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
By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem.
This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.
The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth
Battle of Berezina
The battle ended with a mixed outcome. The French suffered very heavy losses but managed to cross the river, since Bérézina has been used in French as a synonym for disaster. As the surviving masses of the Grande Armée struggled on for the safety of the west. The French had suffered a defeat just two weeks earlier during the Battle of Krasnoi, the Russians had approximately 61,000 troops at the Berezina, with another 54,000 under Kutuzov just 40 miles to the east who were approaching the river. Napoleons plan was to cross the Berezina River and head for Poland, while his enemies wanted to him there. The original plan to cross the river quickly proved impossible. The nearby bridge at Borisov had been destroyed and most of the equipment to build a bridge had been destroyed a few days earlier. Marshal Oudinot was given the task of drawing off the admiral, the plan worked, and Eblés Dutch engineers braved ferociously cold water to construct the vital 100-metre bridge. Hypothermic death in less than 30 minutes of exposure was likely, the four Swiss infantry regiments acted as the rearguard.
Cavalry quickly crossed it followed by infantry to hold the bridgehead, the Swiss suffered terrible losses, but managed to cover both positions and the retreat. This struggle is depicted in the Beresinalied, the Swiss heroic stand saved most of the French troops. A second structure opened within hours and cannons were taken across it to bolster the defensive perimeter and they arrived just in time, as Chichagov realised his error and attacked the 11,000 French troops. By midday of the 27th, Napoleon and his Imperial Guard were across, and the strategy now swung to saving the Swiss rearguard, one of the spans broke in the late afternoon, but more feats of engineering skill had it repaired by early evening. The corps of Marshal Davout and Prince Eugene crossed, leaving Marshal Victors IX Corps to hold off the enemy on the east bank, there is considerable disagreement regarding the numbers of casualties on both sides. While some 22,000 French men became casualties, these included a number of stragglers.
A higher estimate is provided by historian Jacques Garnier, who places French losses at 25,000 combatants,25 cannon and 20,000 civilian stragglers, of which around 10,000 were massacred by Cossacks. Russian casualties were high, and although a very moderate 19th century Russian estimate places them at 6,000 they probably amounted to 20,000 men. Historian Alain Pigeard offers more moderate figures, between 13,000 and 16,000 men for the French,13,000 men for the Russians, among the French casualties were three generals and four colonels, killed during this battle
Battle of Marengo
The Battle of Marengo was fought on 14 June 1800 between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. Surprised by the Austrian advance toward Genoa in mid-April 1800, Bonaparte had hastily led his army over the Alps in mid-May, their two assaults across the Fontanone stream near Marengo village were repelled, and General Jean Lannes reinforced the French right. Bonaparte realised the true position and issued orders at 11,00 am to recall the detachment under Général de Division Louis Desaix, on the Austrian left, Ott’s column had taken Castel Ceriolo, and its advance guard moved south to attack Lannes’s flank. Melas renewed the assault and the Austrians broke the central French position. By 2,30 pm the French were withdrawing and Austrian dragoons seized the Marengo farm, Bonaparte had by arrived with the reserve, but Berthier’s troops began to fall back on the main vine belts. Knowing Desaix was approaching, Bonaparte was anxious about a column of Ott’s soldiers marching from the north, the French withdrew steadily eastward toward San Giuliano Vecchio as the Austrians formed a column to follow them in line with Ott’s advance in the northern sector.
The French casualties were considerably fewer, but included Desaix, the whole French line chased after the Austrians to seal une victoire politique that secured Bonaparte’s grip on power after the coup. It would be followed by a campaign, which sought to rewrite the story of the battle three times during Napoleon’s rule. The Battle of Marengo was the victory that sealed the success of Bonapartes Italian campaign of 1800 and is best understood in the context of that campaign. By a daring crossing of the Alps with his Army of the Reserve in mid-May 1800 almost before the passes were open, Bonaparte had threatened Melass lines of communications in northern Italy. The French army seized Milan on 2 June, followed by Pavia and Stradella, Bonaparte hoped that Melass preoccupation with the Siege of Genoa, held by General André Masséna, would prevent the Austrians from responding to his offensive. However, Genoa surrendered on 4 June, freeing a number of Austrians for operations against the French. On 9 June, General Jean Lannes beat Feldmarschallleutnant Peter Ott in the Battle of Montebello and this caused Bonaparte to become overconfident.
He became convinced that Melas would not attack, and further, as other French forces closed from the west and south, the Austrian commander had withdrawn most of his troops from their positions near Nice and Genoa to Alessandria on the main Turin-Mantua road. Ott arrived from Montebello of 13 June in a war council, nonetheless, by abandoning the San Giuliano plain, where the superior Austrian cavalry could have given him an edge, Melas probably made a serious mistake. Bonaparte knew that Ott had no way out from Alessandria, Victor deployed divisional generals Gaspard Amédée Gardanne and Jacques-Antoine de Chambarlhac de Laubespins divisions along the Fontanone stream. The battle took place to the east of Alessandria, on a plain crossed by a river forming meanders, on the plain were spread numerous hamlets and farms which represented strategic points. The three main sites of the battle formed a triangle, with Marengo in the west, Castel Ceriolo in the north, a small stream, the Fontanone, passed between Marengo and the Bormida
Ghent is a city and a municipality in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province and it is a port and university city. With 240,191 inhabitants in the beginning of 2009, Ghent is Belgiums second largest municipality by number of inhabitants, the current mayor of Ghent, Daniël Termont, leads a coalition of the Socialistische Partij Anders and Open VLD. The ten-day-long Ghent Festival is held every year and attended by about 1–1.5 million visitors, archaeological evidence shows human presence in the region of the confluence of Scheldt and Leie going back as far as the Stone Age and the Iron Age. Most historians believe that the name for Ghent, Ganda, is derived from the Celtic word ganda which means confluence. Other sources connect its name with a deity named Gontia. There are no records of the Roman period, but archaeological research confirms that the region of Ghent was further inhabited. When the Franks invaded the Roman territories from the end of the 4th century and well into the 5th century, they brought their language with them and Celtic, around 650, Saint Amand founded two abbeys in Ghent, St.
Peters and Saint Bavos Abbey. The city grew from several nuclei, the abbeys and a commercial centre, around 800, Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne, appointed Einhard, the biographer of Charlemagne, as abbot of both abbeys. In 851 and 879, the city was attacked and plundered twice by the Vikings. Within the protection of the County of Flanders, the city recovered and flourished from the 11th century, by the 13th century, Ghent was the biggest city in Europe north of the Alps after Paris, it was bigger than Cologne or Moscow. Within the city walls lived up to 65,000 people, the belfry and the towers of the Saint Bavo Cathedral and Saint Nicholas Church are just a few examples of the skyline of the period. The rivers flowed in an area where land was periodically flooded. These rich grass meersen were ideally suited for herding sheep, the wool of which was used for making cloth, during the Middle Ages Ghent was the leading city for cloth. The wool industry, originally established at Bruges, created the first European industrialized zone in Ghent in the High Middle Ages, the mercantile zone was so highly developed that wool had to be imported from Scotland and England.
This was one of the reasons for Flanders good relationship with Scotland and England, Ghent was the birthplace of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. Trade with England suffered significantly during the Hundred Years War, the city recovered in the 15th century, when Flanders was united with neighbouring provinces under the Dukes of Burgundy. High taxes led to a rebellion and eventually the Battle of Gavere in 1453, around this time the centre of political and social importance in the Low Countries started to shift from Flanders to Brabant, although Ghent continued to play an important role
Louis XVIII of France
Louis XVIII, known as The Desired, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1814 to 1824 except for a period in 1815 known as the Hundred Days. Until his accession to the throne of France, Louis held the title of Count of Provence as brother of King Louis XVI, on 21 September 1792, the National Convention abolished the monarchy and deposed King Louis XVI, who was executed by guillotine. When the young Louis XVII, Louis XVIs son, died in prison in June 1795, during the French Revolution and Napoleonic era, Louis XVIII lived in exile in Prussia, the United Kingdom and Russia. When the Sixth Coalition finally defeated Napoleon in 1814, Louis was placed in what he, Napoleon escaped from his exile in Elba and restored his French Empire. Louis XVIII fled and a Seventh Coalition declared war on the French Empire, defeated Napoleon, Louis XVIII ruled as king for slightly less than a decade. The Bourbon Restoration regime was a constitutional monarchy, as a constitutional monarch, Louis XVIIIs royal prerogative was reduced substantially by the Charter of 1814, Frances new constitution.
Louis had no children, upon his death, the passed to his brother, Charles. Louis XVIII was the last French monarch to die while reigning, as his successor Charles X abdicated and both Louis Philippe I and Napoléon III were deposed. Louis Stanislas Xavier, styled Count of Provence from birth, was born on 17 November 1755 in the Palace of Versailles, the son of Louis, Dauphin of France and he was the grandson of the reigning King Louis XV. As a son of the Dauphin he was a Fils de France, Louis Stanislas was christened Louis Stanislas Xavier six months after his birth in accordance with Bourbon family tradition, being nameless before his baptism. By this act, he a Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit. The former died in 1761, leaving Louis Auguste as heir to their father until the Dauphins own premature death in 1765, the two deaths elevated Louis Stanislas to second in the line of succession, while Louis Auguste acquired the title Dauphin. Louis Stanislas found comfort in his governess, Madame de Marsan, Governess of the Children of France, as he was her favourite among his siblings.
Louis Stanislas was taken away from his governess when he turned seven, Antoine de Quélen de Stuer de Caussade, Duke of La Vauguyon, a friend of his father, was named his governor. Louis Stanislas was an intelligent boy, excelling in classics and his education was of the same quality and consistency as that of his older brother, Louis Auguste, despite the fact that Louis Auguste was heir and Louis Stanislas was not. Louis Stanislas education was religious in nature, several of his teachers were men of the cloth. La Vauguyon drilled into young Louis Stanislas and his brothers the way he thought princes should know how to withdraw themselves, to like to work, and to know how to reason correctly. In the same month his household was founded, Louis was granted titles by his grandfather, Louis XV, Duke of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Perche
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and it was an early colonial power, with possessions around the world. France originated as West Francia, the half of the Carolingian Empire. A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, the territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France was Philip II, France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution. France in the Middle Ages was a de-centralised, feudal monarchy, in Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the French king was barely felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France, during the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years War.
Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars, religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion. France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France, Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America, the Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the great powers in 1814. During the years of the elderly Charlemagnes rule, the Vikings made advances along the northern and western perimeters of the Kingdom of the Franks, after Charlemagnes death in 814 his heirs were incapable of maintaining political unity and the empire began to crumble.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided the Carolingian Empire into three parts, with Charles the Bald ruling over West Francia, the nucleus of what would develop into the kingdom of France. Viking advances were allowed to increase, and their dreaded longboats were sailing up the Loire and Seine rivers and other waterways, wreaking havoc. During the reign of Charles the Simple, Normans under Rollo from Norway, were settled in an area on either side of the River Seine, downstream from Paris, that was to become Normandy. With its offshoots, the houses of Valois and Bourbon, it was to rule France for more than 800 years. Henry II inherited the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Anjou, and married Frances newly divorced ex-queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, after the French victory at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, the English monarchs maintained power only in southwestern Duchy of Guyenne. The death of Charles IV of France in 1328 without male heirs ended the main Capetian line, under Salic law the crown could not pass through a woman, so the throne passed to Philip VI, son of Charles of Valois
Louisiana (New France)
Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control 1682 to 1762 and 1802 to 1803, the area was named in honor of King Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Louisiana was divided into two regions, known as Upper Louisiana, which began north of the Arkansas River, and Lower Louisiana. The U. S. state of Louisiana is named for the historical region, although French exploration of the area began during the reign of Louis XIV, French Louisiana was not greatly developed, due to a lack of human and financial resources. France regained sovereignty of the territory in the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso of 1800. But strained by obligations in Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte decided to sell the territory to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the United States ceded part of the Louisiana Purchase to the United Kingdom in the Treaty of 1818. This section lies above the 49th parallel north in a portion of present-day Alberta, in the 18th century, Louisiana included most of the Mississippi River Valley, from what is now the Midwestern United States south to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Both areas were dominated numerically by Native American tribal populations, at times, fewer than two hundred soldiers were assigned to all of the colony, on both sides of the Mississippi. In the mid-1720s, Louisiana Indians numbered well over 35,000, to the east was territory disputed with the British colonies on the Atlantic seaboard, the French claim extended to the Appalachian Mountains. The Rocky Mountains marked the extent of the French claim. The general flatness of the land aided movement through the territory, the topography becomes more mountainous towards the west, with the notable exception of the Ozark Mountains, which are located in the mid-south. A colonial government soon emerged, with its capital originally at Mobile, at Biloxi, the government was led by a Governor-general, and Louisiana became an increasingly important colony in the early 18th century. French exploration of the area began with the 1673 expedition of Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette, as noted above, Upper Louisiana was primarily settled by colonists from French Canada.
There was further substantial intermarriage and integration with the local Illinois peoples, French settlers were attracted by the availability of arable farmland as well as by the forests, abundant with animals suitable for hunting and trapping. Genevieve across the river in todays Missouri, the region was initially governed as part of Canada, but was declared to be part of Louisiana in 1712, with the grant of the Louisiana country to Antoine Crozat. Thus and Peoria were the limit of Louisianas reach, the outposts at Ouiatenon, Fort Miamis, and Prairie du Chien operated as dependencies of Canada. Those fleeing British control founded outposts such as the important settlement of St. Louis and this became a French fur-trading center, connected to trading posts on the Missouri and Upper Mississippi rivers, leading to French settlement in that area. In the 1762 Treaty of Fontainebleau, France ceded Louisiana west of the Mississippi River to Spain, its ally in the war, even after France had lost its claim to Louisiana, settlement of Upper Louisiana by French-speakers continued for the next four decades.
French explorers and frontiersmen, such as Pedro Vial, were employed as guides and interpreters by the Spanish