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France history notes
1. History of France Kings and Queens
2. Napoleon Bonaparte
3. Napoleon Bonaparte
4. Napoleon Bonaparte the early years
5. General of Revolutionary France.
6. Napoleon Military Ambition
7. The Revolutionary Directory
8. French army of Italy
9. Bonaparte First Consul for life
10. Napoleon Invasion of England
11. The Battle of Austerliz
12. Map of the Battle of Austerlitz
13. Battle of Jenna
In April 1795 Bonaparte was given command of infantry instead of Artillery and placed in the Army of the West to help crush both a civil war and Royalist rebellion at Vendee. He saw this as a slight and demotion from Artillery General, and was moved to the Bureau of Topography (Maps) when he pleaded ill health for combat duties. Bonaparte was removed from the list of Generals in September for refusing to take his command and serve in the Vendee campaign, his large Ego now faced crushing his career.On 2nd November 1795 the ' Directory' ( Five people with executive power) took charge of the French Revolution. Bonaparte was recalled to Paris to defend the Convention at Tuileries Palace for the Directory who had knowledge of Bonaparte's ability at the battle of Toulon and considered him loyal to the Revolution.
Royalist supporters attacked the Convention, but Bonaparte had commandeered cannon to support the meagre quantity of troops available to him. On 5th October 1795 Napoleon used his artillery skills to devastating effect, and 1400 Royalists were killed by cannon grapeshot the rest fleeing for their lives. This bloody act of crushing the Royalist rebellion propelled Bonaparte into a hero of the Revolution, and he gained the full support of the Directory along with wealth and fame. He was promoted to Commander of the Interior,and given the Army of Italy to control.
General of the Revolutionary Directory France - Commander of the French Army of Italy
In a new Italian Campaign on may 10th 1796 Napoleon defeated the Austrians at the battle of Lodi and removed them from Lombardy.
On 12th November 1796 the Austrians bruised Napoleons ego and defeated him at the battle of Caldiero, but a few days later at The Battle of Arcole Bridge, Bonaparte outflanked the Austrian army,cut it's line of retreat and stopped it's advance to Mantuna, the Austrian army escaped but was now firmly on the back foot.
Bonaparte's next mission was to subdue the Papal States for the atheist French Revolutionary Directory, but wisely he refused to overthrow the Pope himself as it would not only alienate much of the population of Italy but also leave a power vacuum which the Kingdom of Naples would attempt to manipulate.
In 1797 Bonaparte had decided instead to give a coup de gras to his Austrian enemy, he changed direction and marched his army into Austria and forced the country to sign the peace Treaty of Leoben which gave France control of the Low Countries and most of northern Italy. Using his political skill, Bonaparte had also promised Austria control of the Republic of Venice which he was about to attack,conquer and loot (ending a thousand years of that states independence) as a bribe to sign the treaty.
Napoleon now seeking political power of his own instead of delivering it for others founded news papers for his troops which also became available in France, always portraying Bonaparte favourably this was a cleverly delivered propaganda campaign to create Napoleon as a hero.
On October 17th 1797 a further agreement (the Treaty of Campo Formo) was signed with Austria under the instigation of Bonaparte which signalled the collapse of the First Coalition against France, and left Great Britain alone in the fight against Napoleon and Revolutionary France. In December Napoleon returned to France and was hailed by the masses a hero. [ More]
Napoleon - The military ambition.
General of the Revolutionary Directory France
In July 1794 the Revolutionary leaders turned against each other and Robespierre along with his supporters were themselves executed ending ' The Reign of Terror'. Napoleon was briefly arrested as he was had had close links with the Robespierre leadership, but Bonaparte ever the political player, was quickly released back into military service for the new leadership.
He created plans for the French war against Austria (and her Italian allies) and also took part in a French attempt to regain the island of Corsica from the British (which the British Royal Navy stopped).