French invasion of Russia
Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia, Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretext for his actions. The Grande Armée was a large force, numbering 680,000 soldiers. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians. As the Russian army fell back, Cossacks were given the task of burning villages and this was intended to deny the invaders the option of living off the land. The actions forced the French to rely on a system that was incapable of feeding the large army in the field. Starvation and privation compelled French soldiers to leave their camps at night in search of food and these men were frequently confronted by parties of Cossacks, who captured or killed them.
The Russian army retreated into Russia for almost three months, the continual retreat and the loss of lands to the French upset the Russian nobility. They pressured Alexander I to relieve the commander of the Russian army, Alexander I complied, appointing an old veteran, Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, to take over command of the army. However, for two more weeks Kutuzov continued to retreat as his predecessor had done, on 7 September, the French caught up with the Russian army which had dug itself in on hillsides before a small town called Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow. The battle that followed was the bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars until that point, involving more than 250,000 soldiers, the French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army was able to extricate itself and withdrew the following day, Napoleon entered Moscow a week later. In another turn of events the French found puzzling, there was no delegation to meet the Emperor, the Russians had evacuated the city, and the citys governor, Count Fyodor Rostopchin, ordered several strategic points in Moscow set ablaze.
Napoleons hopes had been set upon an end to his campaign. The loss of Moscow did not compel Alexander I to sue for peace, Napoleon stayed on in Moscow looking to negotiate a peace, his hopes fed in part by a disinformation campaign informing the Emperor of supposed discontent and fading morale in the Russian camp. After staying a month Napoleon moved his army out southwest toward Kaluga, the French advance toward Kaluga was checked by a Russian corps. Napoleon tried once more to engage the Russian army for an action at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Despite holding a position, the Russians retreated following a sharp engagement
Switzerland in the Napoleonic era
During the French Revolutionary Wars, the revolutionary armies marched eastward, enveloping Switzerland in their battles against Austria. In 1798, Switzerland was completely overrun by the French and was renamed the Helvetic Republic, the Helvetic Republic encountered severe economic and political problems. In 1798 the country became a battlefield of the Revolutionary Wars, Gallen and Ticino became cantons with equal rights. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 fully re-established Swiss independence and the European powers agreed to permanently recognise Swiss neutrality, at this time, the territory of Switzerland was increased for the last time, by the new cantons of Valais, Neuchâtel and Geneva. During the last years of the Ancien Régime the growing conflicts throughout the Confederation had weakened and distracted the Diet, during the next eight years revolts sprang up across the Confederation and unlike earlier many were successful. In 1790 the Lower Valais rose against the upper districts, in 1791 Porrentruy rebelled against the Bishop of Basel and became the Rauracian republic in November 1792 and in 1793 the French department of the Mont Terrible.
In 1795 St Gallen successfully revolted against the prince-abbot and these revolts were supported or encouraged by France, but the French army didnt directly attack the Confederation. In 1797 the districts of Chiavenna and Bormio, dependencies of the Three Leagues and they were quickly invaded and annexed to the Cisalpine Republic on 10 October 1797. In December of the year the Bishopric of Basel was occupied and annexed. On 9 December 1797 Frédéric-César de La Harpe, a member of the Helvetian Club from Vaud, seeing a chance to remove a feudal neighbor and gain Berns wealth, France agreed. By February 1798 French troops occupied Mulhouse and Biel/Bienne, another army entered Vaud, when the Lemanic republic was proclaimed, and the Diet broke up in dismay without taking any steps to avert the coming storm. On 5 March troops entered Bern, deserted by her allies, with Bern, the stronghold of the aristocratic party, in revolutionary hands, the old Confederation collapsed. Within a month, the Confederation was under French control and all the members of the Confederation were gone.
On 12 April 1798121 cantonal deputies proclaimed the Helvetic Republic, the new régime abolished cantonal sovereignty and feudal rights. The occupying forces established a state based on the ideas of the French Revolution. Before the Helvetic Republic, each canton had exercised complete sovereignty over its own territory or territories. Little central authority had existed, with matters concerning the country as a whole confined mainly to the Diet, the constitution of the Helvetic Republic came mainly from the design of Peter Ochs, a magistrate from Basel. It established a central two-chamber legislature which included the Grand Council, the executive, known as the Directory, comprised 5 members
Ferdinand VII of Spain
Ferdinand VII was twice King of Spain, in 1808 and again from 1813 to his death. He was known to his supporters as the Desired and to his detractors as the Felon King and he reestablished the absolutist monarchy and rejected the liberal constitution of 1812. He suppressed the liberal press 1814-33 and jailed many of its editors and writers, under his rule, Spain lost nearly all of its American possessions, and the country entered into civil war on his death. His reputation among historians is very low, historian Stanley Payne says, He proved in many ways the basest king in Spanish history. Cowardly, grasping and vengeful, seemed almost incapable of any perception of the commonwealth and he thought only in terms of his power and security and was unmoved by the enormous sacrifices of Spanish people to retain their independence and preserve his throne. Ferdinand was ostensibly the eldest surviving child of Charles IV of Spain, Ferdinand was born in the palace of El Escorial near Madrid. The Queens confessor Fray Juan Almaraz wrote in his last will that she admitted in articulo mortis that none, none of her sons and daughters, none was of the legitimate marriage.
In his youth Ferdinand occupied the position of an heir apparent who was excluded from all share in government by his parents and their advisor and Prime Minister. National discontent with the government produced a rebellion in 1805, in October 1807, Ferdinand was arrested for his complicity in the El Escorial Conspiracy in which the rebels aimed at securing foreign support from the French Emperor Napoleon. When the conspiracy was discovered, Ferdinand submitted to his parents, following a popular riot at Aranjuez Charles IV abdicated in March 1808. Ferdinand ascended the throne and turned to Napoleon for support and he abdicated on 6 May 1808. Napoleon kept Ferdinand under guard in France for six years at the Chateau of Valençay, while the upper echelons of the Spanish government accepted his abdication and Napoleons choice of his brother Joseph Bonaparte as king of Spain, the Spanish people did not. Uprisings broke out throughout the country, marking the beginning of the Peninsular War, provincial juntas were established to control regions in opposition to the new French king.
After the Battle of Bailén proved that the Spanish could resist the French, on 24 August, Ferdinand VII was proclaimed king of Spain again, and negotiations between the Council and the provincial juntas for the establishment of a Supreme Central Junta were completed. Subsequently, on 14 January 1809, the British government acknowledged Ferdinand VII as king of Spain, the Spanish people, blaming the policies of the Francophiles for causing the Napoleonic occupation and the Peninsular War by allying Spain too closely to France, at first welcomed Fernando. Ferdinand soon found that in the years a new world had been born of foreign invasion. In his name Spain fought for its independence and in his name as well juntas had governed Spanish America, Spain was no longer the absolute monarchy he had relinquished six years earlier. Instead he was now asked to rule under the liberal Constitution of 1812, before being allowed to enter Spanish soil, Ferdinand had to guarantee the liberals that he would govern on the basis of the Constitution, only gave lukewarm indications he would do so
France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established.
The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity.
In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks
War of the Sixth Coalition
After the disastrous French invasion of Russia of 1812, the continental powers joined Russia, the United Kingdom and the rebels in Spain who were already at war with France. The War of the Sixth Coalition saw major battles at Lützen, the even larger Battle of Leipzig was the largest battle in European history before World War I. Ultimately, Napoleons earlier setbacks in Russia and Germany proved to be the seeds of his undoing, with their armies reorganized, the allies drove Napoleon out of Germany in 1813 and invaded France in 1814. The Allies defeated the remaining French armies, occupied Paris, and forced Napoleon to abdicate, the French monarchy was revived by the allies, who handed rule to the heir of the House of Bourbon in the Bourbon Restoration. This was not however the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon subsequently escaped from his captivity and returned to power in France, sparking the War of the Seventh Coalition in 1815. In 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia to compel Emperor Alexander I to remain in the Continental System, the Grande Armée, consisting of as many as 650,000 men, crossed the Neman River on 23 June 1812.
Russia proclaimed a Patriotic War, while Napoleon proclaimed a Second Polish War, but against the expectations of the Poles, who supplied almost 100,000 troops for the invasion force, and having in mind further negotiations with Russia, he avoided any concessions toward Poland. Russian forces fell back, destroying everything potentially of use to the invaders until giving battle at Borodino where the two armies fought a devastating but inconclusive battle. Following the battle the Russians withdrew, thus opening the road to Moscow, by 14 September the French had occupied Moscow but found the city practically empty. Alexander I refused to capitulate, leaving the French in the city of Moscow with little food or shelter and winter approaching. In these circumstances, and with no path to victory. Total losses of the Grand Army were at least 370,000 casualties as a result of fighting and the weather conditions. By November, only 27,000 fit soldiers re-crossed the Berezina River, Napoleon now left his army to return to Paris and prepare a defence of Poland against the advancing Russians.
The situation was not as dire as it might at first have seemed, on 9 January 1812, French troops occupied Swedish Pomerania to end the illegal trade with the United Kingdom from Sweden, which was in violation of the Continental System. Swedish estates were confiscated and Swedish officers and soldiers were taken as prisoners, in response, Sweden declared neutrality and signed the secret Treaty of Saint Petersburg with Russia against France and Denmark–Norway on 5 April. On 18 July, the Treaty of Örebro formally ended the wars between Britain and Sweden and Britain and Russia, forming an alliance between Russia and Sweden. However, when Napoleon marched on Moscow, neither Britain nor Sweden would give any support to Russia. The alliance existed only on paper, according to the Treaty of Tilsit, Prussia had to support Napoleons invasion of Russia
First Siege of Zaragoza
The First Siege of Zaragoza was a bloody struggle in the Peninsular War. When the Dos de Mayo uprisings took place in Spain in 1808, Napoleon at first thought that they were a series of isolated uprisings, in North Eastern Spain Marshall Bessières assigned General Lefebvre-Desnouettes to quell the revolt in Aragon. Eventually his column included 5,000 infantry,1,000 cavalry, Lefebvre quickly discovered, that the revolt was much more widespread than had been believed. The Spanish side was led by General José de Palafox who was the son in an aristocratic Spanish family. He was appointed Captain-General of Aragon in late May and he successfully raised a force of 7,500 troops but was handicapped by the lack of experience of these troops with only about 300 experienced cavalry and a few gunners. Palafox made a few attempts to stop the French from even reaching Zaragoza and his elder brother the Marquis of Lazan attempted to stop them at Tudela on 8 June 1808 and again at Mallen on 13 June 1808. Palafax sent out a force of 6,000 but was defeated again at Alagon on 14 June 1808, finally the remaining Spanish forces retreated into Zaragoza.
Zaragoza itself was protected by two walls and two rivers – the Ebro river to the north-east and the Huerva to the south –. The strength of the city, was in its maze of strongly built defensible buildings with narrow lanes easy to block with barricades, Lefebvre reached Zaragoza on 15 June 1808. At this time he was outnumbered by the Spanish, who had around 11,000 troops although only half had experience of battle from the Alagon defeat. The next day Lefebvre assaulted the wall of the city expecting that the Spanish would collapse quickly. The French suffered around 700 casualties in this first assault, Palafox himself was not present on that day. He had left to raise troops in Upper Aragon to attack Lefebvres lines of communication. Palafox raised a force of 5,000 troops but these were defeated at Épila on the 23–24 June 1808. The French, received more substantial reinforcements with a force of 3,000 led by General Jean-Antoine Verdier arriving on 26 June 1808, as General Verdier was senior to Lefebvre he took over command of all the troops.
Further reinforcements continued to arrive including some siege artillery, on 28 June 1808 Verdier attacked Monte Terrero on the southern bank of the Huerva river. Monte Terrero was a hill dominated the south of Zaragoza. As a result the hill was captured with ease and the Spanish commander, Colonel Vincento Falco, was subsequently court-martialled, now that Monte Terrero was in his hands, Verdier was able to use it as a base for his siege artillery
Battle of Gerona (1808)
The Battle of Gerona on 20 and 21 June 1808 saw an Imperial French division led by Guillaume Philibert Duhesme try to overrun a Spanish garrison commanded by Lieutenant Colonels ODonovan and ODaly. The French assault failed and the attackers withdrew, Girona is located about halfway between the Franco-Spanish border and Barcelona on the Autovía A-7. The action occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars, as part of his plan to overthrow the Spanish ruling family, Emperor Napoleon I ordered his soldiers to seize Barcelona in February 1808. The citys fortress was occupied, but a few weeks the Spanish people rebelled against Imperial French rule. Duhesme and his soldiers found themselves in difficulties. Hemmed in by Catalan militia and regular Spanish troops, the French general attempted to capture Girona in order to open up a supply line from France to Barcelona. The Franco-Italian force attempted to storm the city but they were repulsed by the city militia, Duhesme fell back to Barcelona, but he returned to mount the Second Siege of Gerona five weeks later.
As part of his plan to seize his ally the Kingdom of Spain in a coup, Emperor Napoleon ordered several key points, including Barcelona. On 29 February, General of Division Giuseppe Lechis troops were moving through Barcelona, Lechi ordered a military review, and, as his soldiers marched past the main gate of the citadel, they suddenly veered left and rushed into the fortress. Without bloodshed, the Imperial troops hustled the stunned Spanish garrison out of the fortifications, among other strong places, the French seized San Sebastian and Figueras. On 2 May, the Spanish people rose in revolt against the French occupiers, by the summer of 1808, a 12, 710-man French corps commanded by Guillaume Philibert Duhesme was based at Barcelona. General of Division Joseph Chabran led the 1st Division with 6,050 soldiers in eight battalions, the 1,700 cavalrymen in nine squadrons were under Generals of Brigade Bertrand Bessières and François Xavier de Schwarz. In view of the seriousness of the revolt, these orders were completely unrealistic, Duhesme attempted to comply with his instructions by sending Chabran and 3,000 troops to join Moncey and directing Schwarz with another column to seize Lerida.
Schwarz left Barcelona on 4 June and immediately ran into trouble, in the first of the Battles of the Bruch swarms of Catalan miquelets kept his soldiers from crossing the pass. He called for help and Duhesme diverted Chabran to assist him, but the two generals were unable to force their way through the pass on 15 June. After suffering 400 casualties in the battle, the French, Italians. The Catalan irregulars tried to oppose Chabrans withdrawing force in the plains but were driven off. The frustrated French and their allies brutally plundered every village along their back to Barcelona
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
Polish Legions (Napoleonic period)
The Polish Legions in the Napoleonic period, were several Polish military units that served with the French Army, mainly from 1797 to 1803, although some units continued to serve until 1815. After the Third Partition of Poland in 1795, many Poles believed that Revolutionary France, Frances enemies included Polands partitioners, Prussia and Imperial Russia. Many Polish soldiers and volunteers therefore emigrated, especially to Italy and to France, the number of Polish recruits soon reached many thousands. With support from Napoleon Bonaparte, Polish military units were formed, bearing Polish military ranks and they became known as the Polish Legions, a Polish army in exile, under French command. Their best known Polish commanders included Jan Henryk Dąbrowski, Karol Kniaziewicz, the Polish Legions serving alongside the French Army during the Napoleonic Wars saw combat in most of Napoleons campaigns, from the West Indies, through Italy and Egypt. When the Duchy of Warsaw was created in 1807, many of the veterans of the Legions formed a core around which the Duchys army was raised under Józef Poniatowski, among historians there is a degree of uncertainty about the period in which the Legions existed.
Magocsi et al. notes that the heyday of their activity falls in the years 1797–1801, Davies defines the time of their existence as five to six years. The Polish PWN Encyklopedia defines them as operating in the period of 1797–1801. The Polish WIEM Encyklopedia notes that the Legions ended with the death of most of their personnel in the Haitian campaign, which concluded in 1803. Estimates of the strength of the Polish Legions vary and it is believed that between 20,000 and 30,000 men served in the Legions ranks at any one time over the course of their existence. The WIEM Encyklopedia estimate is 21,000 for the period up to 1803, Davies suggests 25,000 for the period of up to 1802–1803, as does Magosci et al. Bideleux and Jeffries offer an estimate of up to 30,000 for the period up to 1801, most of the soldiers came from the ranks of the peasantry, with only about 10 percent being drawn from the nobility. Frances enemies included Polands partitioners, Prussia and Imperial Russia, Paris was the seat of two Polish organizations laying the claim to be the Polish government-in-exile, the Deputation of Franciszek Ksawery Dmochowski and the Agency of Józef Wybicki.
Many Polish soldiers and volunteers therefore emigrated, especially to Italy, the Agency was successful in convincing the French government to organize a Polish military unit. As the French Constitution did not allow for the employment of troops on French soil, the French decided to use the Poles to bolster their allies in Italy. Jan Henryk Dąbrowski, a former high-ranking officer in the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Dąbrowski was soon authorized by the French-allied Cisalpine Republic to create the Polish Legions, which would be part of the army of the newly created Republic of Lombardy. This agreement, drafted by Napoleon, was signed on 9 January 1797, the Polish soldiers serving in the Dąbrowski Legion were granted Lombardian citizenship and were paid the same wage as other troops. They were allowed to use their own unique Polish-style uniforms, with some French and Lombardian symbols, by early February 1797 the Legion was 1,200 strong, having been bolstered by the arrival of many new recruits who had deserted from the Austrian army
The Peninsular War was a military conflict between Napoleons empire and the allied powers of Spain and Portugal, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war started when French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, the Peninsular War overlaps with what the Spanish-speaking world calls the Guerra de la Independencia Española, which began with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 and ended on 17 April 1814. The French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas, the British Army, under the Lt. Gen. Arthur Wellesley, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army. The demoralised Portuguese army was reorganised and refitted under the command of Gen, in the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Josephs army at Vitoria. The years of fighting in Spain were a burden on Frances Grande Armée. The Spanish armies were beaten and driven to the peripheries.
This drain on French resources led Napoleon, who had provoked a total war. War and revolution against Napoleons occupation led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812, the burden of war destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain, and ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Iberia until 1850. The cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion and restoration led to the independence of most of Spains American colonies, the Treaties of Tilsit, negotiated during a meeting in July 1807 between Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon, concluded the War of the Fourth Coalition. With Prussia shattered, and Russia allied with France, Napoleon expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I, had declined to join the emperors Continental System against British trade.
After a few days, a large force started concentrating at Bayonne, meanwhile the Portuguese governments resolve was stiffening, and shortly afterward Napoleon was once again told that Portugal would not go beyond its original agreements. After he received the Portuguese answer, he ordered Junots corps to cross the frontier into Spain, while all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain. The document was drawn up by Napoleons marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, the treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three entities. Porto and the part was to become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania. The southern portion, as the Principality of the Algarves, would fall to Godoy, the rump of the country, centered on Lisbon, was to be administered by the French. According to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Junots invasion force was to be supported by 25,500 men in three Spanish columns, Gen. Taranco and 6,500 troops were ordered to march from Vigo to seize Porto in the north.
Capt. Gen. Solano would advance from Badajoz with 9,500 soldiers to capture Elvas, Gen. Caraffa and 9,500 men were instructed to assemble at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo, and cooperate with Junots main force
War of the Fifth Coalition
The War of the Fifth Coalition was fought in the year 1809 by a coalition of the Austrian Empire and the United Kingdom against Napoleons French Empire and Bavaria. Major engagements between France and Austria, the participants, unfolded over much of Central Europe from April to July. After much campaigning in Bavaria and across the Danube valley, the war ended favourably for the French after the struggle at Wagram in early July. The resulting Treaty of Schönbrunn was the harshest that France had imposed on Austria in recent memory, Austria lost over three million subjects, about one-fifth of her total population, as a result of these territorial changes. Although the Fifth Coalition ended, Britain and Portugal remained at war with France in the ongoing Peninsular War, there was peace in central and eastern Europe until Napoleons invasion of Russia in 1812, which led to the formation of the Sixth Coalition in 1813. Europe had been embroiled in warfare, pitting revolutionary France against a series of coalitions, after five years of war, the French Republic subdued the First Coalition in 1797.
A Second Coalition was formed in 1798, only to be defeated, in March 1802, France and Great Britain, its one remaining enemy, agreed to end hostilities under the Treaty of Amiens. For the first time in ten years, all of Europe was at peace, many disagreements between the two sides remained unresolved, and implementing the agreements they had reached at Amiens seemed to be a growing challenge. Britain resented having to turn all of its colonial conquests since 1793 when France was permitted to retain most of its conquered territory in Europe. France, was upset that British troops had not evacuated the island of Malta, in May 1803, Britain declared war on France. With the resumption of hostilities, Napoleon planned an invasion of England, in December 1804, an Anglo-Swedish agreement led to the creation of the Third Coalition. British Prime Minister William Pitt spent 1804 and 1805 in a flurry of diplomatic activity geared towards forming a new coalition against France and neutralising the threat of invasion.
Mutual suspicion between the British and the Russians eased in the face of several French political mistakes, and by April 1805, in August 1805, the French Grande Armée invaded the German states in hopes of knocking Austria out of the war before Russian forces could intervene. On 25 September, after great secrecy and feverish marching,200,000 French troops began to cross the Rhine on a front of 160 miles, Mack had gathered the greater part of the Austrian army at the fortress of Ulm in Bavaria. Napoleon hoped to swing his forces northward and perform a movement that would find the French at the Austrian rear. The Ulm Maneuver was well executed, and on 20 October Mack and 23,000 Austrian troops surrendered at Ulm, the French captured Vienna in November and went on to inflict a decisive defeat on a Russo-Austrian army at Austerlitz in early December. Austerlitz led to the expulsion of Russian troops from Central Europe and the humiliation of Austria, Austerlitz incited a major shift in the European balance of power.
Prussia felt threatened about her security in the region and, alongside Russia, a vigorous French pursuit through Northern Germany finished off the remnants of the Prussian army