The Defeat of Napoleon

Essay by xyzzzzzzHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2005

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There are few individuals in history who have captured the imagination of both their generation and of historians; the most compelling is Napoleon Bonaparte. His life is the story of the rise from the bottom of a strong-willed and brilliant man whose flaws eventually cause him to fall from power. His fall from power resulted from the fact that where he power lay, his weaknesses quickly followed suit. History remembers this man as one who made an impact, but not before leaving a scar on humanity.

Napoleon decided to conquer Spain around 1808. He wanted both Spain and Portugal to become part of the Continental System. After he had forced the Spanish king to step down from the throne, Napoleon the made his brother Joseph the king of Spain. The Spanish people did not take a liking to Joseph as king, so they revolted in 1808. They resented his presence in Spain, his abolition of the Inquisition, and his control of the church and began to fight back.

The Spanish War went very badly for the French; the Spanish, hopelessly outgunned, fought using guerilla tactics to which the French were unaccustomed. The war dragged on until 1813 when the Spanish, with significant help from the British under the command of Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, drove the French over the Spanish border and back into France.

Then the British got involved and sent an army under Arthur Wellesley to help the Spanish and the Portuguese drive out the French. Even though all of Napoleon's attempts he failed to suppress the Spanish uprising and defeat the British. The was a war called the Peninsular War and Napoleon was still controlling Spain's government, even though the campaign was draining French resources. Napoleon was still trying to defeat the British.