Impact of the Napoleonic Wars on Europe
Napoleonic wars lasted between 1799 and 1815. They were a series of wars between European powers and France. France became the most influential power in Europe following the wars. This is because the wars cemented fundamental changes in the region that emerged in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries in Europe.
Napoleonic wars led to;
The unity of German and Italian states
Napoleon created and implemented a policy that ensured everyone entering Portugal, Spanish and French territory had permission from relevant authorities. In some cases, entrance to English merchandise was completely blocked.
Additionally, France and Spain had to look after Portugal. This was a move to prevent entry to English merchandise. Even so, many English people were allowed into Spain and France including English soldiers. The soldiers carried along their canons and horses.
Napoleon also invaded Portugal. He however had to get to Spain because of geographical challenges. Portugal is joined to Spain on Iberian Peninsula. After napoleons invasions, Spain’s army including minor forces and the gorillas combined their efforts thus, defeating napoleon.
Due to Napoleonic wars, many lives were lost in Europe. Up to 375,000 people in Spain alone lost their lives.
Additionally, properties were destroyed in the region. Homes and business premises were destroyed among other infrastructure.
Napoleonic wars also led to independence of Spanish colonies in the United States. This is because the Spanish army became weak after the war with Napoleon. Cultural patrimony also occurred following the colonization.
The Spanish society was also divided into two groups including afrancesados and patriotas. This led to growth of mixed cultures and intermarriage in Spain.
The wars also affected the economy of Spain. The country became bankrupt and it was at this point that other European nations excluded Spain from their meetings.
France secured its present frontiers
England took control of major seas and this is one of the factors that enabled her to remain unbeaten in the wars. It gained mastery of the seas at Trafalgar in October 1805. The ports of Western Europe to the Great Britain were closed as a result. What’s more, British issued more stern restrictions on all neutral vessels that sought trade with different continental ports.
Because of the restrictions, many neutral ships especially American ships were prevented from accessing continental ports. America was not pleased with the move and on 18th June 1812, it declared war on the Great Britain. This followed increased Anglo-American antagonism and the war of 1812.
Napoleonic wars also led to stronger alliances between different European nations. Therefore, they were in a better position to fight their enemies.
On a positive note, Napoleonic wars stimulated economy in lower and Upper Canada and the Maritime. This is based on the fact that it provided a very secure source of timber. It is important to note the British army and the navy needed timber in large quantities. Canadian Forest Industry was also developed within a short of span of time.
Americans also bought timber and other supplies from Canada and later sold them to buy goods from Britain.
Native Americans were also displaced because of the wars.
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