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Battle of Waterloo
Main article: Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was a decisive battle in the Napoleonic Wars. Notably, Napoleon battled the Prussian Army while General Rey fought the British. However, Rey, when his attacks against the British proved futile, requested more soldiers. Napoleon sent half of his legion to support Rey's attack. Wellington was shot down and the British were in disarray. Defeating the British, Rey's troops came to the support of Napoleon afterwards and the French army defeated the Prussians in an astounding victory. The Battle of Waterloo was a victory for the French. The Grand Coalition needed to do something to defeat the French, but what?
Invasion of France
Main article: Invasion of France (1815)
The Grand Coalition began to plan an invasion of France. This invasion would be one of the largest invasions in history and it begun with the British invasion of Brittany. Much of the Grand Armee was sent to Brittany. A few days afterward, Prussian troops invaded Alsace, the Swiss invaded part of France, Spain invaded French Catalonia, the Dutch invaded French Flanders, and the Italians invaded Corsica. The French repelled the British and the Italians, but in all other fronts, the French lost. Napoleon sued for peace and, in the post-war peace treaty, the Treaty of Brussels, the French lost French Flanders, French Catalonia, and Franche Comte to the Grand Coalition. However, Napoleon remained on the throne as Emperor of France. In addition, the Grand Coalition fell apart.
French Post-War Reforms
The French public were in the mood for a revolution. Napoleon's loss convinced the public that a republic should be established. To keep an uprising from occurring, Napoleon enacted several semi-republican laws. In short, the French Empire became a semi-constitutional monarchy. The reforms appeased the French people and France could once again compete with Britain.
Main article: Expansion of the Zulu Empire
Zulu chieftain Shaka was establishing a Zulu empire. Emperor Napoleon realized the British Cape Colony was expanding and, to avoid the British from invading too much of Africa, the French were contemplating supporting Shaka. Napoleon declared his support for Shaka in 1817 and French troops helped invade Xhosa. Shaka declared the Zulu Empire the following year.
Latin American Revolutions
Main article: Latin American Revolutions
The Latin American Revolutions, a series of revolutions, was directly caused by the Napoleonic Wars. France looked to ways to weaken the Grand Coalition and one of them was to support revolutions in Latin America. Simon Bolivar was a Latin American revolutionary who was leading an insurgency against Spain. The French believed it to be useful to support him. In 1817, a successful invasion of New Granada was launched as French troops, dressed up as peninsulares, successfully supported the invasion. Thanks to French support, all of Latin America except for Mexico was independent by 1822. Rebellions in Mexico had failed however, and Mexico would remain under Spanish rule at least for the time being.
Greek War of Independence
Main article: Greek War of Independence
France realizing that an independent Greece meant an increase in Russian influence, supported the Ottomans in the Greek War of Independence. Britain, wanting to support their fellow Christians, supported the Greek rebels. The war ended in a Greek victory, but with Thrace remaining under Ottoman control in 1837.
The British realized that Napoleon was blocking them in conquest of the world. Rapidly, British troops began an invasion of Burma in 1823. However, Burma and France signed a treaty that made Burma a protectorate of France. France declared war on Britain in 1824 and occupied large swaths of British India. In the peace treaty, India was to be given back to Britain, but Burma remained under French protection. The British, to regain their glory, needed to conquer something amazing. They declared war on the Sikh Empire in 1827. Despite French support, the Sikh Empire was annexed. However, brutal conflict in the war led to the Sikhs harbouring a hatred for the "Britishers." This would be key in the rebel victory in the Indian War of Independence.
Main article: Russian Revolution
A Russian revolutionary group known as the Northern Society was exiled to Siberia in the Decembrist Revolt. The French, realizing that such a large ally would be useful, created the "Anti-Serfdom Union," or the ASU. This group sought to remove serfdom and establish a constitutional monarchy. In 1829, several members of the ASU, armed with guns, attacked the Winter Palace and the large union successfully won the Imperial Russian Army to their cause. The siege of the Winter Palace ended in 1834 with a constitution drafted and serfdom abolished.