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BASIS OF THE NAPOLEONIC SYSTEM.
The ascendency of Napoleon over France and over Europe rests primarily on:
(a) The need of France for order.
useless without moral force behind it.
I. The restoration of order and authority in France. Brumaire is followed by the establishment of the Consulate.
[Napoleon First Consul.] Constitutional guarantees are strong in appearance; in fact,
shadowy and unsubstantial. All control is finally vested in hands of First Consul.
But Napoleonic absolutism differs in character from Bourbon absolutism. It is based on democracy, not on privilege, and is self-imposed on France. It is a government of efficiency and of conciliation; it employs all, and is for all. It heals the internal discords of France, and lays the foundations of sound progressive government.
Thus Napoleon differs in kind from the faction governments which the Revolution had given rise to.
Napoleon as administrator.
The Concordant. The Code Napoleon. In his work he gathers up the threads of work done by his predecessors, and is the fulfilment of revolutionary energy. II. The need for reconstruction in Europe.
Military successes of the First Consul.
1800. Final overthrow of the Austrians at Hohenlinden by
Interval of European peace. 1803. Rupture of the Peace of Amiens. War with England.
Pitt revives the European coalition against France. Napoleon's threatened invasion of England. His design of crushing England directly finally overthrown
by Trafalgar. 1805. The Danube Campaign-victories of Ulm and Austerlitz.
Collapse of the Holy Roman Empire. Final disappearance of mediæval fictions. Austria prepares to
take her place as a modern state. 1806. Campaign against Prussia. Victories of Auerstadt and
Jéna. Prussia reduced to a third-rate power. Causes of Napoleon's success are to be found as much in
Prussia's stagnation as in Napoleon's power. Reconstruction of Europe on a Napoleonic basis. Aloofness of England and Russia from the Napoleonic
system. Reasons for this. 1806. Marks the limits of Napoleon's usefulness in Europe.
THE CONTINENTAL SYSTEM.
Napoleon passes from reconstruction to tyranny. Hence national feeling in Europe, which the Revolution had awakened, turns against him and brings about his overthrow. Stages in this process:
England threatens the stability of the Napoleonic system. Must be crushed indirectly, direct measures having failed.
Napoleon issues “The Berlin Decrees” excluding British commerce from Europe; thus establishing the Continental System.
Napoleon's conception of a French colonial empire; his efforts in this direction.
England is thus the chief obstacle. She thwarts Napoleon on the sea, in Europe, across the seas. The Continental System, therefore, aims at reducing England by way of Commerce. Pressure of the Berlin Decrees on Europe:
Dependence of Europe on British and colonial supplies. The Industrial revolution in England. Labour-saving machinery makes England the centre of production for
the world; also commands trans-oceanic transport. Thus the Continental System rests on force to support it; presses heavily on individuals throughout Europe.
1807. Napoleon secures the adhesion of Russia.
Treaty of Tilsit constitutes a copartnership between Russia and Napoleon.
Dangers inherent in such a copartnership.
Formation of dynastic kingdoms directly under Napoleon's control—e. g., Holland, Westphalia, Naples, subsequently Spain and Saxony.
England retaliates on the Berlin Decrees.
The orders in Council. The question of neutrals. Seeds of discord with the United States.
Leakage of the secret articles of Tilsit. The position of Denmark. Action of England towards Denmark. Bombardment of Copenhagen and seizure of the Danish Fleet.
Reprisals by Napoleon in Portugal.
NATIONAL RISINGS AGAINST THE NAPOLEONIC
I. The Peninsular War.
Position of Portugal towards England. Portugal refuses the Continental System. Napoleon determines to enforce it. Treaty of Fontainebleau with Spain. Proposed partition of Portugal between France and Spain. Army under Junot despatched to Portugal. Helplessness of Portugal. Its occupation by Napoleon.
England assists Portugal. Campaign of Vimiero. Junot evacuates Portugal.
Napoleon's policy towards Spain. Position of Spain towards Napoleon. Project of forming Spain and Portugal into a dynastic kingdom.
Opportunities offered by discords at the Spanish Court. Napoleon foments these discords. Army of observation on the Spanish frontier, ostensibly to reinforce the army of Portugal. Advance of the army of observation towards Madrid. Panic of the Court. Abdication of Charles IV. Accession of Ferdinand. Charles appeals to Napoleon; also Ferdinand. Murat occupies Madrid
The Conference at Bayonne. The throne of Spain declared vacant. Accession of Joseph Bonaparte.
National uprising in Spain.
Significance of the Spanish rising. Napoleon's impotence in face of a new force. He is faced by England as a military