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Modern Western Civilization
Class 14: Napoleon and Romanticism
Ludwig van Beethoven: Third Symphony (Eroica)
Biog: Born at Bonn, from 1792 worked at Vienna 1770-1827 Significance:
Full devevelopment of the classical style in music.
II. Napoleon enters the scene
- One of most successful Generals was Napoleon - he was in 1799
center of a plot to overturn the weak Directory.
- He was named First Consul in 1799
III. Military Successes under the Directory
- Under the Directory we see that the military expansion begun
under the convention continued - with help of CPS's war economy
- great new generals had been brought to the fore - inc. 8 of
Napoleons future marshals - as old officer class went into exile.
- -March 1795 - Peace concluded with Prussia and Spain but war
continued with GB and Austria. So Directory was dependent on the
military for stability at home and success abroad.
- One of most successful Generals was Napoleon.
-First Triumph in defending Toulon in 1793
He appealed to many, disgusted with the Directory, who looked
for authority from above. One of these people was Abbe Sieyes
(wrote What is the Third Estate in 1789), who concocted
a plan for a coup. Sieyes had idea of "Confidence from below,
power from above"
IV. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
Napoleon's Life and Rise to Power
- A. Origins - A Noble Corsican Family
-Trained in armies of Ancien Regime -commissioned 1785
-He was in favor of the Revolution.
- B. Character - He saw himself as a man of Destiny
-A rationalist and an opportunist: a real man of his time.
-A Romantic Streak - he compared himself to Alexander the Great
-Was devoted to his family - he made them important all over Europe.
V. Coup of 18 Brumaire - Napoleon Named First Consul 1799
- The Coup did not go well.
Napoleon Addressed the Assembly - he was shouted down and got
apoplectic with anger
- He was saved by his brother Lucien calling in the army, who
shooed away the deputies. Napoleon's account of this later was
distorted - he failed not mention that Lucien saved him.
Napoleon become one of three consuls. (Refer to use by all parties
of classical names and ideas)
-presents himself as saving the Republic
- New Constitution of the Year VIII
-it appealed to republican theory (Checks and Balances)
-it included a Council of State (ref. Louis XIV)
-it actually made Napoleon ruler
-approved by plebiscite (3,011,077 to 1,567)
This may be regarded as then end of the French Revolution
- Declaration to that effect in 1799
-but in reality the rev. was over at Thermidor.
VI. Napoleon's Rule in France (1799-1814): The Consulate (1799-1804)
- Napoleon maintained order in the state by his policies.
[The point of this whole section]
- B. Liberal Policies - He worked out important compromises
etween competing groups
-a. He employed people from all political groups. (eg Talleyrand)
-b. The gains of the peasants were confirmed
-c. He granted an amnesty to nobles
-d. Decreed improved education.
-e. He signed the Concordat of 1801 with Pope Pius VII - gave
Catholics freedom of worship. It said Catholicism is Religion
of most Frenchmen. State named bishops and paid priests. The Church
gave up its claims on property. Clergy swore loyalty to the state.
- C. Conservative Order
-a. Central government control of the Provinces.
-b. He stopped the free press and free speech 1800
-c. Ruthless in crushing opposition secret police developed. Murdered
the Bourbon Duke of Enghien 1804
-d. He stopped free elections - especially when he declared himself
- D. CIVIL CODE 1804 = Napoleonic Code
-Granted the Middle class equality
-Safeguarded property rights
-Abolished all Privileges of birth
-Made state officials be chosen by merit
-Gave men control over their wives
-Labor unions forbidden
Set the tone of all later French life
-legally egalitarian, socially bourgois, and administratively
VII. Napoleon's Rule in France (1799-1814): The Empire (1804-1814)
- Napoleon used fears of a Bourbon comeback to get him self
crowned Emperor. Yet another new constitution: also approved by
- Pope came to do it but Napoleon crowned himself
-Story of Charlemagne in 800AD being crowned by pope and then
having to support him.
Restoration of a Quasi-nobility: Legion of Honour.
- 1809 Napoleon married Archduchess Marie Louise - as a more
fitting wife for an emperor than Josephine, (supposedly she was
sexually to much for him).
VIII. Assessment Napoleon's Rule in France
- -The Code was very worthwhile - applies French Roman Law throughout
- -He is often seen as a sort of Enlightened despot, rather
than a successor of the Revolution.
-He was accepted and supported as he kept order for the propertied
class - perhaps tired of revolution.
IX. Military Conquests and Nemesis
Basic point is this - that the conditions that made his army
fight well, when absent led to its defeat
- A. Italy 1797 - N. defeats Austrian and Sardinian Armies.
It was success here that made him popular at home. Despite the
government by Directory - already at this stage he was making
his own treaties, eg with the Pope and with Austria.
- B. Egypt - expansion to India envisaged - England seen as
main foe. French here laid basis of Egyptology with a mapping
of Egypt. But the expedition was not successful - Napoleon left
for France in 1799 for the coup - and the army was not successful
- the British controlled the sea.
- C. Military Methods
Napoleon was a military genius - but as he said after 60 battles
he didn't know anything that he had not known before. His great
skill was in the execution of warfare.
He Built on
-Improvements in military theory made during the Ancien regime
in response to France's defeats in the Seven Years War - an emphasis
on flexible formations in battle rather than fixed ones.
-forces were divided into moderate sized units -each unit lived
off the land/traveled light-speed and maneuver were used to bring
hostile armies into battle - it was vital to time the uniting
of the various bits of his army just right.
-The great citizen army that was motivated to fight well, put
together under the Comm. of Pub. Safety, and kept going by the
-700,000 strong army
- D. Conquest of Europe
1801 - Austria defeated
1802 - Peace with GB
1803 - William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806) decides Napoleon must
be stopped -puts together Third Coalition
- E. War against Third Coalition (Aus. Russ. Swed. GB)
-Lost Naval dominance to Britain at Trafalgar 1805 (Lord Horatio
Nelson killed)(21 Oct)
-Britain now had the dominance of the seas it was to keep for
the next century.
- F. Napoleon Dominant in Europe
1805 Austerlitz (Dec 2)(just after Trafalgar) -Napoleon gains
1806 Jena defeats Prussia (supposedly best army in Europe).
1807 Treaty of Tilsit - Signed by Napoleon, by Alexander I of
Russia (secretly) - who
becomes part of continental system. -French Territorial gains
confirmed - and Russia reduced in size.
- G. The Grand Empire and the Continental System
French controlled all of Continental Europe (achievement shows
unrealized possibilities of France under the later Ancien Regime).
-a. -1806 The Holy Roman Empire dissolved. Germany re-organized
July 1806 as The Confederation of the Rhine.
-b. A French Empire set up including land up to the Rhine and
-c. New Kingdoms set up - Spain, Italy, Holland, Sweden - All
with Napoleons family or followers on the throne. One relative
became a Cardinal.
-d. All the other state were, for the time being allies.
-e The Napoleonic Code was imposed everywhere. -end of Feudalism
+ Local town oligarchies
- H. Continental System
- Attempt to destroy GBs Trade dominance - Instituted in 1806
in the Berlin Decrees.
Napoleon claimed he was liberating Europe from the English (a
Nation of Shop keepers)
-But GBs trade with America and The East meant it could survive.
The system actually hurt European countries.
[USA tries to take advantage in 1812 and take Canada - fails]
- I. Problems Begin
-Spanish Revolt 1808 - over deposition of its Bourbon dynasty
(still ruling in 1988) and opposition to the Church - the Peninsular
War was to sap Napoleon's strength.
-March on Moscow
1810 Russians withdrew from the Continental system. and resume
contact with GB.
1812 Napoleon Attempts to march on Moscow, as his major continental
opponent. Defeated by the Cold and snow and lack of supplies -
part of his method had been for the army to live off the land
- here there was nothing to live off- Russians used scorched earth
He was also defeated by the resistance put up by the entire Russian
people - from the Tsar to the serfs.
-also Tsar did not allow for any one decisive battle which was
Napoleon's forte (Borodino 1812 not decisive)
- J. The Retreat from Moscow - 1812/1813
Napoleon was unable to get together another army for six months.
About 100,000 out of 600,000 survived. -still able to raise 350,000
in six months.
- K. The Opposition Becomes Effective - 1813
-The Fourth Coalition, (Russia, Prussia, Austria, GB)
-Prussia after defeat at Jena reorganized and modernized - some
land reform. end of serfdom, calls to patriotism. 42,000 men trained
each year - by 1813 it was strong again - army of 270,000.
-The war is seen as a German War of Liberation.
France defeated at the Battle of the Nations 1813 - at Leipzig
-Allies take Paris in March 1814
-Napoleon Abdicated 1814 - Exiled to Elba
- L. Congress of Vienna 1814
- to redraw Europe - will return to it - as Napoleon disrupted
it by escaping from Elba.
- M. Elba, Waterloo
Napoleon escaped from Elba 1815
-Period known as the Hundred Days
Battle of Waterloo 1815
-Defeated by the Prussians and English
-Duke of Wellington leads English/Field Marshal von Blucher the
-Hardened the Peace Settlement for France
- N. St. Helena
Napoleon sent to exile in St. Helena
-note how he was treated by British. -died 1821
X. Napoleons effect on his Contempories and on History
- A. Personal Impact
A hero to half of Europe a traitor to the rest. (Old Boney)
Reaction of Beethoven - changes name of his 3rd Symphony to the
Bonapartism [Class discussion]
-in Paris his campaigns are celebrated eg Gare d'Austerlitz, Avenue
Wagram + His body is at Les Invalides
Many people yearned for a leader - Why ?
- B. Spread of French Revolutionary Ideals
-French Soldiers were committed - liberal and French Rev. ideals
were adopted by many.
-Napoleon got rid of Feudalism in the countries he conquered.(But
did not give the land to the peasants)
-Abolished Established Churches + Monasteries.
-The Code carried many of these ideas on after Nap.
- C. Nationalism
But there was also a reaction to French Dominance as it became
clear Napoleon's policies benefited France. There were also objections
to his family becoming Kings and Queens all over Europe.
-growth of Nationalism in other countries but based on French
ideals (mention again idea of Fraternity in French Rev).
-This was especially the case in Germany, where weakness was blamed
on political division.
- D. A Changed Political Map of Europe
-Holy Roman Empire Goes - Austria now its own thing 300 German
States reduced to 39. [More Catholic states than Protestant ones
disappeared - no Habsburg would again be elected emperor]
-France becomes less important for 30 years
-Britain's mastery of the seas now total - there is for first
time no other maritime power for her to compete with (no Spain,
Netherlands, or France)
IX. Summing-Up Napoleon [class discussion]
- A Great Man? Whole Question of Great man in History ?
[Great men or social forces? Does the hero actually change history?]
Was Napoleon Admirable? Did he bring war and kill millions of
people to satisfy his ego?
Betrayer or confirmer of the French Rev.? Did he spread revolutionary
Liberator of Europe or Tyrant?
- A. Classicism
- B. Rousseau
- C. Neo Gothic Architecture
Strawberry Hill, London
- D. Goethe
- E. Fichte
- F. Napoleon
- G. Nationalism