Napolean

 

Nationalism is the devotion of people to the interests of its nation or the
love of one's country to stay independent. Nationalism played a major role in
the downfall of Napoleon in that he wanted an empire and his opponent's
wanted independence.
 As Napoleon was conquering lands and creating a vast empire his troops
stressed in the far lands that they conquered life, liberty and equality. Even
though Napoleon did not realize it triggered nationalistic feelings among the
conquered nations. 
 Spain who was an ally of France, disobeyed Napoleon's decree. Then in 1808
Napoleon overthrew the Spanish royal family and made his brother Joseph king
of Spain. But everything that Napoleon did such as put in a foreign ruler,
take away noble privileges offended Spanish pride and created nationalistic
feelings. The people of Spain revolted in 1808. The French troops stopped the
riots, but the nationalistic spirit was not lost. For the next five years
there was warfare in Spain. British troops came to aid Spain. This led to the
defeat of Joseph, death of thousands of French troops and it inspired
patriots and nationalists of other lands to resist Napoleon. This war between
1808 and 1813 is called The Peninsular War.
 In Germany, anti-French feelings broke out. But the French invasions carried
German nationalism beyond the small ranks of writers. In 1807 writers attacked
French occupation of Germany. This nationalistic feeling spread to the
Prussians. In 1806 the Prussians were defeated by the French troops. To drive
the French out of Prussia there would have to be a spirit of cooperation and
loyalty. To accomplish this there would have to be social and political
reforms. A reformer said that if social abuses were eliminated the Prussians
could fight with national honor. Military reforms improved the Prussian army.
In the War of Liberation(1813), the soldiers showed great feelings of
patriotism and nationalism. And the French were driven out of Prussia.
 Russia, who was an ally of France went against the word of Napoleon. So
Napoleon decided to invade Russia. Napoleon's Grand Army had 700,000 people in
it. Most of soldiers were not French and didn't care for the war. In 1812 when
Napoleon began the invasion, Russia retreated. As they were retreating they
burned all crops which were valuable. When Napoleon reached Moscow, the
Russians burned the city. Even worse the winter was in a few months. The
Russians also destroyed the food supply to Napoleon. Many soldiers starved to
death. Napoleon decided to retreat back to France. On the way back Russian
Cossacks slaughtered the soldiers who fell behind. Napoleon abandoned his army
and went back to France. 
 In 1813 almost every nation in Europe joined in the final coalition against
France. Napoleon raised a new army but couldn't replace the equipment lost in
Russia. In October 1813 allied forces from Russia, Austria, Prussia, and
Sweden defeated Napoleon at Leipzig. By April 1814 the coalition occupied
Paris, Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba. The coalition made peace
with France. They restores Bourbon monarchy to throne in the person of Louis
. 
 However Napoleon escaped Elba and returned to France in march of 1815. Louis
ordered his troops to stop Napoleon, but no one did. As Napoleon entered Paris
he got a cheer. He raised a new army and on June 18 1815 he moved against the
allies in Belgium. There the Prussians and the British defeated Napoleon at
the Battle of Waterloo. These days of Napoleon trying to regain power are
called the Hundred Days. This time they sent him to St. Helena a lonely island
near Africa. There he died in 1821.
 Nationalism was an enemy to Napoleon because it led to the decline of his
empire. And the nationalistic feeling that was felt between his opponent's
eventually destroyed him. 
 


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