vessels
  • Battle of cape st Vincent defeat of the Dutch ended threat of invasion from Holland.
  • Mutiny breaks out due to frustrations of men ; sailors pressed into service, harsh discipline, low pay, poor conditions.
  • 29 ringleaders executed but the men gained reform

The Egyptian Expedition

  • General Bonaparte commanded army massed in channel as decoy
  • French attached Egypt
  • Captured Malta
  • Battle of Trafalgar ; Nelson approached to destroy every ship he could reach regardless of losses, won the battle
  • Bonaparte locked in Egypt ; Syria declared war on French
  • French defeated in Egypt
  • Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself first consulate

War of second coalition

  • Vitamin C fond to prevent scurvy
  • Tsar Paul of Russia assassinated
  • Russian Anglo coalition ; problems no one trusted the other

Irish Crisis

  • Gratton parliament had restored the right to vote to Presbyterians
  • Catholics given right to be lawyers or schoolmasters
  • Wolfe Tone ; leader of Irish Wexford rebels Irish revolt
  • French attempt to aid Irish but arrive too late
  • British crush revolt, Wolfe tones put in jail committed suicide
  • Ireland joined to United Kingdom

Peace of Amiens

  • False peace only gives Napoleon time to regroup
  • Pitt resigns
  • Harvest poor, national debt staggering
  • People’s moral low no will to fight anymore
  • Henry Addington elected
  • Negotiates treaty

War breaks out again in 1803

  • Napoleonic Wars
  • French used peace to rearm for war
  • British blockade
  • French regained Louisiana territory from Spain with treaty
    • French sell Louisiana territory to US
    • Add profit 15 million to war machine

British Women in war

  • Women gathered shoes and clothing for troops
  • Sewed flags, uniforms etc
  • Shocked at execution of Marie Antoinette
  • Shocked by French ideals that service to country came before duty to family

War of 3rd coalition

  • Pitt dies
  • Napoleon marches through Europe
  • July 1807 ; French sign treated with Russia = divides Europe up into French and Russian sides
  • Unrest in Britain due to industrialization loss of jobs, inflation, taxes etc.
  • Napoleon controls continent
  • Attempts to bring economic sanctions on Britain
  • Britain tightens Blockade
  • Napoleon kidnaps Spanish royal family

Wellington liberates Spain

  • Gains control of Spanish coast
  • Gives some relief to merchants suffering from Napoleons blockade
  • King George loses his sanity and oldest son takes crown
  • Assassination of prime minister Perceval by Anglo Russian
  • British success in Spain loosens French grip

Raw material for industry suffer from French grip

  • Jobs life or death for worker
  • Violence breaks out
  • Luddites organized in 1811
  • Rioters break up manufacturing plants in midlands
  • Return to day of no machines
  • Troops squash rebellion
  • 17 leaders hand ; 6 sent to Australia

Napoleon tightens grip in French territories

  • Opposition to French oppression grows in occupied countries

American and British Wars

  • Grew directly out of struggle in Europe
  • British sailors deserted and joined American shipping
  • British press gangs abducted Service Americans who could not prove citizenship
  • US protest falls on deaf ears in London
  • War breaks out, War of 1812

Napoleon invades Russia

  • Lines of communication and supplies overstretched
  • Beginning of the end for Napoleon
  • Retreats after battle of the nations at Leipzap 3 day battle
  • Austria, Sweden, Russian and Prussians in hot pursuit
  • Wellington invades France from Pyrenees 1814. British take Toulouse
  • Napoleon abdicated April 11, 1814
  • Made sovereign of Elba since he gave up France and Italy crowns

French veterans return home

  • Find France not to their liking
  • Napoleon returns to France gathers forces
  • The British converged at the village of Waterloo under Wellington.
  • Defeat Napoleon and his army
  • Napoleon Retreats, surrenders and exiled to St Helena 1815
  • Napoleon dies in 1821.