Friday, January 2, 2009

Rest of Europe vs. France

Coalition after coalition fails and it takes until page 422 (Section 51) for the rest of Europe to get their act together and form a coalition to “restore the balance of power.” (review Section 17 if you don’t remember “balance of power) Besides the invasion of Russia, what else do you think contributed to the formation of this coalition.

From the start, the Napoleonic Empire had a potential to be fragile for its dominance was mostly due to its military power alone. Coalitions, however, kept failing because each state had conflicts among them and was willing to make peace with France for short-term benefits.
The grievances, however, remained and the enforced Continental System mounted the already increasing hostility to the French Empire. Also, ironically, the enlightened ideas that Napoleon had spread boosted the development of nationalism and romanticism.
Therefore, the states were readier than ever to work together by the time Napoleon invaded Russia. Once Napoleon's Grand Army was gone, they finally merged together to defeat the French.

2 comments:

Teacher said...

H. says "From the start, the Napoleonic Empire had a potential to be fragile for its dominance was mostly due to its military power alone"
I completely disagree. its dominance was also based on being far advanced politically and economically than any of its continental counterparts. Whatever N.'s ambitions/pretensions/delusions about himself were, France had a political system increasingly based on the rule of law (much like England). Economically, England and France again were the only countries free of feudalism.

What did the rest of the continental states have to offer: a defensive posture with the goal of re-establishing the older order: the old borders, the old rulers, the old "balance of power".

We'll have a chance to re-visit the Congress of Vienna in Section 54 but keep in mind that it is a depressingly conservative settlement that did not offer a new path -political or economical. (check out pages 429-31)

Lena said...

The point you made about the military geared France i think is very important. If you look at past countries that revolved around nothing but a military, like Prussia, and Spain with the aramada, they really aren't destined to last...