Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The Downfall of Napoleon's Empire 1810-1814
The Continental System backfired. Great Britain was able to produce goods cheaper and better than any country. The ban on British goods only resulted in economic instability in Europe.
Napoleon blamed Russia and raised an army of 600,000 men to attack.
Napoleon marched into Moscow and watched it burn. After awhile, Napoleon decided to retreat from Russia.
The retreat was devastating. The bitter winter and Cossacks reduced Napoleon's army of 600,000 men to only 30,000. Napoleon deserted his army to come back and raise another one. Seeing their opportunity, Austria, Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Sweden formed an alliance against France.
After the Allies took Paris, Napoleon abdicated at Fontainebleau on April 11, 1814.
The allies restored the Bourbon dynasty to the French throne. They gave Napoleon the island of Elba to rule. He was even allowed to keep his imperial title and was given a yearly income of 2 million francs.
Napoleon never saw his son or wife again. However, once on Elba, Napoleon planned his return to France.