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Please wait for a combined invoice prior to payment for multiple purchases. The influence of Revolutionary and Napoleonic France depended on the nature of its relationship with the other European states. Satellite states were transformed considerably, whereas allied and client states experienced only a degree of ideological and practical transformation. French territorial objectives from to followed a relatively traditional pattern, seeking either direct or indirect influence in central Europe and the Italian states. The eventual response to Napoleonic hegemony was the understanding that cooperative efforts outweighed individual interests in order to bring the wars to a conclusion.
The result was victory over Napoleon and the creation of a new diplomatic system that incorporated individual interest into a balance-of-power system.
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The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars occupied almost twenty-five years of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century. They represented the first general European war since the Seven Years' War — The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars represented continuity in European alliance systems and ideologies with the notable exception of the first two years of the French Republic — During this quarter century, six European coalitions challenged French expansion. France too created alliances to counter these opposing coalitions. Indeed these coalitions and alliances represented continuity, rather than radical change, in the international system.
As the war progressed, the radicalization of the French government meant a radicalization of its policies toward its enemies. In some cases, this translated into an existential threat for German princes on the west bank of the Rhine and for the Austrian Netherlands , which had been in Habsburg possession since The eventual incorporation of these territories into Revolutionary France often led to French cultural domination in regions that neither possessed a French identity nor ethnicity. In some cases, such as that of the Dutch revolutionaries in Holland , elements of the local population welcomed the arrival of the French, only to discover that their role was subsequently subordinated to French interests.
Italian revolutionaries in Lombardy and Venetia , for example, actively supported the French armies, only to find their cities pillaged in the first months of occupation.
Napoleon Bonaparte as Inspiration for a German Empire; Johann Palm
The Enlightenment produced a European discourse on constitutions and rights that emerged in virtually every state. The goals of reformers and later revolutionaries were shaped by their respective customs, cultures and histories. The arrival of French armies in these diverse parts of western and — subsequently — central Europe brought initial opportunities to reform the administration and laws, but direct and indirect French influence often proved incompatible with local notions of change. The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars thus involved changes to European governments and societies, yet these alterations were only made possible by successful diplomatic and military campaigns.
The Napoleonic Wars include the series of military campaigns that began in with the collapse of the Peace of Amiens and ended with Napoleon's second abdication on June 25, , a week after his defeat at Waterloo. From the conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession and the death of King Louis XIV — , his successor, Louis XV — , exported French power through the European system by establishing and developing alliances with other major powers in pursuit of dynastic goals. This was in contrast to the approach of his great-grandfather, who had faced a European coalition in virtually all of his wars.
French participation in the War of the Polish Succession — , the War of the Austrian Succession — , and the Seven Years' War — was part of the general European competition for influence in Italy , the Holy Roman Empire and the colonial world. After , France fought only one war, the American Revolution , in alliance with Spain and the Netherlands and against Britain.
The latter conflict, however, did not result in a general war on the European continent , but was limited to campaigns overseas. This period of relative peace resulted largely from the Habsburg-Bourbon condominium, the political alliance between France and Austria , which represented a radical change in European politics beginning in Indeed, France stood in a close alliance with Spain from On three separate occasions, the two kingdoms formalized their dynastic relationship in the form of military agreements referred to as the Bourbon Family Compacts. These were strategic alliances between France and Spain to limit Britain's overseas ambitions and to challenge Austria's Habsburg possessions in Italy.
After , the Family Compacts and the Habsburg-Bourbon relationship maintained peace on the continent. When in Russia, Austria and Prussia partitioned Poland , French opposition to the carving up of that kingdom did not result in war. Plagued by financial crisis and a severely reduced army, Louis XV could not transform his vehement hostility into action. There was no military campaign on the European continent because Britain lacked any effective means to project its power across the Channel. The short-lived War of the Bavarian Succession — , also known as the "Potato War", demonstrated that peace and stability in western Europe led to increasing tensions in eastern Europe , beginning with the partition of Poland in and continuing through to the French Revolutionary Wars.
It provided for the status-quo ante with the addition of Russian guarantees for the stability of the Holy Roman Empire. It is clear that the years following the accession of Catherine II the Great, — [ ] to the Russian throne in were characterized by a central European focus. She succeeded in convincing Prussia and Austria to participate in her plans for Poland, and then intervened in German affairs as a peacemaker. Furthermore, she utilized her relationship with the Austrian monarchy to bring about a coalition war against the Ottoman Empire in Several historians have argued that the French Revolutionary Wars were fought within the same general European context as preceding conflicts.
The wars of the eighteenth century were fought for dynastic interests. Viewed in terms of state power, the continental and colonial wars represented the unfolding of European conflicts on a global scale. In most cases, European wars extended to several continents.
Napoleon's German Allies (4): Bavaria
The consequences of increasing European global power meant that resources had to be carefully allocated, and alliances cultivated to permit the pursuit of dynastic claims in Europe. Even temporary coalitions, such as between Russia, Austria and Prussia in , or between Russia and Austria in , did not create permanent relationships in regions of Europe that offered enormous territorial opportunities.
Coalitions were marriages of convenience in the eighteenth century. The only alliances that lasted beyond the duration of any particular conflict were the dynastic arrangements between France and Spain at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and between France and Austria at mid-century. Britain, Prussia, Russia and Austria only interpreted alliances in the short term, and this subsequently severely hampered their ability to provide a united front against Napoleonic France. At the outbreak of the French Revolution in , attention remained focused on events in the Balkans , on growing tension between Prussia and Austria, and on the recent suppression of revolutions in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The States-General overthrew the Dutch monarchy in , leading to Prussian military intervention. In , rebellion against Josephinian reforms in the Austrian Netherlands Belgium led to military repression.
This was the extent of the western focus. In central Europe, however, Prussia had agitated rebels in Belgium and disrupted Austrian interests in Poland. Tensions grew and war between Austria and Prussia appeared imminent in Nevertheless, it appeared to many that the conclusion of war with the Turks would be followed immediately by a confrontation between the two German powers. A faction at court began to push the French monarch toward an anti-Austrian policy by The vagaries of diplomatic alignments and tensions give a false sense that the eighteenth century marked a change in European diplomacy.
This is not the case. The emergence of Prussia and Russia as significant players did not alter the way states conducted policy; they merely added variables to the equation. States pursued raison d'etat as they had in previous centuries. Indeed, even French territorial objectives from — followed a relatively traditional pattern seeking to increase direct or indirect influence in central Europe and the Italian states.
By , Jacobinism provided an additional justification for French military efforts, but did not radically alter French diplomatic and military strategy. It was a conventional war in the traditional sense. The assembly was dominated by the Girondin faction of the Jacobin party under the leadership of Jacques-Pierre Brissot — Internal political crisis led to the desperate measure to concoct a foreign war, thereby diverting public attention away from domestic affairs.
Brissot's objectives were the stabilization of the constitutional monarchy and the acquisition of territory from the Austrian Netherlands. There is little here that represents a radical departure in terms of European politics. Unfortunately for Brissot, two factors severely hampered his modest goals and ultimately led to his fall from power and the overthrow of the French monarchy. In February Austria and Prussia established a formal alliance that included provisions on defense against French aggression.