The Napoleonic Wars: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Mike Rapport

By Mike Rapport

The Napoleonic Wars have an all-important position within the heritage of Europe, leaving their mark on eu and international societies in quite a few methods. in lots of ecu nations, they supplied the stimulus for radical social and political change--particularly in Spain, Germany, and Italy--and are usually considered in those locations because the start line in their smooth histories.

In this Very brief advent, Mike Rapport offers a compact assessment of those pivotal wars. He starts off with the French Revolution and the French innovative wars of 1792-1803, which set the degree for the increase of Napoleon, after which examines the Napoleonic Wars in acts--the years during which the French ruled the eu panorama and the years while an allied Europe fought again, resulting in Napoleon's ultimate defeat on the conflict of Waterloo. Rapport sheds gentle at the social, political, and institutional elements of battle within the Napoleonic period, and he offers a desirable dialogue of the methods and capacity with which those wars have been fought, taking a look at the strategies, innovations, and weaponry of the time. ultimately, he illuminates the importance of the wars, and their legacy, in either particular nationwide contexts and from a much wider international viewpoint.

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There was no famine, but it was too late to check rising prices. Moreover, everyone believed that the ban on exports was being evaded and that corn was being sold abroad as usual. That they exaggerated the gravity of the situation is certain ; but that they were totally mistaken is not true at all. The corn trade was carried on at that time in a way that was bound to arouse suspicion and stir up The Riots 25 hatred. Every day, heavy carts loaded with corn and flour trave1ied the roads; the farmer took his grain to market, the corn-chandler travelled from one market to another, the miller sought for corn to grind or else carried flour back to his customers, the baker looked for supplies and stocks bought by the king, the provinces and the towns moved slowly along the roads of France in never-ending lines.

Certainly, in parts of France which still retained their provincial estates, royal taxes were lower; the provincial oligarchy resisted the demands of the central power as hard as it could because any increase in taxes might reduce rents (fermages). But the local budget was managed in such a way that its full weight fell on the people through a system of indirect taxes which Taine considered most unfair - milling dues, the Proven�al piquet, taxes on wine and beer. In towns, the municipalities did the same and drew their revenue from city tolls which increased the cost of living.

In an effort to restrict possible damage, the fermiers-generaux maintained a small army which was hated and feared even more than the smugglers. The gabelous, ill-paid and recruited from practically anywhere, were as bad as their worst opponents and committed even greater excesses with perfect impunity. 'By day and by night, in twos or small groups, but never alone, the gabelou descends on the farm, kills the barking dog, lets his horse loose in the fodder, in the second growth and even in the ripe corn.

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