Napoleon's Empire Collapses

Explain the collapse of Napoleon's empire

Napoleon’s desire for power led him to the peak of his empire but also to the end of it. His efforts to crush Great Britain and expand the French Empire made him commit three big mistakes. In 1806, Napoleon set up a blockade to the rest of the European nations but, Great Britain managed to help pirates transport good to France. In response to the French blockade the British made their own blockade which was more effective than the French. Another important mistake was the effort of Napoleon to conquer Portugal through Spain. Spanish began guerrillas that inspired other nationalist ideas in other colonies. In 1812 Napoleon tried to invade Russia. As the winter temperatures began to fall the Russian army attacked the French. This and other factor decreased the number of the Grand Army soldiers from 420000 to 10000.

Taking advantage from its weakness Britain, Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden joined forces and declared war to France. Even though Napoleon managed to establish an army it was too weak for the other armies to which France lost the war.

Laura Ibert.

After Napoleons three huge mistakes that left his empire weakened, neighboring countries such as, Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Sweden joined forces to steal the empire before Napoleons feet. even auastria declared war despite his marriage with Marie Louise, now all of the main powers of Europe were after Napoleons empire. After a few months, Napoleon managed to form an army however, this army was untrained and ill, making the allied forces win without a doubt. napoleon wanted to keep fighting ut the generals resisted, napoleon was gave a small pension and exiled to Elba.


Louis XVIII was new on the throne now however, he soon grew unpopular because of his ideas of an absolute monarchy. after napoleon found out that the new king was having problems Napoleon came back to retrieve what was his, within days, Napoleon was emporer of France again. the allied armies of Europe soon came after hearing that Napoleon was emperor again, they prepared a battle in the village of Waterloo in Belgium where Napoleon unfortuantely gave up in the 2nd day due to exhaustion. this last fight was called the Hundred Days. After his defeat, they sent Napoleon to st. Helena, here he lived for 6 years until he died in 1821 from a stomach ailment, perhaps cancer.

Napoleon's personality was one of the biggest dangers to the Empire; in attempts to expand the French empire, he made three terrible mistakes that cost him his success. The first one was the blockade imposed to stop Britain's communication with the resto of Europe. The blockade only worked to weaken Britain's trade, but was not strong enough to destroy it. The British responded with their own blockade, which worked better than the French's, since the British had a stronger navy. Napoleon's second mistake took place on 1808, year in which he invaded Spain in order to force Portugal to acept the Continental System. Napoleon placed his brother Joseph Bonaparte as king, which worried the Catholics , thinking that he would soon Church. For the six next years, Spanish guerrillas attacked French armies. Since they were small groups who fled into hiding, it was hard for Napoleon to defeat them in battle. Nationalism in Spain became a weapon against Napoleon.

However, Napoleon's biggest mistake occured in 1812, when Napoleon decided to break his alliance with Russia and invade it. In 1812, Napoleon's Grand Army marched into Russia, and Alexander I had to retreat his troops. However, they responded with a scorced-earth policy which left the enemy without a thing to eat. In Septermeber 7, 1812, the Russians allowed Napoleon to move to Moscow, since they were unable to fight. However, instead of allowing Napoloen to take over the 'holy city', Alexander decided to destroy it, bursting it into flames. Instead of returning, Napoleon decided to stay until Octover, and then returned to France. On their return home, the majority of the soldiers died due to extreme temperatures , exhaustation, and hunger, in addition to all those who had died in battle. In the end, the Grand Army was left with about 10,000 soldiers. Taking advantage of this weakness, other great nations - Britain, Russia, Sweden, Austria and Prussia united forces to defeat him.

From what I've learned, the collapse of Napoleon's Empire was the consequence of the three greatest mistakes he committed during his reign. These three mistakes were the products of his ambitious desires for more power and to dominate the rest of Europe. Napoleon's first mistake was to establish a blockade against the Great Britain and the policy of the Continental System. At first, Napoleon thought of crushing Great Britain's economy with the blockade, however, Napoleon couldn't enforce it strongly. Instead, Great Britain countered Napoleon with a much stronger blockade, weakening to a much greater extent the economy of Napoleon's Empire. His second mistake was the Peninsular War, which Napoleon started with the intention of having Portugal to accept the Continental System. In this long battle, Napoleon lost about 300,000 soldiers, and also as another consequence, other conquered people or conquered nations by Napoleon started revolt against the French. Finally, possibly the most costly mistake of Napoleon was the invasion of Russia. In this attempt, Napoleon marched towards Russia with the Grand Army of about more than 420,000 soldiers. However, in his retreat due to the harsh winter in Russia, he came back to France with only about 10,000 soldiers left, making a loss of about 400,000 soldiers.

This loss devastated Napoleon's army, and along with the other mistakes, the French Empire was crumbling. Knowing of France's weakness, the other main powers of Europe declared war on the French Empire. Eventually, in April 1814, Napoleon surrendered and gave up the French throne, ending his reign.

By: Liango Liu

Michelle Pelletier

Napoleon had a great desired to defeat Britain. Even though he had conquered most of Europe. He committed three mistakes that led him to the collapse of his empire. He ruled as a very proud king and had an idea of nationalism, but he didn't realize countries he ruled will turn on his back. When Napoleon invaded Russia, was the sign of the end of his empire. His army wasn't strong enough to defeat Russian's. Countries all around France and France, saw Napoleon's idea of nationalism as a repression, so they started saving a grudge for him. Britain started defeating too, and had all the control of all the sea ports. This control of sea ports gave them the power that no other country had. Then, Napoleon's army was destroyed, and other countries saw this weakness in the empire an joined Great Britain to destroyed it and at the end the empire collapses. Louis XVIII came to throne.


One of Napoleon’s ridiculous mistakes was to invade Russia in 1812. In which it included a army of 420,000 soldiers experienced in battle and killing ran to Russia, as they are in their way to the invasion Russian practiced a scorched-earth policy, this was the practice of burning field, crops, livestock to leave nothing to the enemy to eat so it will give them problems. As they approaches to their destination and accomplished their mission, in their way back many people died from starvation, cold, and illness.

As the Napoleon’s army weakened, enemies like: Britain, Russia and Sweden joined power began to declare war to him. After several months Napoleon managed to create another army but it wasn’t the same as the old one because they were inexperienced in battle. When he sends the army to fight the other side, they were easily target out.

He was born in Corsica to parents of noble Italian ancestry and trained as an artillery officer in mainland France. Bonaparte rose to prominence under the First French Republic and led successful campaigns against the First and Second Coalitions arrayed against France. Napoleon was a great Army type of guy and he commanded the best army that could have ever existed. But he made one mistake he started fighting with Russia in Moscow , a very cold place in which many people died, when he was at his lowest point alliances formed and took France down. After that France was devastated and destroyed and his empire felt down and then they went back to a Monarchy :)

By : Haresh Khemlani

Napoleon’s greed eventually got the best of him. In his effort to expand his empire, he made costly mistakes that led to his end. His first mistake was the blockade of Great Britain. France’s navy did not do a good enough effort; trade weakened but did not get eliminated completely. In retaliation, Great Britain blockaded France, they had the best Navy, and so their blockade was more effective. His second mistake was the peninsular war. He ousted the Spanish king and replaced him with his brother, Joseph. He sent an invasion force through Spain, and this was it for the Spaniards. They attacked French troops and then went back into hiding. These guerrillas were too much for French troops to handle because they got you when you were off guard. The British helped the guerrillas by sending men. At the end of the Peninsular War, France has lost 300,000 soldiers. His final mistake was the invasion of Russia. Russia and France had different plans for what to do with Poland, these differences of opinion led to the breakdown of their alliance, and Napoleon decided to invade Russia. Napoleon and his army of over 400,000 soldiers marched into Russia. The Russians retreated, but used the scorch-earth policy, leaving nothing in their path, not leaving any food for their enemies. Napoleon eventually took over Moscow, but when he got there, the city was in flames. Before the winter time, Napoleon and his army marched back to France. The harsh weather was too much for the French troops, only 10,000 returned from the campaign.

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