Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
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FitzGerald Edward
1800 - 1809
History at a Glance
1800 Part I
Battle of Heliopolis
Battle of Marengo
Siege of Malta
Battle of the Malta Convoy
United States presidential election
Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise
Moltke Helmuth
Pius VII
Heeren Arnold Hermann Ludwig
Macaulay Thomas Babington
1800 Part II
Edgeworth Maria
Jean Paul: "Titan"
Schiller: "Maria Stuart"
David: "Mme. Recamier"
Boieldieu: "Le Calife de Bagdad"
Gall Franz Joseph
Trevithick Richard
Voltaic pile
Richmond Bill
1801 Part I
Act of Union
Treaty of Luneville
Alexander I
Battle of Copenhagen
Gauss: "Disquisitiones arithmeticae"
Newman John Henry
Chateaubriand: "Atala"
Grabbe Christian Dietrich
Nestroy Johann
Schiller: "Die Jungfrau von Orleans"
Robert Southey: "Thalaba the Destroyer"
1801 Part II
David: "Napoleon Crossing the Alps"
Paxton Joseph
Beethoven: "Die Geschopfe des Prometheus"
Beethoven: Piano Sonata 14 "Moonlight Sonata"
Bellini Vincenzo
Vincenzo Bellini - Norma : Sinfonia dell'Opera
Vincenzo Bellini
Haydn: "The Seasons"
Lanner Joseph
Joseph Lanner - Hofball-Tanze
Joseph Lanner
Lortzing Albert
Lortzing "Overture" Der Waffenschmied
Albert Lortzing
Bichat Marie François Xavier
Fulton Robert
Fulton's "Nautilus"
Lalande Jerome
Flinders Matthew
The British in Australia
Union Jack
1802 Part I
Napoleon president of Italian Republic
Legion of Honour
Napoleon as First Consul for life
Treaty of Amiens
Battle of San Domingo
Kossuth Lajos
Grotefend Georg Friedrich
Dumas Alexandre, pere
Alexandre Dumas
"The Three Musketeers"
Hauff Wilhelm
Hugo Victor
Victor Hugo
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" 
Lenau Nikolaus
De Stael Germaine
Mme de Stael
"Corinne, Or Italy"
Chateaubriand: "Rene"
1802 Part II
Canova: "Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker";
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op.36
Forkel Johann Nikolaus
Treviranus Gottfried Reinhold
Health and Morals of Apprentices Act in Britain
1803 Part I
Act of Mediation
Louisiana Purchase
Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)
Emmet Robert
Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805)
Battle of Assaye
Korais Adamantios
Emerson Ralph Waldo
Lancaster Joseph
Bulwer-Lytton Edward George
Merimee Prosper
Porter Jane
Schiller: "Die Braut von Messina"
Tyutchev Fyodor Ivanovich
1803 Part II
Decamps Alexandre-Gabriel
Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps
Henry Raeburn: "The Macnab"
Semper Gottfried
Turner J.M.W.
J.M.W. Turner
Adam Adolphe
Adolphe Adam   - Giselle
Adolphe Adam
Beethoven: "Kreutzer Sonata"
Berlioz Hector
Berlioz - Harold In Italy
Hector Berlioz
Sussmayr Franz Xaver
Carnot Lazare
Shrapnel Henry
Shrapnel shells
1804 Part I
Duc d'Enghien
Yashwantrao Holkar
Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Action of 5 October 1804
Disraeli Benjamin
British and Foreign Bible Society
Code Napoleon
Brown Thomas
Feuerbach Ludwig
Sainte-Beuve Charles-Augustin
Hawthorne Nathaniel
Morike Eduard
Sand George
Schiller: "Wilhelm Tell"
1804 Part II
Morland George
George Morland
Schwind Moritz
Moritz von Schwind
Royal Watercolour Society
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica")
Glinka Mikhail
Glinka "Waltz-Fantasia"
Mikhail Glinka
Strauss Johann, the Elder
Johann Strauss Vater - Lorelei Rhein Klänge Op. 154
Johann Strauss I
Thomas Bewick "History of British Birds"
Wollaston William Hyde
Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis Meriwether
Clark William
 Surveying the West
Serturner Friedrich Wilhelm Adam
1805 Part I
Treaty of St. Petersburg
War of the Third Coalition 1805
Mazzini Giuseppe
Battle of Austerlitz
Peace of Pressburg
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Battle of Trafalgar
1805 Part II
Ballou Hosea
Andersen Hans Christian
Hans Christian Andersen
"The Fairy Tales"
Walter Scott: "The Lay of the Last Minstrel"
Robert Southey: "Madoc"
Stifter Adalbert
Tocqueville Alexis
Goya: "Dona Isabel Cobos de Procal"
Turner: "Shipwreck"
Gerard: "Madame Recamier"
Beethoven: "Fidelio"
Congreve William
Hamilton William Roman
1806 Part I
Battle of Blaauwberg
Fox Charles James
Bonaparte Joseph
Bonaparte Louis
War of the Fourth Coalition 1806–1807
Battle of Jena-Auerstadt
Continental System
Greater Poland Uprising of 1806
Confederation of Rhine
The End of the Holy Roman Empire
Treaty of Poznan
1806 Part II
Adelung Johann Christoph
Mill John Stuart
Jewish consistory
Browning Elizabeth Barrett
Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
"Sonnets from the Portuguese"
Kleist: "Der zerbrochene Krug"
Laube Heinrich
Thorvaldsen: "Hebe"
David Wilkie: "Village Politicians"
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Op. 61
Arriaga Juan
Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga - "Agar dans le désert"
Juan Arriaga
Latreille Pierre Andre
1807 Part I
Battle of Eylau
Battle of Friedland
Treaty of Tilsit
Bonaparte Jerome
Mustafa IV
Chesapeake–Leopard Affair
Embargo Act
Garibaldi Giuseppe
Stein Karl
Gunboat War (1807-1814)
Invasion of Portugal
1807 Part II
Albright Jacob
Hegel: "Phanomenologie des Geistes"
Hufeland Gottlieb
Charles and Mary Lamb: "Tales from Shakespeare"
Longfellow Henry Wadsworth
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"The Song of Hiawatha"
Vischer Friedrich Theodor
Wordsworth: "Ode on Intimations of Immortality"
1807 Part III
David: "Coronation of Napoleon"
Zeshin Shibata
Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Beethoven: "Leonora Overture" No. 3
Beethoven: "Appassionata"
Etienne Nicolas Mehul: "Joseph"
Spontini Gaspare
Spontini - La vestale
Gaspare Spontini
Bell Charles
Bonpland Aime Jacques Alexandre
Thompson David
Ascot Gold Cup
Slave Trade Act 1807
1808 Part I
Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves
Peninsular War (1807–1814)
1808 Part II
Erfurt Congress
Napoleon III
Fries Jakob Friedrich
Goethe: "Faust"
Kleist: "Das Katchen von Heilbronn"
Walter Scott: "Marmion"
Arnim and Brentano: "Des Knaben Wunderhorn"
Achim Ludwig
1808 Part III
Daumier Honore
Honore Daumier
Caspar Friedrich: "The Cross on the Mountains"
Goya: "Execution of the Citizens of Madrid"
Ingres: "Oedipus and the Sphinx"
Spitzweg Carl
Carl Spitzweg
Philipp Otto Runge: "The Morning"
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 5
Beethoven: Symphonies No. 6 "Pastoral"
Gay-Lussac Joseph-Louis
Goethe and Napoleon meet at Erfurt
Robinson Henry Crabb
1809 Part I
Treaty of Dardanelles
Invasion of Martinique
War of the Fifth Coalition
Battle of Wagram
Peace of Schonbrunn
Gladstone William Ewart
Charles XIII
Treaty of Amritsar
Napoleon annexes Papal States
Lincoln Abraham
Abraham Lincoln
1809 Part II
Darwin Charles
Charles Darwin
On the Origin of Species by Natural selection
Ricardo David
Campbell Thomas
Thomas Campbell: "Gertrude of Wyoming"
FitzGerald Edward
Goethe: "The Elective Affinities"
Gogol Nikolai
Krylov Ivan
Рое Edgar Allan
Edgar Allan Poe
"The Raven"
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
Tennyson Alfred
Alfred Tennyson
"Idylls of the King"
"Lady of Shalott", "Sir Galahad"
1809 Part III
Caspar Friedrich: "Monk by the Sea"
Flandrin Jean-Hippolyte
Hippolyte Flandrin
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
Mendelssohn Felix
Mendelssohn - String Symphony No. 10 in B minor
Felix Mendelssohn
Spontini: "Fernand Cortez"
Maclure William
Sommerring Samuel Thomas
Braille Louis
Seton Elizabeth

Battle between the frigate HMS Tartar and Danish gunboats at Alvoen near Bergen
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1807 Part I
Battle of Eylau

The Battle of Eylau or Battle of Preussisch-Eylau, 7 and 8 February 1807, was a bloody and inconclusive battle between Napoléon's Grande Armée and a Russian Empire army under Levin August, Count von Bennigsen near the town of Preußisch Eylau in East Prussia. Late in the battle, the Russians received a timely reinforcement from a Prussian division. The town is now called Bagrationovsk and it is a part of Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia. The engagement was fought during the War of the Fourth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Of all Napoleonic battles, this is considered to be the most uncertain and mysterious for several reasons — mainly the strength of Murat's reserve cavalry.


Napoleon on the Battlefield at Eylau, February 1807, by Antoine-Jean Gros, 1808; in the Louvre, Paris.
Napoleon's armies previously smashed the army of the Austrian Empire in the Ulm Campaign and the combined Austrian and Russian armies at the Battle of Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Austerlitz forced the Austrians to sue for peace and their Russian allies to withdraw from the conflict. On 14 October 1806, Napoleon crushed the armies of the Kingdom of Prussia at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt.

After a rapid pursuit, the broken pieces of the Prussian army were destroyed at the Battles of Prenzlau and Lübeck and in a series of capitulations at Erfurt, Pasewalk, Stettin, Magdeburg, and Hamelin. Eylau was the first serious check to the Grande Armée and the myth of Napoleon's invincibility was badly shaken. However, the dramatic defeat of the Russian forces allowed Napoleon to march towards Moscow almost uncontested.

In late January, Bennigsen's Russian army went on the offensive in East Prussia, pushing far to the west. Napoleon reacted by mounting a counteroffensive to the north, hoping to prevent their retreat to the east. After his cossacks captured a copy of Napoleon's orders, Bennigsen rapidly withdrew to the northeast to avoid being cut off. The French pursued for several days and found the Russians drawn up for battle at Eylau. In a vicious evening clash, the French captured the village with heavy losses on both sides. The following day brought even more serious fighting. Early in the battle, a frontal attack by Napoleon failed with catastrophic losses. To retrieve the situation, the emperor launched a massed cavalry charge against the Russians. This bought enough time for the French right wing to throw its weight into the contest. Soon, the Russian left wing was bent back at an acute angle and Bennigsen's army was in danger of collapse.

A Prussian corps belatedly arrived and saved the day by pushing back the French right wing. As darkness fell, a French corps tardily appeared on the French left flank. That night Bennigsen decided to retreat, leaving Napoleon in possession of a snowy battlefield covered with thousands of corpses and many more wounded.

With the Prussian army reduced to a handful of harried fugitives after Jena-Auerstedt, Napoléon occupied the major cities of Germany and marched on east in pursuit of the remaining forces opposed to him. These were largely Russians under the command of the frail 68-year-old Field Marshal Mikhail Kamensky. The old marshal was unwilling to risk battle, and continued to retreat, leaving the Grande Armée free to enter Poland almost unopposed. Nevertheless, as the French pressed aggressively eastward across the Vistula, they found the Russians defending the line of the Wkra River. The French seized a crossing over the Wkra on 23 December at the Battle of Czarnowo. Russian resistance soon stiffened and on 26 December the two armies clashed at the Battles of Pułtusk and Gołymin. After these fierce engagements Napoléon's troops took up winter quarters in Poland to recuperate after a victorious but exhausting campaign.
In January 1807, the new Russian army commander Levin August, Count von Bennigsen attempted to surprise the French left wing by shifting the bulk of his army north from Nowogród to East Prussia. Incorporating a Prussian corps on his right flank, he first bumped into elements of the VI Corps of Marshal Michel Ney, who had disobeyed his emperor's orders and advanced far north of his assigned winter cantonments. Having cleared Ney's troops out of the way, the Russians rolled down on the isolated French I Corps under Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. Tough fighting at the Battle of Mohrungen allowed Bernadotte's corps to escape serious damage and pull back to the southwest. With his customary inventiveness, Napoléon saw an opportunity to turn the situation to his own advantage. He instructed Bernadotte to withdraw before Bennigsen's forces, and ordered the balance of the Grande Armée to strike northward. This maneuver might envelop the Russian army's left flank and cut off its retreat to the east. By a stroke of luck, a band of Cossacks captured a messenger carrying Napoleon's plans to Bernadotte and quickly forwarded the information to General Pyotr Bagration. At once Bernadotte was left unawares and a forewarned Bennigsen immediately ordered a retreat east to Jonkowo to avoid the trap.

The Eylau campaign map shows movements up to the Battle of Mohrungen on 25 January.
German names are used for East Prussian towns. See text for Polish names.

As Bennigsen hurriedly assembled his army at Jonkowo, elements of Marshal Nicolas Soult's IV Corps reached a position on his left rear on 3 February. That day, General of Division Jean François Leval clashed with Lieutenant General Nikolay Kamensky's 14th Division at Bergfried (Berkweda) on the Alle (Łyna) River, which flows roughly northward in the area. The French reported 306 casualties while claiming to inflict 1,100 on their adversaries. After seizing Allenstein (Olsztyn), Soult moved north on the east bank of the Alle. Meanwhile, Napoleon threatened Bennigsen from the south with Marshal Pierre Augereau's VII Corps and Ney's troops. Kamensky held the west bank with four Russian battalions and three Prussian artillery batteries. After an initial attack on Bergfried was driven back, the French captured the village and bridge. A Russian counterattack briefly recaptured the bridge. That night, the French remained in possession of the field and Soult claimed that he found 800 Russian dead on the field. Marching at night, Bennigsen retreated directly north to Wolfsdorf (Wilczowo) on the 4th. The next day he fell back to the northeast, reaching Burgerswalde on the road to Landsberg (Górowo Iławeckie).

By early February the Russian army was in full retreat relentlessly pursued by the French. After several aborted attempts to stand and fight Bennigsen resolved to retreat to the town of Preussisch-Eylau and there make a stand. During the pursuit, perhaps influenced by the dreadful state of the Polish roads, the savage winter weather and the relative ease with which his forces had dealt with Prussia, Napoléon had allowed the Grande Armée to become more spread out than was his custom. In contrast, Bennigsen's forces were already concentrated.

First day
Marshal Soult's IV Corps and Marshal Murat's cavalry were the first French formations to reach the plateau before Eylau at about 14:00 on the 7th. The Russian rearguard under Prince Bagration occupied positions on the plateau about a mile in front of Eylau. The French promptly assaulted these positions and were repulsed. Bagration's orders were to offer stiff resistance in order to gain time for Bennigsen's heavy artillery to pass through Eylau and to join the Russian Army in its position beyond Eylau.

During the afternoon the French were reinforced by Marshal Augereau's corps and the Imperial Guard, making up about 45,000 soldiers in all. Under pressure of greatly superior forces Bagration conducted an orderly retreat to join the main army. The retreat was covered by another rearguard detachment in Eylau led by Barclay de Tolly.

The rearguard action continued when French forces advanced to assault Barclay's forces in the town of Eylau. Historians differ on the reasons. Napoléon later claimed that this was on his orders; that the advance had the dual aims of pinning the Russian force to prevent them retreating yet again, and providing his soldiers with at least some shelter against the terrible cold.
Other surviving evidence however, strongly suggests that the advance was unplanned and occurred as the result of an undisciplined skirmish which Marshals Soult and Murat should have acted to quell but did not. Whether or not Napoléon and his generals had in advance the consideration of securing the town in order to provide the soldiers with a shelter for the freezing night, the soldiers may have taken action on their own initiative to secure such a shelter.

Battle of Eylau in the early stages. French shown in red,
Russians in green, Prussians in blue.

According to Captain Marbot the Emperor told Marshal Augereau that he disliked night fighting, that he wanted to wait until the morning so that he could count on Davout's Corps to come up on the right wing and Ney's on the left, and that the high ground before Eylau was a good, easily defensible position on which to wait for reinforcements.

Whatever the cause of the fight for the town, it rapidly escalated into a large and bitterly fought engagement, continuing well after night had fallen and resulting in about 4,000 casualties to each side, including Barclay, who was shot in the arm and forced to leave the battlefield. Among other officers the French brigadier general Pierre-Charles Lochet was shot and killed. At 22:00 Bennigsen ordered the Russians to retreat a short distance, leaving the town to the French. Bennigsen later claimed he abandoned the town to lure the French into attacking his centre the next day. Despite their possession of the town most of the French spent the night in the open, as did all of the Russians. Both sides did without food — the Russians because of their habitual disorganization[citation needed], the French because of problems with the roads, the weather, and the crush of troops hurrying towards the battle.

During the night Bennigsen withdrew some of his troops from the front line to strengthen his reserve. This action resulted in the shortening of his right wing.

Second day
Bennigsen had 67,000 Russian troops with 400 guns already assembled while the French had only 49,000 troops and 300 guns. The Russians could expect to be reinforced by Anton Wilhelm von L'Estocq's detachment of 9,000 Prussians; the French by Marshal Davout's depleted III Corps — proud victors of Auerstedt but now only 15,000 strong — and Marshal Ney's 14,000-strong VI Corps (making a total of 74,000 men), which was shadowing the Prussians. Bernadotte's I Corps was too far distant to take part.

Dawn brought light but little warmth and no great improvement in visibility: the heavy snowstorms continued throughout the day. The opposing forces occupied two parallel ridges. The French were active early on probing the Russian position, particularly on the Russian right wing. Bennigsen, fearing that the French would discover that he had shortened his right, opened the battle by ordering his artillery to fire on the French. The French replied and the ensuing artillery duel lasted for some time with the French having the best of it because of their more dispersed locations.

The start of the artillery duel galvanized Napoleon. Until then he had expected the Russians to continue their retreat. Now he knew he had a fight on his hands. Messengers hurredly were dispatched to Ney ordering him to march on Eylau and join the French left wing.

Meanwhile, the French had occupied in force some fullering mill buildings within musket shot of the Russian right wing. Russian jagers ejected the French. Both sides escalated the fight, with the Russians assaulting the French left wing on Windmill Knoll to the left of Eylau.

Battle of Eylau early on the second day. French shown in red, Russians in green, Prussians in blue.
Napoleon interpreted the Russian efforts on his left as a prelude to an attack on Eylau from that quarter. By this time Davout's III Corps began to arrive on the Russian left wing.

To forestall the perceived Russian attack on Eylau and to pin the Russian army, so that Davout's flank attack would be more successful, Napoleon launched an attack against the Russian centre and left with Augereau's VII Corps on the left and Saint-Hilaire's Division of Soult's IV Corps on the right.

Augereau was very ill, having to be helped onto his horse. Fate intervened to turn the attack into a disaster. As soon as the French marched off a blizzard descended, causing all direction to be lost. Augereau's Corps followed the slope of the land and veered off to the left away from Saint-Hilaire. Augereau's advance struck the Russian line at the junction of its right and centre, coming under the fire of the blinded French artillery, and then the point-blank fire of the massive 70-gun Russian centre battery. Meanwhile, Saint-Hilaire's division, advancing alone in the proper direction, was unable to have much effect against the Russian left.

Map of the second day's fighting showing the charge of the French cavalry

Augereau's corps was thrown into great confusion with heavy losses, gives Augereau's official of 929 killed and 4,271 woundeed. One regiment, the 14th Ligne was unable to retreat and fought to the last man refusing to surrender, its eagle carried off by Marbot its position would be marked by a square of corpses. Bennigsen took full advantage; falling on Saint-Hilaire's division with more cavalry, and bringing up his reserve infantry to attack the devastated French centre. Augereau and the three or four thousand survivors fell back on Eylau, where they were attacked by about 5,000 Russian infantry. At one point Napoléon himself, using the church tower as a command post, was nearly captured but members of his personal staff held the Russians off for just long enough to allow some battalions of the Guard to come up. Counter attacked by the Guard's bayonette charge and Bruyère's cavalry in their rear, the attacking Russian column was nearly destroyed. For four hours the French centre was in great disorder, virtually defenseless and in imminent danger.

With his centre almost broken, Napoléon resorted to ordering a massive charge by Murat's 11,000-strong cavalry reserve — aside from the Guard, the last major unbloodied body of troops remaining to the French.

Cavalry charge at Eylau
Thus began one of the greatest cavalry charges in history. Somewhat obscured by the weather, Murat's squadrons charged through the Russian infantry around Eylau and then divided into two groups. The group on the right, Grouchy's dragoons, charged into the flank of the Russian cavalry attacking St Hilaire's division and scattered them completely. Now led by Murat himself the dragoons wheeled left against the Russian cavalry in the centre and, joined by d'Hautpoult's cuirassier division drove the Russian cavalry back on their infantry. Fresh Russian cavalry forced Murat and the dragoons to retire, but d'Hautpoult's cuirassiers broke through everything and the broken Russian were cut to pieces by fresh regiments of cuirassiers. D'Hautpoult then rode through the Russian guns chasing off or sabering the gunners and burst through the first line of Russian infantry trampling a battalion of infantry that attempted to stand. The cuirassiers forced their way through the second line of Russians and only after 2,500 yards did the charge finally expend its force in front of the Russian reserves. A second wave of cavalry consisting of the Guards and Grouchy's dragoons now charged the Russians as they attempted to reform and also rode through both lines of infantry. Another group charged into the Russian infantry in the area where Augereau's corps had made its stand. Not content with these heavy blows, the cavalry reformed, wheeled, and charged back again, finally retiring under the protection of the Guard cavalry.
Murat had lost 1,000 to 1,500 well-trained troopers, but relieved the pressure on Augereau, Saint-Hilaire, and Soult paralyzing the Russians long enough to allow Davout to deploy in strength. Rarely had French cavalry played such a pivotal part in a battle.
Battle of Eylau after Davout's attack late in the day. French shown in red, Russians in green, Prussians in blue.
In part this was because, for the first time, Murat's men were now mounted on the best cavalry horses in Europe, freshly requisitioned in the aftermath of the conquest of Prussia.

Davout's corps, about 15,000 strong, was now in position and began to drive in the Russian left. Despite the disarray of the Russian centre, Napoléon declined to follow up Murat's charge by advancing with the Guard. Such a move may have decisively won the battle, but Napoléon, well aware that 9,000 Prussians under L'Estocq and his chief of staff Gerhard von Scharnhorst were still unaccounted for, judged it wise to retain the Guard in reserve. Through the afternoon, Soult, Augereau, and Murat managed to hold their ground while Davout, assisted by Saint-Hilaire, gradually bent the Russian left back further and further pushing it back to a right angle with the Russian centre. By 15:30 it seemed that the Russian cohesion would soon break as their left was in full retreat.

For several crucial hours Bennigsen could not be found, he having personally ridden to L'Estocq to urge that general to hasten the march of his Prussian corps to the battlefield. Bennigsen's mission was crowned with success. L'Estocq's 9,000 man Prussian force, having lost a third of its strength to Ney's pursuit, approached the battlefield via the Russian right and passed completely behind the Russian position to its left wing, gathering strength in doing so by collecting Russian stragglers and adding them to the 6,000 Prussian troops.
At 16:00 L'Estocq counterattacked by falling on Davout's exposed right flank, and the heartened Russians soon launched a fresh attack against Davout. Over the next three hours Davout was halted and forced back to a line running from the village of Kutschitten to near the village of Anklappen towards Saint Hillaire's right by Eylau. Davout alert to the danger, formed a battery of his guns on the heights of Klein Sausgarten and personally rallied his troops while his guns drove the Prussians back into the woods. With nightfall, exhaustion set in and fighting on the Russian left petered out.

By then the roar of cannons on the Russian right announced Ney's arrival. Napoleon had not recalled Ney until 08:00 on the morning of the 8th when he realized that the Russians intended to fight. Although within marching distance of the battle, the heavy snow had muffled the sound of cannon fire and Ney was completely unaware of events until a messenger reached him around 10:30. Somewhat delayed by L'Estocq's rearguard, the leading division of Ney's corps did not reach the battlefield until around 19:00 and immediately swept forward into the Russian right and rear. Bennigsen counterattacked. Bitter fighting continued until 22:00, at which point both sides drew off a little. After a contentious council of war with several of his generals forcefully arguing for continuing the fight for a third day, at 23:00 Bennigsen decided to withdraw and, covered by the Cossacks, the Russians silently began to leave. The exhausted French did not even notice until 03:00 and were in no condition to pursue.

The Guard Horse Grenadiers charge at Eylau.

After 14 hours of continuous battle, there was still no result but enormous loss of life. Authorities differ greatly, estimates of Russian casualties range from about 15,000 to 20,000 killed or wounded and 3,000 soldiers, 23 cannon and 16 colors captured. The French lost somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 with 5 Eagles lost. Chandler suggests as many as 25,000 French casualties, although conceding it is impossible to be certain. The French had gained possession of the battlefield — nothing but a vast expanse of bloodstained snow and frozen corpses — but they had suffered enormous losses and failed to destroy the Russian army.

It was left to Marshal Ney to sum up. Riding over the fields of Eylau the following morning, Ney said, Quel massacre! Et sans résultat ("What a massacre! And without result").

Eylau was not the decisive victory characteristic of Napoleon's earlier campaigns, prolonging the war with Russia, until his decisive victory at the Battle of Friedland forced Tsar Alexander I to the peace table at Tilsit.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Napoleon I

Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)
Battle of Friedland

The Battle of Friedland (June 14, 1807) saw Napoleon I's French army decisively defeat Count von Bennigsen's Russian army about twenty-seven miles (43 km) southeast of Königsberg. The site of Friedland, in the Russian Kaliningrad Oblast since 1945, received the new name of Pravdinsk in that year.

Friedland effectively ended the War of the Fourth Coalition (1806–1807) against Napoleon. After nearly twenty-three hours of fighting, the French took control of the battlefield and the Russian army retreated chaotically over the Łyna River, in which many soldiers drowned while trying to escape.

On July 7, 1807, Russia and France signed the first of the Treaties of Tilsit, which made the two nations allies after two years of war. France signed a separate treaty with Prussia two days later to ostracize her from the main negotiations. The public terms of Tilsit mentioned the warm feelings between Napoleon and Alexander I of Russia, but the secret terms addressed more substantial issues: France permitted Russia to do as it wished with the Ottoman Empire in return for France gaining the Dalmatian coast and the Ionian Islands; Russia gained a free hand in Finland to force Sweden out of the coalition against Napoleon; and Alexander also agreed to join the Continental System if the war with Britain did not end soon. Under the terms of the second treaty France ensured the humiliation of Prussia. All Prussian territory west of the Elbe River became the new Kingdom of Westphalia, with Napoleon's own brother, Jérôme as its future King.

Historians traditionally regard Tilsit as the height of Napoleon's empire.


Napoleon at the Battle of Friedland (1807). The Emperor is depicted giving instructions to general Nicolas Oudinot. Between them is depicted general Etienne de Nansouty and behind the Emperor, on his right is marshal Michel Ney.
Prior to Friedland, Europe had become embroiled in the War of the Third Coalition in 1805. Following the French victory at the Battle of Austerlitz (December 2, 1805), Prussia went to war in 1806 to recover her position as the pre-eminent power of Central Europe.

The Prussian Campaign
Franco-Prussian tensions gradually increased after Austerlitz. Napoleon insisted that Prussia should join his economic blockade of Great Britain. This adversely affected the German merchant class. Napoleon ordered a raid to seize a subversive, anti-Napoleonic bookseller named Johann Philipp Palm, and made a final attempt to secure terms with Britain by offering her Hanover, which infuriated Prussia. The Prussians began to mobilize on August 9, 1806 and issued an ultimatum on August 26: they required French troops to withdraw to the west bank of the Rhine by October 8 on pain of war between the two nations.

Napoleon aimed to win the war by destroying the Prussian armies before the Russians could arrive. 180,000 French troops began to cross the Franconian forest on October 2, 1806, deployed in a bataillon-carré (square-battalion) system designed to meet threats from any possible direction. On October 14 the French won decisively at the large double-battle of Jena-Auerstedt. A famous pursuit followed, and by the end of the campaign the Prussians had lost 25,000 killed and wounded, 140,000 prisoners, and more than 2,000 cannon. A few Prussian units managed to cross the Oder River into Poland, but Prussia lost the vast majority of its army. Russia now had to face France alone. By November 18 French forces under Louis Nicolas Davout had covered half the distance to Warsaw, Augereau's men had neared Bromberg, and Jérôme Bonaparte's troops had reached the approaches of Kalisz.

When the French arrived in Poland the local people hailed them as liberators. The Russian general Bennigsen worried that French forces might cut him off from Buxhoevden's army, so he abandoned Warsaw and retreated to the right bank of the Vistula. On November 28, 1806, French troops under Murat entered Warsaw. The French pursued the fleeing Russians and a significant battle developed around Pułtusk on December 26. The result remained in doubt, but Bennigsen wrote to the Tsar that he had defeated 60,000 French troops, and as a result he gained overall command of the Russian armies in Poland. At this point, Marshal Ney began to extend his forces to procure food supplies. Bennigsen noticed a good opportunity to strike at an isolated French corps, but he abandoned his plans once he realized Napoléon's maneuvers intended to trap his army. The Russians withdrew towards Allenstein, and later to Eylau.

On February 7 the Russians fought Soult's corps for possession of Eylau. Daybreak on February 8 saw 44,500 French troops on the field against 67,000 Russians. Napoleon hoped to pin Bennigsen's army long enough to allow Ney's and Davout's troops to outflank the Russians. A fierce struggle ensued, made worse by a blinding snowstorm on the battlefield. The French found themselves in dire straits until a massed cavalry charge, made by 10,700 troopers formed in 80 squadrons, relieved the pressure on the center. Davout's arrival meant the attack on the Russian left could commence, but the assault was blunted when a Prussian force under Lestoq suddenly appeared on the battlefield and, with Russian help, threw the French back. Ney came too late to effect any meaningful decision, so Bennigsen retreated. Casualties at this indecisive battle were horrific, perhaps 25,000 on each side. More importantly, however, the lack of a decisive victory by either side meant that the war would go on.

The Russian army, under General Bennigsen, held strong defensive positions in the town of Heilsberg on the Alle. The French army, under Marshals Murat and Lannes, attacked on June 10. Bennigsen repelled several attacks, resulting in huge French casualties, but had to withdraw towards Friedland the following day.

Battle of Friedland - 14 June 1807
The battle
The Russian forces under General Golitsyn had driven off the French cavalry outposts from Friedland on June 13, and Bennigsen's main body began to occupy the town at night. The army of Napoleon marched on Friedland, but remained dispersed on its various march routes, and the first stage of the engagement became a purely situational battle. Knowing that Napoleon was within supporting distance with at least three corps, Lannes sent aides galloping off with messages for help and waged an expert delaying action to fix Benningsen in place. With never more than 26,000 men, Lannes forced Benningsen to commit progressively more troops across the Alle to defeat him. Showing a bold front, and shifting troops where needed to stop Russian advances, engaged the Russians first in the Sortlack Wood and in front of Posthenen (2.30-3 A.M. on the 14th), Lannes held Benningsen in place until the French had massed 80,000 troops on the left bank of the river.
Both sides now used their cavalry freely to cover the formation of lines of battle, and a race between the rival squadrons for the possession of Heinrichsdorf ended in favor of the French under Grouchy and Nansouty.
  Benningsen was trapped and had to fight. Having thrown all of his pontoon bridges at or near the bottleneck of the village of Friedland, Benningsen had unwittingly trapped his troops on the west bank.

In the meantime Lannes fought hard to hold Bennigsen. Napoleon feared that the Russians meant to evade him again, but by 6 a.m. Bennigsen had nearly 50,000 men across the river and forming up west of Friedland. His infantry, organized in two lines, extended between the Heinrichsdorf-Friedland road and the upper bends of the river along with the artillery. Beyond the right of the infantry, cavalry and Cossacks extended the line to the wood northeast of Heinrichsdorf. Small bodies of Cossacks penetrated even to Schwonau. The left wing also had some cavalry and, beyond the Alle river, batteries came into action to cover it. A heavy and indecisive fire-fight raged in the Sortlack Wood between the Russian skirmishers and some of Lannes's troops.

The head of Mortier's (French and Polish) corps appeared at Heinrichsdorf and drove the Cossacks out of Schwonau. Lannes held his own, and by noon Napoleon arrived with 40,000 French troops at the scene of the battle.


Map of the battle
Napoleon gave brief orders: Ney's corps would take the line between Postlienen and the Sortlack Wood, Lannes closing on his left, to form the centre, Mortier at Heinrichsdorf the left wing. I Corps under General Victor and the Imperial Guard were placed in reserve behind Posthenen. Cavalry masses were collected at Heinrichsdorf. The main attack was to be delivered against the Russian left, which Napoleon saw at once to be cramped in the narrow tongue of land between the river and the Posthenen mill-stream. Three cavalry divisions were added to the general reserve.

The course of the previous operations meant that both armies still had large detachments out towards Königsberg. The emperor spent the afternoon in forming up the newly arrived masses, the deployment being covered by an artillery bombardment. At 5 o'clock all was ready, and Ney, preceded by a heavy artillery fire, rapidly carried the Sortlack Wood. The attack was pushed on toward the Alle. Marshal Ney's right-hand division under Marchand drove part of the Russian left into the river at Sortlack, while Bisson's division advanced on the left. A furious charge by Russian cavalry into the gap between Marchand and Bisson was repulsed by the dragoon division of Latour-Maubourg.

  Soon the Russians found themselves huddled together in the bends of the Alle, an easy target for the guns of Ney and of the reserve. Ney's attack indeed came eventually to a standstill; Bennigsen's reserve cavalry charged with great effect and drove him back in disorder. As at Eylau, the approach of night seemed to preclude a decisive success, but in June and on firm ground the old mobility of the French reasserted its value. The infantry division of Dupont advanced rapidly from Posthenen, the cavalry divisions drove back the Russian squadrons into the now congested masses of infantry on the river bank, and finally the artillery general Sénarmont advanced a mass of guns to case-shot range.

The terrible effect of the close range artillery saw the Russian defence collapsing within minutes, as canister decimated the ranks. Ney's exhausted infantry succeeded in pursuing the broken regiments of Bennigsen's left into the streets of Friedland.

Lannes and Mortier had meanwhile held the Russian centre and right on its ground, and their artillery had inflicted severe losses. When Friedland itself was seen to be on fire, the two marshals launched their infantry attack. Fresh French troops approached the battlefield.


French 4th Hussar at the Battle of Friedland. "Vive l'Empereur!" by Édouard Detaille, 1891.
Dupont distinguished himself for the second time by fording the mill-stream and assailing the left flank of the Russian centre. This offered stubborn resistance, but the French steadily forced the line backwards, and the battle was soon over.

The Russians incurred very heavy losses in retreating over the river at Friedland; many soldiers drowned. Farther north the still unbroken troops of the right wing drew off by the Allenburg road; the French cavalry of the left wing, though ordered to pursue, remained, for some reason, inactive. French casualties approximated 8,000, while the Russians suffered nearly 20,000 in dead and wounded.


Charge of the Russian Leib Guard cavalry (right) against French cuirassiers (left).
The thorough destruction of Bennigsen's army persuaded Alexander I of Russia to seek peace terms five days after the battle. The following negotiations led to the Treaty of Tilsit in July, spelling the end of the War of the Fourth Coalition.

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Napoleon I

Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)
Treaty of Tilsit

Treaties of Tilsit, (July 7 [June 25, Old Style] and July 9 [June 27], 1807), agreements that France signed with Russia and with Prussia (respectively) at Tilsit, northern Prussia (now Sovetsk, Russia), after Napoleon’s victories over the Prussians at Jena and at Auerstädt and over the Russians at Friedland.


Meeting of the two emperors in a pavilion set up on a raft in the middle of the Neman River.
Under the terms of the treaty, France and Russia became allies and divided Europe between them, reducing Austria and Prussia to helplessness. Alexander I of Russia accepted the reduction of Prussia from 89,120 to 46,032 square miles (230,820 to 119,223 square km); the creation from the Polish provinces detached from Prussia of a new Grand Duchy of Warsaw for Napoleon’s ally, the king of Saxony; and the establishment of the Kingdom of Westphalia in northern Germany.

Westphalia, too, was in part composed of former Prussian lands. Napoleon’s hegemony in western and central Europe was thus established. Prussia was to be occupied by French troops until a war indemnity, fixed at 120,000,000 francs, had been paid.

In secret provisions Napoleon agreed to help Russia “liberate” most of European Turkey if Turkey rejected French mediation in its conflict with Russia.

  Similarly, Alexander promised to join the Continental System against British trade if Britain rejected Russian mediation in its conflict with France. Russia was given a free hand to conquer Finland from Sweden. Prussia was forced to join the Continental System and close its ports to British trade. Because the Treaties of Tilsit came so close to creating a continental blockade that excluded British trade, Napoleon sought in the next few years to enlarge and enforce the blockade. This led to the collapse of the peace on the continent. The period of Franco-Russian collaboration lasted until Dec. 31, 1810, when the tsar, finding that the alliance to the Continental System seriously hurt Russian trade, opened Russian ports to neutral ships. The threat to Russia from Napoleon’s satellite, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, on Russia’s border, also contributed to the eventual failure of the Franco-Russian alliance. Napoleon invaded Russia in June 1812.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Jerome Bonaparte becomes King of Westphalia
Bonaparte Jerome
Jérôme Bonaparte, original Italian Roland Buonaparte (born November 15, 1784, Ajaccio, Corsica—died June 24, 1860, Villegenis, France), Napoleon I’s youngest brother, who became king of Westphalia and marshal of France. It was through Jérôme that the Bonaparte line extended into the United States; his eldest son, Jerome, grew up in Maryland with his American mother.

A portrait of Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia by François Gérard.
  The Bonaparte family had endured poverty and hardship in Corsica before Napoleon’s military successes during the French Revolution moved the family up the social and economic ladder. Jérôme was still a child when his increasingly powerful brother sent him to Paris for schooling.

A member of the consular guard from 1800, Jérôme was transferred to the navy soon after he was wounded in a duel. Napoleon sent Jérôme to the French West Indian colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) in late 1801 as a member of the expeditionary forces to put down the slave revolt there. He was ordered to return to France in the summer of 1803. Fearing British capture if he sailed for France from the Caribbean, Jérôme sailed instead for the United States. There, while visiting Baltimore, Maryland, he met and soon married (December 24, 1803) Elizabeth Patterson, the 18-year-old daughter of a wealthy merchant. The pair sailed for Europe in 1805.

Because Napoleon intended to expand his power in Europe by making politically advantageous marriages for his siblings, he ordered Jérôme’s pregnant wife to be excluded from his realm. As a result, Jérôme’s son was born in England. Jérôme soon saw the advantage in complying with the emperor’s wishes and rejected his wife and child in order to partake of the advantages of empire.

He took command of a small squadron in the Mediterranean and took part in the campaign of 1806. An imperial decree annulled his first marriage in 1807. The emperor then arranged Jérôme’s marriage to Princess Catherine of Württemberg (by whom Jérôme would have three children) and made him king of Westphalia.


During his short reign (1807–13), Jérôme spent enormous amounts of money on improving the streets, parks, and buildings in his kingdom and especially on renovating his palace. In addition to this, the men he appointed to high office were either inept or corrupt. He soon drained his country’s treasury and enraged Napoleon. His most noteworthy accomplishment was the then-unusual granting of rights to the Jews of Westphalia. In the Russian campaign of 1812, Jérôme failed in his assigned mission and was returned to Kassel, the kingdom’s capital city.

In 1813, on the fall of the Napoleonic regime in Germany, Jérôme returned to France. He commanded a division on the French left wing at Waterloo and attacked with great pertinacity. With Napoleon’s second abdication, Jérôme left France, spending most of the years of his exile in Italy. He returned to France in 1847, and, after the rise of his nephew Louis-Napoléon (as Napoleon III), he became, successively, governor of the Invalides, marshal of France, and president of the Senate.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Napoleon I ensures dictatorship by suppressing Tribunate

The Tribunat was one of the four assemblies set up in France by the Constitution of Year VIII (the other three were the Council of State, the Corps législatif and the Sénat conservateur). It was set up officially on 1 January 1800 at the same time as the Corps législatif. Its first president was the historian Pierre Daunou, whose independent spirit led to his dismissal from the post by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. The Tribunat assumed some of the functions of the Council of Five Hundred, but its role consisted only of deliberating projected laws before their adoption by the Corps législatif, with the legislative initiative remaining with the Council of State.

As with elections to the Corps législatif, members of the Tribunat were not elected by direct universal suffrage. They were chosen via a complex process by the Senate from the "national lists of notables" ("listes nationales de notabilités") set up following a series of votes "en cascade" - the citizens would first elect "communal notables" from one tenth of their number, who would choose "departmental notables" from one tenth of their number, who would in turn choose "national notables" from another one tenth of their number.

The Tribunat's function was to send three orators to discuss proposed laws with government orators in the presence of the Corps législatif. It could not vote on such laws, but its decisions did have some consequence, if only as a consultative opinion, with the final decision always coming back as a last resort to the First Consul, who might or might not take the Tribunat's opinion into account.

The Tribunat could also ask the Senate to overturn "the lists of eligibles, the acts of the Legislative Body and those of the government" on account of unconstitutionality, but the Tribunat's opinion was, once again, non-binding.

Shortly after the coup d'état of 18 Brumaire, the Tribunat became a focus of opposition to the regime the First Consul was in the process of setting up. Also, on 7 January, Benjamin Constant entered the Tribunat and, in a speech that made him leader of the opposition, denounced "the regime of servitude and silence" Bonaparte was preparing. The Tribunat was made up of liberal personalities like Constant, whose independent point of view Bonaparte saw as prejudicial to the public order and political unity he was trying to establish. Thus it was first purged after its opposition to the projected Code civil in 1802 (a purge made possible by a manoeuvre - the Tribunat was partially renewed at the regular interval, but it was unknown who in the Tribunat would be the first to be removed, and therefore Napoleon chose his opponents), then suppressed by a decree of the Senate in 1807, with its remaining functions and members absorbed into the Corps législatif.

It is notable that the Corps législatif tended to reinforce the powers of the executive. The introduction of the plebiscite, reducing the chambers' legitimacy and thus their power, had the same aim. The Tribunat was an organ intended to improve separation of powers, but the way that the separation of powers was structured did not let the Tribunat run effectively.


Organisation and constitution

The Constitution of Year VIII organised the Tribunat:

“ Article 27. The Tribunat is to be made up of 100 members aged at least 25; they are to be renewed every fifth year, and may be re-elected indefinitely if they are still on the national list. ”

The Constitution of 16 thermidor year X (4 August 1802) foresaw:

“ Starting in year XIII, the Tribunat will be reduced to 50 members. - Half of the 50 will leave every third year. Until this reduction, the departing members will not be replaced. - The Tribunat will be divided into sections. ”

The Constitution of the Year XII stated that:

“ The functions of the members of the Tribunate continue ten years.
The Tribunate is renewed by half every five years. The first renewal shall take place for the session of the Year XVII, in conformity with the organic senatus-consultum of 16 Thermidor, Year X.
The president of the Tribunate is appointed by the Emperor out of a presentation of three candidates made by the Tribunate by secret ballot and a majority.
The functions of the president of the Tribunate continue two years.
The Tribunate has two questors. They are appointed by the Emperor out of a triple list of candidates chosen by the Tribunate by secret ballot and a majority. Their functions are the same as those assigned to the questors of the Legislative Body by articles 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 of the organic senatus-consultum of 24 Frimaire, Year XII. One of the questors is renewed each year.

The Tribunate is divided into three sections, to wit:
Section of legislation.
Section of the interior.
Section of the finances.
Each section forms a list of three of its members from whom the president of the Tribunate designates the president of the section. The functions of the president of a section continue one year. “

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Napoleon I

Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)
Sultan Selim III of Turkey deposed and succeeded by Mustafa IV
Mustafa IV

Mustafa IV (Ottoman Turkish: مصطفى رابع Muṣṭafā-yi rābi‘; 8 September 1779 – 15/16 November 1808) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1807 to 1808.


Mustafa IV
Born in Constantinople, Mustafa IV was the child of Sultan Abdülhamid I (1774–1789) and Valide Sultan Ayse Seniyeperver. His mother was responsible for his education, but Mustafa preferred to live a life of pleasure instead of focusing on his studies.

Both he and his brother, Mahmud II, were the last remaining male members of the house of Osman I after their cousin, the reformist Sultan Selim III (1789–1807). They alone were therefore eligible to inherit the throne from Selim, by whom they were treated favorably. Since Mustafa was the eldest, he took precedence over his brother to the throne. During his short reign, Mustafa would both save his cousin's life, and order him murdered. Mustafa was Sultan Selim III's favourite crown prince, but he deceived his cousin and co-operated with the rebels to take his throne. Mustafa came to the throne in the wake of the turbulent events that led to the fatwa against Selim for "introduce[ing] among the Moslems the manners of infidels and show[ing] an intention to suppress the Janissaries." Selim fled to the palace, where he swore fealty to his cousin as the new sultan, and attempted to commit suicide. Mustafa spared his life by smashing the cup of poison that his cousin attempted to drink.

Mustafa's brief reign was turbulent. Immediately upon ascending to the throne, the janissaries rioted throughout Constantinople, looting and murdering anyone who appeared to support Selim. More threatening, however, was a truce signed with the Russians, which freed Mustafa Bayrakdar, a pro-reformist commander stationed on the Danube to march his army back to Constantinople in an effort to restore Selim. With the aid of the Grand Vizier of Adrianople, the army marched on the capital and seized the palace.

Attempting to secure his position by positing himself as the only surviving heir of Osman, Mustafa ordered both Selim and his brother Mahmud murdered at Topkapı Palace, Constantinople. He then ordered his guards to show the rebels Selim's body, and they promptly tossed it into the inner courtyard of the palace. Mustafa then ascended his throne, assuming that Mahmud was also dead, but the prince had been hiding in the furnace of a bath. Just as the rebels demanded that Mustafa "yield his place to a worthier," Mahmud revealed himself, and Mustafa was deposed. The failure of his short reign prevented the efforts to undo the reforms, which continued under Mahmud. Mustafa was later killed on Mahmud's orders.
Personal life
His wives were: Şevr-i Nur Kadın Efendi, Dilpezir Kadın Efendi, Seyyare Kadın Efendi and Peyk-i Dil Kadın Efendi. He had two children, a boy named Şehzade Ahmed, who was raised by her mother, Ayşe Seniyeperver Sultan and a girl named Emine Sultan who died in 1808 when six months old.

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Chesapeake–Leopard Affair

The Chesapeake–Leopard Affair was a naval engagement that occurred off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, on 22 June 1807, between the British warship HMS Leopard and American frigate USS Chesapeake, when the crew of the Leopard pursued, attacked and boarded the American frigate looking for deserters from the Royal Navy. The Chesapeake was caught unprepared and after a short battle involving broadsides from the Leopard, her commander, James Barron, surrendered his vessel to the British after firing only one shot. Four crew members were removed from the American vessel and were tried for desertion, one of whom was subsequently hanged. The Chesapeake was allowed to return home where James Barron was court martialed and suspended from command.

The Chesapeake–Leopard Affair created uproar among Americans and strident calls for war with Great Britain, but these quickly subsided. President Thomas Jefferson initially attempted to use this widespread bellicosity to diplomatically threaten the British government into settling the matter. The United States Congress backed away from armed conflict when British envoys showed no contrition for the Chesapeake affair and delivered proclamations reaffirming impressment. Jefferson's political failure to coerce Great Britain led him towards economic warfare: the Embargo of 1807.
In the spring of 1807, during the Napoleonic Wars, several British naval vessels were on duty on the North American Station, blockading two French third-rate warships in Chesapeake Bay. A number of Royal Navy seamen had deserted from their ships and local American authorities gave them sanctuary. One of the deserters, a Londoner named Jenkin Ratford, joined the crew of the USS Chesapeake. Ratford had made himself conspicuous to British officers by shouting at them on the streets of Norfolk, Virginia.

Other deserters were reported to be at the Gosport Navy Yard, then commanded by Stephen Decatur.

  Decatur received a letter from the British consul ordering him to turn over three men alleged to have deserted from the HMS Melampus. The consul claimed the men had enlisted in the U.S. Navy, which was recruiting a crew for the Chesapeake, then at the Washington Navy Yard outfitting for a voyage to the Mediterranean.

Vice-Admiral Sir George Berkeley dispatched his flagship, the fourth-rate warship HMS Leopard, with written orders authorizing him to board and search the United States warship to recover any deserters. Berkeley ordered the Leopard's captain to search for deserters from HMS Belleisle, HMS Bellona, HMS Triumph, HMS Chichester, HMS Halifax, and the cutter HMS Zenobia.


USS Chesapeake, depicted in a c.1900 painting by F. Muller
Attack and search
The Chesapeake was off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, commanded by Commodore James Barron, when the Leopard, under Salusbury Pryce Humphreys, encountered and hailed her.

Barron was not alarmed, and received Lieutenant John Meade on board, who presented Barron with the search warrant. After an inconclusive discussion, Meade returned to the Leopard. Captain Humphreys, using a hailing trumpet, ordered the American ship to submit.

When the Chesapeake did not, Humphreys fired a round across her bow. This was followed immediately by the Leopard firing broadsides into the American ship. Her guns unloaded and her decks cluttered with stores in preparation for a long cruise, the Chesapeake managed to fire only a single gun in reply. The humiliated Barron struck his colors and surrendered.

Three of the Chesapeake's crew had been killed and 18 wounded, including Barron, by the unprovoked attack. However, Humphreys refused the surrender and sent a boarding party to the Chesepeake to search for deserters.

Scores of British nationals had signed on as crewmen of the Chesapeake, but Humphreys seized only the four Royal Navy deserters: Daniel Martin, John Strachan and William Ware, all from HMS Melampus, and Jenkin Ratford, formerly on the HMS Halifax. Only Ratford was British-born. The others were American citizens — two of them demonstrably non-British because they were African-Americans, but they had been serving on British warships.

The brig Columbine brought the first dispatches to Halifax in early July. Leopard followed with her prisoners for trial. Jenkin Ratford, the sole British citizen, was sentenced to death and was hanged from the yardarm of the Halifax on 31 August 1807. The three Americans received sentences of 500 lashes each, but the sentences were later commuted.

The bloody encounter caused a storm of protest from the United States government, and the British government eventually offered to return the three American citizens and to pay reparations for the damage to the Chesapeake. The schooner HMS Bream returned the last two British deserters to Boston, one month after the outbreak of the War of 1812.

The incident outraged the American public, as President Thomas Jefferson noted: "Never since the Battle of Lexington have I seen this country in such a state of exasperation as at present, and even that did not produce such unanimity." James Monroe, then a foreign minister acting under instructions from U.S. Secretary of State James Madison, demanded British disavowal of the deed, the restoration of the four seamen, the recall of Admiral Berkeley, the exclusion of British warships from U.S. territorial waters, and the abolition of impressments from vessels under the United States flag.

The event raised tensions between the two countries and, while possibly not a direct cause, was one of the events leading up to the War of 1812.
In fact, many Americans demanded war because of the attack, but President Jefferson turned to diplomacy and economic pressure in the form of the ill-fated Embargo Act of 1807.
The Federal government began to be concerned about the lack of war material. A tariff protective of gunpowder manufacture followed, which helped ensure the fortunes of the DuPont company.

The humiliating incident had significant repercussions for the U.S. Navy. The public was shocked that Chesapeake had not been able to put up any resistance and surrendered so quickly, questioning the ability of the Navy to defend the country from a possible British invasion, despite the expensive and controversial frigate-building program. A court-martial blamed Barron and suspended him from service for five years as punishment.

In 1820, Commodore Barron challenged and mortally wounded Commodore Stephen Decatur in a duel over remarks Decatur had made about Barron's conduct in 1807 (Barron was also wounded). Decatur had served on the court-martial that found Barron guilty of being unprepared and barred him from command for five years.

The Chesapeake herself proved unlucky during the War of 1812, when on 1 June 1813, after a long and surprising series of naval victories over the Royal Navy, the British frigate HMS Shannon captured Chesapeake in a ship-to-ship action near Boston. The Royal Navy commissioned the Chesapeake, but put her up for sale at Plymouth in July 1819. Her timbers are now part of the Chesapeake Mill in Wickham, England.

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Embargo Act

Embargo Act, (1807), Pres. Thomas Jefferson’s nonviolent resistance to British and French molestation of U.S. merchant ships carrying, or suspected of carrying, war materials and other cargoes to the European belligerents. At Jefferson’s request the two houses of Congress considered and passed the act quickly in December 1807.

All U.S. ports were closed to export shipping in either U.S. or foreign vessels, and restrictions were placed on imports from Great Britain. The act was a hardship on U.S. farmers as well as on New England and New York mercantile and maritime interests, especially after being buttressed by harsh enforcement measures adopted in 1808. Its effects in Europe were not what Jefferson had hoped. French and British dealers in U.S. cotton, for example, were able to raise prices at will while the stock already on hand lasted; the embargo would have had to endure until these inventories were exhausted. Napoleon is said to have justified seizure of U.S. merchant ships on the ground that he was assisting Jefferson in enforcing the act. The Federalist leader Timothy Pickering even alleged that Napoleon himself had inspired the embargo. Confronted by bitter and articulate opposition, Jefferson on March 1, 1809 (two days before the end of his second term), signed the Non-Intercourse Act, permitting U.S. trade with nations other than France and Great Britain.

Encyclopædia Britannica
Garibaldi Giuseppe

Giuseppe Garibaldi, (born July 4, 1807, Nice, French Empire [now in France]—died June 2, 1882, Caprera, Italy), Italian patriot and soldier of the Risorgimento, a republican who, through his conquest of Sicily and Naples with his guerrilla Redshirts, contributed to the achievement of Italian unification under the royal House of Savoy.

Early life
Garibaldi’s family was one of fishermen and coastal traders, and for more than 10 years he himself was a sailor. In 1832 he acquired a master’s certificate as a merchant captain. By 1833–34, when he served in the navy of the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, he had come under the influence of Giuseppe Mazzini, the great prophet of Italian nationalism, and the French socialist thinker the comte de Saint-Simon. Garibaldi, in 1834, took part in a mutiny intended to provoke a republican revolution in Piedmont, but the plot failed; he escaped to France and in his absence was condemned to death by a Genoese court.

Giuseppe Garibaldi
  Exile in South America
From 1836 to 1848, Garibaldi lived in South America as an exile, and these years of turmoil and revolution in that continent strongly influenced his career. He volunteered as a naval captain for the Rio Grande do Sul republic during that small state’s unsuccessful attempt to break free from the Brazilian Empire. Actually, he did little more than prey on Brazilian shipping. In the course of often harrowing adventures on land and sea, he managed to elope with Anna Maria Ribeiro da Silva (Anita), a married woman, who remained his companion in arms until her death. After a succession of victories by the Brazilians in 1839–40, Garibaldi finally decided to leave the service of Rio Grande. Driving a herd of cattle, he made the long trek to Montevideo with Anita and their son. There he tried his hand as commercial traveler and teacher but could not accustom himself to civilian life. In 1842 he was put in charge of the Uruguayan navy in another war of liberation—this time against Juan Manuel de Rosas, the dictator of Argentina.

The following year, again in the service of Uruguay, Garibaldi took command of a newly formed Italian Legion at Montevideo, the first of the Redshirts, with whom his name became so closely associated. After he won a small but heroic engagement at the Battle of Sant’Antonio in 1846, his fame reached even to Europe, and in Italy a sword of honour, paid for by subscriptions, was donated to him.

He was in charge of the defense of Montevideo for a short time in 1847, when he first came to the attention of Alexandre Dumas père, who later did much to foster his reputation. Garibaldi also greatly impressed other foreign observers as an honest and able man.

His South American experiences gave him invaluable training in the techniques of guerrilla warfare that he later used with great effect against French and Austrian armies, which had not been taught how to counter them. These first exploits in the cause of freedom cast him in the mold of a professional rebel, an indomitable individualist who all his life continued to wear the gaucho costume of the pampas and to act as if life were a perpetual battle for liberty.

First meeting between Garibaldi and Mazzini
  War of liberation
In April 1848 Garibaldi led 60 members of his Italian Legion back to Italy to fight for the Risorgimento, or resurrection, of Italy in the war of independence against the Austrians. He first offered to fight for Pope Pius IX, then—when his offer was refused—for Charles Albert, the king of Piedmont-Sardinia. The king, too, rebuffed him, for Garibaldi’s conviction as a rebel in 1834 was still remembered; moreover, the regular army despised the self-taught guerrilla leader. Therefore, Garibaldi went to the aid of the city of Milan, where Mazzini had already arrived and had given the war of liberation a more republican and radical turn. Charles Albert, after his defeat at the hands of the Austrians at Custoza, agreed to an armistice, but Garibaldi continued in the name of Milan what had become his private war and emerged creditably from two engagements with the Austrians at Luino and Morazzone. But at the end of August, heavily outnumbered, he had to retreat across the frontier to Switzerland.
For a time Garibaldi settled down in Nice with Anita (whom he had married in 1842) and their three children, but his resolve to help free Italy from foreign rule was stronger than ever. He was confirmed in his purpose by his belief—which he and only a handful of others shared with Mazzini—that the many Italian states, though often engaged in internecine warfare, could nonetheless be unified into a single state. When Pius IX, threatened by liberal forces within the Papal States, fled from Rome toward the end of 1848, Garibaldi led a group of volunteers to that city.
There, in February 1849, he was elected a deputy in the Roman Assembly, and it was he who proposed that Rome should become an independent republic. In April a French army arrived to restore papal government, and Garibaldi was the chief inspiration of a spirited defense that repulsed a French attack on the Janiculum Hill. In May he defeated a Neapolitan army outside Rome at Velletri, and in June he was the leading figure in the defense of Rome against a French siege. There was no chance at all of holding the city, but the gallantry of the resistance became one of the most inspiring stories of the Risorgimento. Refusing to accept defeat, Garibaldi led a few thousand men out of Rome and through central Italy in July 1849, maneuvering to avoid French and Austrian armies, until he reached the neutral republic of San Marino.

Giuseppe Garibaldi on Caprera island, Sardinia
There Garibaldi found himself surrounded and decided to disband his men. Soon afterward, he was pursued by the Austrians as he tried to escape. Although Anita died, Garibaldi successfully crossed the Apennines to the Tuscan coast. The retreat through central Italy, coming after the defense of Rome, made Garibaldi a well-known figure. From then on he was the “hero of two worlds.” Some criticized his military skill in this campaign, but his qualities as a leader had proved to be extraordinary, and his courage and determination not to surrender were a lesson in patriotism for his fellow countrymen.

The Piedmontese monarchy, however, was too frightened to let this rebel return to his mother and children, and soon he was in exile again, first in Tangier, then on Staten Island, and finally in Peru, where he returned to his original trade as a ship’s captain. Only in 1854 was he allowed to return to Italy. The conte di Cavour, the prime minister of Piedmont, believed that by permitting Garibaldi’s repatriation he could pry him away from the republican Mazzini.

In the following year, Garibaldi bought part of the island of Caprera off the Sardinian coast, which remained his home for the rest of his life. In 1856 he tried to lead an expedition to release political prisoners held by the Bourbon kings of Naples, but it came to nothing. In 1858 he received an invitation from Cavour to help prepare for another war against Austria.

His task was to lead an army of volunteers from other Italian provinces, and he was given the rank of major general in the Piedmontese army. When war broke out in April 1859, he led his Cacciatori delle Alpi (Alpine Huntsmen) in the capture of Varese and Como and reached the frontier of the south Tirol. This war ended with the acquisition of Lombardy by Piedmont.

In September 1859, after peace had returned to northern Italy, Garibaldi transferred his attention to central Italy, where a revolutionary government had been established in Florence. There, on several occasions, he had private meetings with King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont-Sardinia, and it was agreed that he should prepare to invade the Papal States; the king would support his venture if it succeeded but disown him if it failed. At the last moment, however, the king realized that the undertaking was too dangerous and asked him to give up the idea. Garibaldi agreed, though reluctantly. He was ready at any moment to revive this kind of unwritten agreement with Victor Emmanuel, but it became increasingly clear that their aims were not identical. Though both men were patriots, Garibaldi was already working for the unification of Italy. The king was more prudent, concerned foremost with expanding Piedmont. Garibaldi was especially furious when, early in 1860, Cavour and Victor Emmanuel gave his hometown of Nice back to France (it had become Piedmontese in 1814), and he made one of his rare appearances in parliament to protest this violation of the national principle. In January 1860 he married Giuseppina, the daughter of the Marchese Raimondi, but abandoned her, within hours of the marriage, when he discovered she was five months pregnant, almost certainly by one of his own officers. Twenty years later, he was able to obtain the decree of nullity that enabled him to legitimize his children by Francesca Armosino, his longtime companion.


Garibaldi in the Alps
  Conquest of Sicily and Naples
In May 1860 Garibaldi set out on the greatest venture of his life, the conquest of Sicily and Naples. This time he had no government backing, but Cavour and Victor Emmanuel did not dare to stop him, for he had become a popular hero. They stood ready to assist, but only if he proved successful, and he accepted this unwritten arrangement, confident that he could thus force Cavour to support a new move toward the unification of the Italian peninsula. Sailing from near Genoa on May 6 with about 1,000 men, he reached Marsala in Sicily on May 11 and in the name of Victor Emmanuel proclaimed himself dictator.
A popular revolution in Sicily helped him considerably, for his personal charm was irresistible, and many of the peasants thought him a god intent on freeing them from slavery and feudalism. The decisive moment for his forces was a small engagement at Calatafimi, when he gave convincing proof that he could defeat the regular soldiers of the king of Naples’s army. Immediately there was a great popular movement in his support, and at the end of May he captured Palermo.

The seizure of Palermo was one of Garibaldi’s most remarkable military successes, and it convinced Cavour that this volunteer army should now be strongly, if still secretly, supported by Piedmont.

Moving across the island, Garibaldi won the Battle of Milazzo in July, helped by reinforcements from northern Italy. In August he crossed over the Strait of Messina and landed on the mainland in Calabria. As always, his strategy was to deny the enemy a moment’s pause. After a lightning campaign, he moved up through Calabria and on September 7, 1860, entered Naples, Italy’s largest city, where he proclaimed himself “Dictator of the Two Sicilies” (the name of the territories of the king of Naples, comprising Sicily and most of southern Italy).

People cheering as Giuseppe Garibaldi rides into Naples on horseback
  With 30,000 men under his command, he then fought the biggest battle of his career, on the Volturno River north of Naples. After his victory, he held plebiscites in Sicily and Naples, which allowed him to hand over the whole of southern Italy to King Victor Emmanuel.

When the two met, Garibaldi was the first person to hail Victor Emmanuel as king of a united Italy. The king made a triumphal entry into Naples on November 7, and Garibaldi sat beside him in the royal carriage.

But immediately afterward the former dictator returned to Caprera, refusing all the rewards thrust on him. He had asked for only one thing—to be allowed to continue governing Naples as the king’s viceroy until conditions returned to normal; but this was refused him, for in the eyes of the conservatives he was still a dangerous radical—an anticlerical who also professed to hold advanced ideas on social reform. He was also a man who was known to want to reconquer Rome from the pope and make it into Italy’s capital.

This was too dangerous a scheme for Victor Emmanuel, for a French garrison defended papal temporal power in Rome.
There was also another, more insidious danger: Garibaldi was more popular than the king himself. Furthermore, the regular army of Piedmont was deeply jealous of his successes and determined that he should not be permitted to score fresh ones.
Finally, it was feared that Mazzini and the republicans might recapture Garibaldi’s allegiance and make him desert the monarchical cause.

Giuseppe Garibaldi siege of Rome
Kingdom of Italy
In 1861 a new kingdom of Italy came into existence, but from the start it found Garibaldi virtually in opposition. Many people regarded him as an embarrassment. He opposed Cavour in parliament and accused the government of shabby treatment of the volunteer soldiers who had conquered half the country and given it to the king. Moreover, he condemned the inefficient administration of the provinces that he had conquered and for which he felt especially responsible. In many ways he showed that he considered himself almost an independent power, both in his dealings with his own government and with foreign powers. So admired abroad was Garibaldi that in July 1861 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln offered him a Union command in the American Civil War; the offer was declined, partly because Lincoln would not make a sweeping enough condemnation of slavery, but also because he would not give Garibaldi supreme command of the Federal troops. Another sign of Garibaldi’s reputation was the rapturous reception that he received in England in April 1864. Perhaps never before in history had there been such a large spontaneous gathering as the one that cheered him through the streets of London.

Garibaldi in 1866
  Last campaigns
Early in 1862 Victor Emmanuel again persuaded Garibaldi to lead a revolutionary expedition, this time to attack Austria in the Balkans. He was allowed to recruit another volunteer army, and munitions were collected for him in Sicily; but he then decided to use this army to attack the Papal States. Not wanting to jeopardize its relations with the French, the Italian government ordered its own forces to stop Garibaldi. At the ensuing Battle of Aspromonte, he was badly wounded and taken prisoner.

When he was freed, however, the king’s complicity could no longer be denied. Garibaldi’s wound left him lame, but this did not prevent the government from using him more openly when war broke out with Austria in 1866. He was given an almost independent command in the Tirol, and once again he emerged from the war with a good deal more credit than any of the regular soldiers. This conflict led to the acquisition of Venice.

In 1867 Garibaldi led another private expedition into the Papal States. This, too, was secretly subsidized by the government, though, of course, the king pretended otherwise; but political mismanagement of the whole incident forced France to intervene, and French troops defeated Garibaldi’s volunteers at Mentana.

Once more he was arrested by the Italian government to cover up its complicity, but he was soon released and taken back to Caprera.
Garibaldi led one final campaign in 1870–71, when he assisted the French Republic against Prussia. Again he distinguished himself, though on a small scale, and he was subsequently elected a member of the French National Assembly at Bordeaux.

Garibaldi at Mentana, 3 November 1867
During the last decade of his life he was crippled by rheumatism and by his many wounds. Though he had become something of a recluse on his island, he kept abreast of affairs through the numerous deputations that called on him, and he habitually made pronouncements on affairs of the day. Toward the end he called himself a socialist, but both Karl Marx and the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin disowned him. He also became something of a pacifist, for his own experience had taught him that wars were seldom either righteous or effective in achieving their ends. Garibaldi was recognized as a champion of the rights of labour and of women’s emancipation. Moreover, he showed himself to be a religious freethinker and ahead of his time in believing in racial equality and the abolition of capital punishment.

Giuseppe Garibaldi 1870
One of the great masters of guerrilla warfare, Garibaldi was responsible for most of the military victories of the Risorgimento. Almost equally important was his contribution as a propagandist to the unification of Italy. A man of the people, he knew far better than Cavour or Mazzini how to reach the masses with the new message of patriotism. Furthermore, his use of his military and political gifts for liberal or nationalist causes coincided well with current fashion and brought him great acclaim. In addition, he attracted support by being a truly honest man who asked little for himself.

But Garibaldi’s forthright innocence coloured his politics. Not interested in power for himself, he nevertheless believed in dictatorship as a result of his South American experiences. He distrusted parliaments because he saw them to be ineffective and corrupt. Actually, his own dictatorship of southern Italy in 1860, though much criticized, compares surprisingly well with the subsequent administration by the Kingdom of Italy. There was little of the intellectual about Garibaldi, yet his simple radicalism sparked the first political awareness in many of his fellow countrymen and brought home to them the significance of nationality. Notwithstanding his turn toward socialism, he remained primarily a nationalist—but the object of his nationalism was always the liberation of peoples and not patriotic aggrandizement. To his embodiment of this aim he owes his eminent place in Italian history.

Denis Mack Smith

Encyclopædia Britannica


Funeral of Garibaldi at Caprera
Baron vom Stein becomes Prussian Prime Minister and emancipates serfs
Stein Karl

Karl, Reichsfreiherr vom und zum Stein, (born Oct. 26, 1757, Nassau an der Lahn, Nassau [Germany]—died June 29, 1831, Schloss Cappenberg, Westphalia [Germany]), Rhinelander-born Prussian statesman, chief minister of Prussia (1807–08), and personal counselor to the Russian tsar Alexander I (1812–15). He sponsored widespread reforms in Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars and influenced the formation of the last European coalition against Napoleon.

Childhood and youth.
Stein was born into a family of the imperial nobility. His father, although a Protestant, was chamberlain to the Catholic elector and archbishop of Mainz. Karl Stein’s ancestral tradition, as he himself declared, imbued him with “ideas of piety, patriotism, class and family honour, and the duty of devoting one’s life to the community’s needs and of acquiring the necessary proficiency for such purposes by diligence and effort.” He grew up to feel a strong attachment to the old German Reich and to the imperial dynasty of the Habsburgs and a fervent German patriotism.

His parents wished him to become a judge at one of the imperial courts of the old German empire, and in 1773 he was accordingly sent to study law at the University of Göttingen. Stein studied not only law but statistics, economics, and history as well.

From his readings in early German history, in English literature and constitutional theory, and in the works of Montesquieu, he received impressions that were to be of significance for his later activity as a statesman.

  Influence of August Rehberg.
August Wilhelm Rehberg, whom he met in Göttingen, became a close friend and exercised a greater influence on Stein than did any of his academic teachers. Rehberg was a political thinker who advocated a liberal–conservative policy to preserve the old where it had proved itself and to make reforms where conditions demanded them. It was in the constant exchange of ideas with Rehberg that Stein developed his own reform ideas in the quarter century between 1775 and 1800. He attempted to find a middle way between revolution and absolutism that could unite tradition and progress.

In 1777 Stein left the university and used the next three years to study the legal procedures of the institutional organs of the Reich, namely the Imperial Chamber at Wetzlar, the Imperial Court Council in Vienna, and the Reichstag, or Diet, of the empire at Regensburg. In the course of his work he decided against joining the imperial service and to enter the Prussian civil administration instead. In 1780, through his friendship with Friedrich Anton von Heinitz, the Prussian minister of mines, he obtained a suitable post.


Heinrich Friedrich Karl, Freiherr vom und zum Stein
(painting by Johann Christoph Rincklake)
  Career as Prussian civil servant.
Stein began his career in the department of mines and factories, at first stationed for some years in Berlin, then for a long period in Prussian Westphalia. His work in the direction of mining enterprises and in the provincial administration of Westphalia made Stein an expert in the practical detail of local government. In 1796 he was appointed head of all the Rhenish and Westphalian administrative districts; and in 1802–03 he was entrusted with the administrative execution of the merging of the secularized bishoprics of Münster and Paderborn into the Prussian state. In his work as an administrator, Stein was content and highly successful: he improved the road network, made the rivers navigable, promoted textile production, and reformed the system of tax collection.

In 1793 he married the countess Wilhelmine Wallmoden. She was the daughter of a Hanoverian general and a granddaughter of England’s king George II, through one of his mistresses, the Countess of Yarmouth. During the first years of their marriage, Stein felt that his wife did not appreciate his way of life and his goals. As the years passed, however, he became increasingly respectful of his wife’s character and abilities. Together they devoted themselves to the education of their two daughters. During Stein’s long periods of separation from his family in the years 1807–15, his wife took care of his estates, executed his commissions, and brought up the children. Stein outlived her by 12 years.

Achievements as minister and prime minister.
On Oct. 27, 1804, Stein was summoned to Berlin to be minister for manufactures and excise (i.e., for economic affairs). In this capacity he obtained an insight into the working of the central offices of the government, which moreover convinced him of the need for reform. Because of a momentary altercation with King Frederick William III, who rejected his demands for a ministerial system free of interference from the king’s personal Cabinet, Stein was dismissed from office on Jan. 3, 1807, in the interval between the defeat of the Prussians by the French at Jena and Auerstädt (October 1806) and the Peace of Tilsit (July 1807).

Heinrich Friedrich Karl, Freiherr vom und zum Stein
  Returning to his ancestral castle in March 1807, Stein used his enforced leisure to compose the now famous Nassau Memorandum (Nassauer Denkschrift). A comprehensive program for the reform of the Prussian state, this memorandum constitutes the best and most reliable account of Stein’s ideas. His basic principle is that, for a healthy and efficient state, an organic relationship must be established between population and government and that citizens must be brought into responsible participation in the state’s affairs.

This perspective had long been developed, formulated, and modified in his mind through his preoccupation with the English system of self-government, and experience had further enriched and reinforced it. Seeking to give new life to the state from within, Stein hoped that the practice of self-government would generate “civic-mindedness” (Bürgersinn) and “community spirit” (Gemeingeist) in the populace, so that they would adopt the state’s interests as their own.

Under the Peace of Tilsit, which mutilated the Prussian state, Frederick William III had to dismiss his minister Karl von Hardenberg at Napoleon’s behest. He then invited Stein to be his chief minister, on Napoleon’s recommendation. Stein arrived at Memel on Sept. 30, 1807, and after interviews with the King his new appointment was confirmed (October 4). Confronted with the extraordinary situation of Prussia, the single-minded, uncompromising, and self-confident Stein saw the opportunity for fundamental reform.

The old system of the state was quite obviously discredited; even the otherwise irresolute King could see that it was high time to put Prussia on a more up-to-date footing.

Furthermore, Napoleon’s demands on Prussia themselves necessitated incisive measures affecting the internal system. Last but not least, some of the liberally inclined members of the bureaucracy were ready to collaborate with Stein.
Thus, from the earliest days of his tenure of office, Stein could launch his reform. On Oct. 9, 1807, a law was published “concerning the Emancipated Possession and the Free Use of Landed Property as well as the Personal Relationships of the Inhabitants,” which freed the peasants from servitude.

Though it did not furnish a satisfactory solution to a number of problems (foremost among them being that of the gradual transfer of economically exploited land to peasant ownership), this October Edict was a decisive step in the conversion of Prussia to civil liberty and to equality before the law. No less revolutionary were the economic implications: land, which nobles had been forbidden to sell to nonnobles, could henceforth be bought and sold freely, and men were free to follow the vocation of their own choosing.

Stein’s Municipal Ordinance (Städteordnung) of Nov. 19, 1808, was of lasting importance. It introduced self-government for the urban communes, created the distinction between the salaried executive officials (mayor and magistrate) and the town councils, and so enabled the towns to deal with their local affairs largely through their own citizenry. Even so, the greater towns were put under the supervision of a police president directly responsible to the minister of the interior. Stein’s ordinance pointed the way to the development of municipal life throughout Germany.

  Stein effectively modernized the structure of the Prussian government as a whole. The irresponsible advisers of the absolute king, namely the so-called Cabinet councillors, who had hitherto formed a sort of secret government behind the scenes, were discarded and so also was the “General Directory,” which had been set up as the central authority in Frederick William I’s reign. In its place Stein established departmental ministries (foreign affairs, internal affairs, finance, justice, and war) with unified competence for the whole Prussian territory.
On the same principle he organized the activities of the intermediate administrations (Regierungen) and created the post of Oberpräsident, or official head of a whole province, directly responsible for it to the central government. Stein pursued his many-sided tasks with passionate determination, but much of his plan remained unexecuted. His schemes for agrarian and economic reform were taken up by Hardenberg from 1810 onward; but the latter applied them in a spirit more akin to that of the Enlightenment than to Stein’s conservative sort of liberalism and without Stein’s educative, ethicopolitical concern.

Freiherr von und zum Stein 1821
  Last years.
In August 1808 a letter in which Stein indiscreetly referred to the likelihood of war against France was intercepted by Napoleon’s agents; and on November 24, yielding to French pressure, Frederick William dismissed him from office. Next, when Napoleon had declared him a public enemy (December 16), Stein had to take refuge on Austrian territory. In May 1812 he was summoned to the court of the Russian emperor Alexander I to be one of his political advisers.

In the following winter, on the collapse of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, Stein urged the pursuit of the retreating French Army beyond the Russian frontiers; and early in 1813 he not only helped to organize the raising of troops in East Prussia but also negotiated the Russo-Prussian Treaty of Kalisz, the formal signal for Prussia’s rising against Napoleon. He used his moral authority, during the War of Liberation and the Congress of Vienna, to work for a political union of the German states.

In 1816 Stein retired to his country property of Kappenberg in Westphalia. Even in his old age his energy did not desert him. German historical science, in fact, owes to Stein’s efforts its most important enterprise of publishing. The Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde (Society for Earlier German History) was founded on Jan. 20, 1819, at his house in Frankfurt am Main, with him as its head and its coordinating force.

The Gesellschaft has remained the most important organization for the publication of source materials on German medieval history. The publication of the great documentary series Monumenta Germaniae Historica, which began in 1826, became the particular occupation of Stein’s last years. As he himself said, he called the Monumenta into being “in order to give life to the savour of German history, to facilitate the study of its foundations, and thereby to contribute to the preservation of love of the common fatherland.”

Stein was the greatest statesman concerned with Prussia’s internal affairs since Frederick William I. He introduced liberal and constitutional elements into the absolutist state and, by his example and influence, made participation in public life a moral postulate.

Ernst Walter Zeeden

Encyclopædia Britannica

Gunboat War (1807-1814)

The Gunboat War (1807–1814) was the naval conflict between Denmark–Norway and the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The war's name is derived from the Danish tactic of employing small gunboats against the conventional Royal Navy. In Scandinavia it is seen as the later stage of the English Wars, whose commencement is accounted as the First Battle of Copenhagen in 1801.

The naval conflict between Britain and Denmark commenced with the First Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 when Horatio Nelson's squadron of Admiral Parker's fleet attacked the Danish capital. This came as a basis of Denmark-Norway's policy of armed neutrality during the latter stages of the French Revolutionary Wars, where Denmark used its naval forces to protect trade flowing within, into and out of the Danish-Norwegian waters. Hostilities between Denmark-Norway and the United Kingdom broke out again by the Second Battle of Copenhagen in 1807, when the British attacked the Danish capital to ensure that the Danish-Norwegian fleet did not fall into the hands of Napoleon.
Danish boat design
As a result of the British confiscation and destruction of large parts of the Danish-Norwegian fleet during the assault on Copenhagen, the Dano-Norwegian government decided to build gunboats in large numbers to compensate the loss.

The gunboats were originally designed by a Swede, Fredrik Henrik af Chapman, and the strategic advantage of gunboats lay in the fact that they could be produced rapidly and inexpensively throughout the kingdom. The tactical advantages were that they were highly manoeuvrable, especially in still and shallow waters and presented small targets. On the other hand, the boats were vulnerable and likely to sink from a single hit. They therefore could not be used in rough seas, and they were less effective against large warships. Still, the Danish-Norwegian government produced more than 200 gunboats in two models: the shallop gunboat which had a crew of 76 men, with an 18- or 24-pounder cannon in the bow and another in the stern, and the smaller barge type that had a total crew of 24 men, armed with a single 24-pounder.

The Danish Commander (and later Admiral) Steen Andersen Bille (1751–1833) is credited with being the driving force behind the post-1807 Dano-Norwegian strategy of gunboat warfare.
  Below  is a description of each of the four classes of gunboats according to Junior Lieutenant Garde, himself a commander of one of the larger types of gunboats.

Kanonchaluppen: These were the larger type of gunboat. Each was armed with two 24-pound cannon and four 4-pound howitzers and a had a wartime establishment of 69 – 79 men.
Kanonjollen: These were the smaller type of gunboat. Each was armed with one 24-pound cannon and two 4-pound howitzers, and had wartime establishment of 41 men.
Morterchaluppen: These were the larger, mortar-armed gunboats. Each was armed with one 100-pound mortar and two 4-pound howitzers, and had a wartime establishment of 40 men.
Morterbarkasserne: These were smaller, mortar-armed gunboats. Each was armed with one mortar and had a wartime establishment of 19 men. They were little more than ordinary ships’ boats into which a mortar had been set. They had a tendency to leak badly after 5 – 7 mortar shells had been fired. Their crews then had to bring them back into harbour, remove the mortar, and recaulk their vessels.

Reserve crew who could not be accommodated on board were quartered in buildings on land or in the frigate Triton which was in ordinary. Battle-ready gunboats had their crews on board.


The Spanish Division of the North sent to fight the British in Denmark pledging to turn against France and side with the British
In the first three years of the Gunboat War, these boats were on several occasions able to capture cargo ships from the convoys and to defeat British naval brigs, though they were not strong enough to overcome larger frigates and ships of the line. The British had control of Danish waters during the whole of the 1807–1814 war, and when the season was suited to navigation they were regularly able to escort large merchant convoys out through the Sound and the Great Belt. Although the discussion below focuses on armed encounters involving an exchange of fire, one must keep in mind that the British also captured numerous Danish privateers without firing a shot, and conducted an economic war, regularly seizing merchant vessels as prizes. Further economic damage was done by raids on the smaller islands, many populated but undefended. British warships landed to replenish firewood and water supplies, and forcibly to buy, commandeer or simply take livestock to augment their provisions.

The war overlapped, in time, the Anglo-Russian War. As a result, the British expanded their trade embargo to Russian waters and the British navy conducted forays northwards into the Barents Sea. The navy conducted raids on Hasvik and Hammerfest and disrupted the Pomor trade, the Norwegian trade with Russia.


Battle between the frigate HMS Tartar and Danish gunboats at Alvoen near Bergen in 16 May 1808
On 12 August 1807, even before the war had been declared, the British sixth-rate HMS Comus took part in a notable, illegal and ultimately one-sided single-ship action when she captured the 32-gun Danish frigate (fregat) Friderichsværn. In the engagement the British suffered only one man wounded; the Danes lost 12 men while 20 were wounded, some mortally. The Royal Navy took Frederiksværn into service as HMS Frederickscoarn. On 23 August, the British HMS Prometheus fired Congreve rockets from her decks against a Danish gunboat flotilla, but the attack had little effect. The British were instead more successful on 11 September when HMS Carrier brought to the British Admiralty the despatches from Admiral Thomas McNamara Russell announcing the capitulation of the small island of Heligoland to the British. Heligoland later also became a centre for smuggling and for espionage against Napoleon.

In the East Indies, troops from the 14th Regiment of Foot landed from HMS Russell on the Coromandel Coast on 13 February 1808 and took over the Danish possessions at Tranquebar. On 14 March, the 14-gun HMS Childers and the Danish 20-gun sloop HDMS Lougen engaged in an inconclusive single-ship action. Childers lost two men killed and nine wounded before she could escape and return to Leith. On 22 March the British ships of the line HMS Nassau and HMS Stately destroyed the last Danish ship of the line, HDMS Prins Christian Frederik, commanded by Captain C.W. Jessen, in the Battle of Zealand Point. Nassau was herself a former Danish vessel. Nassau had one man killed and 16 men wounded, while Stately had four killed and 27 wounded. The Danes lost 55 men killed and 88 wounded.

Boats from HMS Daphne and HMS Tartarus, supported by the brig HMS Forward, drove ashore a Dano-Norwegian convoy at Flodstrand, near The Skaw on 22 April. The convoy was taking supplies for the relief of Norway as a result of food shortages that had occurred there after the British had begun their blockade between Denmark and Norway in 1807. The British went in under heavy fire from the shore and a castle there and brought out five brigs, three galliots, a schooner and a sloop (totalling some 870 tons burthen), for the loss of five men wounded. The British frigate HMS Tartar also approached Bergen under Dutch colours on 15 May in order to attack the Dutch frigate Guelderland, which had been undergoing repairs there. Unfortunately for the British the Guelderland had already sailed, so during the night the British sent in boats in an attempt to attack other shipping in the harbour. When the boats came under heavy fire, Tartar came in to cover them, only to come under attack by the schooner Odin and five gunboats. During the Battle of Alvøen Tartar's captain and another seaman were killed and twelve men were wounded before Tartar was able to make her escape.

  The hired armed cutter Swan found herself in action off the island of Bornholm with a Danish 8-gun cutter-rigged vessel on 24 May. Swan had been carrying despatches when she had spotted the Danish vessel and lured her out. The engagement ended with the Danish vessel exploding, while Swan suffered no casualties despite coming under fire both from the Danish vessel and the batteries on Bornholm. The fire from the batteries and the sighting of more Danish vessels forced Swan to withdraw after the battle without being able to make efforts to rescue survivors.

On 4 June four Danish gunboats attacked HMS Tickler and captured her after a four-hour fight. Tickler had lost her captain and 14 other men killed, and 22 other officers and men killed and wounded out of her crew of 50 men; the Danes had one man wounded. The Danes would later use Tickler as a cadet training ship.

The Danes where also victorious on 19 June, when the brig HMS Seagull pursued and caught up with the Danish brig HDMS Lougen, which was armed with eighteen short 18-pounder guns and two long 6-pounder guns. About 20 minutes into the engagement six Danish gunboats arrived from behind some rocks and in two divisions of three each took up positions on Seagull's quarter and fired on her with their 24-pounder guns while Lougen fired on her larboard bow.
Within half an hour the Danish fire had badly damaged Seagull's rigging and dismounted five of her guns. Eventually Seagull struck, having lost eight men killed and 20 wounded, including her captain, R.B. Cathcart. Seagull sank soon after the Danes captured her, drowning several of her captors who were aboard. The Danes later recovered Seagull and added her to their navy.

The Danes also captured HMS Tigress. Sixteen Danish gunboats captured her off Langeland in the Great Belt on 2 August. In the engagement Tigress lost two men killed and eight wounded.

Immobilized by a dead calm, HMS Africa, under Captain John Barrett, barely survived an attack by 25 Danish gunboats and seven armed launches under the command of Commodore J.C. Krieger in an action in the Øresund on 20 October 1808. Africa lost nine men killed and 51 wounded; had night not descended the Danes might well have captured her.

The British, however, were less fortunate on 5 December, when the bomb vessel HMS Proselyte was wrecked on Anholt Reef while caught in the ice. The reason that the vessel sank in that area was because the Danes had closed the lighthouse on the island of Anholt, in the Kattegat early during the war, and The Admiralty had ordered her to station herself off the island on 9 November to carry a light for the safety of passing convoys. All her crew was however saved.


Danish gunboats seizing HMS Turbulent, 9 June 1808.
The British 64-gun third rate Standard, under Captain Aiskew Paffard Hollis, and the 18-pounder 36-gun frigate HMS Owen Glendower captured the island of Anholt on 18 May 1809. A party of seamen and marines under the command of Captain William Selby of Owen Glendower, with the assistance of Captain Edward Nicolls of the Standard's marines, landed. The Danish garrison of 170 men put up a sharp, but ineffectual resistance that killed one British marine and wounded two before the garrison then surrendered and the British took immediate possession of the island. The principal objective of the mission was to restore the lighthouse on Anholt to its pre-war state to facilitate the movement of British men of war and merchantmen navigating the dangerous seas there.

On 9 June a Danish and Norwegian flotilla of twenty-one gunboats and seven mortar boats attacked a British convoy of 70 merchant ships off the island of Saltholm in Øresund Strait near Copenhagen. The Dano-Norwegian flotilla was able to capture 12 or 13 merchant vessels, plus HMS Turbulent, one of the escorts. The Danes also captured HMS Allart during the Battle of Saltholm on 10 August. During the battle HMS Allart, a former Danish Navy brig, chased Lougen and Seagull into Fredriksvern only to find herself pursued by 15 Danish gunboats, arrayed in three divisions. After a three-hour chase the gunboats closed with Allart and an engagement began. After two hours Allart struck, having had her rigging shot away and having lost one man killed and three wounded. On 12 August, Commander John Willoughby Marshall and HMS Lynx were in the company of the gun-brig HMS Monkey , Lieutenant Thomas Fitzgerald, when they discovered three Danish luggers off the Danish coast. The water was too shallow for Lynx, so Marshall sent Monkey and boats from Lynx in to cut them out. The largest of the luggers, which had four guns and four howitzers, opened fire on Monkey before all three luggers ran ashore once Monkey and the launch's 18-pounder carronade returned fire. The British refloated the luggers and brought them out the next day, having taken no casualties. In their haste to quit the vessel, the Danes failed to fire the fuse on a cask of gunpowder they had left by the fireplace on the largest lugger. Marshall thought the Danes' behaviour in leaving the explosive device disgraceful.
  The Danish-Norwegian navy managed to capture another British vessel on 2 September, when a Danish gunboat flotilla from Fladstrand, North Jutland, under the command of Lieutenant Nicolai H. Tuxen, captured the gun-brig HMS Minx. The engagement cost Minx two dead and nine wounded. The British Royal Navy had stationed her off the Skaw Reef to show a warning light. HMS Sheldrake reported the loss to the Admiralty.

Early in 1810 the Danes ceased sending provisioning ships to Norway because of British naval activity in Øresund and withdrew the naval officers that were so involved to Zealand. Meanwhile there were difficulties in transporting grain from the Vordingborg, in the south of Denmark, past Møn to Copenhagen. This was overcome by using gunboats to convoy the merchant vessels, as the gunboats were much more maneuverable in the shallow coastal waters, and restricting the cargo vessels to those which could pass inside of Møn. Larger seagoing ships which would have to go outside, i.e. east of Møn, were too liable to be caught by the British. These actions, together with a good form of coastal signalling, resulted in a steady supply of grain to the Danish capital.

On 13 April 1810, four Danish gunboats, under the command of First Lieutenant Peter Nicolay Skibsted, captured a British gunboat, the Grinder, off the Djursland peninsula near Grenå. She was armed with one 24-pounder gun and one 24-pounder carronade. She was under the command of Master's Mate Thomas Hester and had over-wintered at Anholt. Of her crew of 34 men, two were killed and two wounded in the action. On 23 May, seven Danish gunboats engaged the Cruizer-class brig-sloop Raleigh, Alban and His Majesty's hired armed cutter Princess of Wales, off the Skaw. The engagement cost the Danes the loss of one gunboat, which blew up, and heavy damage to the rest. The Battle of Silda was fought on 23 July near the Norwegian island of Silda. The British frigates HMS Belvidera and HMS Nemesis attacked the pilot's station on the island and defeated the three gun schooners Odin, Tor and Balder and the gun barge Cort Adeler, which were stationed there. On 12 September, six Danish gunboats captured a becalmed Alban after a four-hour battle during which she lost her captain and one man killed and three men wounded. The Danes then took her into service as The Alban.

Danish gunboats manned by nearly 1,000 men, including infantry forces attempted to recapture Anholt on 27 February 1811. The Battle of Anholt resulted in a Danish withdraw to Jutland, with heavy losses. The Danes did however emerge victorious on 23 April when Swan encountered three Danish gunboats in Sunningesund. A shot from one of the gunboats damaged Swan and resulted in the wetting of her powder magazine, forcing her surrender. The Danes boarded her but were able to retrieve little before Swan sank off Uddevalla, on the Swedish coast north of Gothenburg. The fight cost Swan two men killed, as the same battle apparently also resulted in the damaging of the hired armed cutter Hero. On 11 May, Rifleman recaptured Alban from the Danes. The capture occurred after a 12-hour chase near Shetland. At the time of her capture Alban was armed with 12 guns and had a crew of 58 men, all under the command of a lieutenant of the Danish navy. She was three days out of Farsund in Norway and had taken no prizes.
Battle of Lyngor
On 31 July 1811, HMS Brev Drageren and Algerine were cruising together in Long Sound, Norway, when they encountered and engaged three Danish brigs: the 20-gun Langeland, the 18-gun Lügum, and the 16-gun Kiel. Outnumbered and outgunned, the British vessels took flight. The next day Brev Drageren unsuccessfully re-engaged first one and then two of the brigs. In the inconclusive engagement each British vessel sustained one man killed, and Brev Drageren also had three wounded. On 17 August HMS Manly sailed from Sheerness with a convoy for the Baltic. On 2 September, while she was cruising off Arendal on the Norwegian coast in the company of Chanticleer, three Danish 18-gun-brigs (Alsen, Lolland, and Samsø) engaged them.
Battle of Lyngor
Lolland engaged Manly while the other two chased Chanticleer but she maintained a course away from the action and made good her escape. In the engagement with Lolland, Manly had her spars and rigging cut to pieces. With only six guns left, and having lost one man killed and three wounded, Manly was forced to strike.

The last major fight between Danish and British warships took place on 6 July 1812 during the Battle of Lyngør, when a small squadron of British warships met a small squadron of Danish warships at Lyngør on the Norwegian coast. The British withdrew after destroying the Danish frigate Najaden. On 2 August the same year, boats of HMS Horatio, which was under the command of Captain Lord George Stuart, captured two Danish vessels, under the command of Lieutenant Hans Buderhof, and their prize, an American vessel of about 400 tons burthen (bm). The two Danish vessels were schooner No. 114 (of six 6-pounders and 30 men), and cutter No. 97 (of four 6-pounders and 22 men). In the action the British lost nine men killed and 16 wounded, of whom two died of their wounds; the Danes lost ten men killed and 13 wounded.

As a result of the Swedish invasion of Holstein in December 1813 during the War of the Sixth Coalition, Denmark-Norway was forced to seek peace, and the Treaty of Kiel ended the war on 15 January 1814. Denmark-Norway had to cede Heligoland to Britain and all of Norway to the King of Sweden, while Denmark did get back the island of Anholt.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Invasion of Portugal
The invasion of Portugal (19–30 November 1807) saw an Imperial French corps under Jean-Andoche Junot invade the nation of Portugal which was headed by its Prince Regent John of Braganza. The military operation resulted in the almost bloodless occupation of Portugal because its government lacked the will to resist. However, the French presence was challenged by the Portuguese people and by the United Kingdom in 1808. The invasion marked the start of the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars.
Threatened by a humiliating ultimatum from Napoleon, the Portuguese government acceded to most of the demands of the French emperor. Nevertheless, Napoleon ordered Junot to commence the invasion, with the cooperation of three divisions from the Kingdom of Spain. Paralyzed by fear and indecision, the Portuguese authorities offered no resistance. Junot occupied Lisbon on 30 November 1807 to find that John and many of the leading families had left for Brazil aboard the Portuguese fleet. The French quickly occupied the entire country and appropriated or disbanded the Portuguese army. The following year saw the Portuguese revolt against their occupiers. The next action was the Battle of Évora in July 1808.
When the Treaties of Tilsit ended the War of the Fourth Coalition, Emperor Napoleon of France had already expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom. Napoleon's ire was provoked because Portugal was Britain's oldest ally in Europe, Britain was finding new opportunities for trade with Portugal's colony in Brazil, the Royal Navy often used Lisbon's port in its operations against France, and he wished to seize Portugal's fleet. Furthermore, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I had failed to comply with the emperor's Continental System, a prohibition against British trade. In addition, the seizure of Portugal would fit neatly into Napoleon's future designs against Spain.

On 19 July 1807, Napoleon ordered his Portuguese ambassador to inform that country to close its ports to British shipping by 1 September. On 2 August the 1st Corps of the Gironde Army of Observation was officially brought into being, with General of Division Jean-Andoche Junot in command. Shortly afterward, the First French Empire placed all Portuguese shipping in its ports under embargo. On 23 September, the emperor made his intentions clear when he publicly threatened to depose the Braganzas in front of the Portuguese minister to France.

Meanwhile, on 12 August 1807 the French and Spanish ambassadors delivered their ultimata to the Prince Regent of Portugal. The notes required that John must declare war on Great Britain, put his fleet at France and Spain's disposal, seize all British trade in his ports, and put all British subjects under arrest.
John agreed to suspend diplomatic relations with Britain and close his ports, but he shrank from seizing British merchants and their goods. This was deemed inadequate by Napoleon and the French and Spanish ambassadors requested their passports and left the country on 30 September.

On 12 October, Junot's corps began crossing the Bidasoa River into Spain at Irun. Soon after this event, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau was signed between France and Spain. The document was drawn up by Napoleon's marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, an agent for Manuel de Godoy, Prince of the Peace.

The treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three entities. Porto (Oporto) and the northern part was to become the Kingdom of Northern Lusitania under Charles Louis of Etruria. The southern portion would fall to Godoy as the Principality of the Algarves. The rump of the country, centered on Lisbon, was to be administered by the French. It is probable that Napoleon never had any intention of carrying out the treaty's provisions. Aside from his desire to occupy Portugal, his real purpose may have been to introduce large French forces into Spain in order to facilitate its subsequent takeover.

Junot was selected because he had served as Portugal's ambassador in 1805. He was known as a good fighter and an active officer, but he possessed only ordinary talents as a strategist and a general. Napoleon promised his subordinate a dukedom and a Marshal's baton if his assignment was carried out with total success.

Junot's 24,918-man corps consisted of one cavalry division under General of Division François Étienne de Kellermann and three infantry divisions under Generals of Division Henri François Delaborde, Louis Henri Loison, and Jean-Pierre Travot. Junot's chief of staff was General of Brigade Paul Thiébault. Kellermann's 1,754-strong division was made up of one squadron each of the 26th Chasseurs à Cheval (244), 1st Dragoon (261), 3rd Dragoon (236), 4th Dragoon (262), 5th Dragoon (249), 9th Dragoon (257), and 15th Dragoon (245) Regiments. The cavalry was divided into two brigades under Generals of Brigade Pierre Margaron and Antoine Maurin.

Delaborde's 7,848-man 1st Division included the 1st Battalion of the 4th Swiss Regiment (1,190) and six French battalions. These were the 3rd Battalion of the 15th Line Infantry Regiment (1,033), the 2nd Battalion of the 47th Line (1,210), the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 70th Line (2,299), and the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 86th Line (2,116). Delaborde's brigades were led by Generals of Brigade Jean-Jacques Avril and Antoine François Brenier de Montmorand. Loison's 8,481-strong 2nd Division was made up of the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Swiss Regiment (755) and the 3rd Battalions of the remaining six French units. These were the 2nd Light Infantry Regiment (1,255), 4th Light (1,196), 12th Light (1,302), 15th Light (1,314), 32nd Line (1,265), and 58th Line (1,394). Loison's brigadiers were Generals of Brigade Hugues Charlot and Jean Guillaume Barthélemy Thomières.

Travot's 5,538-man 3rd Division comprised the Hanoverian Legion (703) and seven French battalions. These were the 1st Battalion of the Légion du Midi (797), the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the 66th Line Infantry Regiment (1,004), and the 3rd Battalions of the 31st Light (653), 32nd Light (983), 26th Line (537), and 82nd Line (861). Travot's two brigades were led by General of Brigade Louis Fuzier and Jean François Graindorge. Artillerymen, sappers, train drivers, and other personnel numbered 1,297. Out of the 30,000 men who eventually served in Junot's army, only about 17,000 were veterans.

According to the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Junot's invasion force was to be supported by 25,500 men in three Spanish columns. General Taranco and 6,500 troops were ordered to march from Vigo to seize Porto in the north. Captain General Solano would advance from Badajoz with 9,500 soldiers to capture Elvas and its fortress. General Caraffa and 9,500 men were instructed to assemble at Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo and cooperate with Junot's main force.

In 1807 the Portuguese infantry was organized into 27 regiments of which three were colonial. The remaining 24 were titled Lippe, Albuquerque, Minas, 1st Armada, 2nd Armada, Cascaes, Setubal, Peniche, 1st Elvas, 2nd Elvas, Serpa, 1st Olivença, 2nd Olivença, Campo Major, Castello de Vide, Lagos, Faro, 1st Oporto, 2nd Oporto, Viana, Valença, Almeida, Gena Major, and Bragança. There was an additional unit of light infantry known as the D'Alorna Legion.
The 12 regiments of Portuguese cavalry originally had cuirassier equipment. The regiments were named Caés, Alcantara, Mecklenburg, Elvas, Évora, Moira, Olivença, Almeida, Castello Branco, Miranda, Chaves, and Bragança. The D'Alorna Legion also had a cavalry contingent which was fitted out in hussar uniforms.

The Portuguese army had been modernized in 1762 by William, Count of Schaumburg-Lippe but the army's administration soon became corrupt. Colonels and captains collected pay and supplies from the government for their soldiers. But the temptation to profit from this arrangement proved irresistible. The poorly paid officers often pocketed funds for soldiers who were on the muster rolls but absent or non-existent. Graft and embezzlement led to understrength units, cavalrymen without horses, and regimental depots without supplies.
  During the brief War of the Oranges in 1801 the weakness of the Portuguese army became manifest. In the wake of that conflict, each of the 24 line infantry regiments had a second battalion added. The number of companies per battalion was reduced from seven to five, but company strength was raised from 116 to 150 soldiers. The 12 regiments of line cavalry were each increased to 470 troopers and their cuirasses discarded.

The number of 989-man artillery regiments was increased from three to four while ten fortress artillery companies were established. The Portuguese army's 48,396-man nominal strength included 36,000 line infantrymen, 5,640 line cavalrymen, 3,956 artillerists, 1,300 fortress gunners, and 1,500 legionnaires and engineers. But after 1801, the previous system of abuses continued so that the army may have numbered as few as 20,000 men in 1807.

The Portuguese royal family escapes to Brazil
On 12 November 1807, Junot's corps entered Salamanca in western Spain after marching about 300 miles (483 km) in 25 days. Unknown to their Spanish allies, the French engineers were secretly taking notes about all fortresses and strategic points on their line of march. On that day, Junot received new orders urging him to hurry. The normal invasion route is a corridor 200 miles (322 km) in length via Almeida and Coimbra. Instead, Junot was instructed to move west from Alcántara along the Tagus valley to Portugal, a distance of only 120 miles (193 km). Anxious that Britain might intervene in Portugal or that the Portuguese might resist, Napoleon decided to speed up the invasion timetable.

Unfortunately for Junot and his soldiers, the new route passed through an area with few inhabitants and very poor roads. Nevertheless, Napoleon declared, "I will not have the march of the army delayed for a single day. 20,000 men can feed themselves anywhere, even in a desert." The march south from Ciudad Rodrigo to Alcántara via the Perales Pass was accomplished in five days in the cold rain. On this rough road through hills and ravines, half of the army's horses died, one-quarter of the soldiers straggled, and all but six artillery pieces were left behind. At Alcántara, Junot appropriated provisions from some Spanish troops.

On 19 November 1807, Junot set out for Lisbon. As bad as the roads were on the Spanish side of the border, those in Portugal were worse. The road along the Tagus valley was a mere track through a rocky wilderness, with Castelo Branco being the only substantial town in the area. Amid the continual rain, the advance guard limped into Abrantes on 23 November. The rear of the corps closed up on 26 November. By this time, the only guns with the column were four Spanish horse artillery pieces, while half of the soldiers were straggling or marauding.

  Meanwhile, the Portuguese authorities were in a state of panic. At first, the Prince Regent had been convinced that Napoleon did not really want to depose him. As the emperor's hostile intentions became more clear, John declared war on the United Kingdom on 20 October and seized the few remaining British subjects on 8 November.

Nevertheless, disturbing reports began to arrive in Lisbon of Junot's march across Spain. Despite these events, John's government failed to mobilize the Portuguese regular army or call out the militia to defend the realm. Soon after, Admiral Sidney Smith appeared off Lisbon with a British squadron and declared that the port was under blockade. The British were worried about the presence in Lisbon of a Russian squadron under Admiral Dmitry Senyavin and alarmed that the Portuguese fleet might fall into Napoleon's hands.

Junot was met at Abrantes by an emissary from the Prince Regent. Hoping to avert a French occupation, the diplomat offered to submit under various degrading terms. Understanding that the Portuguese were prostrate, Junot organized four battalions made up of his best remaining men and set out for Lisbon, which was still 75 miles (121 km) away. Without a single cannon or cavalryman, 1,500 French troops staggered into Lisbon on 30 November, their cartridges soaked and their uniforms in tatters. There was no opposition. It took ten days for all of Junot's infantry to arrive and even longer for his artillery to show up. His cavalrymen immediately began remounting themselves with horses seized from the local people.

Though the French occupied Lisbon without firing a shot, their quarry had escaped. As Junot's army loomed closer, the Prince Regent dithered between offering complete submission and fleeing to Brazil. Finally, Admiral Smith produced a 13 October edition of the Paris Moniteur which declared that the House of Braganza had been deposed.

At this, John made up his mind to escape. He loaded his family, courtiers, state papers, and treasure aboard the fleet. He was joined in flight by many nobles, merchants, and others. With 15 warships and more than 20 transports, the fleet of refugees weighed anchor on 29 November and set sail for the colony of Brazil. The flight had been so chaotic that 14 carts loaded with treasure were left behind on the docks.
Solano's Spanish column belatedly invaded Portugal on 2 December 1807 while Taranco occupied Porto on 13 December. The only resistance was offered by the governor of Valença, who refused to open his gates to the northern column. He only caved in when he found that Lisbon had fallen and the Prince Regent had fled. While the Portuguese civil authorities were generally subservient toward their occupiers, the common people were angry. When Junot raised the French flag on Lisbon's public buildings on 13 December, a riot broke out. Mounted troops were sent into the streets to disperse the mob with force. As one of his first acts, Junot disbanded the Portuguese army by discharging all its soldiers with less than one year and more than six years of service. The remainder were assigned to nine new units and most were marched to northern Germany to perform garrison duty. Two Portuguese units were employed by the French in the 2 August 1808 assault during the First Siege of Zaragoza. They were 265 men of the 5th Infantry and 288 men of the Caçadores. The Portuguese Legion fought at the Battle of Wagram in July 1809 under the command of General Cargome Logo. The Legion counted 1,471 infantry in three battalions and 133 cavalry in two squadrons. In 1812 the Portuguese troops were reorganized into three regiments and participated in the French invasion of Russia. Few of these unlucky men survived the campaign.
Junot did his best to calm the situation by trying to keep his troops under control. However, his task was undercut by new orders from Napoleon.
  Junot was instructed to seize the property of the 15,000 persons who had fled to Brazil and to levy a 100 million franc fine on the nation. As it happened, the refugees had carried off almost half of the specie in Portugal and the French were barely able to raise enough money to maintain the occupation army. Nevertheless, the harsh taxes caused bitter resentment among the population. By January 1808 there were executions of persons who resisted the exactions of the French. The situation was dangerous, but most of the country's leaders had gone to Brazil, leaving no one to lead an insurrection.

By the following spring, the occupation army numbered 25,000 active soldiers, thanks to the approximately 4,000 reinforcements that arrived in early 1808. The situation changed after the Spanish Dos de Mayo Uprising. Junot soon found that all communications with Paris were cut off by the Spanish revolt. On 6 June 1808, news of the rebellion reached Porto where General Belesta was stationed with 6,000 Spanish troops, Taranco having died during the winter.

After seizing General of Division François Jean Baptiste Quesnel and his 30-man escort, Belesta marched his troops away to join the armies fighting the French. Between 9 and 12 June, northwest Portugal erupted in revolt. The next action was the Battle of Évora on 29 July 1808. British intervention occurred in early August when General Sir Arthur Wellesley and 9,000 soldiers landed in Mondego Bay.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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