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French spanish polish and prussian influence in the american revolution essay

Manpower requirements to keep pace with the expansion of French armies and the economic cost of the war strained allied governments. Furthermore, cracks in the alliance between Austria, Prussia and Spain began to appear by late 1794.

A French invasion of Spain led to the occupation of Catalonia. Furthermore, Russian expansion in the rump of Poland led Prussia to focus its attention eastward once again. The establishment of the moderate Directory in France, and its desire to reduce the number of enemies it faced, permitted active and fruitful negotiations with Prussia and Spain that concluded in the Peace of Basel in 1795. The treaty of Basel neutralized north Germany, and the Netherlands were abandoned to the French.

An Austrian army remained active on the upper Rhineand forced the south German princes to continue the fight. Britain also remained committed to the coalition. The coalition now actively sought Russian participation, but Tsarina Catherine II was too focused on devouring the rest of Poland.

The War of the First Coalition had taken the form of previous European wars. Although the French overran Belgium and western Germany, the coalition retained the capacity to withstand the French until the diplomatic settlements of 1795.

Even with French reinforcements, the coalition seemed capable of keeping the French at bay in Germany and Italy. Napoleon's campaign in Italy in 1796, however, broke the back of the coalition. Fearing the approach of the French army, Emperor Francis II 1768—1835 offered an armistice at Leoben and then negotiated a permanent conclusion to the war. The Venetian Republic lost its independence and became an Austrian occupied territory. The Habsburgs also recognized the French annexation of Belgium and the west bank of the Rhine.

Austria could not accept the loss of Italian territories, despite compensation in Germany. Their armies were crushed in Italy, and repelled in Germany. The Habsburg monarchy suffered from financial crisis and military defeat. Baron Johann von Thugut 1736—1818the Austrian Chancellor, did not intend to allow the treaty to stand. The short time between Campo Formio and the outbreak of the War of the Second Coalition was spent negotiating British subsidies, encouraging a Russian alliance, and preparing the armies for another campaign.

The blockade of French ports and attacks on colonial trade formed the basis of the British war effort. A year earlier, in 1796, French diplomats had convinced King Carlos IV of Spain 1748—1819 and his first minister Manuel de Godoy 1767—1851 to move from a neutral power to an active ally of France. Godoy saw an opportunity to reassert Spanish power overseas against Britain.

The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

A combined Franco-Spanish naval alliance stretched Britain to its limits. This arrangement amounted to a revival of the Bourbon Family Compact, sans Bourbons. The Spanish alliance with Britain during the War of the First Coalition was strained from the start and uncomfortable to both Spanish and British admirals. The naval threat to Britain only abated with their victory over the Spanish fleet at Cape St. Arguments among the coalition, however, led to Russia's withdrawal in 1799.

This compromised Austria's position, but Britain managed to retain naval dominance after its victories at Texel, Alexandria and Copenhagen. Although his armies defeated the Austrians in Italy and Germany in 1800, the British continued the fight.

Negotiations between the French and British governments began in earnest after the resignation of William Pitt the Younger 1759—1806 and the formation of Henry Addington's 1757—1844 ministry, and concluded with the Peace of Amiens in May 1802.

Introduction

Too much emphasis has been placed on the supposedly radically revolutionary nature of French warfare. The most significant alteration was the ability of the various French regimes to raise large armies of citizen-soldiers. Their European enemies raised large armies too in order to meet this threat, but the ease of the French conscription system, codified in 1797 with the Jourdan Law, could not be replicated in other monarchical states.

The concept of popular conscription was fully rejected, even if isolated members of the Prussian or Habsburg governments and armies found the idea intriguing. Moreover, the military reforms introduced in the French army had their origins in the pre-1789 Royal Army.

The application of these reforms was felt primarily in the organization of the army into combat divisions and the improvement of the command system. The French army became more successful as its officers and soldiers gained greater experience on the battlefield. Also, many of the tactical reforms can be traced back to before 1789 in various European armies. The gradual elimination of the conservative leadership of the French army after 1789 enabled the application of reforms without resistance.

European armies did not experience significant tactical or organizational reforms until the Napoleonic era. The Napoleonic Wars, 1803—1815 Napoleon built his empire upon the foundation of historical French relationships.

He extended dynastic possessions, cultivated princely clients and created satellite states. The scale of Napoleon's successes from 1807 meant that he lacked any historical framework in which to interpret the expansion of his power.

In short, after 1807, he pursued an imperium sine fine, an Empire without end, and his inability to formulate a coherent political system to consolidate his position of European hegemony condemned him to rule over a Europe in constant strife with his regime.

From the moment Napoleon became First Consul of France until his abdication, he played upon the individual interests and rivalries of European states to keep them apart.

Furthermore, French imperial ambitions translated into a cultural dominance over European populations, which fed tensions and ultimately fostered national reactions to French rule. French administration in regions of Europe annexed into Imperial France sought to bestow these peoples with the "benefits" of French intellectual and political culture. This was particularly the case in PiedmontTuscany and Umbria.

They often "put the cart before the horse," each formulating their individual objectives before there was even any prospect of defeating the French. The settlements ending the war of the Second Coalition established France as the premier power in western Europe.

  • Certainly, the anti-clerical policies of Revolutionary France had served to rally the Spanish population against the French invasion in 1794, but Napoleon was not anti-clerical and had made amends with the papacy in 1801;
  • Austria relinquished Venice and the Trentino to the kingdom of Italy;
  • An intra-European trade began to take root and this certainly provided for greater international trade, even if it no longer took the form of overseas commerce;
  • The reestablishment of French control of Haiti also threatened Britain's interests in the Caribbean;
  • Prussia's isolation from Russia and Austria made it a tempting target and in October 1806 Napoleon overran the German kingdom having crushed its armies at Jena and Auerstedt on October 14, 1806;
  • This Habsburg-Bonaparte union can be seen as a restoration of the Austro-French alliance of the eighteenth century.

It also laid the groundwork for the extension of the Republic into the Caribbean. Britain faced diplomatic isolation during the first years of Napoleon's reign, having alienated Russia, Prussia and Austria during the previous war.

Napoleon's overtures to the United Stateswhich ended the Quasi-War 1798—1800 and resulted in the sale of Louisiana in 1803, further compounded matters. The reestablishment of French control of Haiti also threatened Britain's interests in the Caribbean.

A lack of trust between Britain and France caused the collapse of the Peace of Amiens in the late-spring of 1803. The coalition's objectives essentially called for the restoration of European borders prior to 1802. Napoleon responded by building his own continental alliance, which included his satellites, the kingdoms of Italy and Holland, and the German princes of BadenWurttemberg and Bavaria.

The main French army on the Channel coast was redirected to Germany. Both Napoleon and the Third Coalition sought to bring Prussia into their alliance, but without success. Napoleon therefore endeavored to secure Prussian neutrality in the conflict.

  1. The Habsburgs also recognized the French annexation of Belgium and the west bank of the Rhine. Their armies were crushed in Italy, and repelled in Germany.
  2. The short time between Campo Formio and the outbreak of the War of the Second Coalition was spent negotiating British subsidies, encouraging a Russian alliance, and preparing the armies for another campaign.
  3. Napoleon's satellite states and allies gradually adapted the French system. A year earlier, in 1796, French diplomats had convinced King Carlos IV of Spain 1748—1819 and his first minister Manuel de Godoy 1767—1851 to move from a neutral power to an active ally of France.
  4. The military operations lasted merely three months, from the end of September to the end of December 1805.
  5. German and Italian nationalism appealed to a minority. This compromised Austria's position, but Britain managed to retain naval dominance after its victories at Texel, Alexandria and Copenhagen.

The military operations lasted merely three months, from the end of September to the end of December 1805. Lack of coordination doomed the Third Coalition to dramatic defeats at Ulm and Austerlitzenabling Napoleon to dictate, rather than negotiate, a peace. Austria relinquished Venice and the Trentino to the kingdom of Italy.

Bavaria received the Tyrol and the elevation of its duchy to a German kingdom. The Austrians were completely excluded from Italy and Germany. A Franco-Italian army conquered Naples in February 1806, giving Napoleon control of the entire peninsula.

Only Britain managed to achieve a decisive victory with the destruction of the Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar in October 1805. Although French power dominated the alliance, the agreements were based upon mutual interests. Prussia's isolation from Russia and Austria made it a tempting target and in October 1806 Napoleon overran the German kingdom having crushed its armies at Jena and Auerstedt on October 14, 1806. Napoleon departed from any historical or traditional framework in his strategic decisions.

The abolition of the Holy Roman Empire and its replacing with the Confederation of the Rhine is seen widely as the beginning of modern Germany. The transformation of Italy under Napoleonic rule is perceived as critical to the Risorgimento, the movement for Italian unification.

Thus nationalism emerged in these parts of Europe, deliberately fostered by the French in the kingdom of Italy, and emerging in Germany as a reaction to French occupation and political domination.

  1. Recent arguments place the guerilla war in a traditional context, with soldiers rather than peasants forming the majority of Spanish guerilla forces. Napoleon's distrust of his Spanish allies led to their overthrow in the spring of 1808.
  2. They often "put the cart before the horse," each formulating their individual objectives before there was even any prospect of defeating the French.
  3. The Spanish alliance with Britain during the War of the First Coalition was strained from the start and uncomfortable to both Spanish and British admirals.
  4. A lack of trust between Britain and France caused the collapse of the Peace of Amiens in the late-spring of 1803. The settlements ending the war of the Second Coalition established France as the premier power in western Europe.

Nonetheless, the Napoleonic era was a pivotal period in the transformation of nationalism from an intellectual movement in the eighteenth century to its nineteenth-century manifestation. The duchy was placed under the technical rule of the King of Saxonythereby establishing a link to eighteenth-century precedents.

War of the First Coalition, 1792–1797

The Poles remained the most steadfast supporters of Napoleon's empire against Russia, Prussia and Austria. This can be attributed both to the emergence of modern nationalism and to the historical relationship between France and Poland going back to the early-eighteenth century. German and Italian nationalism appealed to a minority. The Napoleonic regime limited itself to fostering nationalism through propaganda and — more successfully — through the unifying national experience of military service.

Indoctrination of conscripts and the daily life of soldiers during their time in the army remained the primary practical means of fostering nationalism. This was somewhat successful in the kingdom of Italy, but in the German states of the Rheinbund, the princes retained control over their states and could limit Napoleonic influence. Much is made of the extension of French cultural influence into conquered Europe, but the full influence of Napoleonic rule was felt only in those regions of Europe incorporated directly into the French Empire.

The satellite states ruled by Napoleon's family, and his allies and client states adopted the Code Napoleon and other elements of French Revolutionary traditions only to the extent that their societies and political systems could bear. The German princes managed to limit the degree of French constitutional and legal influence throughout the period.

In some cases, these states were already in the process of significant reforms prior to the arrival of the French. In general, however, Napoleon limited his interference in internal affairs as long as troops for his armies were forthcoming. Napoleon's satellite states and allies gradually adapted the French system.

They reduced terms of military service, established French-style divisions and brigades, and the tactics that brought Napoleon's armies success on the battlefield. Only French satellite states, such as the kingdoms of Italy, WestphaliaHolland and Naples, adopted the French conscription system.

Napoleon's allies and clients modified their recruitment systems, but did not fully accept the French conscription model, as it had implications for their social and political systems. Austria, Prussia and Russia similarly introduced aspects of the French military system into their own, but rejected a complete overhaul on the French model. An intra-European trade began to take root and this certainly provided for greater international trade, even if it no longer took the form of overseas commerce.

European states outside of this continental association were limited to Britain, PortugalSweden and the Ottoman Empire. Napoleon's distrust of his Spanish allies led to their overthrow in the spring of 1808.

Napoleon replaced the Spanish Bourbons with his older brother Joseph 1768—1844. The invasion of Spain initiated a six-year war that drained Napoleon of vital manpower resources.

It provided Britain with a new continental ally and a base of operations to strike at France.