Battle of Corunna
The Battle of Corunna took place on 16 January 1809, when a French corps under Marshal of the Empire Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult attacked a British army under Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore. The battle took place amidst the Peninsular War, which was a part of the wider Napoleonic Wars, doggedly pursued by the French under Soult, the British made a retreat across northern Spain while their rearguard fought off repeated French attacks. Both armies suffered extremely from the winter conditions. Much of the British army, excluding the elite Light Brigade under Robert Craufurd, suffered from a loss of order and discipline during the retreat. When the British eventually reached the port of Corunna on the northern coast of Galicia in Spain a few days ahead of the French they found their transport ships had not arrived. During the battle, Sir John Moore, the British commander, was mortally wounded, dying after hearing all the French attacks had been repulsed. In addition, Sir David Baird in command of an expedition of reinforcements out of Falmouth consisting of 150 transports carrying between 12,000 and 13,000 men, convoyed by H. M. S.
Louie and Champion, entered Corunna Harbour on the 13 October, by November 1808 the British army, led by Moore, advanced into Spain with orders to assist the Spanish armies in their struggle against the invading forces of Napoleon. After the surrender of a French army corps at Bailén and the loss of Portugal Napoleon was convinced of the peril he faced in Spain, deeply disturbed by news of Sintra, the Emperor remarked, I see that everybody has lost their head since the infamous capitulation of Bailén. I realise that I must go there myself to get the machine working again, the French, all but masters of Spain in June, stood with their backs to the Pyrenees, clutching at Navarre and Catalonia. It was not known if even these two footholds could be maintained in the face of a Spanish attack, by October French strength in Spain, including garrisons, was about 75,000 soldiers. They were facing 86,000 Spanish troops with Spains 35,000 British allies en route, with the fall of the monarchy, constitutional power devolved to local juntas.
The British army in Portugal, was immobilized by logistical problems and bogged down in administrative disputes. Months of inaction had passed at the front, the revolution having temporarily crippled Patriot Spain at the moment when decisive action could have changed the whole course of the war. Certainly not your wretched Spanish troops who do not know how to fight, I shall conquer Spain in two months and acquire the rights of a conqueror. Starting in October 1808 Napoleon led the French on a brilliant offensive involving a double envelopment of the Spanish lines. The attack began in November and has described as an avalanche of fire. The main army, under Moore, had advanced to Salamanca and were joined by Hopes detachment on 3 December when Moore received news that the Spanish forces had suffered several defeats and he considered that to avoid disaster he must give up and retreat back to Portugal
First French Empire
The First French Empire, Note 1 was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Its name was a misnomer, as France already had colonies overseas and was short lived compared to the Colonial Empire, a series of wars, known collectively as the Napoleonic Wars, extended French influence over much of Western Europe and into Poland. The plot included Bonapartes brother Lucien, serving as speaker of the Council of Five Hundred, Roger Ducos, another Director, on 9 November 1799 and the following day, troops led by Bonaparte seized control. They dispersed the legislative councils, leaving a rump legislature to name Bonaparte, Sieyès, although Sieyès expected to dominate the new regime, the Consulate, he was outmaneuvered by Bonaparte, who drafted the Constitution of the Year VIII and secured his own election as First Consul. He thus became the most powerful person in France, a power that was increased by the Constitution of the Year X, the Battle of Marengo inaugurated the political idea that was to continue its development until Napoleons Moscow campaign.
Napoleon planned only to keep the Duchy of Milan for France, setting aside Austria, the Peace of Amiens, which cost him control of Egypt, was a temporary truce. He gradually extended his authority in Italy by annexing the Piedmont and by acquiring Genoa, Parma and Naples, he laid siege to the Roman state and initiated the Concordat of 1801 to control the material claims of the pope. Napoleon would have ruling elites from a fusion of the new bourgeoisie, on 12 May 1802, the French Tribunat voted unanimously, with exception of Carnot, in favour of the Life Consulship for the leader of France. This action was confirmed by the Corps Législatif, a general plebiscite followed thereafter resulting in 3,653,600 votes aye and 8,272 votes nay. On 2 August 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Consul for life, pro-revolutionary sentiment swept through Germany aided by the Recess of 1803, which brought Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden to Frances side. The memories of imperial Rome were for a time, after Julius Caesar and Charlemagne.
The Treaty of Pressburg, signed on 26 December 1805, did little other than create a more unified Germany to threaten France. On the other hand, Napoleons creation of the Kingdom of Italy, the occupation of Ancona, to create satellite states, Napoleon installed his relatives as rulers of many European states. The Bonapartes began to marry into old European monarchies, gaining sovereignty over many nations, in addition to the vassal titles, Napoleons closest relatives were granted the title of French Prince and formed the Imperial House of France. Met with opposition, Napoleon would not tolerate any neutral power, Prussia had been offered the territory of Hanover to stay out of the Third Coalition. With the diplomatic situation changing, Napoleon offered Great Britain the province as part of a peace proposal and this, combined with growing tensions in Germany over French hegemony, Prussia responded by forming an alliance with Russia and sending troops into Bavaria on 1 October 1806. In this War of the Fourth Coalition, Napoleon destroyed the armies of Frederick William at Jena-Auerstedt, the Eylau and the Friedland against the Russians finally ruined Frederick the Greats formerly mighty kingdom, obliging Russia and Prussia to make peace with France at Tilsit.
The Treaties of Tilsit ended the war between Russia and the French Empire and began an alliance between the two empires that held power of much of the rest of Europe, the two empires secretly agreed to aid each other in disputes
Dos de Mayo Uprising
The city had been under the occupation of Napoleons army since 23 March of the same year. King Charles IV had been forced to abdicate in favour of his son Ferdinand VII, the uprising in Madrid, together with the subsequent proclamation as king of Napoleons brother Joseph, provoked resistance across Spain to French rule. Murat was the brother-in-law of Napoleon, and would become king of Naples. Initially the governing council of the city refused the request from Murat, on 2 May a crowd began to gather in front of the Royal Palace in Madrid. Those gathered entered the grounds in an attempt to prevent the removal of Francisco de Paula. Marshal Murat sent a battalion of grenadiers from the Imperial Guard to the palace along with artillery detachments, the latter opened fire on the assembled crowd, and the rebellion began to spread to other parts of the city. What followed was street fighting in different areas of Madrid as the poorly armed population confronted the French troops, Murat had quickly moved the majority of his troops into the city and there was heavy fighting around the Puerta del Sol and the Puerta de Toledo.
Marshal Murat imposed martial law in the city and assumed control of the administration. Little by little the French regained control of the city, the painting by the Spanish artist Goya, The Charge of the Mamelukes, portrays the street fighting that took place. There were Spanish troops stationed in the city, but they remained confined to barracks, the only Spanish troops to disobey orders were from the artillery units at the barracks of Monteleón, who joined the uprising. Two officers of these troops, Luis Daoíz de Torres and Pedro Velarde y Santillán are still commemorated as heroes of the rebellion, both died during the French assault of the barracks, as the rebels were reduced by vastly superior numbers. The repression following the crushing of the rebellion was harsh. Murat created a commission on the evening of 2 May to be presided over by General Grouchy. This commission issued death sentences to all of those captured who were bearing weapons of any kind, in a statement issued that day Murat said, The population of Madrid, led astray, has given itself to revolt and murder.
All those arrested in the uprising, arms in hand, will be shot, all public meetings were prohibited and an order was issued requiring all weapons to be handed in to the authorities. Hundreds of prisoners were executed the following day, a captured in a famous painting by Goya. The name of this declaration was Bando de los alcaldes de Móstoles or bando de la Independencia which translates to Declaration of Independence. While the French occupiers hoped that their rapid suppression of the uprising would demonstrate their control of Spain, in the weeks that followed there were further rebellions in different parts of the country
January Suchodolski was a Polish painter and Army officer. Suchodolski was born in Grodno and was the brother of Rajnold Suchodolski and he joined the Warsaw Cadet Corps in 1810. In 1812 he stood guard on the Hotel Angielski, Warsaw when Napoleon stayed there incognito, in 1823 he became adjutant to Wincenty Krasiński a former officer in Napoleons Army who at the time was with the Royal Regiment of Grenadier Guards. Through Krasińskis connections he got access to the Palaces art galleries and he got to know Antoni Brodowski and succeeded in an art competition with compositions called Taking the banner of Muhammad in Vienna and Death of Ladislaus of Varna. In 1830 January and his brother took part in the November Uprising, January fought at the First Battle of Wawer, the Battle of Olszynka Grochowska and the Battle of Iganie. In his spare time he sketched the scenes of soldiers and made portraits of his colleagues, following the defeat of the uprising — in which his brother died — he went to Rome where he became a pupil of Horace Vernet from 1832 to 1837.
Here he socialised with Zygmunt Krasinski, Wincentys son, Juliusz Słowacki, Johann Friedrich Overbeck, Peter von Cornelius and he returned to Warsaw in 1837 and was soon offered membership of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts for his painting Siege of Akhaltsikhe. He was invited to St Petersburg by Tsar Nicholas I to paint famous battles of the Russian Army, after returning to Poland, he next went to Paris in 1844. In 1852 he moved to Kraków, where he met Wincenty Pol and he provided some illustrations for Pols poem Mohorta. In 1860 Suchodolski joined the committee of the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts, January Suchodolski died in Bojmie on March 20,1875. List of Polish artists K. Sroczyńska, January Suchodolski, Warszawa 1984
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, situated between the Baltic Sea in the north and two mountain ranges in the south. Bordered by Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south and Belarus to the east, the total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres, making it the 69th largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. With a population of over 38.5 million people, Poland is the 34th most populous country in the world, the 8th most populous country in Europe, Poland is a unitary state divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, and its capital and largest city is Warsaw. Other metropolises include Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Szczecin, the establishment of a Polish state can be traced back to 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of a territory roughly coextensive with that of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin.
This union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, Poland regained its independence in 1918 at the end of World War I, reconstituting much of its historical territory as the Second Polish Republic. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, followed thereafter by invasion by the Soviet Union. More than six million Polish citizens died in the war, after the war, Polands borders were shifted westwards under the terms of the Potsdam Conference. With the backing of the Soviet Union, a communist puppet government was formed, and after a referendum in 1946. During the Revolutions of 1989 Polands Communist government was overthrown and Poland adopted a new constitution establishing itself as a democracy, informally called the Third Polish Republic. Since the early 1990s, when the transition to a primarily market-based economy began, Poland has achieved a high ranking on the Human Development Index.
Poland is a country, which was categorised by the World Bank as having a high-income economy. Furthermore, it is visited by approximately 16 million tourists every year, Poland is the eighth largest economy in the European Union and was the 6th fastest growing economy on the continent between 2010 and 2015. According to the Global Peace Index for 2014, Poland is ranked 19th in the list of the safest countries in the world to live in. The origin of the name Poland derives from a West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta River basin of the historic Greater Poland region in the 8th century, the origin of the name Polanie itself derives from the western Slavic word pole. In some foreign languages such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish the exonym for Poland is Lechites, historians have postulated that throughout Late Antiquity, many distinct ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland. The most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, the Slavic groups who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD.
With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the authority of the Roman Church
The first documented use of a name resembling Navarra, Nafarroa, or Naparroa is a reference to navarros, in Eginhards early 9th Century chronicle of the feats of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. Other Royal Frankish Annals feature nabarros, there are two proposed etymologies for the name. Basque nabar, multicolor (i. e. in contrast to the mountainous lands north of the original County of Navarre. Basque naba, plain + Basque herri, the linguist Joan Coromines considers naba to be linguistically part of a wider Vasconic or Aquitanian language substrate, rather than Basque per se. During the Roman Empire, the Vascones, a tribe who populated the southern slopes of the Pyrenees. In the mountainous north, the Vascones escaped large-scale Roman settlement, not so the flatter areas to the south, which were amenable to large-scale Roman farming—vineyards and wheat crops. Neither the Visigoths nor the Franks ever completely subjugated the area, the Vascones included neighbouring tribes as of the 7th century.
In AD778, the Basques defeated a Frankish army at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass and that kingdom reached its zenith during the reign of King Sancho III, comprising most of the Christian realms to the south of the Pyrenees, and even a short overlordship of Gascony. When Sancho III died in 1035, the Kingdom of Navarre was divided between his sons and it never fully recovered its political power, while its commercial importance increased as traders and pilgrims poured into the kingdom throughout the Way of Saint James. In 1200, Navarre lost the key western Basque districts to Alphonse VIII of Castile, Navarre contributed with a small but symbolic force of 200 knights to the decisive Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 against the Almohads. The native line of kings came to an end in 1234, the Navarrese kept most of their strong laws and institutions. To the south of the Pyrenees, Navarre was annexed to the Crown of Castile, but keeping a separate status. A Chartered Government was established, and the managed to keep home rule.
After the 1839 Convention of Bergara, a version of home rule was passed in 1839. The relocation of customs from the Ebro river to the Pyrenees in 1841 prompted the collapse of Navarre’s customary cross-Pyrenean trade, amid instability in Spain, Carlists took over in Navarre and the rest of the Basque provinces. The end of the Third Carlist War saw a wave of Spanish centralization directly affecting Navarre. In 1893-1894 the Gamazada popular uprising took place centred in Pamplona against Madrids governmental decisions breaching the 1841 chartered provisions. Except for a faction, all parties in Navarre agreed on the need for a new political framework based on home rule within the Laurak Bat
Zaragoza, called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain. It lies by the Ebro river and its tributaries, the Huerva, on 1 September 2010 the population of the city of Zaragoza was 701,090, within its administrative limits on a land area of 1,062.64 square kilometres, ranking fifth in Spain. It is the 32nd most populous municipality in the European Union, the population of the metropolitan area was estimated in 2006 at 783,763 inhabitants. The municipality is home to more than 50 percent of the Aragonese population, the city lies at an elevation of 199 metres above sea level. Zaragoza hosted Expo 2008 in the summer of 2008, a fair on water. It was a candidate for the European Capital of Culture in 2012, the city is famous for its folklore, local gastronomy, and landmarks such as the Basílica del Pilar, La Seo Cathedral and the Aljafería Palace. Together with La Seo and the Aljafería, several other buildings part of the Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Fiestas del Pilar are among the most celebrated festivals in Spain, the city was called by the ancient Romans Caesaraugusta, from which the present name derives. The Iberian town that predated the Roman city was called Salduie, see also, Caesar Augusta The Sedetani, a tribe of ancient Iberians, populated a village called Salduie. Later on, Augustus founded a city called Caesaraugusta at the location to settle army veterans from the Cantabrian wars. The foundation date of Caesaraugusta has not been set with exact precision, the city did not suffer any decline during the last centuries of the Roman empire and was captured peacefully by the Goths in the fifth century AD. From 1018 to 1118, Zaragoza was one of the taifa kingdoms, during the first three decades of this period, 1018–1038, the city was ruled by the Banu Tujibi. After the death of El Cid his kingdom was overrun by the Almoravids, who, by 1100, had managed to cross the Ebro into Barbastro, the Banu Hud stubbornly resisted the Almoravids and ruled until they were eventually defeated by them in May 1110.
On 18 December 1118, the Aragonese led by Alfonso I conquered the city from the Almoravids, after Alfonsos death without heirs in 1134, Zaragoza was swiftly occupied by Alfonso VII of León and Castile. The wedding never happened, as Petronila ended up marrying Ramon Berenguer IV, the marriage union was the origin of the Crown of Aragón. While the reality of the existence of Saint Dominguito del Val is questioned, despite a decline in the outlying rural economy, Zaragoza has continued to grow. The General Military Academy, a training center of the Spanish Army, was re-established on September 27,1940 by Minister of the Army José Enrique Varela Iglesias. During the second half of the 20th century, Zaragozas population boomed as a number of factories opened in the region, in 1979, the Hotel Corona de Aragón fire killed at least 80
Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleons allies, following Napoleons failed invasion of Russia, the duchy was occupied by Prussian and Russian troops until 1815, when it was formally partitioned between the two countries at the Congress of Vienna. It covered central and eastern part of present Poland and minor parts of present Lithuania, the area of the duchy had already been liberated by a popular uprising that had escalated from anti-conscription rioting in 1806. One of the first tasks for the new government included providing food to the French army fighting the Russians in East Prussia, the Duchy of Warsaw was officially created by French Emperor Napoleon I, as part of the Treaty of Tilsit with Prussia. Although it was created as a state, it was commonly hoped and believed that with time the nation would be able to regain its former status.
The newly created state was formally an independent duchy, allied to France, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony was compelled by Napoleon to make his new realm a constitutional monarchy, with a parliament. The most important person in the duchy was in fact the French ambassador, based in the duchys capital, the duchy lacked its own diplomatic representation abroad. In 1809, a war with Austria started. During the war the German colonists settled by Prussia during Partitions openly rose up against Polish government. After the Battle of Wagram, the ensuing Treaty of Schönbrunn allowed for a significant expansion of the Duchys territory southwards with the regaining of once-Polish, Napoleon did not want to make a permanent decision that would tie his hands before his anticipated peace settlement with Russia. Nevertheless, he proclaimed the attack on Russia as a second Polish war and that peace settlement was not to be, however. The failed campaign against Russia proved to be a turning point in Napoleons fortunes.
After Napoleons defeat in the east, most of the territory of the Duchy of Warsaw was retaken by Russia in January 1813 during their advance on France, the rest of the Duchy was restored to Prussia. Although several isolated fortresses held out for more than a year, Alexander I of Russia created a Provisional Highest Council of the Duchy of Warsaw to govern the area through his generals. Although many European states and ex-rulers were represented at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and it was perhaps inevitable, that both Prussia and Russia would effectively partition Poland between them, Austria was to more-or-less retain its gains of the First Partition of 1772. Russia demanded to gain all territories of Duchy of Warsaw and it kept all its gains from the three previous partitions, together with Białystok and the surrounding territory that it had obtained in 1807. Its demands for the whole Duchy of Warsaw were denied by other European powers, Prussia regained territory it had first gained in the First Partition, but had had to give up to the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807.
It regained as the Grand Duchy of Posen some of the territory it had conquered in the Second Partition and this territory formed an area approximately 29,000 km² in size. The citys territory measured some 1164 km², and had a population of about 88,000 people, the city was eventually annexed by Austria in 1846
Charles, comte Lefebvre-Desnouettes or Lefèbvre-Desnoëttes became a French officer during the French Revolutionary Wars and a general during the Napoleonic Wars. He emigrated to the United States and he joined the army in 1792, and served with the armies of the North, of the Sambre et Meuse and Rhine et Moselle in the various campaigns of the French Revolution. Six years he had become captain and aide-de-camp to General Napoleon Bonaparte, at the Battle of Marengo in June 1800 he won further promotion. Under the Empire, Lefebvre-Desnouettes fought with distinction at the Battle of Elchingen in 1805, that year, he became colonel after the Battle of Austerlitz. He served in the Prussian campaigns of 1806-1807 and he was promoted to general of brigade in September 1806 and general of division in November 1807. He was created a count of the Empire in March 1808, sent with the army into Spain, he conducted the first and unsuccessful Siege of Saragossa. Later he commanded the IV Corps in several actions in Spain, on 29 December 1808, he was taken prisoner in the action of Benavente by the British cavalry under Henry Paget.
For over two years Lefebvre-Desnouettes remained a prisoner in England, living on parole at Cheltenham. In 1811 he broke his parole, an act which greatly offended British public opinion, in 1813 and 1814, he and his men distinguished themselves in most of the great battles, especially Brienne, La Rothière, Montmirail and Arcis-sur-Aube. He joined Napoleon in the Hundred Days and was appointed commander of the Guard Light Cavalry Division, at the Battle of Waterloo he was wounded. He is recognized as LEFÈBVRE-DESNte on the 31st column of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. His widow had an obelisk, known as the Pain de Sucre due to its shape and frequent re-painting in white, erected to his memory and that of the sailors who perished with him. It stands above the sea on the crest of a low hill in Sainte-Adresse, now a suburb of Le Havre, ISBN 1-85367-276-9 Charles Lefebvre Desnouettes Letters, 1818-1819. Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina Philip J. Haythornthwaite and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. article name needed