By the beginning of 1812 Napoleon was at the height of his power in Europe. He controlled all of Europe either directly or indirectly yet Great Britain was still out of his reach. He sought to bring Britain to her knees through an economic blockade known as the Continental System. But in 1810 the Russian Czar Alexander I began to trade with the British which led to Napoleon’s decision to invade Russia and force Russia to cease trading with the British. Historians have long regarded this as Napoleon’s greatest mistake as the Russians merely retreated into the vastness of Russia. The harshness of the Russian winter decimated Napoleon’s army and gave Napoleon’s enemies an opportunity to defeat him at the Battle of Leipzig(also called the Battle of the Nations)
Battle of Waterloo
Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean but after a year he returned to Paris where he was welcomed as a returning hero. Napoleon gathered an army and faced a British and Prussian army led by the British Duke of Wellington at Waterloo in Belgium where he met his final defeat. Afterwards the nations of Europe gathered at the Congress of Vienna where they remade Europe and attempted to roll back the Enlightenment changes brought by the French Revolution.
We will examine Napoleon’s fall, attempt to regain glory at Waterloo and Congress of Vienna. Afterwards you will have an opportunity to complete any incomplete work and we will watch the video on Napoleon’s life. Link to the Powerpoint and textbook reading are found below.