Napoleonic War and 7th Coalition

The late 18th century brought radical change to France in the form of the french revolution which not only brought sweeping social change to France but also the whole of Europe. Before the dawning of the French revolution monarchs believed themselves to rule by divine authority and as such conducted themselves in appropriate manner. Although wars were common between the monarchs of Europe, one thing remained constant: those born to rule ruled, and those who were not served.

This changed with the french revolution. With the French revolution it was shown to the entirety of Europe that there was no true justification for the ruling class, and that government by the people (if not necessarily for the people) was a possibility. This coupled with the executions of many of the prominent nobility in France (many of whom were relatives of monarchs throughout Europe) led to a declaration of war on behalf of Austria, Sardinia, Britain, Prussia, Naples and Spain on the nascent republic. This alliance was the first of 7 coalitions against the rising power of French nationalism and needless to say the first coalition failed.

As much as gunpowder revolutionized warfare, the philosophy of nationalism did so equally. Due to popular consent of the people, the new french government was able to create sweeping changes to its armed forces including instituting Europe’s first national conscription program, and instituting programs that dictated that all of France’s production would be put towards war. These reforms were created at the behest of one man, Napoleon Bonaparte. Through the unprecedented power that French nationalism provided and through keen oversight, the french army was capable of crushing the combined armies of the first Coalition and forcing all opposing forces to surrender, except of course Britain.

Napoleonic War and 7th Coalition

A war without end nathanwiebe_2000