Saturday, October 26, 2019

Napoleon Bonaparte’s Invasion of Russia Essay -- European History Russ

Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Russia was a major factor in his downfall. In 1812, Napoleon, whose alliance with Alexander I had disintegrated, launched an invasion into Russia that ended in a disastrous retreat from Moscow. Thereafter, all of Europe, including his own allies, Austria and Prussia, united against him. Although he continued to fight, the odds he faced were impossible. In April 1814, Napoleon’s own marshals refused to continue the struggle and stepped down from their positions. During the actual Russian campaign, there were many key factors that greatly impacted his downfall. The largest army ever assembled for one single invasion was reduced to a mere fraction of its original size. Because of the rebellions from his allies, Austria and Prussia, Napoleon had to fight a war on both the western and the eastern front. The losses he suffered in Russia greatly affected his future campaigns. Throughout his reign, Napoleon was able to overcome many obstacles that others before him could have only dreamed. One was the idea of having a United Europe under France. With his Grand Armà ©e, Napoleon had already conquered, and was controlling an enormous amount of Europe, such as Switzerland, the Confederation of the Rhine, Austria, and the Grand Duchy of Warsaw (Broers, 47). These countries, or provinces, made up the bulk of central Europe. Napoleon had recently ended a war with Spain, and now had signed a peace treaty with them. In 1805, France, under Napoleon, and Russia, under Alexander I, signed the Treaty of Tilsit. The treaty was one of peace under certain conditions. Russia was prohibited to trade with England, and they were also obligated to turn over some of their land to France (Elting, 63). The territory that France gained control over was the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. The treaty was extremely harsh on Russia. The prohibition of trade with England greatly affected the economy of Russia. The Continental System, which Napoleon instituted, prohibited trade with England. Alexander I violated the Treaty of Tilsit by renewing trade with England. Napoleon invaded Russia in an attempt to force Czar Alexander I to abide by the Treaty of Tilsit (Web, Russian Embassy). The summer of 1812 was an ideal time for Napoleon to begin an invasion. Russia’s economy was weak due to the trade embargo and other internal problem s.... ..., New York. 1997. 4. Palmer, R. France Under Napoleon. Princeton University Press, New Jersey. 1990. Internet: 1. Connelly, Owen. Tempe of Napoleon. http://sangha.net/messengers/napoleon.htm 2. Minard. Napoleon's Invasion of Russia, 1812. http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~jrubarth/gslis/lis385t.16/Napoleon/ 3. Russian Embassy. Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia. http://www.interknowledge.com/russia/rushis05.htm 4. Saglamer, Emin. 1812: Napoleon's March to Russia. http://www.ddg.com/LIS/InfoDesignF96/Emin/napoleon/textindex.html 5. Unknown. Napoleon is Russia: 1812. http://home.rmci.net/toddjohnson/russia.htm The map, based on the 1869 chart by Minard, graphically illustrates (both literally and figuratively) how the size of the French army dwindled during the march into Russia and was reduced to almost nothing on the wretched rout back into Poland. The map can be read in several ways. The size of the peach colored bar indicates the relative strength of the French army during the march on Moscow. The black bar shows the dwindling French army during the retreat. In the lower portion of the map, the temperature in degrees Celsius is shown, along with dates during the retreat.

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