Created by crobertson1 on Oct 26, 2010
Last updated: 01/12/11 at 12:17 PM
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After Napoleon returns from exile he becomes emperor again. This causes the European allies to join their armies again. The British army, led by the Duke of Wellington, prepare for battle near the village of Waterloo in Belgium. On June 18,1815, Napoleon attacked. The British army defended its ground all day. In the afternoon the Prussian army arrived and together the British and Prussians attacked the French. Two days later, the French army was chased off the field. After this battle, Napoleon was only in power for 100 more days. The British shipped Napoleon to an island in the middle of the Atlantic called St. Helena. There he lived for six years to die of a stomach ailment in 1821.
Padre Miguel Hidalgo was a priest in the village of Dolores. On september 16, 1810 he rang the bells of his village church. When the peasants gathered in the church, Hidalgo called for a rebellion against the Spanish. That call is called the grito de Dolores or the cry of Dolores. The next day Hidalgo and his followers marched toward Mexico City. The group numbeerd 80,000 men. The Spanish army defeated Hidalgo in 1811. Rebels found another leader in Padre Jose Maria Morelos. He led the revolution for four years. In 1815, a creole officer, Agustin de Iturbide, defeated him. Agustin de Iturbide declared independence in 1821 for fear that the creole would lose power in the Spanish controlled colony.
Napoleon first had the people do a plebiscite or vote of the people so he could be the constitutionally chosen leader of a free republic. Desperate for strong leadership, the people voted in his favor. As first consul, Napoleon set up an efficient method of tax collection and established a national banking system. He created lycees, or government run public schools. Napoleon had the poe sign a concordat or agreement that the Church would no long have a say in national affairs. Boneparte created a comprehensive system of laws known as the Napoleonic Code. Part of the code was that it restored slavery in the French colonies. In 1804, Napoleon decides to crown him emperor and the French voters supported him. As the pope was about to place the crown on Napoleon's head, Napoleon took the crown from him and place it on his own head. This signaled that Napoleon had more power than the Church. Napoleon wanted to take control of the rest of Europe and to strengthen his hold in the Americas. But after the Haitian Revolution, decides to sell the Louisiana Territory to Thomas Jefferson. Turning his attention back to Europe, Bonaparte annexed the Austrian Netherlands and parts of Italy and set up a puppet government in Switzerland. By 1812, the only areas of Europe that were free from Napoleon's control were Great Britain, Portugal, Sweden, and the Ottoman Empire.
Saint Domingue, now called Haiti, was a French colony. The slaves in Saint Domingue greatly outnumbered their masters. During the French Revolution, slaves in Haiti rose up against their masters. Toussaint L'Ouverture emerged as a leader. A former slave, he became a skilled general and diplomat. By 1801, he had taken control of the whole island and freed all the slaves. In January 1802, French troops arrived to remove Toussaint from power. He agreed to halt the revolution if the French would end slavery. The French accused him of planning to start another revolt so they sent him to prison in the French Alps where he died. His lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines took control. On January 1, 1804, General Dessalines declared Haiti and independent country. It was the first black colony to free itself from European control.
After the Reign of Terror, the Directory of Five was created was the new government. But by 1799, the Directory had lost control of the political situation and the confidence in the French people. Napoleon Bonaparte, a leader in the French army was a favorite among the French people for this leadership in battle. Upon his return from Egypt, some friends told him to take political power. He took action in 1799. Troops under his command surround most of its members. The member left voted to dissolve the Directory and establish the The Three Consuls, one of which was Napoleon. He quickly declared himself first consul and acted as a dictator.
The people of France felt like their king and queen, King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, didn't care about them. In 1789, Third Estate delegates established the National Assembly. The French, convinced that Louis payed them no mind, stormed the Bastille, a prison in Paris that was used for torture. They tore the prison down by hand, brick by brick. Now the Great Fear was beginning in the French countryside. Peasants were sent into a senseless state of fear. In October of 1789, thousands of Parisian women stormed Versailles over the rising price of bread. The demanded that the royal family returns to the palace in Paris and they agreed. The National Assembly later created the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The document guaranteed citizens equal justice, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. The assembly took over the Church's land and took away their political independence. Proceeds from the sale of Church lands helped pay off France's huge debt. Many devout Catholic peasants opposed the assembly's reforms from that point on. In June 1791, the royal family tries to escape to Austria. When they get close to the boarder, the family was caught and brought back to Paris under guard. When the National Assembly completed their new constitution, Louis reluctantly approved it. The constitution created a constitutional monarchy and a new legislative body called the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Assembly had the power to create laws and to approve or reject declarations of war. Louis still held executive power to enforce laws. To take care of problems, the Legislative Assembly split into three groups, the Radicals, Moderates, and the Conservatives or Left, Center, and Right. Some of the nobles and others that fled France were called Emigres. The Parisian and shopkeepers that wanted greater changes in France were called sans-culottes, or "those without knee breeches." Austria and Prussia urged France to restore King Louis to power. The Legislative Assembly decided to declare war on the in April 1792. The war did not go well for the French. A Prussian commander said that they would destroy Paris if any harm came to the royal family. So on August 10, about 200,000 people stormed the palace where the family was staying. The people killed the guards and imprisoned the royal family. Rumors flew that the the supporters of the king that were held in the prison were planning to break out and take control of the city. In response, the people of Paris raided the prison and killed over 1,000 prisoners. These were called the September Massacres. The Legislative Assembly set aside the Constitution of 1791. It declares the king disposed, dissolved the assembly, and called for the election of a new legislature. The National Convention, took office on September 21, 1792 and it quickly abolished the monarchy and declared France a republic. Adult male citizens were granted the right to vote and hold office. Most people in the National Convention were part of the Jacobin Club, a radical group. The National Convention reduced Louis XVI to and common citizen and prisoner. He was tried for treason and on January 21, 1793 King Louis XVI was beheaded by the guillotine. The war against Prussia and Austria was going badly for the French even before Great Britain, Holland, and Spain joined the Austrians and Prussians. In February 1793, 300,000 French men and women were drafted for the army that grew to 800,000 people. In early 1793, a Jacobin named Maximilien Robespierre gained power. He and his supporters tried to wipe out every trace of France's past. They changed the calendar to one that had no Sundays because they thought that religion was old-fashioned. Robespierre also closed all the churches in Paris and slowly the other cities and town of France did the same. In July 1793, he became the leader of the Committee of Public Safety. For the next year, he ruled as a dictator during the period known as the Reign of Terror. The Committee of Public Safety's main task was to protect the Revolution from its enemies. During the Region of Terror, enemies of the Revolution had very quick trials and were executed soon afterwards. Most of the enemies of the Revolution were fellow radicals whose only crime was that they were considered less radical than Robespierre. About 400,000 people were executed during the Reign of Terror and about 85 percent were peasants or members of the urban poor or middle class. In July 1794, some members of the National Convention rose up and arrested Robespierre. The Reign of Terror ended on July 28, 1794, when Robespierre was sent to the guillotine.
In order to fight the French and Indian War, Great Britain had run up a huge debt. Britain expected the colonists to help pay the costs of the war. Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765. That meant that colonists had to pay a tax to have an official stamp on anything on paper. American colonists had never paid taxes directly to the British government. They argued that they could not be taxed because they had no representation in Parliament. Hostilities increased when the Boston Tea Party took place. That lead Britain to close that Boston port. Representatives from every colony but Georgia, meet and formed the First Continental Congress in 1774. They protested the treatment of Boston. The representatives decided to meet a year later to form the Second Continental Congress. American colonists and British soldiers exchanged gunfire in 1775. The Second Continental Congress voted to raise an army under the command of George Washington. The revolution began.
Montesquieu believed that Britain was the best-governed and most politically balanced country of his own day. Britain had a good balance of powers between the king, Parliament, and the judges of English courts. Montesquieu called this division of power among different branches separation of powers. He simplified the British system. He put his idea in his book, On the Spirit of Laws. In the book, he proposed that separation of powers would keep any individual or group from gaining total control of the government. Montequieu's ideas inspired the checks and balance system in the United States.