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
Battle of Sabugal
In poor weather, with heavy rain and fog, Allied forces succeeded in forcing the demoralized French force into retreat. By October 1810, Marshal Massena’s French army had halted by the Lines of Torres Vedras. Having survived the winter, Massena order a retreat on 3 March 1811. By the onset of April, the French forces were just inside Portugal, jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte dErlons 9th Corps defended to the north, Louis Henri Loisons 6th Corps was in the centre and Jean Reyniers 2nd Corps held the south flank at Sabugal. Resting in the areas was Jean-Andoche Junots 8th Corps. It was at Sabugal that Wellesley attempted to crush the French flank by attacking forces of the isolated 2nd Corps, with the leading British units cut off, and poor weather approaching, the British situation became increasingly difficult. The 1st Brigade of the British-Portuguese Light Division crossed the Côa at 10.00 hrs on the morning of 3 April, the French 4th Légére from Pierre Hugues Victoire Merles 1st Division was alerted by musket fire as the 1st Brigade drove off a small number of French pickets.
The French formed a column and advanced on the British, while making good progress initially, the concentrated French force was driven back by British artillery. The 1st Brigade followed the retreating French forces up a hill, however it was quickly ousted by the remaining French forces. The British were forced back into cover behind some stone walls. Heavy rain had begun to interfere with the muskets of both sides. An attempted counter-attack by the 1st Brigade ended in failure, together with further French reinforcements, Reynier forced the British back to the cover of the stone walls at the foot of the hill. The crest was attacked for a time by the 1st Brigade, now supported by the 2nd Brigade. While the French were initially pushed back, Reynier sent in a stream of French units to meet the arriving British 16th Light Dragoons, with the rain clearing, Reynier could see the British divisions beginning a frontal assault. Sources differ in the number of French prisoners taken, ranging from 186 to over 1,500, major-General William Erskine commanded the Light Division during the battle.
Wellington planned to have the Light Division and two brigades of cavalry circle behind Reyniers open left flank while the four divisions attacked in front. When the day dawned with heavy fog, the commanders decided to wait until visibility improved. Undeterred, Erskine peremptorily ordered Lieut-Colonel Thomas Sydney Beckwiths 1st Brigade forward, instead of crossing the Côa beyond Reyniers flank, the brigade drifted to the left in the fog, crossed at the wrong location and struck the French left flank
Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910, after 1248, it was known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves and between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. The name is often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realms extensive overseas colonies. The nucleus of the Portuguese state was the County of Portugal, established in the 9th century as part of the Reconquista, by Vímara Peres, a vassal of the King of Asturias. The county became part of the Kingdom of León in 1097, the kingdom was ruled by the Alfonsine Dynasty until the 1383–85 Crisis, after which the monarchy passed to the House of Aviz. During the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese exploration established a vast colonial empire, from 1580 to 1640, the kingdom of Portugal was in personal union with Habsburg Spain. After the Portuguese Restoration War of 1640–1668, the passed to the House of Braganza and after to the House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg.
From this time, the influence of Portugal declined, but it remained a major due to its most valuable colony. Portugal was an absolute monarchy before 1822. It rotated between absolute and constitutional monarchy from 1822 until 1834, and was a constitutional monarchy after 1834. The Kingdom of Portugal finds its origins in the County of Portugal, the Portuguese County was a semi-autonomous county of the Kingdom of León. Independence from León took place in three stages, The first on 26 July 1139 when Afonso Henriques was acclaimed King of the Portuguese internally, the second was on 5 October 1143, when Alfonso VII of León and Castile recognized Afonso Henriques as king through the Treaty of Zamora. The third, in 1179, was the Papal Bull Manifestis Probatum, once Portugal was independent, D. Afonso Is descendants, members of the Portuguese House of Burgundy, would rule Portugal until 1383. Even after the change in houses, all the monarchs of Portugal were descended from Afonso I, one way or another.
With the start of the 20th century, Republicanism grew in numbers and support in Lisbon among progressive politicians, however a minority with regard to the rest of the country, this height of republicanism would benefit politically from the Lisbon Regicide on 1 February 1908. When returning from the Ducal Palace at Vila Viçosa, King Carlos I, with the death of the king and his heir, Carlos Is second son would become king as King Manuel II of Portugal. Manuels reign, would be short-lived, ending by force with the 5 October 1910 revolution, sending Manuel into exile in England, on 19 January 1919, the Monarchy of the North was proclaimed in Porto. The monarchy would be deposed a month and no other monarchist counterrevolution in Portugal has happened since, after centuries of Portuguese dominion in Angola, the Kingdom of Kongo was made a vassal state of the Portuguese kingdom, its king pledging allegiance to the King of Portugal
Foraging is searching for wild food resources. It affects an animals fitness because it plays an important role in an ability to survive. Foraging theory is a branch of ecology that studies the foraging behavior of animals in response to the environment where the animal lives. Behavioral ecologists use economic models to understand foraging, many of these models are a type of optimality model, thus foraging theory is discussed in terms of optimizing a payoff from a foraging decision. The payoff for many of these models is the amount of energy an animal receives per unit time, more specifically, foraging theory predicts that the decisions that maximize energy per unit time and thus deliver the highest payoff will be selected for and persist. Behavioral ecologists first tackled this topic in the 1960s and 1970s and their goal was to quantify and formalize a set of models to test their null hypothesis that animals forage randomly. Learning is defined as a change or modification of a behavior based on a previous experience.
Since an animals environment is changing, the ability to adjust foraging behavior is essential for maximization of fitness. Studies in social insects have shown there is a significant correlation between learning and foraging performance. In nonhuman primates, young individuals learn foraging behavior from their peers and elders by watching other group members forage and learning from other members of the group ensure that the younger members of the group learn what is safe to eat and become proficient foragers. One measure of learning is foraging innovation—an animal consuming new food, foraging innovation is considered learning because it involves behavioral plasticity on the animals part. The animal recognizes the need to come up with a new foraging strategy, forebrain size has been associated with learning behavior. Animals with larger sizes are expected to learn better. A higher ability to innovate has been linked to larger sizes in North American. In this study, bird orders that contained individuals with larger forebrain sizes displayed a higher amount of foraging innovation, examples of innovations recorded in birds include following tractors and eating frogs or other insects killed by it and using swaying trees to catch their prey.
Another measure of learning is learning, which refers to an individuals ability to associate the time of an event with the place of that event. This type of learning has been documented in the behaviors of individuals of the stingless bee species Trigona fulviventris. Foraging behavior can be influenced by genetics, honey bee foraging activity occurs both inside and outside the hive for either pollen or nectar
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
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
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)
The Kingdom of Italy was a French client state founded in Northern Italy by Napoleon I, fully influenced by revolutionary France, that ended with his defeat and fall. Napoleon I was crowned at the Duomo di Milano, Milan on May 26 and his title was Emperor of the French and King of Italy, showing the importance of this Italian Kingdom for him. Even though the republican Constitution was never abolished, a series of Constitutional Statutes completely altered it. The second one, dating from March 29, and regulated the regency, the Great Officials of the kingdom, the Consulta, Legislative Council, and Speakers, were all merged in a Council of State, whose opinions became only optional and not binding for the king. The Legislative Body, the old parliament, remained in theory, but it never summoned after 1805, the fourth Statute, decided on February 16,1806, indicated Beauharnais as the heir to the throne. The seventh Statute, on September 21, created a new nobility of dukes and barons, the eighth, in 1812, a Court of Accounts was added.
The Duchy of Guastalla was annexed on May 24, with the Convention of Fontainebleau with Austria of October 10,1807, Italy ceded Monfalcone to Austria and gained Gradisca, putting the new border on the Isonzo River. The conquered Republic of Ragusa was annexed in spring 1808 by general Marmont and that was the only time in modern history that Ragusa was united to Italy. On April 2,1808, following the dissolution of the Papal States, at its maximum extent, the Kingdom had 6,700,000 inhabitants and was composed by 2,155 communes. Small changes to the borders between Italy and France in Garfagnana and Friuli came in act on August 5,1811, in practice, the Kingdom was a dependency of the French Empire. The Kingdom served as a theater in Napoleons operations against Austria during the wars of the various coalitions, trading with the United Kingdom was forbidden. The kingdom was given a new currency, replacing the local coins circulating in the country, the Italian lira, of the same size, weight. Mintage being decided by Napoleon with a decree on March 21,1806.
The monetary unit was the silver lira, which was 5 grams heavy, there were multiples of £2 and £5, and precious coins of £20 and £40. The army of the kingdom, inserted into the Grande Armée, in the course of its existence from 1805 to 1814 the Kingdom of Italy provided Napoleon I with roughly around 200,000 soldiers. In 1805 Italian troops served on duty along the English Channel, during 1806-1807 they took part in the sieges of Kolberg and Danzig. From 1808 to 1813 whole Italian divisions served in Spain, especially distinguishing themselves under Suchet at Tarragona and Saguntum. In 1809, Eugènes Army of Italy formed the wing of Napoleon Is invasion of the Austrian Empire, winning a considerable victory at Raab
Battle of Bussaco
Having occupied the heights of Bussaco with 25,000 British and the same number of Portuguese, Wellington was attacked five times successively by 65,000 French under Marshal André Masséna. In 1810, Emperor Napoleon I ordered Masséna to drive the British from Portugal, the French marshal began the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo in April. The Spanish garrison held out until 9 July when the fortress fell, the Battle of the Côa was fought soon after. The Siege of Almeida ended suddenly with an explosion of the fortress magazine on 26 August. With all obstacles cleared from their path, the French could march on Lisbon in strength and it was important to delay the French until the defences being built around Lisbon, the Lines of Torres Vedras could be completed. Using selective demolition of bridges and roads, Viscount Wellington restricted the choice of routes the French could use, at the end of September, they met Wellingtons army drawn up on the ridge of Bussaco. BG George DeGrey, BG John Slade, BG George Anson and BG Henry Fane led four British cavalry brigades, in batteries of six guns apiece, there were six British, two Kings German Legion and five Portuguese batteries under BG Edward Howorth.
The Anglo Portuguese army numbered 50,000, with 50% Portuguese troops. Massénas army of 60,000 included the II Corps under Reynier, the VI Corps led by Ney, the VIII Corps under MG Jean Andoche Junot, the divisions of MG Pierre Hugues Victoire Merle and MG Étienne Heudelet de Bierre made up Reyniers corps. Neys corps had three divisions under MGs Jean Marchand, Julien Mermet and Louis Loison, Junot had the divisions of MG Bertrand Clausel and MG Jean-Baptiste Solignac. Each French corps contained the standard brigade of light cavalry, General of Brigade Jean Baptiste Eblé, Massénas artillery chief, commanded 112 guns. Wellington posted his army along the crest of Bussaco Ridge, facing east, to improve his lateral communications, he had previously ordered his four officers from the Royal Corps of Engineers to cut a road that ran the length of the ridge on the reverse slope. Next came Craufurd, Spencer and Leith, hill held the right flank with Hamiltons men attached. Masséna, believing he outnumbered the British and goaded by Ney and other officers to attack the British position rather than go around it.
Very few of Wellingtons troops were visible, as they remained on the slope and were ordered not to light cooking fires. The French General planned to send Reynier at the centre of the ridge, once the II Corps attack showed some signs of success, Masséna would launch Neys corps at the British along the main road. The VIII Corps stood behind the VI Corps in reserve, while Ney announced that he was ready to attack and conquer, Reynier suddenly had second thoughts, predicting his attack would be beaten. Reyniers troops struck in the morning mist
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the most mobile of the combat arms, an individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon or trooper. The designation of cavalry was not usually given to any military forces that used animals, such as camels. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, and a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height, another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent. In Europe cavalry became increasingly armoured, and eventually became known for the mounted knights, in the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, modern usage of the term generally refers to specialist units equipped with tanks or aircraft.
The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the armored designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was largely performed by light chariots, the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Persian Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC, at this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was more difficult than mere riding. The cavalry acted in pairs, the reins of the archer were controlled by his neighbours hand. Even at this time, cavalry used swords, shields. The sculpture implies two types of cavalry, but this might be a simplification by the artist, Later images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse.
As early as 490 BC a breed of horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour. However, chariots remained in use for purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph. The southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, the last mention of chariot use in battle was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were usually limited to citizens who could afford expensive war-horses
War of the Fourth Coalition
The Fourth Coalition against Napoleons French Empire was defeated in a war spanning 1806–1807. Coalition partners included Prussia, Saxony, several members of the coalition had previously been fighting France as part of the Third Coalition, and there was no intervening period of general peace. On 9 October 1806, Prussia joined a coalition, fearing the rise in French power after the defeat of Austria. Prussia and Russia mobilized for a campaign, and Prussian troops massed in Saxony. Napoleon decisively defeated the Prussians in a campaign that culminated at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt on 14 October 1806. French forces under Napoleon occupied Prussia, pursued the remnants of the shattered Prussian Army and they advanced all the way to East Prussia and the Russian frontier, where they fought an inconclusive battle against the Russians at the Battle of Eylau on 7–8 February 1807. Napoleons advance on the Russian frontier was briefly checked during the spring as he revitalized his army, Russian forces were finally crushed by the French at the Battle of Friedland on 14 June 1807, and three days Russia asked for a truce.
By the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, France made peace with Russia, these acquisitions were incorporated into his brother Jérôme Bonapartes new Kingdom of Westphalia, and established the Duchy of Warsaw. The end of the war saw Napoleon master of almost all of western and central continental Europe, except for Spain, Austria, despite the end of the Fourth Coalition, Britain remained at war with France. Hostilities on land resumed in 1807 when a Franco-Spanish force invaded Britains ally Portugal, a further Fifth Coalition would be assembled when Austria re-joined the conflict in 1809. The Fourth Coalition of Prussia, Saxony, despite the death of William Pitt in January 1806, Britain and the new Whig administration remained committed to checking the growing power of France. Peace overtures between the two early in the new year proved ineffectual due to the still unresolved issues that had led to the breakdown of the Peace of Amiens. One point of contention was the fate of Hanover, a German electorate in personal union with the British monarchy that had been occupied by France since 1803, dispute over this state would eventually become a casus belli for both Britain and Prussia against France.
This issue dragged Sweden into the war, whose forces had deployed there as part of the effort to liberate Hanover during the war of the previous coalition. The path to war seemed inevitable after French forces ejected the Swedish troops in April 1806, there was an escalation in the ongoing economic warfare between the two powers. With Britain still retaining its dominance of the seas, Napoleon looked to break this dominance with his issuance of the Berlin Decree, Britain retaliated with its Orders in Council several months later. In the meantime, Russia spent most of 1806 still licking its wounds from the years campaign. Napoleon had hoped to establish peace with Russia and a peace treaty was signed in July 1806, but this was vetoed by Tsar Alexander I
The Hundred Days marked the period between Napoleons return from exile on the island of Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815. This period saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, and includes the Waterloo Campaign, the phrase les Cent Jours was first used by the prefect of Paris, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the king back to Paris on 8 July. Napoleon returned while the Congress of Vienna was sitting, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars pitted France against various coalitions of other European nations nearly continuously from 1792 onward. The overthrow and subsequent public execution of Louis XVI in France had greatly disturbed other European leaders, rather than leading to Frances defeat, the wars allowed the revolutionary regime to expand beyond its borders and create client republics. The success of the French forces made an out of their best commander. In 1799, Napoleon staged a successful coup détat and became First Consul of the new French Consulate, five years later, he crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I.
The rise of Napoleon troubled the other European powers as much as the revolutionary regime had. Despite the formation of new coalitions against him, Napoleons forces continued to conquer much of Europe, the tide of war began to turn after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812 that resulted in the loss of much of Napoleons army. The following year, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, Coalition forces defeated the French in the Battle of Leipzig, following its victory at Leipzig, the Coalition vowed to press on to Paris and depose Napoleon. In the last week of February 1814, Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher advanced on Paris, the Battle of Reims went to Napoleon, but this victory was followed by successive defeats from increasingly overwhelming odds. Coalition forces entered Paris after the Battle of Montmartre on 30 March 1814, on 6 April 1814, Napoleon abdicated his throne, leading to the accession of Louis XVIII and the first Bourbon Restoration a month later.
The defeated Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, Napoleon spent only nine months and 21 days in uneasy retirement on Elba, watching events in France with great interest as the Congress of Vienna gradually gathered. He had been escorted to Elba by Sir Neil Campbell, who remained in there while performing other duties in Italy. Equally threatening was the situation in Europe which had been stressed and exhausted during the previous decades of near constant warfare. The conflicting demands of major powers were for a time so exorbitant as to bring the Powers at the Congress of Vienna to the verge of war with each other. Thus every scrap of news reaching remote Elba looked favourable to Napoleon to retake power as he reasoned the news of his return would cause a popular rising as he approached. So threatening were the symptoms that the royalists at Paris and the plenipotentiaries at Vienna talked of deporting him to the Azores or to Saint Helena, at the Congress of Vienna the various participating nations had very different and conflicting goals.
Tsar Alexander of Russia had expected to absorb much of Poland and to leave a Polish puppet state, the renewed Prussian state demanded all of the Kingdom of Saxony