HIS103 - Bonaparte and the Demise of the Balance of Power

HIS103 - Bonaparte and the Demise of the Balance of Power -...

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Bonaparte and the Demise of the Balance of Power Wednesday, November 24, 2010 By late 1799, the internal situation inside France was still experiencing the affects of the Great Revolution 2 years earlier What was non predictable was the choice of the military should fall upon Napoleon Napoleon was the 4 th choice to play the role on the “man on horseback”, to defeat the foreign enemies 18 th Brumaire Napoleon rapidly showed great political skills and was clearly already on the path to a personal/imperial rule inside France But he knew his reputation was determined on his military So, he rapidly moved to engage the French Republics main remaining enemies in the field The Britain’s were always difficult to get because of the English Channel; the Russians gave up and withdrew, so the Austrian’s were the only ones left Moreau still commanded considerable authority, and doubted the feasibility of a direct invasion in the heartland of the Austrian Empire So Napoleon went into Northern Italy (in a single battle against the Austrians) He was so anxious, that he really rushed into the fray (not very prepared) April, 1800 – crossed the Alps and confronted the Austrians at Marengo on the 14 th of June, 1800 At Marengo, Napoleon rushed into battle, and not surprisingly, he found himself in the process of losing the battle However, there was a French division set out to support his flanks, its general Desais heard the fire of guns, marched to the sound of the guns, and said “this battle is lost, but there is yet time to win another one” – he entered the battle, he died, but he gave Napoleon time to regroup It was enough to persuade Moreau So Moreau took to the field in the fall of 1800, engaged Austria at Holenlinden on December 3 rd , 1800 – and Moreau routed the Austrians The subsequent peace of Luneville on the 9 th of February 1801 – forced the Austrians into the legitimacy of the French Takeover of the left bank of the Rhine. In Italy, Napoleon left the Austrians in charge of Venice
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HIS103 - Bonaparte and the Demise of the Balance of Power -...

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