In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
A firearm is a portable gun that inflicts damage on targets by launching one or more projectiles driven by expanding high-pressure gas produced chemically by exothermic combustion of propellant within an ammunition cartridge. If gas pressurization is achieved through mechanical gas compression rather than through chemical propellant combustion the gun is technically an air gun, not a firearm; the first primitive firearms originated in 10th-century China when bamboo tubes containing gunpowder and pellet projectiles were mounted on spears into the one-person-portable fire lance, used as a shock weapon to good effect in the Siege of De'an in 1132. In the 13th century the Chinese invented the metal-barrelled hand cannon considered the true ancestor of all firearms; the technology spread through the rest of East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe. Older firearms used black powder as a propellant, but modern firearms use smokeless powder or other propellants. Most modern firearms have rifled barrels to impart spin to the projectile for improved flight stability.
Modern firearms can be described in the case of shotguns by their gauge. Further classification may make reference to the type of barrel used and to the barrel length, to the firing mechanism, to the design's primary intended use, or to the accepted name for a particular variation. Shooters aim firearms at their targets with hand-eye coordination, using either iron sights or optical sights; the accurate range of pistols does not exceed 110 yards, while most rifles are accurate to 550 yards using iron sights, or to longer ranges using optical sights. Purpose-built sniper rifles and anti-materiel rifles are accurate to ranges of more than 2,200 yards. Firearms include a variety of ranged weapons and there is no agreed upon definition. Many soldiers consider a firearm to be any ranged weapon that uses gunpowder or a derivative as a propellant. Small arms include handguns and long guns, such as rifles, submachine guns, personal defense weapons, squad automatic weapons, light machine guns; the world's top small arms manufacturing companies are Browning, Colt, Smith & Wesson, Mossberg, Heckler & Koch, SIG Sauer, Walther, ČZUB, Steyr-Mannlicher, FN Herstal, Norinco, Tula Arms and Kalashnikov, while former top producers were Mauser, Springfield Armory, Rock Island Armory under Armscor.
In 2018, Small Arms Survey reported that there are over one billion small arms distributed globally, of which 857 million are in civilian hands. U. S. civilians alone account for 393 million of the worldwide total of civilian held firearms. This amounts to "120.5 firearms for every 100 residents." The world's armed forces control about 133 million of the global total of small arms, of which over 43 percent belong to two countries: the Russian Federation and China. Law enforcement agencies control about 23 million of the global total of small arms; the smallest of all firearms is the handgun. There are two common types of handguns: semi-automatic pistols. Revolvers have "charge holes" in a revolving cylinder. Semi-automatic pistols have a single fixed firing chamber machined into the rear of the barrel, a magazine so they can be used to fire more than one round; each press of the trigger fires a cartridge, using the energy of the cartridge to activate the mechanism so that the next cartridge may be fired immediately.
This is opposed to "double-action" revolvers which accomplish the same end using a mechanical action linked to the trigger pull. Prior to the 19th century all handguns were single-shot muzzleloaders. With the invention of the revolver in 1818, handguns capable of holding multiple rounds became popular. Certain designs of auto-loading pistol appeared beginning in the 1870s and had supplanted revolvers in military applications by the end of World War I. By the end of the 20th century, most handguns carried by military and civilians were semi-automatic, although revolvers were still used. Speaking and police forces use semi-automatic pistols due to their high magazine capacities and ability to reload by removing the empty magazine and inserting a loaded one. Revolvers are common among handgun hunters because revolver cartridges are more powerful than similar caliber semi-automatic pistol cartridges and the strength and durability of the revolver design is well-suited to outdoor use. Revolvers in.22 LR and 38 Special/357 Magnum, are common concealed weapons in j
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne
Imperial Guard (Napoleon I)
The Imperial Guard was a small group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I, but grew over time. It acted as his bodyguard and tactical reserve, he was careful of its use in battle; the Guard was divided into the staff, infantry and artillery regiments, as well as battalions of sappers and marines. The guard itself as a whole distinguished between the experienced veterans and less experienced members by being separated into three sections: the Old Guard, Middle Guard and Young Guard; the Guard had its origin in the Consular Guard, created November 28, 1799, by the union of the Guard of the Directory and the Grenadiers of the Legislature. These formations had for principal purpose the security of the executive and legislative branches of the French Republic and gathered a small number of soldiers, about a thousand. One may question their utility, as they did not oppose Napoleon's 18 Brumaire coup of 1799; the Consular Guard changed its name to the Imperial Guard on May 18, 1804.
Its headquarters were located at the Pentemont Abbey in Paris. Napoleon took great care of his Guard the Old Guard; the Grenadiers of the Old Guard were known to complain in the presence of the Emperor, giving them the nickname Les Grognards, the Grumblers. The Guard received better pay, rations and equipment, all guardsmen ranked one grade higher than all non-Imperial Guard soldiers. Other French soldiers referred to Napoleon's Imperial Guard as "the Immortals"; the Guard played a major part in the climax of the Battle of Waterloo. It was thrown into the battle at the last minute to salvage a victory for Napoleon. Outnumbered, it faced terrible fire from the British lines, began to retreat. For the first time in its history the Middle Guard retreated without orders. At the sight of this, Napoleon's army lost all hope of victory; the Middle Guard broke but the Old Guard battalions held their formation and secured the retreat of the remainder of the French Army before being annihilated by British and Prussian artillery fire and cavalry charges.
The phrase "La Garde meurt mais ne se rend pas!" is attributed to General Pierre Cambronne. It has been suggested that this was in fact said by another general of the Guard, Claude-Etienne Michel, during their last stand at the Battle of Waterloo; the retort to a request to surrender may have been "La Garde meurt, elle ne se rend pas!". Letters published in The Times in June 1932 record; the Guard was composed of three echelons. The Old Guard comprised some of the finest soldiers in Europe, who had served Napoleon since his earliest campaigns; the Middle Guard was composed of his veterans from the 1805 to 1809 campaigns. The Young Guard consisted of the best of the annual intake of conscripts and volunteers, was never considered to be of quite the same caliber of the senior Guards, although its units were still superior to the normal line regiments. In 1804 the Guard numbered 8,000 men. By the time of Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812, it had swelled to just under 100,000 men; the Guard had its own artillery and cavalry components just like a normal Army corps.
Created soon after the creation of the Guard itself, the General Staff by 1806 included the four Colonel-Generals of the four divisions of the Guard, all Marshals of France in field rank. It included an Inspector of Reviews, a Commissioner of War, 24 aides-de-camp, other specialist officers, NCOs, privates; the Old Guard regiments served in the 3rd Division of the Guard, while the rest of the foot regiments of the Guard served in the 1st and 2nd Divisions. Created from the Grenadiers of the Consular Guard, the Foot Grenadiers were one of the oldest and most venerated of regiments in the French Army. Created in 1806, the 2e Régiment de Grenadiers-à-Pied de la Garde Impériale was disbanded in 1809 re-raised in 1810; this regiment was created as the Royal Guard in Holland, when Louis Napoleon, brother to Napoleon, was made King of Holland. After Holland became part of France, it became in 1810 the 3e Régiment de Grenadiers-à-Pied de la Garde Impériale. Disbanded 15 February 1813. Re-raised on 8 April 1815, in place of the former Fusiliers-Grenadiers.
Disbanded 24 September 1815. A fourth grenadier regiment, the 4e Régiment de Grenadiers-à-Pied de la Garde Impériale, was raised 9 May 1815. Disbanded 24 September 1815. Created at the same time as the Grenadiers of the Consular Guard, 1er Régiment de Chasseurs-à-Pied de la Garde Impériale was one of the oldest and most venerated of regiments in the French Army. Created in 1806, the 2e Régiment de Chasseurs-à-Pied de la Garde Impériale was disbanded in 1809 re-raised in 1811; the 3e Régiment de Chasseurs-à-Pied de la Garde Impériale existed during the 100 days campaign after Napoleon's escape from Elba. The 4e Régiment de Chasseurs-à-Pied de la Garde Impériale was raised during the 100 days campaign after Napoleon's escape from Elba; the Fusiliers-Grenadiers were the second regiment of Fusiliers created on December 15, 1806, from the 1st battalions of the Grenadier and Chasseur Vélites, forming a regiment, to be 1,800 men strong. Conscripts and men from the Compagnies de Reserve brought the new regiment up to four battalions of four companies each, 120 men to a company.
They were disbanded on May 12, 1814. The Fusiliers-Chasseurs were
A hussar was a member of a class of light cavalry, originating in Central Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. The title and distinctive dress of these horsemen were subsequently adopted by light cavalry regiments in European armies in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. A number of armored or ceremonial mounted; the term derives from the cavalry of late medieval Hungary, under Matthias Corvinus with the Serbian warriors. The origin of the word "hussar" remains uncertain and several alternative theories are summarised below; the first written mention of the word Hussarones has been found in documents dating from 1432 in Southern Hungary. A type of irregular light horsemen was well-established by the 15th century in medieval Hungary. Etymologists are divided over the derivation of the word hussar. Byzantinist scholars argue that the term originated in Roman military practice, the cursarii. 10th-century Byzantine military manuals mention chonsarioi, light cavalry, recruited in the Balkans Serbs, "ideal for scouting and raiding".
This word was subsequently reintroduced to Western European military practice after its original usage had been lost with the collapse of Rome in the west. According to Webster's Dictionary, the word hussar stems from the Hungarian huszár, which in turn originates from the medieval Serbian husar, meaning brigand, from the Medieval Latin cursarius. On the other hand, others support another theory, that húsz means'twenty' in Hungarian whilst ár is a unit of land measurement or acre. Hussars are so named as they were a form of military levy whereby any land owner with twenty acres was duty bound to provide a mounted and equipped soldier to the king's army at his own expense, what was introuced since 1458; the hussars originated in bands of Serbian warriors, crossing into southern Hungary after the Ottoman conquest of Serbia at the end of the 14th century. Regent-Governor John Hunyadi created mounted units inspired by the Ottomans, his son, Matthias Corvinus king of Hungary, is unanimously accepted as the creator of these troops called Rác.
They fought in small bands, but were reorganised into larger, trained formations during the reign of King Matthias Corvinus. The first hussar regiments comprised the light cavalry of the Black Army of Hungary. Under Corvinus' command, the hussars took part in the war against the Ottoman Empire in 1485 and proved successful against the sipahis as well as against the Bohemians and Poles. After the king's death, in 1490, hussars became the standard form of cavalry in Hungary in addition to the heavy cavalry; the Habsburg emperors hired Hungarian hussars as mercenaries to serve against the Ottomans and on various battlefields throughout Western Europe. Early hussars wore armor when they could afford it like the Polish hussars. Hungarian hussars abandoned using shields and armors and became light cavalry in the first half of the 17th century; the first units of Polish Hussars in the Kingdom of Poland were formed around 1500. The Polish heavy hussars of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were far more manoeuvrable than the armoured lancers employed.
The hussars proved vital to the Polish–Lithuanian victories at the Orsza, the Obertyn and the Battle of Vienna. Over the course of the 16th century, hussars in Transylvania and Hungary became heavier in character: They had abandoned wooden shields and adopted plate-metal body armour; when Stefan Bathory, a Transylvanian-Hungarian prince, was elected King of Poland in 1576, he reorganised the Polish-Lithuanian Hussars of his Royal Guard along Hungarian lines, making them a heavy formation, equipped with a long lance as their main weapon. By the reign of King Stefan Bathory, the hussars had replaced medieval-style lancers in the Polish–Lithuanian army, they now formed the bulk of the Polish cavalry. By the 1590s, most Polish–Lithuanian hussar units had been reformed along the same'heavy', Hungarian model. Due to the same resemblance, the Polish heavy hussars came with their own style, the Polish winged hussars or Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth winged husaria; the people of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth recognized the winged hussars as husarskie anioły.
In the Battle of Lubieszów, in 1577, the'Golden Age' of the husaria began. Up to and including the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Polish–Lithuanian hussars fought countless actions against a variety of enemies. In the battles of Byczyna, Kircholm, Kłuszyn, Chocim and Lwów, the Polish–Lithuanian hussars proved to be the decisive factor against overwhelming odds; until the 18th century, they were considered the elite of the Commonwealth's armed forces. Hussars outside the Polish Kingdom followed a different line of development. During the early decades of the 17th century, hussars in Hungary ceased to wear metal body armour, it was hussars of this "light" pattern, rather than the Polish heavy hussar, that were to be copied across Europe. These light hussars were ideal for reconnaissance and raiding sources of fodder and provisions in advance of the army. In battle, t
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions and led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict; the wars are categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Sixth, the Seventh. Napoleon, upon ascending to First Consul of France in 1799, had inherited a chaotic republic. In 1805, Austria and Russia waged war against France. In response, Napoleon defeated the allied Russo-Austrian army at Austerlitz in December 1805, considered his greatest victory. At sea, the British defeated the joint Franco-Spanish navy in the Battle of Trafalgar on October 1805; this victory prevented the invasion of Britain itself. Concerned about the increasing French power, Prussia led the creation of the Fourth Coalition with Russia and Sweden, the resumption of war in October 1806.
Napoleon defeated the Prussians in Jena and the Russians in Friedland, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. The peace failed, though, as war broke out in 1809, when the badly prepared Fifth Coalition, led by Austria, was defeated in Wagram. Hoping to isolate Britain economically, Napoleon launched an invasion of Portugal, the only remaining British ally in continental Europe. After occupying Lisbon in November 1807, with the bulk of French troops present in Spain, Napoleon seized the opportunity to turn against his former ally, depose the reigning Spanish Bourbon family and declare his brother King of Spain in 1808 as Joseph I; the Spanish and Portuguese revolted with British support, after six years of fighting, expelled the French from Iberia in 1814. Concurrently, unwilling to bear economic consequences of reduced trade violated the Continental System, enticing Napoleon to launch a massive invasion of Russia in 1812; the resulting campaign ended with the dissolution and disastrous withdrawal of the French Grande Armée.
Encouraged by the defeat, Prussia and Russia formed the Sixth Coalition and began a new campaign against France, decisively defeating Napoleon at Leipzig in October 1813 after several inconclusive engagements. The Allies invaded France from the East, while the Peninsular War spilled over southwestern French territory. Coalition troops captured Paris at the end of March 1814 and forced Napoleon to abdicate in early April, he was exiled to the island of Elba, the Bourbons were restored to power. However, Napoleon escaped in February 1815, reassumed control of France; the Allies responded with the Seventh Coalition, defeating Napoleon permanently at Waterloo in June 1815 and exiling him to St Helena where he died six years later. The Congress of Vienna redrew the borders of Europe, brought a lasting peace to the continent; the wars had profound consequences on global history, including the spread of nationalism and liberalism, the rise of the British Empire as the world's foremost power, the appearance of independence movements in Latin America and subsequent collapse of the Spanish Empire, the fundamental reorganisation of German and Italian territories into larger states, the establishment of radically new methods of conducting warfare.
Napoleon seized power in 1799. There are a number of opinions on the date to use as the formal beginning of the Napoleonic Wars; the Napoleonic Wars began with the War of the Third Coalition, the first of the Coalition Wars against the First French Republic after Napoleon's accession as leader of France. Britain ended the Treaty of Amiens and declared war on France in May 1803. Among the reasons were Napoleon's changes to the international system in Western Europe in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. Kagan argues that Britain was irritated in particular by Napoleon's assertion of control over Switzerland. Furthermore, Britons felt insulted when Napoleon stated that their country deserved no voice in European affairs though King George III was an elector of the Holy Roman Empire. For its part, Russia decided that the intervention in Switzerland indicated that Napoleon was not looking toward a peaceful resolution of his differences with the other European powers; the British enforced a naval blockade of France to starve it of resources.
Napoleon responded with economic embargoes against Britain, sought to eliminate Britain's Continental allies to break the coalitions arrayed against him. The so-called Continental System formed a league of armed neutrality to disrupt the blockade and enforce free trade with France; the British responded by capturing the Danish fleet, breaking up the league, secured dominance over the seas, allowing it to continue its strategy. Napoleon won the War of the Third Coalition at Austerlitz, forcing the Austrian Empire out of the war and formally dissolving the Holy Roman Empire. Within months, Prussia declared war; this war ended disastrously for Prussia and occupied within 19 days of the beginning of the campaign. Napoleon subsequently defeated the Russian Empire at Friedland, creating powerful client states in Eastern Europe and ending the fourth coalition. Concurrently, the refusal of Portugal to commit to the Con