Would a surviving Napoleonic Empire have eventually sought to expand outside of Europe?

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,676
#21
He himself made wars of aggression only 3 times, in Egypt, in Iberia and in Russia in 1812 (And Haiti if you count that.), all other times his enemies were aggressive against him.
Napoleon was constantly expanding his sphere of influence, breaking his peace treaties, failing to withdraw as him promised, nor respect optehrs sphere of influcnce, he was often acting fairly aggressively. Portugal and Spain were different instances, Napoleon begab the war with Prussia by invading in 1806,. "Only three times" is actually more like 5 ot 6 out of the what 8 wars he was involved in. I Object to both the 'only' and 'three' as both being inaccurate.

And away form the deviklish detail who made the first overt act, (normally Napoloen) it was Napoleon who was constantly seeking to expand, while teh other powers were generally trying maintain their position (though not opposed to expanding where they saw the chance, the just ddi not against France after the first two coalitions)
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,114
Sydney
#22
There was a plot to free Napoleon from St Elena and get him to Chili to start a south America empire
Thomas Cochrane a rather sufurous ex member of the RN and later Chilean navy
was reported as having a plot to convey him to the new world to start a new career

more seriously a fair few Napoleonic officers went to Louisiana to start a new life in the South

always a South favorite the highest ranking confederate French was Camille Armand Jules Marie de Polignac
which got southern maiden into frenzies and his troops unable to pronounce his title but refering to his unbriddled agresive spirit as "prince polecat "
 
Likes: sailorsam
Feb 2019
312
Serbia
#23
Napoleon was constantly expanding his sphere of influence, breaking his peace treaties, failing to withdraw as him promised, nor respect optehrs sphere of influcnce, he was often acting fairly aggressively. Portugal and Spain were different instances, Napoleon begab the war with Prussia by invading in 1806,. "Only three times" is actually more like 5 ot 6 out of the what 8 wars he was involved in. I Object to both the 'only' and 'three' as both being inaccurate.

And away form the deviklish detail who made the first overt act, (normally Napoloen) it was Napoleon who was constantly seeking to expand, while teh other powers were generally trying maintain their position (though not opposed to expanding where they saw the chance, the just ddi not against France after the first two coalitions)
This is fairly complicated and perhaps so much so that it's impossible to simplify it on this thread but:

After Amiens in 1802 Napoleon had ambitions in Egypt, Haiti and Louisiana, before the 2nd coalition the French army took Switzerland and during the war they took Tuscany and expanded their influence there. During the Amiens peace while Britain and France were generally on better terms (2/3rds of the House of Lords went to visit France in 1802.) they had disputes. Napoleon was building up his army and had ambitions to expand, In the terms of Amiens Britain would respect the French influence in the Netherlands and recognise the French possession of Belgium, the Rhineland and North Italy and also return Malta which they took in the 2nd coalition after a siege. Britain refused to return Malta and demanded that France withdraw from the Netherlands and the Rhineland, breaching the peace treaty and later declaring war first. Napoleon built up his army and had ambitions to conquer further in 1802 but here Britain clearly violated the peace treaty. In the 3rd coalition this is self explanatory, it formed against France and were the aggressors. The 4th coalition Napoleon did invade Prussia first but Prussia had plans to join the coalition against France and were scared of the French influence in Germany so they weren't innocent either, Napoleon launched a preemptive attack, Napoleon can arguably be seen as the aggressor here but Prussia wasn't exactly peaceful. The Peninsular War, Napoleon was the aggressor. 5th coalition Austria invaded and declared war first, wanting to avenge its humiliation after Austerlitz and encouraged by the fact most of the French army was in Spain Austria struck first. In the Invasion of Russia Napoleon was the aggressor but Russia breached the Treaty of Tilsit by withdrawing from the Continental System and had disputes over Poland. 6th Coalition formed against France and French influence. 7th coalition formed just because Napoleon returned to France before he actually did anything aggressive. Napoleon did expand his influence and his empire in some aggressive ways but, again, most of the time the coalition attacked him first. He did breach some of his terms, but so did the coalition. So out of the 12 main wars Napoleon can be seen as the undisputed aggressor in about 4 of them, he did have many aggressive ambitions and plans to expand but so did the coalition (And yes, they did attack the French sphere of influence and tried to expand such as Austria in 1809 or Prussia's plans to counter the Confederation of the Rhine in 1806.) and even if his aggression is unjustified my main point was directed to the one who claimed that Napoleon went to war just to loot and went so far to compare him to Hitler which I think we can agree isn't a fair comparison.
 
Oct 2016
1,079
Merryland
#25
imagine what might have happened if Napoleon had made some peace with England and held on to his North American territories ('Framerica'?)

I was thinking he could do like Hitler and go East, but I guess Austria-Hungary blocked that.
North Africa / Levant sure sounds feasible. he could have sent supplies overland (through A-H) to help counter the RN superiority in the Med.
 
Feb 2019
312
Serbia
#26
Second Coalition
Third Coalition
Fourth Coalition
Peninsular War
Fifth Coalition
French invasion of Russia
Sixth Coalition
Seventh Coalition

What other theatres of the Napoleonic Wars did you include in your list of main wars?
Egyptian Expedition
the 1803-1805 phase
I also counted the First Coalition, though Napoleon neither led France nor had much political power during this time.
the 12th one was the phase with the war with Britain that lasted continuously from 1803 until 1815 but doesn't really count as part of a coalition, however this probably shouldn't count or be merged with the 1803-1805 phase. To avoid this stretching maybe it's more accurate to say 10 wars. However the point that Napoleon didn't go to war just to loot and doesn't compare to Hitler still stands. Also some wars such as the Invasion of Russia in 1812 and Prussia in 1806 can be somewhat justified by the facts that Russia broke the Treaty of Tilsit and Prussian plans to join the coalition before Napoleon's invasion, however I still count that as Napoleon being the aggressor, if the invasion of Prussia doesn't count then Napoleon was aggressive in 3 out of 10 wars.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,676
#27
Britain would respect the French influence in the Netherlands and recognise the French possession of Belgium, the Rhineland and North Italy and also return Malta which they took in the 2nd coalition after a siege.
The French had agreed to respect teh inidpence of teh Netherlands Switzerland and nOthern Italy. They had not but maintained puppet regimes and troops tehere clelalry against the provsions of teh peace tereaty. Otehr nations had accpeted french influence, but not outright French occuptaion. Teh Britiah had agreed roi return Malta which they woudl not (thoug return to who? The Knights?)

Britain refused to return Malta and demanded that France withdraw from the Netherlands and the Rhineland, breaching the peace treaty and later declaring war first. Napoleon built up his army and had ambitions to conquer further in 1802 but here Britain clearly violated the peace treaty. In the 3rd coalition this is self explanatory, it formed against France and were the aggressors.
No they wanted Frnace to live up to the terms of the treaty they had signed. Napooen was expanding his influcnce and outright imperial presenc ein Germany and Italy. Napolen WAS acting agressibvely, Austria, Russia wee the aggressors , in that they started the war, but in repsonse to Napoleon agressie expansion, in direct contravention of a treaty he dictated.

The 4th coalition Napoleon did invade Prussia first but Prussia had plans to join the coalition against France and were scared of the French influence in Germany so they weren't innocent either, Napoleon launched a preemptive attack, Napoleon can arguably be seen as the aggressor here but Prussia wasn't exactly peaceful.
because Napoloeon had started agresivekly expanding into Noether Gemany and had offered Hanover to Britian. Whioh Napoleon had promised to Prussia. Napoen was treaerously breaking the treaty of Alaiance he signed with Prussia. Prussia was reacting to aggresive moves by Napoloen. Napooen was seeking to expand intoo Northern Gemrnay, Prussia tomaintian it's position.

. 5th coalition Austria invaded and declared war first, wanting to avenge its humiliation after Austerlitz and encouraged by the fact most of the French army was in Spain Austria struck first
Austria never declared war, taking a leaf out of Napoleon's book they just invaded. Avenging Austerlitz was not part of Austrian thinking. (The Russians bunred over Austerlitz, the Austrians not so) Au7stria struck because she was facing economic problems that would mean the Army would have to be reduced, it was eitehr fight now while they still had an Army or strat sinking as a great power (that is how they saw it, later they foudn teh money anyway so there logic was not exactly correct, bt6 it what they beleived at the time)


. In the Invasion of Russia Napoleon was the aggressor but Russia breached the Treaty of Tilsit by withdrawing from the Continental System and had disputes over Poland.
The Treaty of Tilsit does not mention the Continental System. It does mention the Duchy of Oldenburg which Napoleon had annexed in direct contravention of the treaty. Why should anybody be troubled to mainatain the Continental System as Napoleon issued 'licenses' to trade with britian anyway, if Naploen could licence exception why not Russia? In Any event Russia actually remained in
Continental System tecnically, there was no offical trade with britian, it was with neutrals like Americans.

6th Coalition formed against France and French influence.
Napoleon was breaking the treaty he signed with Prussia, which had paid all the money it was reuired to do so, making Napoloen obligated to wothdrew from Prussian terroirtory. Napoleln continuied to occupy Prussia and charge occuptaion costs which he was no longer entitled to do under teh Treaty. So who was acting agressively Prussia or Napoloen?
 
Feb 2019
312
Serbia
#28
The French had agreed to respect teh inidpence of teh Netherlands Switzerland and nOthern Italy. They had not but maintained puppet regimes and troops tehere clelalry against the provsions of teh peace tereaty. Otehr nations had accpeted french influence, but not outright French occuptaion. Teh Britiah had agreed roi return Malta which they woudl not (thoug return to who? The Knights?)


No they wanted Frnace to live up to the terms of the treaty they had signed. Napooen was expanding his influcnce and outright imperial presenc ein Germany and Italy. Napolen WAS acting agressibvely, Austria, Russia wee the aggressors , in that they started the war, but in repsonse to Napoleon agressie expansion, in direct contravention of a treaty he dictated.


because Napoloeon had started agresivekly expanding into Noether Gemany and had offered Hanover to Britian. Whioh Napoleon had promised to Prussia. Napoen was treaerously breaking the treaty of Alaiance he signed with Prussia. Prussia was reacting to aggresive moves by Napoloen. Napooen was seeking to expand intoo Northern Gemrnay, Prussia tomaintian it's position.


Austria never declared war, taking a leaf out of Napoleon's book they just invaded. Avenging Austerlitz was not part of Austrian thinking. (The Russians bunred over Austerlitz, the Austrians not so) Au7stria struck because she was facing economic problems that would mean the Army would have to be reduced, it was eitehr fight now while they still had an Army or strat sinking as a great power (that is how they saw it, later they foudn teh money anyway so there logic was not exactly correct, bt6 it what they beleived at the time)



The Treaty of Tilsit does not mention the Continental System. It does mention the Duchy of Oldenburg which Napoleon had annexed in direct contravention of the treaty. Why should anybody be troubled to mainatain the Continental System as Napoleon issued 'licenses' to trade with britian anyway, if Naploen could licence exception why not Russia? In Any event Russia actually remained in
Continental System tecnically, there was no offical trade with britian, it was with neutrals like Americans.


Napoleon was breaking the treaty he signed with Prussia, which had paid all the money it was reuired to do so, making Napoloen obligated to wothdrew from Prussian terroirtory. Napoleln continuied to occupy Prussia and charge occuptaion costs which he was no longer entitled to do under teh Treaty. So who was acting agressively Prussia or Napoloen?
Yes, Britain was required to return Malta to the Knights under Amiens, the treaty also didn't mention French withdrawal from the Netherlands or the Rhineland, just From Naples and the Papal States. Napoleon was acting aggressively and had ambitions.
Treaty of Tilsit formed the Franco-Russian alliance, by which Russia entered the Continental System, the French trade licenses and breaches in the system are a topic on their own.
On the 3rd of November 1805 Prussia signed a treaty with Russia by which it promised to enter the 3rd coalition if Napoleon rejected peace terms, after Austerlitz the treaty was moot however. Prussia also moved into French-occupied Hannover (Though Napoleon did move through Prussian Ansbach also.) so Prussia wasn't exactly innocent and did try to go against Napoleon. Hannover was in union with Britain and also at war with Napoleon so he had every right to occupy it. However he did expand aggressively many, many times throughout the wars
Regardless of anything, the main point of this, which you seemed to have missed is the comparison of Napoleon to Hitler and the claim that Napoleon went to war just to loot.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,676
#29
Yes, Britain was required to return Malta to the Knights under Amiens
Whioch no longer existsed. Yes the british were in Breech for that but who could they possibly return it to?
[/QUOTE]

the treaty also didn't mention French withdrawal from the Netherlands or the Rhineland, just From Naples and the Papal States. Napoleon was acting aggressively and had ambitions.
The treaty reuired parties to repsect the inidepence of netherlands, switzerland and northern Italy (notet I made no cliams about teh Rhineland) Including France. Which did not. By the Treaty with the Dutch France was obligated to withdraw from the Netherlands and stop charging occupation costs. They did not. France was not respecting the indpednece of teh Netherlands. TheBritish treaty was signed after the Austrian one and was meaningless without that context.


Treaty of Tilsit formed the Franco-Russian alliance, by which Russia entered the Continental System,
Which simply is not mentioned. The treaty of Tilsit did not reduce Russia to a satilite state obliged to implkement whatver trade polcy that was dictated by Napoloen. To say the Treaty of Tilsit required Russia to observe the Continental System, is simply false. Never covered by the tereaty. To Say Russia broke the Treaty of tilset by leaving the Continental System, is simply false. As it was not covered by treaty and Russia contniued to technically observe the treaty even if evading in practice.

But you admit that Napoleon clealry breached tehtreaty with the Oldenberg Annexation?

the French trade licenses and breaches in the system are a topic on their own.
But quite relevant in the best case that can be brought against Russa is breaking the 'vibe' or th etreaty by trading with Britian (which Russia was not those were American ships) Napoloen had already done so. Asking Russia to abide by trade rules that Napoleon was setting aside is not logical.,

On the 3rd of November 1805 Prussia signed a treaty with Russia by which it promised to enter the 3rd coalition if Napoleon rejected peace terms, after Austerlitz the treaty was moot however. Prussia also moved into French-occupied Hannover (Though Napoleon did move through Prussian Ansbach also.) so Prussia wasn't exactly innocent and did try to go against Napoleon. Hannover was in union with Britain and also at war with Napoleon so he had every right to occupy it. However he did expand aggressively many, many times throughout the wars
.
Napoloen promised hnnover to Prussia then was pprosing to hand it back to Brtian. Napoloen was being treaherous. Napoleon was aggressively exopanding into Norther Germany. Prussia was seekingto miantain the status quo. Napoleon was changing it.

in 1813 Napolen was continuing his occupation of Prussia and extraction of money from Prussia in clear contravention of his treaty withg Prussia. Was not Priussia fully entitled to go to war over this? I


Regardless of anything, the main point of this, which you seemed to have missed is the comparison of Napoleon to Hitler and the claim that Napoleon went to war just to loot.
I agree it's nopt a good comp[arsion in this case. However shoudl we not try and be accurate about History,
 
Feb 2019
312
Serbia
#30
Whioch no longer existsed. Yes the british were in Breech for that but who could they possibly return it to?

The treaty reuired parties to repsect the inidepence of netherlands, switzerland and northern Italy (notet I made no cliams about teh Rhineland) Including France. Which did not. By the Treaty with the Dutch France was obligated to withdraw from the Netherlands and stop charging occupation costs. They did not. France was not respecting the indpednece of teh Netherlands. TheBritish treaty was signed after the Austrian one and was meaningless without that context.



Which simply is not mentioned. The treaty of Tilsit did not reduce Russia to a satilite state obliged to implkement whatver trade polcy that was dictated by Napoloen. To say the Treaty of Tilsit required Russia to observe the Continental System, is simply false. Never covered by the tereaty. To Say Russia broke the Treaty of tilset by leaving the Continental System, is simply false. As it was not covered by treaty and Russia contniued to technically observe the treaty even if evading in practice.

But you admit that Napoleon clealry breached tehtreaty with the Oldenberg Annexation?


But quite relevant in the best case that can be brought against Russa is breaking the 'vibe' or th etreaty by trading with Britian (which Russia was not those were American ships) Napoloen had already done so. Asking Russia to abide by trade rules that Napoleon was setting aside is not logical.,


Napoloen promised hnnover to Prussia then was pprosing to hand it back to Brtian. Napoloen was being treaherous. Napoleon was aggressively exopanding into Norther Germany. Prussia was seekingto miantain the status quo. Napoleon was changing it.

in 1813 Napolen was continuing his occupation of Prussia and extraction of money from Prussia in clear contravention of his treaty withg Prussia. Was not Priussia fully entitled to go to war over this? I




I agree it's nopt a good comp[arsion in this case. However shoudl we not try and be accurate about History,[/QUOTE]

We should try, I admit I got a little carried away. However about Amiens, Britain was required to restore Malta to the Knights. We can agree that Napoleon-Hitler comparison is bad and that is the my main point.
 

Similar History Discussions