Monday, April 15, 2019

Abc-Clio - Continental System Essay Example for Free

Abc-Clio Continental governing body EssayContinental SystemOne of Europes most storied leaders, nap I is remembered for his dramatic victories as the leader of France, conquering large swathes of Europe until his ultimate downfall following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. despite his warfare machine prowess, Napoleon was never competent to conquer the fall in abilitydom, his archrival to the north. As Europes most successful stintingal power and the nation with the most strong navy in the world, Britain relied on its trade with foreign nations to provide its own economy. In an effort to undermine his rival, Napoleon initiated the Continental System, a wide-ranging system of tariffs and embargoes against Britain. The Continental System ultimately had a far much negative impact on France, however, much to the wound of its illustrious emperor.Origins of the Continental SystemHostilities between France and Britain had boiled for m either centuries, but the french Revol ution, with its antimonarchical republican set and extreme violence, initiated a hot low in relations between those two nations. Fearful of republican ideology spreading to its shores, Britain was staunchly opposed to the cut Revolution from its inception, and as the french Army began its achievement of Europe, the island nation sought allies in its fight down against France.By 1799, Napoleon had used the support of the phalanx to overthrow the French Directory and effectively take full control of the nation the French coup dtat of 1799 established the French Consulate as the new government of France, with Napoleon assuming the ultimate administrator position of first consul. Meanwhile, French armies successfully conquered the Papal States, Sardinia-Piedmont, and Switzerland, and even occupied Ottoman Egypt for three years.such(prenominal) conservative forces on the European continent as Austria and Russia shared Britains fears and quaked at the thought of French invasion. T hey knew that the French would not only rent occupying armies to their lands, but also displace their monarchies and establish republics, and that was something the ruling elite could not accept. With a successful general like Napoleon now at the helm of the government, the issue appeared more urgent than ever before.To counteract the threat of French invasion, monarchies across Europe banded together in a series of coalitions. In 1798, Austria, Britain, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, and Russia formed the Second Coalition, but their infighting prevented any effective concerted movement to stop the French war machine. By 1805, France had firmly established itself as an imperial power, having gained control over large portions of the Continent. In response, Britain and Russia, later joined by Austria and Sweden, formed the one-third Coalition. This was a crucial move for the British Napoleon had begun to amass troops in Boulogneon the northerly coast of Francein 1803 in preparation for invading Britain. The powerful British Royal Navy was able to prevent French invasion through a blockade, however, and with the decisive British naval victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805, Napoleon realized he would not be able to prepare a successful land invasion of Britain.A New StrategyDefeated, but not demoralized, Napoleon plotted a new way to brush up the British. If he could not take them on militarily, the French emperor (Napoleon had proclaimed himself emperor of the First French Empire in May 1804) determined to attack their economy. Calling the British a nation of shopkeepers in a derogatory tone, Napoleon nevertheless knew that the industrial Revolution, along with the riches flooding into the country from the burgeoning British Empire, had made the United Kingdom the most powerful economic power in the world.Because the nation was an island, it needed trade of its finished goods to buy enough keen materials and supp lies for its population to live at a level that made it possible for them to be consumers and continue their speedily expanding industrial output. He also knew that industrialization had ravaged the rural population of Britain, as well as its artisan crafts and cottage industries. As a consequence, he believed that a massive embargo of British goods passim the European continent would destroy the British economy and incite a popular uprising that would bring down the government, as deprivation among the poor had done in France in the 1780s.Meanwhile, despite the loss of the French Navy at Trafalgar, the French Army (renamed the Grande Arme in 1805) continued its domination of Europe. By the fall of 1806, nearly all of the Continent, from the Atlantic Coast to the borders of Russia, was either under French control, occupation, or confederative to France. The only exceptions, most notably Portugal and Sweden, were otiose to effectively take on French military faculty and stood wai ting to see when they too might fall under French rule. With his power seemingly uncontested in Europe, Napoleon determined that it was time to strike at the British with his new strategy of economic embargo.Economic Warfare BeginsOn November 21, 1806, Napoleon issued the Berlin Decree, which declared that France would henceforth blockade all British ships and disclaim them entry into any port under French control. In December 1807, Napoleon issued the Milan Decree as well, which stated that any ships coming into French waters that had previously docked in British ports would be confiscated, along with their cargo and crews, by French officials. That new policy was meant to include such neutral nations as the United States, which at that time was Britains most important trading partner U.S. cotton in particular was innate for fueling the textile industry, Britains most important manufacturing base at the time.To counteract Napoleons moves, the British passed their own laws, cogni ze as the Orders in Council of 1807, forbidding their trading partners from dealing with France. As a consequence, the United States was forced to wind up all trade with both Britain and France, a move passed into law by the Embargo Act of 1807. The U.S. detachment from international trade caused substantive problems in the British economy and forced British industrialists to look elsewhere for cotton and another(prenominal) raw materials that had previously come from America. The expansion of the second wave of British colonization in the 19th century traces its origins to that period, as does the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom.Effects of the Continental SystemNapoleons attempts at economic warfare were shocking at first, but they did not fully cripple the British economy. Russia was not under French control in 1806, so in the beginning point of the blockade, goods from Britain were still able to enter Europe through Russian-controlled Baltic por ts. By July 1807, however, France and Russia concluded peace with the conformity of Tilsit, and Russiaalong with Prussiajoined the Continental System as a term of the treaty. By 1808, the value of British exports had fallen from 40.8 million to 35 million, and there was a visible decline in the import of grain.Moreover, industrialists, unable to get raw materials from abroad, began to lay off their industrial workers. At the same time, there were many play failures in Britain, leading to extreme hunger for many of the poor who, without jobs or sufficient hours and pay, were unable to buckle under higher prices for rarer staples. Food riots resulted, but Napoleons hopes for a popular uprising that would overthrow the government never materialized. though deeply affected, Britains economy was able to survive the blockade in the end, largely thanks to trade with its colonies and a marked growth in smuggling.While the consequences of the Continental System were dire for the United Kin gdom, historians are adamant that the system actually had a far more punishing impact on France. Europeans, both in France and in its conquered and allied territories, were bitter that the system was denying them access to many of the consumer goods they relied on that originated from Britain and its colonies, like sugar, coffee, inexpensive textiles, and tobacco.Meanwhile, smugglers thrived in the environment of the embargo, and such goods that did get into Europe from Britain were far more expensive than they had ever been. Moreover, European nations conquered by the French resented the partner laws of the Continental System, which privileged French goods by placing high tariffs on other European goods. Prices throughout Europe skyrocketed under the Continental System, giving Europeans living under French rule new reasons to resent their imperial overlords. That resentment ultimately shook the foundations of support for Napoleons empire.Resentment, War, and DefeatThe economic har dships wrought by the embargo led European nations that had not fallen under French rule to resist the Continental System. Portugal entirely refused to take part, forcing Napoleon to invade the nation and attempt to capture its fleet and depose its monarchy. However, King John VI of Portugal fled his home for Brazil, Portugals largest colony, and his naval fleet went with him. His people responded by revolting against the French invasion, and the British sent an expeditionary force to support them. This was the preliminary phase of the Peninsular War, a brutal struggle for independence from the French for Portugal and Spain, most famous in the United States today for its astonishing and heartbreaking war images captured by the master painter Francisco de Goya. The war was extremely costly for the French and play a significant role in Napoleons eventual downfall.The Swedish also decided to reject Napoleons demand that they join the Continental System, an act that resulted in that nat ion being invaded by Russia in 1808. The war that ensuedknown today as the Russo-Swedish War of 18081809raged from February 1808 until September 1809 and resulted in Finland being separated from Sweden and established as a semiautonomous entity closely level(p) to the Russian government. Also, the Russians forced the Swedes to join the Continental System, and all Swedish ports were closed to British shipping. Like other parts of Europe living under the Continental System, the Swedes were furious at the results of the embargo, namely higher prices and scarcity of goods. Anti-French sentiment increased, and Sweden subsequently took part in the final campaigns to overthrow Napoleons empire in 18131815.As prices skyrocketed, Napoleons Continental System was increasingly resented in France as well. Moreover, the human and financial costs of the wars in which the system played a causative rolelike the Peninsular Warwore on the French public. Napoleons popularity began to plummet, and by 1 812, the economy of all of Europe was collapsing. In that year, Russia decided to stop participating in the Continental System, and Napoleon responded by launching a massive land invasion of the vast country.Ill prepared for the elusive play employed by the Russian Army and the harsh nature of the Russian winter, Napoleon suffered the worst military defeat of his career during the Russian invasion the human carnage was devastating for both sides, and Napoleons Grande Arme was practically decimated. The resentful nations of Europe, including former allies of France, seized the opportunity and rose up in unison against Napoleons change regime. Within three years, the emperors fate would be sealed with his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, the final produce that his Continental System was, in the end, a failure.Continental System. World History The recent Era. ABC-CLIO, 2011. Web. 3 Mar. 2011. lollyWorld History The Modern Era, s.v. Continental System, accessed March 3, 2011. http // APAContinental System. (2011). In World History The Modern Era. Retrieved March 3, 2011, from http//

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