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Third Siege of Gerona, 24 May-11 December 1809


Third Siege of Gerona, 24 May-11 December 1809

The third siege of Gerona of 24 May-11 December 1809 was one of the great epics of Spanish resistance during the Peninsular War, which despite ending in a French victory would act as a rallying call for Spanish resistance for the rest of the war. Gerona was situated at a key point on the road from France to Barcelona. While it was in Spanish hands the French in Catalonia were always in danger of being cut off, and so the capture of the city had been a key French objective during 1808. The first (20-21 June 1808) and second (24 July-16 August 1808) sieges had both ended in Spanish victories, but by May 1809 the Spanish armies in Catalonia had either been defeated, or had been moved west under General Blake in an attempt to recapture Saragossa. The time was right for a third French attempt to capture the city.

Gerona in 1809 was built on the low ground alongside the River Oña, as it flowed north into the Ter. The main city was on the east bank of the Oña, with the suburb of Mercadel on the west bank. Gerona itself was not strongly defended. The Mercadel was protected by a circuit of five bastions, but without the required outer defences. The city itself was surrounded its medieval wall – 30 feet high but not wide enough to carry heavy guns. The only modern parts of the walls were the bastions of Santa Maria at the northern tip of the town and La Merced at the south. Some efforts had also been made to fortify the river bank, for the Spanish were aware that the Oña could easily be forded if the French captured the suburbs.

Gerona had been able to withstand the first two French sieges, and to hold out for so long in 1809 because the city was built on the lower slopes of a series of hills, each of which had been heavily fortified. To the south east were the Capuchin heights, crowned by the Capuchin, Queen Anne and Constable Forts, and with the City, Chapter and Calvary redoubts at their northern end. The hills were then interrupted by the deep, steep sided Galligan Ravine, before rising again to form the hill of Monjuich, topped by the fort of the same name. This was protected by four outer-works – the redoubt of San Juan between the fort and the town, St. Luis to the north and St. Daniel and St.Narciso to the east. As long as the Spanish held this line of forts, the French couldn’t even see most of the medieval wall, and even an attack on the western suburb was felt to be exposed to fire from the hilltop forts.

The third siege of Gerona began at a time when the French command structure in Catalonia was in flux. At the start of May Napoleon had decided to replace Marshal St. Cyr with Marshal Augereau. This news reached St. Cyr before the siege began, but Augereau himself suffered an attack of gout, and was forced to take to his bed at Perpignan, delaying his arrival for some weeks. At the same time command of the troops that would actually conduct the siege was transferred from General Reille to General Verdier. He had previously commanded the during the first French siege of Saragossa of 1808, and his experiences there are said to have made him overly timid at Gerona.

Verdier inherited 10,000 men from Reille, and immediately complained to both St. Cyr and Napoleon that this would not be enough to besiege Gerona. The approach to Napoleon angered St. Cyr, but he also realised that Verdier was correct, and so sent him Lecchi’s Italian division as reinforcements. This gave him a total of 14,000 infantry and cavalry and 2,200 artillery, sappers and engineers at the start of the siege.

Verdier was faced by 5,700 Spanish regulars, and 1,100 irregulars from the local levy (known as “the crusade”), all under the command of the very able Mariano Alvarez de Castro. Alvarez would receive very little help from the outside for most of the siege, and by August would be complaining that he only had 1,500 able bodied men left from his original force of regulars, but he would conduct an active, determined defence of the city.

Although the first French troops had reached Gerona early in May, Verdier did not impose a blockade of the city until 24 May. He posted Lecchi’s Italians to the west of the city, with the main part of the French army to the east and north east. St. Cyr with the main French army of Catalonia remained close by at Vich, to shield the besieging force against any Spanish intervention.

Verdier decided to concentrate his efforts against the fort of Monjuich, the strongest part of the defences, in the belief that the fall of Monjuich would inevitably be followed by the surrender of Gerona. This entirely logical point of view would turn out to be false, for Monjuich fell in mid-August, while the city held out for another four months, despite being dominated by French guns for that entire period.

The French opened their tranches on 6 June. Their job was made more difficult by the rocky nature of the ground, which meant that they were often forced to build up from the rock rather than dig down into it, but they were soon able to open fire on the redoubts of St. Luis, St. Daniel and St. Narciso. Alvarez responded at dawn on 17 June with the first of a series of sorties. This was aimed against the French positions in the suburb of Pedret, between the River Ter and the hill of Monjuich. The Spanish drove the French out of the suburb and destroyed three days worth of work, before retreating back up the hill. This bold attack cost the Spanish 155 men and the French 128, and did little to delay the fall of the redoubts.

By 19 June the French had reduced the redoubts of St. Luis and St. Narciso to ruins, and an assault that day captured them both at the cost of only 78 casualties. An attack on the St. Daniel redoubt failed, but the entrance to that redoubt was now commanded by the new French positions, and so on the night of 20 June the garrison was withdrawn.

This left the Monjuich exposed to short range artillery fire. On the night of 2 July the French built an enormous battery out of sandbags (naming it the Batterie Impériale), only 400 yards from the fort, and on the morning of 3 July they opened fire with twenty 16- and 24- pounders. These very quickly opened a breach in the walls. Commandant Fluery, in charge of the most advanced French trenches, was so encouraged by this that on the night of 4-5 July he launched an attack on the Monjuich using the two companies under his command. This attack was repulsed at the cost of 40 casualties,

Verdier made his first attempt to capture the Monjuich on the night of 7-8 July. On that night the fort was defended by 787 men. Verdier made his attack with the grenadier and voltigeur companies from his twenty battalions, a total of 2,500 men. They were able to cross the open ground in front of the fort without any problems, but when they attempted to climb up the breach came under very heavy musket fire. Although a small number of men reached the top of the breach, none entered the fort. Verdier ordered a second and third attack before admitting failure. The French suffered 1,079 casualties in the three assaults (amongst them 77 officers), while the Spanish defenders only suffered 123 casualties.

This defeat demoralised Verdier’s army, and so he decided to conduct a very long bombardment of the fort, which lasted from 9 July to 4 August. By the end of this bombardment the interior of the fort had been reduced to ruins. The garrison were forced to live in the casemates or the burrow out shelters in the ruins. On 4 August the French captured the outer defences, but even then Verdier moved slowly. On the night of 8-9 August the French exploded 23 mines under the lip of the glacis, opening a massive breach in the walls.

Alvarez responded with another sortie, at midday on 9 August. This time the Spanish captured two of the advanced French batteries, spiked their guns and burnt the gabions. This attack gained them at least one day, and Alvarez used the time to plant his own mines under the remaining fortifications. On the evening of 11 August, while the French were preparing for a second major assault, the Spanish evacuated the fort and exploded the mines. The advancing French occupied a pile of ruins.

During this period three attempts had been made to throw reinforcements into Gerona. The first two ended in disaster. On 10 July three battalions coming from Hostalrich under Ralph Marshall ran into Pino’s division at Castellar. Marshall and twelve men managed to get into Gerona, but 938 were forced to surrender while the remaining 700-800 escaped. On 4 August 300 miqueletes managed to slip past the French lines, and approached the city from the east, but unfortunately they were unaware that the convent of St. Daniel had just fallen into French hands, and tamely walked into captivity.

Six days after the fall of the Monjuich 800 miqueletes (the battalion of Cervera and reinforcements for the battalion of Vich) successfully reached Gerona from the west, slipping past the Italian troops guarding that front. It was at this time that Alvarez was complaining that he only had 1,500 able bodied men left.

From the hill of Monjuich the French could now attack the north eastern corner of Gerona. Here the city was defended by its original nine feet wide medieval wall, thirty feet high, unprotected by any moat or ditch, and too thin to carry heavy guns. This wall was reinforced by the bastion of Santa Maria, at the northern tip of the town and by the redoubt of the Gironella, on the southern side of the Galligan Ravine, while two guns platforms (San Pedro and San Cristobal) had been built up where the ravine reached the walls.

The French concentrated their attack on three parts of the walls – the Gironella, the curtain wall around the tower of Santa Lucia (the point nearest the Monjuich) and the San Cristobal platform. Although by 30 August the French guns were soon able to create four separate breaches in the walls, they were not yet in a position to take advantage of this success. As they built trenches down the south western front of the Monjuich hill, the French came under heavy fire from the un-conquered forts on the hills to the south, especially from the Calvary Redoubt, at the north-eastern top of the hills, overlooking the Galligan Ravine.

The French were also suffering heavily from exposure and from disease. Summer floods were followed by an outbreak of malaria in the French camps. Verdier had already lost 5,000 men to illness. To add to his woes, the Spanish finally made a serious attempt to help the defenders of Gerona.

The only force available to the Spanish at this point was the army of General Blake. This force had been badly mauled at Belchite on 18 June 1809. Although by August Blake had 14,000 men under arms, most of them were inexperienced recent recruits. Blake was determined to avoid a battle, and instead to use his forces to distract the French for long enough for a major supply convoy to reach the city. He would be helped in this by the French – St. Cyr, who was still in command in Catalonia, was equally determined to fight a pitched battle, had 12,000 men in his covering army, and would be joined by 4,000 of Verdier’s men. Even without those reinforcements Blake could be fairly sure that St. Cyr’s 12,000 could defeat his own inexperienced 14,000.

At the end of August Blake approached Gerona from the south, St. Cyr responded by ordering Verdier to bring his 4,000 French troops from the siege lines, and on 1 September the two armies faced off to the south of the city. While St. Cyr was preparing for a battle, Blake detached Garcia Conde’s division and sent it far around St. Cyr’s right flank. On 1 September Garcia Conde smashed his way through the Italian division west of Gerona, and entered the city, with a supply convoy of 1,000 mules and a herd of cattle. That night the Spanish reoccupied a number of their outlying positions, only to be forced to abandon them when the French returned. Garcia Conde soon left Gerona, leaving behind enough men to restore the garrison to its original strength.

On 2 September St. Cyr was forced to send 4,000 men back to Gerona. The two armies were now equal in size, but Blake was still not interesting in risking yet another defeat, and as the French advanced the Spanish retreated. After two days Blake reached Hostalrich, where a lack of food forced him to disperse his army. Cyr was also forced to disperse his troops for the same reason. Blake’s intervention would greatly extend the length of the siege, but he was unable to alter its final result.

The siege was reopened on 11 September when the French bombardment was resumed. In the intervening ten days the defenders of Gerona had repaired much of the damage done in the earlier bombardment, and had destroyed the most advanced French trenches. Even so, by 19 September Verdier was ready to make an assault on the town, although he was concerned that he did not have enough men. After four months of the siege he only had 6,000 infantry left, but despite this St. Cyr refused to provide any reinforcements.

On the afternoon of 19 September 3,000 French troops launched an assault on the four breaches in the walls of Gerona. The attack lasted for two hours. The French and German troops attacking the two breaches at La Gironella managed to get through the breach, but came under heavy musket fire from a second line of defences inside the walls. The Italian troops attacking the St. Lucia breach reached the top of the breach only to discover a twelve foot drop into the town, and despite holding their position for some time were eventually forced to retire. By the end of the assault the French had lost 624 killed and wounded, the Spanish 251.

In the aftermath of this failure the morale of the French army collapsed. Over the next two weeks 1,200 men entered the hospitals, while Verdier, Lecchi and Morio all abandoned the army and returned to France, Verdier after writing three letters to Napoleon blaming St. Cyr for the failure.

This forced St. Cyr to take command in person. He decided not to make any more assaults on the town, and instead to rely on starvation. He merged his covering army with the surviving 4,000 men of Verdier’s army, and surrounded the city with 16,000 men.

St. Cyr’s plan would end in success. The supply convoy of 1 September had only contained eight days worth of food for the 5,000 troops and 10,000 civilians of Gerona, and food soon began to run short. Blake made a second attempt to run a supply convoy into the city. On 26 September the head of the convoy managed to break into the city, but most of the supplies were captured by the French.

St. Cyr soon followed Verdier back to France. He had decided to visit Perpignan, in an attempt to recover some of the 4,000 convalescents believed to be fit to march. On his arrival at Perpignan he discovered that Marshal Augereau, appointed to succeed him in May, had recovered from his gout some time again, but had preferred not to take up his command until Gerona fell. Having discovered this St. Cyr declared himself to be unfit, and returned home.

Augereau finally reached Gerona on 12 October, somewhat ironically at the head of the convalescents (amongst them Verdier). On his arrival Augereau realised that he would have to continue St. Cyr’s policy of starvation, although he did initiate a more active bombardment of the town. In mid October Blake reappeared, with more supplies, but he was unable to find a way into the town, and at the start of November Augereau launched an attack on his supply depot at Hostalrich (7 November 1809), easily capturing and destroying them. After this setback Blake retreated to the plain of Vich, where he began to gather supplies for a fourth time. This would take so long that the siege would be over before Blake was ready to move again.

As winter set in the defenders of Gerona were reduced to a desperate condition. By mid-November things were so bad that on 19 November eight Spanish officers deserted to the French camp. This encouraged Augereau to begin active operations again. On 2 December his attacked and captured the southern suburb of La Marina, and at midnight of 6 December Pino’s division captured the redoubt of the city, between the city and the Capuchin heights. Alvarez responded with the last Spanish sortie of the siege (7 December), but this ended in disaster when the Calvary and Chapter redoubts fell to the French. This failure drained Alvarez’s last strength. He was so ill that on the morning of 9 December he received his last rites.

The command passed to General Juliano Bolivar. He called a council of war, which decided to seek terms from the French. On the morning of 10 December Brigadier-General Fournas met with Augereau, and the terms of the surrender were soon agreed. On the next morning the 3,000 remaining able bodied men in the garrison marched into captivity (another 1,200 invalids remained in the city).

The French somewhat disgraced themselves in the aftermath of their victory. Alvarez recovered from his illness, and was taken as a prisoner to Narbonne. Napoleon then decided that he should be tried as a traitor against King Joseph, and returned to Figueras, dying in a cellar on the day after his arrival.

Both sides suffered very heavy casualties during the siege. Of the 9,000 men involved in the defence, only 4,248 survived. The French did even worse, losing around 13,000 men during the eight months of the siege. Although they had cleared a major obstacle on the road from Barcelona to Perpignan, very little of Catalonia was in French hands.

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Spanish occupation of Girona threatened the French forces' lines of communication between Barcelona and Perpignan. [4] An Imperial French corps led by Guillaume Philibert Duhesme attempted to capture the city of Girona and its Spanish garrison, commanded by Richard II O'Donovan, then a Colonel. The French began regular siege operations, but withdrew when another Spanish force led by the Conde de Caldagues attacked their lines from the rear. [5]

After the Spanish people rebelled against occupation by the First French Empire, Duhesme found himself badly isolated in Barcelona. The Franco-Italian corps was surrounded by swarms of Catalan miquelets (militia) supported by a few Spanish regulars. When the French general received news that a French division under Honoré Charles Reille was coming to his assistance, he decided to capture Girona. Having failed to storm Girona in June, Duhesme mounted a formal siege operation. Duhesme's formal siege operations were interrupted by Caldagues' attack in mid-August. Though the Franco-Italian forces suffered few casualties, Duhesme and his soldiers became discouraged and they ended the siege. [5]

While Reille retreated to Figueres without much trouble, Duhesme's men were harassed during their return to Barcelona by the Spanish army and the British navy. By the time the French forces arrived in Barcelona, they were without artillery and badly demoralized. Meanwhile, Emperor Napoleon I assembled a new corps under Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr to relieve Duhesme from his predicament. The next action of the Peninsular War would be the siege of Roses, from 7 November to 5 December 1808. [5]


Evidence found against French serial killer known as “The Queen of Poisoners”

The body of Leon Besnard is exhumed in Loudun, France, by authorities searching for evidence of poison. For years, local residents had been suspicious of his wife Marie, as they watched nearly her entire family die untimely and mysterious deaths. Law enforcement officials finally began investigating Marie after the death of her mother earlier in the year.

Marie married Leon in August 1929. The couple resented the fact that they lived relatively modestly while their families were so well off. When two of Leon’s great aunts perished unexpectedly, most of their money was left to Leon’s parents. Consequently, the Besnards invited Leon’s parents to live with them.

Shortly after moving in, Leon’s father died, ostensibly from eating a bad mushroom. Three months later, his widow also died and neighbors began chatting about a Besnard family jinx. The inheritance was split between Leon and his sister, Lucie. Not so surprisingly, the newly rich Lucie died shortly thereafter, supposedly taking her own life.

Becoming increasingly greedy, the Besnards began looking outside the family for their next victim. They took in the Rivets as boarders, who, under the Besnards’ care, also died abruptly. No one was too surprised when the Rivets’ will indicated Marie as the sole beneficiary.

Pauline and Virginie Lallerone, cousins of the Besnards, were next in line. When Pauline died, Marie explained that she had mistakenly eaten a bowl of lye. Apparently, her sister Virginie didn’t learn her lesson about carelessness, because when she died a week later, Marie told everyone that she too had inadvertently eaten lye.


Phil Sheridan: The Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Sheridan’s performance in the Overland Campaign convinced Grant to send him into the Shenandoah Valley of northern Virginia. His main target was the 15,000 Confederate cavalry troops under General Jubal Early (1816-94). The Confederacy relied on the fertile valley for much of its food, so Grant also ordered Sheridan to devastate the area’s precious farmland.

Through September and October of 1864, Sheridan’s mixed force of 40,000 infantry and cavalry obeyed Grant’s order to turn the valley into a �rren waste.” They destroyed crops, burned barns and captured livestock, foreshadowing Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s (1820-91) similar application of a “scorched earth” policy during his March to the Sea in Georgia only weeks later.

Sheridan repulsed several Confederate attacks during the campaign, but the most notable of these took place at Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864. Early’s cavalry launched a surprise attack on the Union camp while Sheridan was absent from his army. The Northern soldiers were routed by Early’s well-executed attack. However, when the returning Sheridan encountered his fleeing army, he rallied them into a blistering charge against Early’s cavalry. The Southern force withered under the counterattack, and Early’s force was rendered incapable of further action. The Union now controlled the Shenandoah Valley and, by extension, much of the Confederacy’s food supply.


Third Siege of Gerona, 24 May-11 December 1809 - History

Stars are added to the American flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state. The last star was added to the flag on July 4, 1960, following the statehood of Hawaii in 1959. The new 50-starred version was designed by an Ohio high school student, Robert G. Heft, who created the flag for a class history project. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower set up a commission to design the new flag, Heft’s congressman presented the student’s flag to the committee—and they, in turn, passed it along to the president. It is this flag that, as of July 4, 2007, became the longest-serving flag of the United States.

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NAPOLEON I

French general, emperor b. Ajaccio, Corsica, Aug. 5, 1769 d. Saint Helena, May 5, 1821.

Early Years. Napoleon was the son of Charles and Laetitia (Ramolino) Bonaparte. His father was thriftless and fickle, but his mother was economical, orderly, morally austere, religious in the Corsican manner, and very severe. The maternal influence over the Christian upbringing of her unruly, taciturn son seems not to have been profound. In 1780 Napoleon received chastisements from his mother when he refused to attend Mass, but this did not increase his devoutness. His great-uncle Lucien, an archdeacon, was more adept in conciliating wisdom with thrift than in preaching fervor. At the military school in Brienne, which he entered in April 1779, the boy was industrious and avid to learn, but quarrelsome and increasingly aloof. He remained attached to Father Charles, who prepared him for First Communion, but was much less edified by the other Minims who taught him and who celebrated Mass in 10 minutes, according to him. In 1784 he transferred to a military school in Paris where the technical training was first class, but the religious formation revolved too much around external practices imposed by school discipline and reflected the 18th-century spirit that penetrated the institution. The young cadet had to attend Mass each weekday and high Mass, Vespers, and catechism class on Sunday he had to receive Holy Communion bimonthly and go to confession monthly. His independent spirit and his already weakened faith found this conformism irritating. The crisis that caused Napoleon's detachment from the Church was intellectual rather than moral. Pleasure did not attract him. His meager income reduced him to a poor, austere mode of life. On his own testimony books were his sole debauchery so enticing were they that he often deprived himself of food to purchase them. He nourished himself on the ancient classics and still more on such modern authors as Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Mably, and Reynald. As a result the rationalism of the enlightenment penetrated his spirit and displaced his weakly rooted Christian beliefs. During his stay at the artillery school of La F è re, he ceased to approach the Sacraments and received them no more until his deathbed. He subscribed to the principles of 1789 and sided with the french revolution.

Napoleon continued to regard Corsica as his true homeland. He reserved for it the first display of his revolutionary fervor in order to install there the new revolutionary regime, which his family supported. His brother Joseph Bonaparte was elected a member of the Directory, and his uncle Joseph fesch took the oath upholding the civil constitution of the clergy in order to become vicar to Bishop Guasco but Napoleon himself failed to obtain a military command. The Bonapartes came into conflict with Pascal Paoli, who opposed the Revolution, and had to flee to France (June 1793).

From 1793 to 1799. The uprising in southern France in favor of the Girondins supplied the young artillery captain with an opportunity to reveal his military genius. Toulon, which had fallen into English hands, was reconquered thanks to a plan devised by Napoleon. This success won him the favor of robespierre, the rank of general at the age of 22, and the command of the artillery in the French army in Italy. After July 27, 1794 (9 Thermidor), Napoleon was branded as a follower of Robespierre, stripped of his rank, and arrested. He then offered his services to Paul Barras and subdued the royalist insurrection (October 1795). As a reward Barras named him general of a division and commandant of the army of Paris. Barras, however, distrusted the savior of the Republic and tried to control Napoleon by turning over to him his mistress, the widow Josephine de Beauharnais. Bonaparte became passionately attached to this woman and entered a civil marriage with her (March 9, 1796) once he had been made general in charge of the army in Italy. Both of them could have had recourse to either the refractory or the constitutional priests, but neither of them troubled to do so. Josephine continued to attend the sermons of the constitutional Bishop Belmas at St. É tienne du Mont yet this woman of fashion regarded morality lightly. Her religion was nothing but vague sentimentality.

Italian Campaign. During the war in Italy Napoleon learned from experience the social realities that he must take into account in formulating his political policies and military strategy. Despite his limited resources he confronted an offensive by new Austrian armies. To protect his rear he had to win the support of Italian Jacobins and at the same time to placate the Catholic populace, which threatened to rise against the French Revolutionary troops. Napoleon was so much impressed by the attachment of the Italians to the Church that he refused to obey the Directory's orders to march on Rome and "smash the throne of stupidity." After a first campaign in Romagna he stopped at Bologna and there signed with the Holy See an armistice guaranteeing papal neutrality while assuring himself of a war contribution of 21 million francs (June 20, 1797). After negotiations at Paris failed to effect definitive peace, a second campaign conquered Romagna and the Legations, but Bonaparte refrained from proceeding farther and informed pius vi that he could remain undisturbed in Rome. Napoleon promised also to provide protection for the pope and the Church, because "it is my special concern that no one make any change in the religion of our fathers." On his own initiative General Bonaparte reopened negotiations and concluded the Treaty of Tolentino (Feb. 19, 1797) without conforming to the Directory's instructions. This pact severed from the states of the church only the Legations, Ancona, and Avignon. The pope retained sovereignty over the rest of his territories, but paid 33 million francs as war indemnity, which was "equivalent to ten times Rome." This consoled the French government for these territorial concessions.

Religious Policy. No question arose concerning a bull retracting papal condemnations of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and requiring Catholic support of the revolutionary regime. Napoleon declared that he had not spoken about religion. He was convinced that an agreement on this point could not be reached with the basically anticlerical Directory. On this subject he had already framed his basic policies of inviting priests to preach obedience to the government, consolidating the new constitution, reconciling the constitutional with the refractory clergy, and leading the majority of Frenchmen back to religion. At that moment, however, the situation did not seem to him propitious to put his ideas into operation. Napoleon's project for Italian unification encountered Catholic opposition because the Jacobins with whom he dealt to create the Cispadine Republic and then the Cisalpine Republic practiced an anti-religious policy contrary to his views. The general sought unsuccessfully to moderate the Cisalpine government and the regional commissioners. But after his departure these men followed their own wishes. The discontent provoked by their anti-Christian action contributed largely to the uprising of 1799, which caused the collapse of a regime imposed by the French invader. Bonaparte heeded the lessons taught by this experience. It was not Catholicism as such that he intended to respect, but popular sentiment. His policy in the Egyptian campaign, during which he favored Islam, was inspired by the same selfish and realistic outlook.

Religious Restoration in France. Religion counted for naught in the coup d' é tat of Brumaire (Nov. 9, 1799), contrived by Siey è s for financial and political motives. But Bonaparte, whose military cooperation had seemed indispensable for the success of this operation, asserted himself as head of the consular government and gave to it a personal orientation. For reasons of domestic and foreign policy he intended to regulate the religious question. Before he could start a campaign to terminate the war then raging, he had of necessity to pacify the Vend é e region. Thanks to bernier, he succeeded by granting to the Vendeans religious liberty in the Treaty of Montfaucon. Logic dictated that the same freedom should extend to the whole nation. The decree of 28 Niv ô se (Jan. 17, 1799) provided it and yet demanded from priests no more than fidelity to the constitution. On the other hand, another decree (Dec. 30, 1799) sought to dissipate the bias against the French Revolution in the papal conclave then meeting in Venice and to combat Austrian influence in the conclave by prescribing exceptional honors for the remains of Pius VI. For the moment these half measures had to suffice, because the First Consul was not yet firmly established in power. He preferred to wait until further military victory strengthened his authority before putting into effect his full program. His discourse to the clergy in Milan (June 5, 1800), which became widely known, indicated that he would discuss with the pope a complete reconciliation between France and the Church. Not until the victory at Marengo, however, did he reveal the plan already matured in his mind and charge Cardinal Carlo Martiniana of Vercelli to transmit his proposals to pius vii.

Religious Outlook. Napoleon was undoubtedly more eager to promote his own policy than the interests of the Church, but the extent to which his policy corresponded with his personal dispositions toward Catholicism is disputed. From this time until his exile to Saint Helena, his contradictory statements can be invoked in opposite senses but since these utterances varied according to the circumstances and the questioners and the effect Napoleon wished to obtain, they cannot be taken literally or interpreted as proof of his religious disquiet. Napoleon was basically an enlightened despot in the 18th-century style, nourished by the philosophers of that period. Like Voltaire, he judged religion necessary for the populace. His Deism, his belief in the immortality of the soul, and his religious sentimentality came from Rousseau and Robespierre. He did not believe in Catholicism as the one true religion. For him all religions possessed some value all should be admitted in places where they exist and all should be utilized for the good of the state. He believed in controlling religion but not in imposing it on others. As a son of the French Revolution he was faithful to the principles of 1789. At the same time he was willing to derive from gallicanism other principles that permitted the ruler to limit papal interventions. His religious practice remained external, official, and restricted to attendance at Sunday Mass, an obligation from which he excused himself in the army, because the army, which idolized him, had no need of cult or chaplains (see catechism, imperial).

Concordat of 1801. Napoleon's plan of religious restoration was part of his plan for a general restoration in France. Since the population as a whole clung to Catholicism, he sought to satisfy it while utilizing its religion. He believed that public opinion did not demand the restitution of ecclesiastical goods alienated during the Revolution. As for the clergy, he considered that a subsistence salary would be sufficient compensation. Napoleon judged also that national unity required ending the schism caused by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. His policy of reconciliation aimed to produce neither victor nor vanquished and obliged him to maintain a balance between the bishops of the ancien r é gime and the constitutional bishops by forcing both groups to resign. Thereupon the First Consul would name the entire new hierarchy. In doing so he planned to select some bishops from the ancien r é gime prelates and some from the constitutional hierarchy and to amalgamate them with new elements. He wanted to retain from the Revolution the division of dioceses according to civil districts, or departments, while reducing the number of dioceses lest the budget become too burdensome and disaffect the public. The same realism that dictated all these measures obliged Napoleon to have recourse to the pope in order to disavow the error committed by the Civil Constitution in 1790 and to prevent the reappearance of religious divisions. Therefore he recognized Pius VII's authority, but on the condition that the pope recognize the legitimacy of Napoleon's government. He admitted also the pope's authority to remove bishops and to appoint others in their stead. In accordance with the principles of 1789, however, he insisted that all cults must enjoy liberty and that Catholicism must not be the state religion. His plan envisioned finally that the liberty accorded Catholic public cult should be submitted to such police regulations as deemed necessary.

After laborious negotiations Pius VII and Napoleon reached agreement in the concordat of 1801. But this text masked rather than dissolved their differences. Quickly the First Consul incorporated the Organic Articles into the Concordat, severely restricting its scope.

Conflict with Pius VII. Much graver than the causes of conflict to which the application of the Concordat gave rise was the fundamental opposition between Napoleon Bonaparte and the pope. The former lacked a spiritual sense the latter was essentially a spiritual man. Despite their mutual sympathy, even affection, the two men were bound to come into conflict. Conciliating though he was, the Holy Father would not compromise his principles even when his independence was jeopardized. Napoleon perceived this at the time of his coronation as emperor (Dec. 2, 1804). The pope, fortified only by vague promises, agreed to come from Rome to Paris and to allow modifications in the traditional ceremony. On the eve of the event Josephine, who wanted an indissoluble religious marriage lest she be later repudiated, explained to the pope the details of the couple's civil marriage. Pius VII then insisted that this irregular situation be rectified immediately if he were to participate in the coronation the next day. Napoleon had to consent to have his union blessed by the Church, but did so only on condition that Cardinal Fesch, his uncle, officiate at the marriage without witnesses and that this matter be kept shrouded in secrecy similar to that of the confessional. Pius VII returned from his journey to France without obtaining any of the religious advantages he sought, except for some secondary ones.

To the difficulties presented by the French concordat were added those caused by the Italian concordat (1803). In some respects the latter was more favorable to the Church, since it recognized Catholicism as the state religion but this good feature was offset by the Melzi decrees. Napoleon's coronation as king of Italy (1805) speeded the introduction into northern Italy of French laws and institutions that were inspired by the spirit of the French Revolution. Moreover, Pius VII refused to conclude the German concordat proposed by the Emperor Napoleon for the ecclesiastical reorganization of Germany.

The extension of the French Empire and the resultant wars hastened the crisis, which became acute after 1810, between the pope and the ruler who wanted to be the successor of Caesar and Charlemagne. Although Napoleon invoked his "system," neither his foreign nor his religious policies conformed to fixed, preconceived notions. Instead his ideas were in continual flux and were modified according to the needs of the moment. It was not his ill-defined system that guided Napoleon but the "force of things." At the same time his military victories and the ever-widening scope of his conflicts accentuated his autocracy. In his policy and strategy Italy played a key role. He was attached to the peninsula also because to it he owed his start toward fame and because the memories of imperial Rome were always dear to his heart. The debarcation of the allied forces at Naples previous to the battle of Austerlitz obliged him to hold Italy to protect his rear. Therefore in 1806 he integrated Naples, Venice, and the duchies with the Kingdom of Italy and extended to these regions the provisions of the Italian concordat and the French legal code. This provoked Pius VII's protests.

Imprisonment of Pius VII. Up to this point Napoleon had not occupied the remaining States of the Church. Now he demanded that the pope expel foreign agents and close his ports to the allies. So tense did the situation become that Fesch was recalled from Rome and Consalvi resigned as papal secretary of state (June 17, 1806). Once Napoleon had crushed Prussia and concluded peace with Russia at Tilsit, he increased his demands on the pope. To prevent any opening in the Continental Blockade, whose aim was to ruin England's economy and force its capitulation, Napoleon ordered Pius VII to close his ports to the British. He even asked the pope for military aid against the heretics, "our common enemies." As father to all Christians Pius VII repulsed this ultimatum. Bayane's attempt at negotiation failed. Napoleon then ordered Gen. Fran ç ois de Miollis to occupy Rome (Feb. 21, 1808). He decreed the annexation of the States of the Church to the French Empire (May 16, 1809) and when Pius VII retaliated by excommunicating the perpetrators of this sacrilege, he ordered General Radet in July to remove the pope from Rome and then to conduct him as a prisoner to Savona, in northern Italy.

One last step that remained was to bring the Supreme Pontiff to Paris to make him pope of the Great Empire. But nothing could weaken Pius VII's resistance. When he was deprived of his liberty and his advisers, he refused to exercise his papal powers or to institute bishops canonically. Thenceforth the struggle centered on this last point. As vacant sees multiplied, Napoleon tried vainly to end this impasse by turning to the French episcopate. An ecclesiastical committee was convened in 1809 to find a solution, but it disappointed him.

Second Marriage. To complicate matters still more, Napoleon sought to assure himself a male heir by ridding himself of Josephine and marrying a girl with royal blood. Two decisions of the Parisian diocesan and metropolitan ecclesiastical officials, which were correctly rendered, declared Napoleon's marriage on the eve of coronation null. The first decision was based on defect of form the second was based on defect of form and also on Napoleon's merely simulated consent to the marriage contract. A controversy followed concerning the competence of these diocesan tribunals. Among the Roman cardinals then in Paris one group was convinced that the solution of this case pertained to the pope and refused to assist at the emperor's marriage to Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria (April 1810). The reprisals against these "black" cardinals did not in any way promote the success of the mission of Cardinals Giuseppe spina and Carlo Caselli, who were sent to Savona to work out a settlement with Pius VII.

Institution of Bishops. To circumvent the difficulties caused by Pius VII's refusal to give canonical institution to newly named bishops, Napoleon nominated to the See of Paris Jean maury and caused the diocesan chapter to confer on him the powers of vicar capitular. Pius VII ruined this scheme by sending secretly to Paris a brief that declared Maury's powers null. In his fury the emperor ordered the pope kept in closer confinement and began a police persecution against clerical resistance.

The emotion roused by the Maury affair convinced Napoleon of the need to solve the problem. He appointed a second committee to find a solution, but it had recourse to subterfuges. At a solemn gathering (March 11, 1811) Monsieur É mery defended papal authority so courageously that the emperor displayed his admiration. A delegation of bishops to Savona shook Pius VII's resolve for a short time, but it had no lasting result because the pope revoked his concessions concerning canonical institution by a metropolitan. Napoleon then resigned himself to convoking the imperial council of 1811. There the bishops as a group resisted him, but individually they bowed to his will. When another delegation went to Savona, Pius VII conceded to the metropolitan, acting in the pope's name, the power of instituting bishops after six months. Napoleon demanded a change in this last point, but Pius VII refused. The situation thus had arrived at a new dead lock.

Concordat of Fontainebleau. Napoleon had the pope transferred to Fontainebleau, near Paris (June 1812), in the expectation that a victorious military campaign in Russia would permit him to overcome finally the resistance of the "old imbecile." After returning from the disastrous Russian expedition, the emperor was more determined than ever to succeed by extracting from the Holy Father a new concordat. Pius VII signed the socalled concordat of fontainebleau, but this text was intended only as a preliminary one that would serve as the basis for a later definitive agreement, provided everything were kept secret. When Napoleon in bad faith published this document as if it were a concluded concordat, Pius VII withdrew the concessions envisaged by him as the basis of the accord. As military defeat overwhelmed him, Napoleon freed the pope (Jan. 21, 1814). During the Hundred Days he tried vainly to regain the Holy See's friendship but Waterloo rendered Msgr. Izoard's mission useless.

Last Years. In writing about Napoleon's religious attitude during his exile at Saint Helena (1815 – 21), Las Cases, Gourgaud, Bertrand, and Marchand have contradicted one another. Their accounts leave a mixed impression. In his last testament the emperor expressed a desire to die in the Catholic religion that he had inherited from his forebears and to receive before death Viaticum, Extreme Unction, and whatever else was customary in similar cases. According to Bertrand he was motivated solely by a belief that this would "promote public morality." Not all historians accept this interpretation. Napoleon died on May 5, 1821, after receiving the ministrations of Abb é Vignali on May 1. Pius VII was the one responsible for sending a chaplain to Saint Helena after the European powers refused to heed the papal request to mitigate Napoleon's sufferings. The pope had not forgotten that Napoleon had reestablished religion in France. Because of the "pious and courageous effort of 1801," Pius VII had long since forgiven the subsequent wrongs at Savona and Fontainebleau, which he described as mere errors of a spirit carried away by human ambition, whereas the Concordat was a Christian, heroic, and beneficial action.

Bibliography: j. leflon, La Crise r é volutionnaire, 1789 – 1846 (Fliche – Martin 20 1949). a. latreille, L' É glise catholique et la r é volution fran ç aise, 2 v. (Paris 1946 – 50) Napol é on et le Saint – Si è ge, 1803 – 1808 (Paris 1935). v. bindel, Histoire religieuse de Napol é on, 2 v. (Paris 1941). l. madelin, Histoire du Consulat et de l'Empire, 16 v. (Paris 1937 – 54). a. dansette, Religious History of Modern France, trans. by j. dingle (New York 1961) v.1. e. e. y. hales, The Emperor and the Pope (New York 1961). s. delacroix, La R é organisation de l' É glise de France apr è s la R é volution (Paris 1962 – ). j. schmidlin, Papstgeschichte der neuesten Zeit, 1800 – 1939 (Munich 1933 – 39) v.1. a. theiner, Histoire des deux concordats de la r é publique fran ç aise et de la r é publique cisalpine conclus en 1801 et 1803, 2 v. (Bar – le – Duc 1869). a. boulay de la meurthe, Histoire de la n é gociation du Concordat de 1801 (Tours 1920) Histoire du r é tablissement du culte en France 1802 – 05 (Tours 1925). m. roberti, Milano capitale napoleonica, 3 v. (Milan 1946 – 47) v.1. a. fugier, Napol é on et l'Italie (Paris 1947). l. gr É goire, Le Divorce de Napol é on et de l'Imp é ratrice Jos é phine: É tude du dossier canonique (Paris 1957). g. gourgaud and c. j. f. t. de montholon, M é moirs pour servir à l'histoire de France sous Napol é on. é crits à Sainte H é l è ne, par les g é n é raux qui ont partag é sa captivit é , et publi é s sur les manuscrits enti è rement corrig é s de la main de Napol é on, 8 v. (Paris 1823 – 25) ed. d. lancroix, 5 v. (new ed. Paris 1905). m. j. e. a. d. de las cases, M é morial de Sainte – H é l è ne, 4 v. in 8 (London 1823), separate Eng. and Fr. eds. with same title and format ed. j. pr É vost, 2 v. (Paris 1935). h. g. bertrand, Cahiers de Sainte – H é l è ne, janvier – mai 1821, ed. p. fleuriot de langle (Paris 1949).


Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 2,178

Jacques Cartier

1491-12-31 Jacques Cartier, French explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France, born in St. Malo, Brittany (d. 1557)

Jeanne Mance

1606-11-12 Jeanne Mance, French-Canadian settler who founded the first hospital in North America (Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal), born in Langres, France (d. 1673)

Marguerite Bourgeoys

1620-04-17 Marguerite Bourgeoys, French founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame (first Canadian saint), born in Troyes, France (d. 1700)

    Louis Jolliet, Canadian explorer (explored the origins of the Mississippi River helped by the Native American), born in Quebec, Canada (d. 1700) Zacharie Robutel de La Noue, Canadian soldier, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1733) Madeleine de Verchères, French Canadian heroine (d. 1747) Pierre Gaultier, French-Canadian trader and explorer (d. 1749) Pierre de Rigaud, Canadian-born French Governor of New France, born in Quebec, New France (d. 1778) Pierre Joubert, became the oldest known Canadian (113 years 124 days at his death) Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, first native Canadian canonized (founded the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal), born in Varennes, Quebec (d. 1771) John Bradstreet, Canadian-born soldier, born in Annapolis Royal, Canada (d. 1774) Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres, Swiss-Canadian cartographer and statesman, born in Basel, Switzerland (d. 1824)

James Wolfe

1727-01-02 James Wolfe, British Army officer who defeated the French in Canada and captured Quebec, born in Westerham, England (d. 1759)

    Henry Clinton, British army officer and politician, born in Newfoundland, British Canada (d. 1795) James McGill, Scottish-Canadian businessman and philanthropist, born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 1813) Joseph Quesnel, French Canadian composer and playwright (Colas et Colinette), born in Saint-Malo, France (d. 1809) John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada (d. 1806)

Isaac Brock

1769-10-06 Isaac Brock, British Army officer (successfully defended Upper Canada in War of 1812), born in St Peter Port, Guernsey (d. 1812)

Laura Secord

1775-09-13 Laura Secord, Canadian war heroine, born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts Bay (d. 1868)

    Alexander Ross, Canadian fur trader, born in Morayshire, Scotland (d. 1856) Louis-Joseph Papineau, Canadian lawyer and politician (d. 1871) Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé, French Canadian writer, born in Quebec City, Quebec (d. 1871) Jacques Viger, French Canadian politician, 1st mayor of Montreal (1833-36), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1858) Samuel Cunard, Canadian-British shipping magnate and founder (1st regular Atlantic steamship line), born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (d. 1865) Alexander Keith, Scottish-Canadian politician (4th Mayor of Halifax) and brewer (founder of the Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery), born in Halkirk, Caithness, Highland, Scotland (d. 1873) John Corry Wilson Daly, Canadian politician (d. 1878) John Richardson, Canadian writer (Wacousta, or the prophecy), born in Queenston, Ontario, Canada (d. 1852) George Back, English sea officer and explorer (North Canada), born in Stockport, Cheshire (d. 1878) Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Canadian novelist (The Clockmaker or, The Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of Slickville), born in Windsor, Canada (d. 1865)

Abraham Gesner

1797-05-02 Abraham Gesner, Canadian geologist (inventor of kerosene), born in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia (d. 1864)

    Ludger Duvernay, Canadian printer and publisher (d. 1852) Ignace Bourget, French-Canadian Bishop of Montreal, born in Lévis, Province of Lower Canada, British Empire (d. 1885) Joseph Montferrand, French-Canadian logger and strong man, born in St. Lawrence, Montreal (d. 1864) David Wark, Canadian politician (d. 1905) Robert Baldwin, (L) help establish government in Canada (or 1904) Joseph Howe, Canadian politician (3rd Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia), born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (d. 1873) Jean-Olivier Chénier, French Canadian physician and Patriote, born in Lachine, Canada (d. 1838) Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, French Canadian politician (Prime Minister of the Province of Canada), born in Boucherville, Lower Canada (d. 1864) François-Xavier Garneau, French-Canadian poet and historian (d. 1866) Charles Chiniquy, Canadian Catholic priest who left the Roman Catholic Church and became a Presbyterian minister, born in Kamouraska, Quebec (d. 1899) Paul Kane, Irish-Canadian painter, born in Mallow, County Cork, Ireland (d. 1871) Donald McKay, Canadian-American naval architect (built fastest clipper ships), born in Nova Scotia, Canada (d. 1880) Jean-Charles Chapais, Canadian politician (considered Father of the Canadian Confederation), born in Rivière-Ouelle, Lower Canada (d. 1885) John McNeil, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (d. 1891) George Cartier, Canadian co-PM (1858-62), born in Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada (d. 1873)

John A. Macdonald

1815-01-11 John A. Macdonald, First Prime Minister of Canada (1867-1873 and 1878-1891), born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 1891)

James Donnelly

1816-03-07 James Donnelly, Irish-Canadian patriarch of the Donnelly family (Black Donnelly massacre), born in Ireland (d. 1880)

    Alexander Tilloch Galt, Canadian politician, a father of Canadian Confederation, born in Chelsea, England (d. 1893) Antoine Dorion, (L) joint premier of Canada (1858, 1863-64) George Brown, Canadian publisher (Toronto Globe), PM (L) (1858) Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau, French Canadian politician (1st Premier of Quebec), born in Charlesbourg, Quebec (d. 1890) John Franklin Farnsworth, American politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Eaton, Canada (d. 1897) Oliver Mowat, a founder of the Canadian Confederation Andrew Rainsford Wetmore, Canadian politician, born in Fredericton, Canada (d. 1892) John William Dawson, Canadian geologist, born in Pictou, Nova Scotia (d. 1899)

John Abbott

Charles Tupper

1821-07-02 Charles Tupper, 6th Prime Minister of Canada (C: 69-day term), born in Amherst, Nova Scotia (d. 1915)

Alexander Mackenzie

    Joseph Medill, St John NB Canada, newspaper editor (Chicago Tribune) Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart [Esther Pariseau], Canadian religious leader (US capitol), born in Saint-Elzéar, Quebec, Canada (d. 1902) Gédéon Ouimet, French Canadian politician (d. 1905)

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

1823-10-09 Mary Ann Shadd Cary, American-Canadian publisher and anti-slavery campaigner, 1st African American newspaper publisher ('Provincial Freeman'), born in Wilmington, Delaware (d. 1893)

Mackenzie Bowell

    Ranald MacDonald, Canadian-born Scottish educator and interpreter (d. 1894) Alfred Gilpin Jones, 8th Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia (1900-06), born in Weymouth, NOva Scotia, Canada (d. 1906) Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Irish-Canadian journalist and Father of Confederation, born in Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland (d. 1868) Sir Sandford Fleming, Scottish-Canadian engineer introduced Universal Standard Time (d. 1915) Octave Crémazie, French Canadian poet, born in Quebec City, Canada (d. 1879) Ezra Butler Eddy, Canadian businessman (E.B. Eddy Company) and politician, born in Vermont (d. 1906) Eugene O'Keefe, Canadian businessman and brewer (O'Keefe Brewery Company of Toronto Limited), born in Bandon, County Cork (d. 1913) Jacob Dolson Cox, Canadian-American statesman, lawyer, and Major General (Union Army), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1900) Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, French-Canadian politician (7th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia), born in Épernay, France (d. 1908) Alexander Muir, Canadian composer (The Maple Leaf Forever), born in Lesmahagow, Scotland (d. 1906) Emily Stowe, Canadian suffragist and first woman licensed to practise medicine in Canada, born in Norwich Township, Oxford County, Ontario (d. 1903) Thomas J. Higgins, Union Army soldier during the American Civil War, recipient of America's highest military decoration (Medal of Honor), born in Huntington, Quebec, Canada (d. 1917) John Jones Ross, Canadian politician, 7th Premier of Quebec (1884-87), born in Quebec City, Canada (d. 1901) James J. Hill, Canadian-American railroad entrepreneur (Great Northern Railroad), born in Eramosa Township, Ontario (d. 1916) John Labatt, Canadian brewer and businessman (Labatt Brewing Company), born in Westminster Township (d. 1915) Frantz Jehin-Prume, Canadian violinist and composer, born in Spa, Liège, Belgium (d. 1899) Adolphe-Basile Routhier, French-Canadian lyricist ("O! Canada"), born in Saint-Placide, Quebec (d. 1920) Hugh Archibald Clarke, Canadian organist, composer, and educator (The Music of The Spheres), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1927) Louis-Honoré Fréchette, Canadian poet, born in Lévis, Canada (d. 1908) Louis Nazaire Bégin, French Canadian archbishop and cardinal, born in Lévis, Canada (d. 1925) Louis-Olivier Taillon, French Canadian politician, born in Terrebonne, Lower Canada (d. 1923) Honoré Mercier, Canadian politician and 9th Premier of Quebec (1887-91), born in Saint-Athanase, Lower Canada (d. 1894) Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau, French-Canadian lawyer and politician, born in Sainte-Thérèse, Canada (d. 1898) Henry Birks, Canadian businessman and founder of Henri Birks and Sons, born in Montreal, Lower Canada (d. 1928) John Murray, Canada oceanographer (Depths of the Ocean) Joseph E. Seagram, Canadian distillery founder (Seagram Distilleries), born in Fisher's Mills, Canada West (d. 1919)

Wilfrid Laurier

    Calixa Lavallee, Canadian composer (O Canada), born in Verchères (d. 1891) William Southam, Canadian newspaper publisher, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1932) William Cornelius Van Horne, American-Canadian railway executive (Canadian Pacific Railway), born in Frankfort, Illinois (d. 1915) Joshua Slocum, Canadian-American seaman and adventurer, born in Mount Hanley, Nova Scotia (d. 1909)

Elijah McCoy

1844-05-02 Elijah McCoy, Canadian-American inventor of African descent, notable for his 57 US patents (lubrication of steam engines), born in Colchester, Ontario (d. 1929)

Louis Riel

1844-10-22 Louis Riel, Canadian politician, founder of the province of Manitoba and leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies, born in Red River Colony, Rupert's Land, British North America (d. 1885)


States by Order of Entry Into the Union

Photo byTektite

The original 13 colonieswere a group of British territoriesin North America. They were founded in the 17th and 18th centuries and became The Thirteen Coloniesin 1776, when they declared independence. The colonies became states of the new nation in 1788, when New Hampshire became the ninth and final necessary state to ratifytheUnited States Constitution. The dateeach state joined the Union is shown in the table below.Five states were added during the 20th century. Alaska and Hawaii were the last states to join the Union -- both in 1959.

Joining the Union

Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution lays out how a new state can join the Union:

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.


Contents

Europe had been in turmoil since the start of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1792. In 1797, after five years of war, the French Republic subdued the First Coalition. A Second Coalition was formed in 1798, but by 1801, this too was defeated, leaving Britain the only opponent of the new French Consulate. In March 1802, France and Britain agreed to end hostilities under the Treaty of Amiens. For the first time in ten years, all of Europe was at peace.

But, many problems persisted between the two sides, making implementation of the treaty increasingly difficult. The British government resented having to turn over most of the colonial conquests it had made since 1793. Napoleon was angry that British troops had not evacuated the island of Malta. Γ] The tense situation only worsened when Napoleon sent an expeditionary force to crush the Haitian Revolution. Δ] In May 1803, Britain declared war on France.

Third Coalition [ edit | edit source ]

In December 1804, an Anglo-Swedish agreement led to the creation of the Third Coalition. British Prime Minister William Pitt spent 1804 and 1805 in a flurry of diplomatic activity geared towards forming a new coalition against France, and by April 1805, Britain and Russia had signed an alliance. Ε] Having been defeated twice in recent memory by France, and being keen on revenge, Austria joined the coalition a few months later. Ζ]

French imperial army [ edit | edit source ]

Prior to the formation of the Third Coalition, Napoleon had assembled an invasion force, called the Armée d'Angleterre (Army of England) around six camps at Boulogne in Northern France. He intended to use this invasion force to strike at England, and was so confident of success that he had commemorative medals struck to celebrate the conquest of the English. Η] Although they never invaded, Napoleon's troops received careful and invaluable training for any possible military operation. Boredom among the troops occasionally set in, but Napoleon paid many visits and conducted lavish parades in order to boost morale. ⎖]

The men at Boulogne formed the core for what Napoleon would later call La Grande Armée. At the start, this French army had about 200,000 men organized into seven corps, which were large field units that contained 36 to 40 cannon each and were capable of independent action until other corps could come to the rescue. ⎗] A single corps (properly situated in a strong defensive position) could survive at least a day without support, giving the Grande Armée countless strategic and tactical options on every campaign. On top of these forces, Napoleon created a cavalry reserve of 22,000 organized into two cuirassier divisions, four mounted dragoon divisions, one division of dismounted dragoons and one of light cavalry, all supported by 24 artillery pieces. ⎗] By 1805, the Grande Armée had grown to a force of 350,000 men, ⎘] who were well equipped, well trained, and led by competent officers.

Russian imperial army [ edit | edit source ]

The Russian army in 1805 had many characteristics of Ancien Régime organization. There was no permanent formation above the regimental level, senior officers were largely recruited from aristocratic circles (and commissions were generally sold to the highest bidder, regardless of competence), and the Russian soldier, in line with 18th-century practice, was regularly beaten and punished "to instill discipline". The Russians did have a fine artillery arm, manned by soldiers who regularly fought hard to prevent their pieces from falling into enemy hands. ⎙]

The supply system of the Russian Imperial Army depended on the local population and Russia's Austrian allies, with 70 percent of Russian supplies being provided by Austria.

Austrian imperial army [ edit | edit source ]

Archduke Charles, brother of the Austrian Emperor, had started to reform the Austrian army in 1801 by taking away power from the Hofkriegsrat, the military/political council responsible for decision-making in the Austrian armed forces. ⎚] Charles was Austria's best field commander, ⎛] but he was unpopular with the royal court and lost much influence when, against his advice, Austria decided to go to war with France. Karl Mack became the new main commander in Austria's army, instituting infantry reforms on the eve of the war that called for a regiment to be composed of four battalions of four companies, rather than the older three battalions of six companies. ⎜] ⎝] The Austrian cavalry was regarded as the best cavalry in Europe, but the detachment of many cavalry units to various infantry formations reduced its effectiveness against its massed French counterpart. ⎜]

Preliminary moves [ edit | edit source ]

Napoleon takes the surrender of General Mack and the Austrian army at Ulm. Painting by Charles Thévenin.

In August 1805, Napoleon, Emperor of the French since December of the previous year, turned his army's sights from the English Channel to the Rhine in order to deal with the new Austrian and Russian threats. On 25 September after great secrecy and feverish marching, 200,000 French troops began to cross the Rhine on a front of 260 km (160 mi). ⎞] ⎟] Mack had gathered the greater part of the Austrian army at the fortress of Ulm in Swabia (modern day southern Germany).

Napoleon swung his forces southward and performed a wheeling movement that put the French at the Austrian rear. The Ulm Maneuver was well-executed and on 20 October Mack and 23,000 Austrian troops surrendered at Ulm, bringing the total number of Austrian prisoners in the campaign to 60,000. ⎟] Although the spectacular victory was soured by the defeat of the Franco-Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar the following day, French success on land continued as Vienna fell in November. The French gained 100,000 muskets, 500 cannon, and the intact bridges across the Danube. ⎠]

Meanwhile, delays in the arrival of Russian troops prevented them from saving the Austrian field armies, so the Russians withdrew to the northeast to await reinforcements and link up with surviving Austrian units. Tsar Alexander I appointed general Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov to the commander-in-chief of the Russian and Austrian troops. On 9 September 1805, Kutuzov arrived at the battlefield to gather information. He quickly contacted Francis I of Austria and his courtiers to discuss planning and logistical matters. Under pressure from Kutuzov, the Austrians agreed to supply munitions and weapons in a timely and sufficient manner. Kutuzov also spotted shortcomings in the Austrian defense plan, which he called "very dogmatic". He objected to Austrian annexation of the land recently under Napoleon's control, because this would make the local people distrust the allied force. The Austrians rejected many of Kutuzov's proposals. ⎡]

The French followed, but soon found themselves in an unenviable disposition: Prussian intentions were unknown and could be hostile, the Russian and Austrian armies now converged, and to add to Napoleon's challenges, the French lines of communication were extremely long and required strong garrisons to keep them open. Napoleon realized that to capitalize on the success at Ulm, he had to force the Allies to battle and defeat them. ⎢] On the Russian side, Commander-in-chief Kutuzov also realized that so instead of clinging to the "suicidal" Austrian defense plan, Kutuzov decided to retreat. He ordered Pyotr Bagration to command 600 troops to contain the French at Vienna, and instructed the Allied Army to accept Murat's ceasefire proposal so that the allied army could have more time to retreat. Napoleon soon realized Murat's mistakes and ordered him to pursue quickly at that time the allied army had already retreated to Olmutz. ⎡] According to Kutuzov's plan, the Allies would retreat further to the Carpathian region ⎣] and "at Galicia, I will bury the French." ⎡]

Napoleon did not stay still. The French Emperor decided to make a psychological trap in order to lure the Allies out. Days before any fighting, Napoleon had given the impression to the Allies that his army was in a weak state and that he desired a negotiated peace. ⎤] About 53,000 French troops - including Soult, Lannes and Murat's forces - were assigned to take possession of Austerlitz and the Olmutz road, occupying the enemy's attention. The Allied forces, numbering about 89,000, seemed to be far superior and would be tempted to attack an outnumbered French Army. However, the Allies didn't know that the reinforcements of Bernadotte, Mortier and Davout had already been within the supported distance, and could be called in need by forced marches from Iglau and Vienna respectively, raising the French forces to 75,000 troops, and reducing their inferiority in number. ⎥]

Napoleon's lure did not stop at that. On 25 November, general Savary was sent to the Allied headquarters at Olmutz in order to secretly examine the Allied forces' situation and deliver Napoleon's message expressing his desire to avoid a battle. As expected, that expression was seen as a sure sign of weakness. When Francis I offered an armistice on the 27th, Napoleon expressed great enthusiasm in accepting it. On the same day, Napoleon ordered Soult to abandon both Austerlitz and the Pratzen Heights and also create an image of chaos during the retreat that would make the enemies occupy the Heights. The next day (28 November), the French Emperor requested a personal interview with Alexander I and received a visit from the Tsar's most impetuous aide, Count Dolgorouki. The meeting was another part of the trap, as Napoleon intentionally expressed anxiety and hesitation to his opponents. Dolgorouki reported all of this to the Tsar as an additional indication of French weakness. ⎥] ⎦]

The plan was successful. Many of the Allied officers, including the Tsar's aides and the Austrian Chief of Staff Franz von Weyrother, strongly supported the idea of attacking immediately and appeared to be swaying Tsar Alexander's opinion. ⎦] Kutuzov's idea was rejected, and the Allied forces soon fell into the trap that Napoleon had set.


About this page

APA citation. Amadó, R.R. (1912). Spain. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14169b.htm

MLA citation. Amadó, Ramón Ruiz. "Spain." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14169b.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Lucia Tobin.


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