Storming of the Bastille
The Storming of the Bastille occurred in Paris, France, on the afternoon of 14 July 1789. The medieval armory and political prison known as the Bastille represented royal authority in the centre of Paris; the prison contained seven inmates at the time of its storming. The act was seen, as a symbol of the monarchy's abuses of power. In France, Le quatorze juillet is a public holiday called Bastille Day in English. During the reign of Louis XVI, France faced a major economic crisis; this crisis was caused in part by the cost of intervening in the American Revolution and exacerbated by a regressive system of taxation. On 5 May 1789, the Estates General of 1789 convened to deal with this issue, but were held back by archaic protocols and the conservatism of the second estate: representing the nobility who made up less than 2% of France's population. On 17 June 1789, the third estate, with its representatives drawn from the commoners, reconstituted themselves as the National Assembly, a body whose purpose was the creation of a French constitution.
The king opposed this development, but was forced to acknowledge the authority of the assembly, which renamed itself the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July. France was under major changes during this time; the commoners formed the National Guard, sporting tricolore cockades of blue and red, formed by combining the red and blue cockade of Paris and the white cockade of the king. These cockades, soon their colour scheme, became the symbol of the revolution and of France itself. Paris, close to insurrection and in François Mignet's words, "intoxicated with liberty and enthusiasm", showed wide support for the Assembly; the press published the Assembly's debates. The Palais-Royal and its grounds became the site of an ongoing meeting; the crowd, on the authority of the meeting at the Palais-Royal, broke open the prisons of the Abbaye to release some grenadiers of the French guards imprisoned for refusing to fire on the people. The Assembly recommended the imprisoned guardsmen to the clemency of the king.
The rank and file of the regiment considered reliable, now leaned toward the popular cause. On 11 July 1789, Louis XVI—acting under the influence of the conservative nobles of his privy council—dismissed and banished his finance minister, Jacques Necker and reconstructed the ministry; the marshals Victor-François, duc de Broglie, la Galissonnière, the duc de la Vauguyon, the Baron Louis de Breteuil, the intendant Foulon, took over the posts of Puységur, Armand Marc, comte de Montmorin, La Luzerne, Saint-Priest, Necker. News of Necker's dismissal reached Paris on the afternoon of 12 July; the Parisians presumed that the dismissal marked the start of a coup by conservative elements. Liberal Parisians were further enraged by the fear that a concentration of Royal troops—brought in from frontier garrisons to Versailles, Sèvres, the Champ de Mars, Saint-Denis—would attempt to shut down the National Constituent Assembly, meeting in Versailles. Crowds gathered including more than ten thousand at the Palais-Royal.
Camille Desmoulins rallied the crowd by "mounting a table, pistol in hand, exclaiming:'Citizens, there is no time to lose. This night all the Swiss and German battalions will leave the Champ de Mars to massacre us all. By early July half of the 25,000 regular troops in Paris and Versailles were drawn from these foreign regiments; the French regiments included in the concentration appear to have been selected either because of the proximity of their garrisons to Paris or because their colonels were supporters of the reactionary "court party" opposed to reform. During the public demonstrations that started on 12 July, the multitude displayed busts of Necker and of Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans marched from the Palais Royal through the theater district before continuing westward along the boulevards; the crowd clashed with the Royal German Cavalry Regiment between the Place Vendôme and the Tuileries Palace. From atop the Champs-Élysées, the Prince de Lambesc unleashed a cavalry charge that dispersed the remaining protesters at Place Louis XV—now Place de la Concorde.
The Royal commander, Baron de Besenval, fearing the results of a blood bath amongst the poorly armed crowds or defections among his own men withdrew the cavalry towards Sèvres. Meanwhile, unrest was growing among the people of Paris who expressed their hostility against state authorities by attacking customs posts blamed for causing increased food and wine prices; the people of Paris started to plunder any place where food and supplies could be hoarded. That night, rumors spread that supplies were being hoarded at Saint-Lazare, a huge property of the clergy, which functioned as convent, school and as a jail. An angry mob broke in and plundered the property, seizing 52 wagons of wheat, which were taken to the public market; that same day multitudes of people plundered many other places including weapon arsenals. The Royal troops did nothing to stop the
13 Vendémiaire Year 4 is the name given to a battle between the French Revolutionary troops and Royalist forces in the streets of Paris. This battle was part of the establishing of a new form of government, the so-called Directory, it was a major factor in the rapid advancement of Republican General Napoleon Bonaparte's career; the social reforms of the French Revolution had been well received by the majority of the populace of France, but the Revolution's anti-Catholic stance had created anti-republican sympathies in many Roman Catholics. In March 1793, this sentiment boiled over into an armed insurrection in the fiercely Catholic Vendée region of western France. A rebel army titled Armée catholique et royale now proved to be a thorn in the side of the Revolutionary Government in Paris, under leaders such as François de Charette de la Contrie and Louis d'Elbée; the rebels were known as Chouans, a title which comes from early royalist leader Jean Cottereau’s nickname Jean Chouan. He was known for his perfect imitation of an owl’s cry, a noise which had become the rallying cry of the insurgents of Vendée.
The Armée catholique et royale garnered British support and got off to a promising start defeating several Revolutionary Armies. The Revolutionary Committee of Public Safety ordered General Jean-Baptiste Carrier to pacify the region, over several months Carrier ruthlessly decimated the populace of the Vendée; the local population dubbed Carrier's forces. On 22 December 1793, the Chouan rebellion subsided following a major defeat at the Battle of Savenay. Following the 9th Thermidor, those Chouans willing to lay down arms were granted amnesty by the reformed National Convention; the Chouans responded by attacking the Republican-held town of Guémené on 28 January 1795. The Convention ordered General Hoche to proceed to the Vendée and force the Chouans to agree to a cessation of hostilities. Hoche defeated the Chouan army and on 17 February François de Charette de la Contrie signed a generous peace settlement. A small contingent of Royalists under the command of General Stofflet and the fanatical Abbé Bernier refused to accept the peace settlement and continued to offer resistance to Hoche's Army.
They were supported by the British in the form of 4,000 émigrés, 80,000 muskets, 80 cannon, along with food, a large quantity of counterfeit assignats. This large force was placed under the command of émigré Générals Hermilly. Hearing of this, de Charette de la Contrie reopened hostilities. On 26 June, the émigré force landed at Carnac. Hermilly advanced on Auray before engaging and being defeated by Hoche at Vannes. By early July, Hemilly was besieged in the Fortress of Penthièvre; this meant. On 15 July, an additional émigré division arrived to bolster the defense, under the command of Général Sombreuil, but Hermilly was killed in action on 16 July. By the 20th, the fortress had fallen and Hoche swiftly advanced down the peninsula, defeating the hopelessly trapped émigré army. Only Général Puisaye and a small force were able to escape with the British fleet. Despite the failure of the émigré army, de Charette de la Contrie continued to offer resistance. In early September, a popular revolt broke out in the area around Dreux, but it was defeated in battle at Nonancourt.
De Charette de la Contrie. Despite this, the Comte d'Artois landed at Île d'Yeu with 2,000 British troops. Bolstered by this force, the Royalist troops began marching on Paris in early October 1795; the arrival of the Comte d'Artois excited the jeunesse dorée royalist supporters in the Le Peletier section of the capital, they began demonstrations in the form of felling Liberty Trees and trampling tricolour cockades. Rumours began to circulate regarding the defection of the entire Paris National Guard; the Convention realised that it was in severe danger, that an enemy force was on French soil. The Convention declared its intention to remain in their meeting rooms until the crisis was resolved, it called for the formation of three battalions of patriots to be raised from the Jacobin military staff dismissed after 9 Thermidore. Général baron de Menou was given command of the defence of the capital, but he was outnumbered with only 5,000 troops on hand to resist the 30,000 man Royalist Army. On 12 vendémiaire, the National Guard arrived in Le Peletier in an attempt to put down the unrest.
The Military Committee of the Sections of the Capital under the command of Richer de Sévigny announced that the decrees of the Convention were no longer recognised. Général Danican took command of the National Guard in the La Peletier section; the Convention ordered Menou to advance into Le Peletier, to disarm the entire area, to close Danican's headquarters. Generals Despierres and Verdière were sent to Menou to assist him. Menou divided his force into three columns and planned an advance into Le Peletier on the evening of 12 vendémiaire; when the advance was set to begin, Despierres reported that he was unwell and unable to proceed, Verdière refused to advance. Menou timidly advanced towards the Royalist force, inviting the rebels to discuss terms of their dispersal, he withdrew after
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain and several other monarchies, they are divided in the War of the Second Coalition. Confined to Europe, the fighting assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe; as early as 1791, the other monarchies of Europe looked with outrage at the revolution and its upheavals. Anticipating an attack, France declared war on Prussia and Austria in the spring of 1792 and they responded with a coordinated invasion, turned back at the Battle of Valmy in September; this victory emboldened the National Convention to abolish the monarchy.
A series of victories by the new French armies abruptly ended with defeat at Neerwinden in the spring of 1793. The French suffered additional defeats in the remainder of the year and these difficult times allowed the Jacobins to rise to power and impose the Reign of Terror to unify the nation. In 1794, the situation improved for the French as huge victories at Fleurus against the Austrians and at the Black Mountain against the Spanish signaled the start of a new stage in the wars. By 1795, the French had captured the Austrian Netherlands and knocked Spain and Prussia out of the war with the Peace of Basel. A hitherto unknown general named Napoleon Bonaparte began his first campaign in Italy in April 1796. In less than a year, French armies under Napoleon decimated the Habsburg forces and evicted them from the Italian peninsula, winning every battle and capturing 150,000 prisoners. With French forces marching towards Vienna, the Austrians sued for peace and agreed to the Treaty of Campo Formio, ending the First Coalition against the Republic.
The War of the Second Coalition began in 1798 with the French invasion of Egypt, headed by Napoleon. The Allies took the opportunity presented by the French effort in the Middle East to regain territories lost from the First Coalition; the war began well for the Allies in Europe, where they pushed the French out of Italy and invaded Switzerland – racking up victories at Magnano and Novi along the way. However, their efforts unraveled with the French victory at Zurich in September 1799, which caused Russia to drop out of the war. Meanwhile, Napoleon's forces annihilated a series of Egyptian and Ottoman armies at the battles of the Pyramids, Mount Tabor and Abukir; these victories and the conquest of Egypt further enhanced Napoleon's popularity back in France and he returned in triumph in the fall of 1799. However, the Royal Navy had won the Battle of the Nile in 1798, further strengthening British control of the Mediterranean. Napoleon's arrival from Egypt led to the fall of the Directory in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, with Napoleon installing himself as Consul.
Napoleon reorganized the French army and launched a new assault against the Austrians in Italy during the spring of 1800. This brought a decisive French victory at the Battle of Marengo in June 1800, after which the Austrians withdrew from the peninsula once again. Another crushing French triumph at Hohenlinden in Bavaria forced the Austrians to seek peace for a second time, leading to the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801. With Austria and Russia out of the war, the United Kingdom found itself isolated and agreed to the Treaty of Amiens with Napoleon's government in 1802, concluding the Revolutionary Wars. However, the lingering tensions proved too difficult to contain and the Napoleonic Wars began a few years with the formation of the Third Coalition, continuing the series of Coalition Wars; the key figure in initial foreign reaction to the revolution was Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, brother of Louis XVI's Queen Marie Antoinette. Leopold had looked on the Revolution with equanimity, but became more and more disturbed as the Revolution became more radical, although he still hoped to avoid war.
On 27 August and King Frederick William II of Prussia, in consultation with emigrant French nobles, issued the Declaration of Pillnitz, which declared the interest of the monarchs of Europe in the well-being of Louis and his family, threatened vague but severe consequences if anything should befall them. Although Leopold saw the Pillnitz Declaration as a non-committal gesture to placate the sentiments of French monarchists and nobles, it was seen in France as a serious threat and was denounced by the revolutionary leaders. France issued an ultimatum demanding that the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria under Leopold II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire renounce any hostile alliances and withdraw its troops from the French border; the reply was evasive and the Assembly voted for war on 20 April 1792 against Francis II, after a long list of grievances presented by foreign minister Charles François Dumouriez. Dumouriez prepared an immediate invasion of the Austrian Netherlands, where he expected the local population to rise against Austrian rule as they had earlier in 1790.
However, the revolution had disorganized the army, the forces raised were insufficient for the invasion. Following the declaration of war, French soldiers deserted en masse and in one case murdered their general, Théob
The Grande Armée was the army commanded by Napoleon I during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1805 to 1809, the Grande Armée scored a series of historic victories that gave the French Empire an unprecedented grip on power over the European continent. Acknowledged to be one of the greatest fighting forces assembled, it suffered terrible losses during the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and never recovered its tactical superiority after that campaign, it was renamed in 1805 from the army that Napoleon had assembled on the French coast of the English Channel for the proposed invasion of Britain. Napoleon deployed the army east in order to eliminate the threat of Austria and Russia, which were part of the Third Coalition assembled against France. Thereafter, the name was used for the principal French army deployed in the Campaigns of 1805 and 1807, where it got its prestige, 1809, 1812, 1813–14. In practice, the term Grande Armée is used in English to refer to all of the multinational forces gathered by Napoleon in his campaigns of the early 19th century.
The first Grande Armée consisted of six corps under the command of Napoleon's marshals and senior generals. When Napoleon discovered that Russian and Austrian armies were preparing to invade France in late 1805, the Grande Armée was ordered across the Rhine into Southern Germany, leading to Napoleon's victories at Ulm and Jena; the army grew. It reached its largest size of 1,000,000 men at the start of the invasion of Russia in 1812, with 680,000 men participating in the Russian campaign; the contingents were commanded except for the Polish corps and an Austrian one. The huge multinational army marched east, the Russians fell back with its approach. After the capture of Smolensk and victory in the Battle of Borodino, Napoleon and a part of the Grande Armée reached Moscow on 14 September 1812. However, the army was drastically reduced because of deaths and injuries from battles with the Russians, disease and long communication lines; the army spent a month in Moscow but was forced to march back westward.
It started to suffer from cold and disease, was harassed by Cossacks and Russian irregulars, so that the Grande Armée was utterly destroyed as a fighting force. Only 120,000 men survived to leave Russia. Of these, 50,000 were Austrians and other Germans, 20,000 were Poles, just 35,000 Frenchmen; as many as 380,000 died in the campaign. Napoleon led a new army to the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813, in the defence of France in 1814 and in the Waterloo Campaign in 1815, but the Napoleonic French army would never regain the heights of the Grande Armée of June 1812. For a history of the French army in the period 1792–1804 during the wars of the First and Second Coalitions see French Revolutionary Armies; the Grande Armée was formed as L'Armée des côtes de l'Océan intended for the invasion of England, at the port of Boulogne in 1803. Following Napoleon's coronation as Emperor of the French in 1804, the Third Coalition was formed against him and La Grande Armée turned its sights eastwards in 1805.
They left the Boulogne camps late in August and through a rapid march surrounded General Karl Mack's isolated Austrian army at the fortress of Ulm. The Ulm Campaign, as it came to be known, resulted in 60,000 Austrian captives at the cost of just 2,000 French soldiers. By November Vienna was taken. However, Austria refused maintaining an army in the field. In addition, their Russian allies had yet to commit to action; the war would continue for a while longer. Affairs were decisively settled on December 2, 1805, at the Battle of Austerlitz, where a numerically inferior Armée routed a combined Russo-Austrian army led by Czar Alexander I; the stunning victory led to the Treaty of Pressburg on December 26, 1805, with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire coming the following year. The alarming increase of French power in Central Europe disturbed Prussia, which had remained neutral in the conflicts of the previous year. After much diplomatic wrangling, Prussia secured promises of Russian military aid and the Fourth Coalition against France came into being in 1806.
La Grande Armée advanced into Prussian territory with the famed bataillon-carré system, whereby corps marched in close supporting distances and became vanguards, rearguards, or flank forces as the situation demanded, defeated the Prussian armies at the Battle of Jena and the Battle of Auerstadt, both fought on October 14, 1806. After a legendary pursuit, the French captured about 140,000 Prussians and killed and wounded 25,000. Davout's III Corps, the victors at Auerstadt, received the honours of first marching into Berlin. Once more, the French had defeated an enemy before allies could arrive, once more, this did not bring peace. Napoleon now turned his attentions to Poland, where the remaining Prussian armies were linking up with their Russian counterparts. A difficult winter campaign produced nothing but a stalemate, made worse by the Battle of Eylau on February 7–8, 1807, where Russian and French casualties soared for little gain; the campaign resumed in the Spring and this time Bennigsen's Russian army was soundly defeated at the Battle of Friedland on June 14, 1807.
This victory produced the Treaty of Tilsit between France and Russia in July, leaving Napoleon with no enemies on the continent. Portugal's refusal to comply with the Continental System led to a punitive French expedition in late 1807; this campaign formed the basis for the Peninsular War, to
French Armed Forces
The French Armed Forces encompass the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the National Guard and the Gendarmerie of the French Republic. The President of France heads the armed forces as chef des armées. France maintains the first in the European Union. France has the largest armed forces in size in the European Union. France maintains the world's third-largest nuclear deterrent; the military history of France encompasses an immense panorama of conflicts and struggles extending for more than 2,000 years across areas including modern France, greater Europe, French territorial possessions overseas. According to the British historian Niall Ferguson, France has participated in 50 of the 125 major European wars fought since 1495, in 168 battles fought since 387 BC, they have won 109, drawn 10 and lost 49: this makes France the most successful military power in European history—in terms of number of fought and won; the Gallo-Roman conflict predominated from 60 BC to 50 BC, with the Romans emerging victorious in the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar.
After the decline of the Roman Empire, a Germanic tribe known as the Franks took control of Gaul by defeating competing tribes. The "land of Francia," from which France gets its name, had high points of expansion under kings Clovis I and Charlemagne. In the Middle Ages, rivalries with England and the Holy Roman Empire prompted major conflicts such as the Norman Conquest and the Hundred Years' War. With an centralized monarchy, the first standing army since Roman times, the use of artillery, France expelled the English from its territory and came out of the Middle Ages as the most powerful nation in Europe, only to lose that status to Spain following defeat in the Italian Wars; the Wars of Religion crippled France in the late 16th century, but a major victory over Spain in the Thirty Years' War made France the most powerful nation on the continent once more. In parallel, France developed its first colonial empire in Asia, in the Americas. Under Louis XIV, France achieved military supremacy over its rivals, but escalating conflicts against powerful enemy coalitions checked French ambitions and left the kingdom bankrupt at the opening of the 18th century.
Resurgent French armies secured victories in dynastic conflicts against the Spanish and Austrian crowns. At the same time, France was fending off attacks on its colonies; as the 18th century advanced, global competition with Great Britain led to the Seven Years' War, where France lost its North American holdings. Consolation came in the form of dominance in Europe and the American Revolutionary War, where extensive French aid in the form of money and arms, the direct participation of its army and navy led to America's independence. Internal political upheaval led to 23 years of nearly continuous conflict in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. France reached the zenith of its power during this period, dominating the European continent in an unprecedented fashion under Napoleon Bonaparte, but by 1815 it had been restored to its pre-Revolutionary borders; the rest of the 19th century witnessed the growth of the Second French colonial empire as well as French interventions in Belgium and Mexico.
Other major wars were fought against Russia in the Crimea, Austria in Italy, Prussia within France itself. Following defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, Franco-German rivalry erupted again in the First World War. France and its allies were victorious this time. Social and economic upheaval in the wake of the conflict led to the Second World War, in which the Allies were defeated in the Battle of France and the French government surrendered and was replaced with an authoritarian regime; the Allies, including the government in exile's Free French Forces and a liberated French nation emerged victorious over the Axis powers. As a result, France secured an occupation zone in Germany and a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council; the imperative of avoiding a third Franco-German conflict on the scale of those of two world wars paved the way for European integration starting in the 1950s. France became a nuclear power and since the 1990s its military action is most seen in cooperation with NATO and its European partners.
Today, French military doctrine is based on the concepts of national independence, nuclear deterrence, military self-sufficiency. France is a charter member of NATO, has worked with its allies to adapt NATO—internally and externally—to the post-Cold War environment. In December 1995, France announced that it would increase its participation in NATO's military wing, including the Military Committee. France remains a firm supporter of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and other cooperative efforts. Paris hosted the May 1997 NATO-Russia Summit which sought the signing of the Founding Act on Mutual Relations and Security. Outside of NATO, France has and participated in both coalition and unilateral peacekeeping efforts in Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans taking a lead role in these operations. France has undertaken a major restructuring to develop a professional military that will be smaller, more deployable, better tailored for operations outside of mainland France. Key elements of the restructuring include: reducing personnel and headquarters, rationalistion of equipment and the armaments industry.
Since the end of the Cold War, France has placed a high priority on
Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars, he won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history, he was born in Corsica to a modest family of Italian origin from minor nobility. He was serving as an artillery officer in the French army when the French Revolution erupted in 1789.
He rose through the ranks of the military, seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution and becoming a general at age 24. The French Directory gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents. At age 26, he began his first military campaign against the Austrians and the Italian monarchs aligned with the Habsburgs—winning every battle, conquering the Italian Peninsula in a year while establishing "sister republics" with local support, becoming a war hero in France. In 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt, he became First Consul of the Republic. Napoleon's ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, he became the first Emperor of the French in 1804. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805. Napoleon shattered this coalition with decisive victories in the Ulm Campaign and a historic triumph over the Russian Empire and Austrian Empire at the Battle of Austerlitz which led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt marched his Grande Armée deep into Eastern Europe and annihilated the Russians in June 1807 at the Battle of Friedland. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high-water mark of the French Empire. In 1809, the Austrians and the British challenged the French again during the War of the Fifth Coalition, but Napoleon solidified his grip over Europe after triumphing at the Battle of Wagram in July. Napoleon invaded the Iberian Peninsula, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, declared his brother Joseph Bonaparte the King of Spain in 1808; the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, ended in victory for the Allies against Napoleon.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states Russia. The Russians were unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade and violated the Continental System, enticing Napoleon into another war; the French launched a major invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The campaign did not yield the decisive victory Napoleon wanted, it resulted in the collapse of the Grande Armée and inspired a renewed push against Napoleon by his enemies. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in the War of the Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, but his tactical victory at the minor Battle of Hanau allowed retreat onto French soil; the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, the Bourbon dynasty was restored to power.
Napoleon took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition which defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo in June; the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51. Napoleon's influence on the modern world brought liberal reforms to the numerous territories that he conquered and controlled, such as the Low Countries and large parts of modern Italy and Germany, he implemented fundamental liberal policies throughout Western Europe. His Napoleonic Code has influenced the legal systems of more than 70 nations around the world. British historian Andrew Roberts states: "The ideas that underpin our modern world—meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, so on—were championed, consolidated and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire".
The ancestors of Napoleon descended from minor Italian nobility of Tuscan origin who had come to Corsica fr
Insurrection of 10 August 1792
The Insurrection of 10 August 1792 was a defining event of the French Revolution. The storming of the Tuileries Palace by the National Guard of the Paris Commune and fédérés from Marseille and Brittany caused the fall of the French monarchy. King Louis XVI and the royal family took shelter with the suspended Legislative Assembly; the formal end of the monarchy occurred six weeks as one of the first acts of the new National Convention. This insurrection and its outcomes are most referred to by historians of the Revolution as "the 10 August". War was declared on 20 April 1792 against the King of Hungary; the initial battles were a disaster for the French, Prussia joined Austria in active alliance against France. The blame for the disaster was put upon the King and his ministers, after upon the Girondin party; the Legislative Assembly passed decrees sentencing any priest denounced by 20 citizens to immediate deportation, dissolving the King's guard because it was manned by aristocrats, establishing in the vicinity of Paris a camp of 20,000 Fédérés.
The King dismissed Girondists from the Ministry. When the King formed a new cabinet of constitutional monarchists, this widened the breach between the King and the Assembly and the majority of the common people of Paris; these events happened on 16 June when Lafayette sent a letter to the Assembly, recommending suppression of "anarchists" and political clubs in the capital. The King's veto of the Legislative Assembly's decrees was published on 19 June, one day before the 3rd anniversary of the Tennis Court Oath, which had inaugurated the Revolution; the popular journée of 20 June 1792 was organized to put pressure on the King. Appearing before the crowd, the King put on the bonnet rouge of liberty and drank to the health of the nation, but refused to ratify decrees or to recall the ministers; the Paris mayor, Pétion, was suspended. On 28 June, Lafayette left his post with the army and appeared before the Assembly to call on the deputies to dissolve the Jacobin Club and punish those who were responsible for the demonstration of 20 June.
The deputies indicted the general for deserting his command. The King rejected all suggestions of escape from the man who had long presided over his imprisonment; the crowd burnt him in effigy at the Palais-Royal. There was no place for Lafayette beside the republican emblem, nor in the country which had adopted it. Within six weeks he was arrested whilst immured in an Austrian prison. Lafayette failed because his views clashed with French national sentiment, his passive leadership of French armies had given the Prussians time to finish their preparations and concentrate upon the Rhine undisturbed. A decree of 2 July authorized national guards, many of whom were on their way to Paris, to come to the Federation ceremony. A decree of 5 July declared that in the event of danger to the nation all able-bodied men could be called to service and necessary arms requisitioned. Six days the Assembly declared la patrie est en danger. Banners were placed in the public squares, with the words:Would you allow foreign hordes to spread like a destroying torrent over your countryside!
That they ravage our harvest! That they devastate our fatherland through fire and murder! In a word, that they overcome you with chains dyed with the blood of those whom you hold the most dear... Citizens, the country is in danger! On 3 July Pierre Vergniaud gave a wider scope to the debate by uttering a terrible threat against the King's person: "It is in the King's name that the French princes have tried to rouse all the courts of Europe against the nation, it is to avenge the dignity of the King that the treaty of Pillnitz was concluded and the monstrous alliance formed between the Courts of Vienna and Berlin. Vergniaud recalled the royal veto, the disorders it had caused in the provinces, the deliberate inaction of the generals who had opened the way to invasion. By this means he put the idea of deposing the King into the minds of the public, his speech, was circulated by the Assembly through all the departments. Evading the royal veto on an armed camp, the Assembly had invited National Guards from the provinces, on their way to the front, to come to Paris, ostensibly for 14 July celebrations.
By mid-July the Fédérés were petitioning the Assembly to dethrone the king. The Fédérés were reluctant to leave Paris before a decisive blow had been struck, the arrival on 25 July of 300 from Brest and five days of 500 Marseillais, who made the streets of Paris echo with the song to which they gave their name, provided the revolutionaries with a formidable force; the Fédérés set up a central committee and a secret directory that included some of the Parisian leaders and to assure direct contact with the sections. A c