4º ESO

Topic Two: Two:
Political and Social changes in 19th century in Spain and Europe

Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica. He trained as an artillery officer in France and quickly he rose to prominence under the French First Republic, leading successful campaigns. In October of 1799 Napoleon returned to Paris after having been in Egypt with his armies. He took staged the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire which installed the Consulate. The Consulate led to Bonaparte's dictatorship and, in 1804, to his proclamation as Emperor.

After bringing economic prosperity and peace to France, Napoleon set out to conquer Europe. He wanted to defeat the European absolute monarchs who had allied years ago to fight the French revolutionary ideas He wanted to defeat. As a skillful general, he was able to conquer significant tracts of land. By 1812 Napoleon controlled most of Europe, either directly, or indirectly.

In 1808 Napoleon invaded Spain, and replaced Carlos IV with his brother Jose Bonaparte. This led to resistance from the Spanish army and civilians in the Dos de Mayo Uprising. Napoleon took command and defeated the Spanish Army. Before the Spanish population had been fully subdued, Austria again threatened war, and Napoleon returned to France. The costly and often brutal Spanish War of Independence continued in Napoleon's absence. Although Napoleon left 300,000 of his finest troops to battle Spanish guerrillas (helped by British and Portuguese forces commanded by the Duke of Wellington) French control over the peninsula again deteriorated. Following several allied victories, the war concluded after Napoleon's abdication in 1814. Napoleon later described the Peninsular War as central to his final defeat.

The nations that had been conquered by Napoleon resented being ruled by France. One by one, these nations rebelled. By March of 1814, Napoleon had been defeated, and forced to step down as the emperor of France.

A year later in 1815 Napoleon returned to Paris, and called for his soldiers to return to him. He was still popular among the people who had enjoyed their quick rise to power under his rule. For 100 days, Napoleon again ruled France. Monarchs in other European nations feared that Napoleon would again seek to control them. In a decisive battle at Waterloo, France, Napoleon was defeated in June of 1815, and was forced into exile on the island of Saint Helena, where he died in 1821.

The Congress of Vienne
In 1815 Napoleon was definitively defeated in Waterloo. It was the fall of the French Empire and the end of the Revolution. It would seem to indicate that the old monarchies in Europe had beaten the Revolutionary ideas. The Absolute Monarchies (Austria, Russia, Prussia, etc) managed to impose again the old ideas of the Old Regime in the Treaty of Paris, in the Treaty of the Holy Alliance and, of course, in the Congress of Vienna. However, the seeds of the new revolutionary ideas had been spread, and all along the 18th century these ideas gradually flourished. After defeating the French armies, the major powers of Europe held a Conference in Vienna from November 1814 to June 1815: the Congress of Vienna. The chairman was the Austrian statesman Metternich. The four victorious powers (Russia, United Kingdom, Prussia and Austria) wanted to determinate the shape of Europe after the Napoleonic wars, with the exception of the terms of peace with France, which had already been decided by the Treaty of Paris, signed a few months earlier.

Every state in Europe had a delegation in Vienna. More than 200 states and princely houses were represented at the Congress. In addition, there were representatives of cities, corporations, religious organizations and special interest groups. In June 9, 1815 the Final Act, embodying all the separate treaties, was signed. It included:

‡ Russia expanded its territory to the west. The Congress confirmed its possession of Finland as well as most of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw (Poland). ‡ France lost all the conquered territories. ‡ Prussia was given two fifths of Saxony, parts of the Duchy of Warsaw , Danzig, and the Rhineland Westphalia. ‡ A German Confederation of 38 states was created from the previous 360 of the Holy Roman Empire. ‡ The Netherlands and the Southern Netherlands (approx. modern-day Belgium) were united in a constitutional monarchy. ‡ The neutrality of Switzerland was guaranteed. ‡ The Austrian Empire regained most of the areas that had lost to Napoleon in Central Europe. Austria became the core of Western Europe for 30 years thanks to this congress. ‡ Norway was transferred from Denmark to Sweden. ‡ The Ottoman Empire granted some autonomy to Serbia, Montenegro, Wallachia and Moldova.

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