In the years 1807-1808, France was at the peak of their own power. Napoleon obeyed the will of the whole of Western and Central Europe. His troops entered the capital of Portugal, and the Portuguese government fled to Brazil. To the throne of Spain, the French government has planted his own older brother, Joseph, giving the latter belonged to the kingdom of Naples own son-in-Murat. In February 1808 the French forces occupied Rome, which, together with the Papal States, was a little later annexed to the French Empire.
British skillfully used the deposition of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty. The monarchs of other dynasties have suspected that they may suffer a similar fate. In particular intently to react to this event in Vienna. Austrian Habsburgs believed that the danger approached them very tightly. Prussian dynasty defended the Russian government, but who will help Austrian home? Vienna accelerated the formation of the fifth anti-French coalition and its military production. In addition, the problem appeared in Spain — the people responded to an armed uprising deposed dynasty (put a hand to it and the British). Began a long war on the Iberian peninsula — it came with the May 1808 to April 1814. After the defeat and surrender of the French corps Dupont at Bailen (July 23), rebelled Portugal. In Portugal, Posada British under the command of Arthur Wellesley, the future Baron Wellington. August 30 Junot capitulated in Sintra. As a result, Europe saw the surrender of two Imperial French army in two months. It was a strong blow. Nimbus invincible French army was very shaken. Napoleon himself was that Baylenskaya tragedy (in captivity gave 18 thousand French) smeared "our banners and the army."
Austrian Embassy in Paris, headed by Clement von Metternich turned into an international anti-Napoleonic headquarters. Metternich was very clever, deceitful and wicked man. He started a friendship with Talleyrand, Fouche, Minister of Police and the Russian ambassador Tolstoy (he was an opponent of the Russian Federation and the French Union).
Congress of Erfurt
To prevent a war with Austria and solutions other problems, Napoleon remained a powerful "trump card" — an alliance with Russia. This alliance as previously held in foreign policy calculations of the French ruler of great importance. Napoleon believed the alliance as its important achievements of the past years, and had offered him great hope.
In Erfurt, from 27 September to 14 October 1808, talks were held between the French king Napoleon and the Russian Tsar Alexander I. The meeting was richly furnished, it invited all the allied monarchs of numerous countries of Germany. Monarchs and their entourage entertained the famous French artists of the scene. In order to "appease" Alexander, Napoleon on September 8 with the King of Prussia signed an agreement on the withdrawal of French troops from Prussia.
Erfurt date can be divided into two spheres. The first — the front, the official, everything was flawless colors. Pretend Play Friendship 2-majestic monarchs, unchanged Union 2-mighty powers and full understanding. Two weeks went public receptions, balls, plays, dinner parties, concerts with the role of 2-Kings, "parterre of kings", the titled aristocracy, marshals, diplomats, ministers, dignitaries, the greatest beauties of Europe. Napoleon had long conversations with famous writers in Germany — Goethe and Wieland. In the second area, there was a sharp struggle hidden. After Tilsit, Napoleon realized that Alexander was much harder and smarter than he previously thought. Already during his exile on the peninsula of St. Lena, Napoleon, comparing the Russian ruler of the Austrian and Prussian monarchs, read: "The Russian governor — A man standing endlessly above all those others. He has a mind, grace, education, and he is seductive, but it can not be trusted, he is not sincere, it's a real decline of the Byzantine Empire era … ". And then, if I'm going to die here, "he will be my true heir in Europe."
Alexander objected to Napoleon virtually all key issues. The Russian government even threatened to leave. One reason for this was a betrayal of Talleyrand. The last minister of foreign affairs of France, has held the position of pro-Austrian and in communion with Alexander asked to save Europe "from Napoleon, and for that object throughout the French emperor. Alexander has made it a great memory — trustee ruler of France urges fight against Napoleon, means things have really bad Napoleonic Empire.
October 12 formal union contract was signed, but he had no real power. After ostentatious consent and lengthy debate last farewell date was suddenly warm. Two rulers long debated with each other — the content of the conversation remained lurking. Firmly shook each other hands, hugged and kissed. It was their last meeting.
Meeting between Napoleon and Alexander.
In the short term before the Pyrenees was collected 150000th army, which also included the Imperial Guard, a Polish division. The goal was for Napoleon is clear: "It is necessary that Spain became a French …". Napoleon personally led an army. The best fighters and military leaders of the empire, like a fiery tornado passed all of Spain, crushing along the way at least some resistance. Permanent part of the Spanish, and the guerrillas retreated under the blows of the French regiments. December 4, Napoleon came to Madrid. He abolished all feudal rights, are equally destroyed and all the personal privileges of the feudal law. The second decree abolished the Inquisition, and forbade the courts. All property of the Inquisition is at the disposal of the country. Subsequent decrees Napoleon at one third of the reduced number of monasteries, their property became municipal. Monasteries and religious institutions were put under the control of the country. In Spain, destroying customs and other barriers between the individual provinces.
These were progressive laws, but people did not take them. The French were considered as occupiers. Across the country, there was the "small" guerrilla war. Defence of Saragossa (December 1808 — February 1809), during which killed up to 50 thousand Spaniards, Europe was struck by their courage and fortitude defense, when one of the best generals of Napoleon's Marshal Lannes took the city by storm, there were only corpses.
Winter 1808-1809 was a year in Spain especially formidable. Were continuous rains, wet snow. Napoleon led an army to meet British troops. On the outskirts of Astorga, he was overtaken by a courier from Paris. After reading the documents, after a little hesitation, the governor took the stagecoach and ordered to drive to France. He left the army to Marshal Soult, when the British were already virtually surrounded and Spanish campaign could after a number of days crowned with a good victory. January 23, Napoleon was in Paris. Napoleon was the first time a military campaign threw incomplete. What happened?
The governor received information that Vienna focuses troops on the border with Italy and Bavaria. In addition, it alarmed the news that Talleyrand and Fouche, formerly bitter enemies, show all of Paris own alliance. Napoleon responded to this alliance catch phrase: "Vice, leaning on the arm of the crime." French government felt that against him are some black game. January 28, he gathered top officials and accused of Talleyrand in dishonor, deception and betrayal, calling it a "shit in silk." Curiously, throwing in public in the face of terrible accus
ations Talleyrand, he left him at liberty, as Fouche. Both apostate maintained the highest public position, impact and could bring great harm to the empire, which they did. Napoleon showed unusual negligence, it is not cheap it will cost you. Talleyrand already for the next day met with the Austrian Ambassador Metternich and promised help in the fight against Napoleon. If all this is not forgotten to claim for the services of several hundred thousand francs. Of course, that his services were accepted. Talleyrand cooperation with the Vienna court lasted, both before and during the war between Austria and France. Talleyrand shipped to Vienna the most hidden documents: correspondence with St. Petersburg, Paris, directives diplomats, military plans, information on the location of the French troops, etc.
April 9, 1809 Austria declared war on France. Early in the morning on April 10 the main body of the army crossed the border into Austria on the Inn River and invaded France allied Bavaria. In addition, an uprising in the Tyrol, and in Germany were scattered groups of partisans. Austria was preparing for this war almost two years. Napoleon was not taken by surprise, he was waiting for the attack. He GIMP and started a war ahead of the curve due to external and internal factors: the French public and the Russian Federation was essentially, that the war was the pioneer of Vienna. In France, already tired of constant wars. And Napoleon did not lusted this war — he lacked other problems.
April 15 the French government was in Strasbourg, the 18th in Ingolstadt and led the French forces. He gathered the troops in striking force and started coming. In the process of Regensburg operation (19-23 April), the battles at Abensberg (April 20), Landshut (April 21) and Ekmyule (21-22 April), the French forced the Austrians to retreat and defeated the army of the Archduke Charles Louis of Habsburg. The Austrian army lost 50 thousand (16 thousand French) and retreated to Vienna. Already on May 13, Napoleon was in Vienna.
These lesions caused a sharp decline in the morale of the Austrians. Austrian administration was pressing such relics of the French army. In Vienna, believed that France was in a deep decline, overestimated the troubles in Spain. Napoleon, when it came to information about life-affirming forecasts Austrians said: "I'm not dead yet." This is the beginning of the war did not expect any Vienna or London or Berlin. Three years Austrians expect revenge, carried out military reform, borrowing the French experience, made a big reserve in the form Landwehr, pushed up the young generals. Here, such a failure. In addition, Napoleon had to fight, when about 300 thousand people are stuck in the Spanish war. France fought on two fronts. The French army, which operated in Germany and Austria, for the most part consisted of recruits and foreign regiments. Germans from 100 thousand Confederation of the Rhine army did not show interest in the Austrians, they beheld a similar folk.
At the same time, Austria was not yet defeated. By mid-May near Vienna Austrians gathered 115 thousand 80 thousand fighter against the French. May 21 sappers Napoleon was transferred to the right of the Danube-sparing several bridges. 21-22 May 1809 accomplished Aspern-Essling battle. The battle was very bloody and obstinate. Position on a couple of times passed from hand to hand, Marshal Lannes was mortally wounded. Bridges were destroyed elements and the Austrian artillery, making it difficult to transfer of reinforcements and supplies. Archduke Charles had a critical moment in the banner to lead their own fighter to attack. The Austrians were able to fight off the pressure of the French, which is almost twice as inferior and can draw back the Danube Napoleon. But the Austrians to defeat Napoleon's army could not. Both armies lost by 23 thousand people.
Many viewed this "crushing" defeat the invincible Napoleon as evidence of the crisis and the French Empire of Napoleon's army. In addition, it was reported about the troubles in Spain. Soult, fascinated by the idea of its own kingdom of Portugal, had overlooked the British landing in Lisbon and was obliged to retreat. His departure led to withdrawal of Marshal Ney of Galicia. Soult and Ney were engaged in hostility to each other.
Napoleon kept his cool and took the game to the aggravation. On the peninsula of Lobau began to build capacity and new bridges over the Danube. The Pope was deprived of temporal power, and his possessions were a part of the empire. The head of the Catholic Church threw condemned "wicked" ruler. June 5-6 French soldiers entered the chambers of Pope Pius VII and brought from Rome. This is for the beginning of the 19th century was a very daring deed. The governor is sending threatening letters brothers and Fouche. After receiving reinforcements from Bavaria, Napoleon crossed the Danube again and managed to catch the Austrians by surprise. 5-6 July, the general scramble Austro-French War of 1809 — the battle near the village of Wagram. The battle was fierce, the Austrians knew that Napoleon can peel and fought well. Napoleon used the product — the ramming attack. To break through the center of the Austrian army were moved serried rows of three divisions under the command of Macdonald, and they struck Austrian front. This breakthrough was crucial. Charles became withdraw troops. However, the Austrian army was wiped out and kept fighting capacity.
Austrian command had feared to continue the war and asked for a truce. Negotiations began, and 14 October Schönbrunn was signed a peace treaty. Under this contract, Vienna lost its access to the Adriatic Sea and approximately 100 thousand km ² its territory. The Austrian side is obliged to transfer part of the French Empire Carinthia and Croatia. France moved to the county Hertz (Gorica), Istria with Trieste, Carniola, Fiume (today Rijeka). Then the French government forms from their Illyrian Provinces. Moved to the Duchy of Warsaw West Galicia, Bavaria — Tirol and Salzburg region, Russian Federation — Tarnopolsky District (as an ally of France). In addition, Paris Vienna agreed to pay 85 million francs, to reduce its armed forces up to 150 people (the Austrians have not fulfilled this promise), and close the case with the UK, joining the continental blockade against it. Napoleon I guarantee the integrity of the remaining holdings of the Austrian Habsburgs. Austria has become the de facto dependent on the state of France.
Napoleon decided to consolidate the victory over Austria dynastic marriage. He has previously been thinking hard to marry the sister of the ruler or the representative of the Russian House of Habsburg. Alexander refused such a proposal. And in Vienna adopted the idea as a lucky find. The daughter of the ruler of the Austrian Marie Louise, in the views of Metternich, was expected to play a huge role in the destruction of the Russian-French alliance. Kill the alliance of Russia and France, "the case of Tilsit" was intrusive thoughts of Austrian politics. April 1, 1810 was accomplished plainclothes wedding, and for the next day and the church. In general, neither Paris or humans, or army, or even obedient elite did not approve the marriage. In France, still remembered the execution of Marie Antoinette. In this marriage was something offensive to the French people. It was one of the most unpopular acts of Napoleon. In addition, there was a split of French elites. Yard latest Empress began to emerge in the main out of old nobility, connected to the immigrant, royalist circles. Bonaparte clan was in the opposition.
French Empire and Napoleon himself was at the peak of power. France have gained possession of large dimensions. Imperial Falcons soared from the Ebro to the Elbe. Over Western and Central Europe waving tricolor French banner. Prussia and Austria — the most massive powers o
f Western Europe, were in a subordinate position. Napoleon, a former lieutenant of artillery, mixed dynastic marriage with the representative of long-term home of the Habsburgs.
But at the same time in the empire showed signs of decomposition. French dignitaries intrigued and engaged in communication with London and Vienna. French elite was split into several factions. The army and the war sucked all the youthful generation of men of the country, which adversely affected the agriculture, industry and the morale of the population. The bourgeoisie is tired of wars of conquest was a desire to "digest" the fruits of victory already achieved. Undercover waged war against France and Vienna London. Spanish war turned into a protracted campaign, guerrilla war that led to the destruction of Spain, forced to keep there 10's of thousands of French fighter. The germs of discontent made their way to Italy and Germany.
Napoleon in full imperial garb.