History from 1789-1806

This week I learned about Napoleon, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Lewis and Clark Exposition. They were all tied together which you will see through out my paper. Yes but I don’t like the lovely kind of ones I like more of Action, Adventure, Mystery and Horror

A group of people at the bottom of society, the Americans, rebelled against those who were at the top, the British, and they won. The British colonies in America declared their independence and then enforced it by beating back the most powerful military on Earth. The French heard of the news and the lower class citizens of France made a group called The National Assembly. They were representatives who took an oath that they would not leave until they had written a new constitution for France. Soon, everyone in the capital was debating the social ills of France, and what form the new government should take. In order to defend the National Assembly, rioters attacked the Prison of Bastille, where weapons and ammunition were stored. The rioters were able to gain control of the prison and establish a new radical government in Paris. Rumors were spread that the feudal lords had hired robbers to murder peasants. Peasants broke into manor houses, killed many of the nobles, and took possession of their properties. This wave of violence is known as the Great Fear. On August 4, 1789, the National Assembly passed a number of important reforms that abolished feudal dues and established taxes on members of the first and second estates. The National Assembly then turned their attention towards creating a bill of rights for their people. This Declaration of Rights included the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and the freedom of religion. It also protected citizens from being falsely arrested. This Declaration of Rights remains in the French Constitution to this day. French King Louis XVI signed this document, under duress, but never intended to support it. These people demanded that the king not only acknowledge these new laws, but also that he move to Paris with his family in order to show his support for the National Assembly. In October of 1789, King Louis XVI finally consented to move to Paris after having his palace surrounded by an angry mob who threatened to attack. By 1791, this constitution was ready. In June of 1791, King Louis XVI and his family, fearing for their lives , attempted to escape into Austria. His wife, Marie Antoinette’s, brother was the emperor of Austria. They hoped that once in Austria they would be safe. Their attempt failed, however, when they were recognized along the road by a passerby who called for soldiers to have them arrested. Returned to Paris, the king and his family had no choice but to accept any demands put upon them by the people and to remain in their home as prisoners.

Soldiers were sent from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sardinia to fight against the revolutionaries in France. The new French government established a draft that called up all men between the ages of 18 and 45 to fight for their liberties. In 1792, France declared war on Austria. Austria was soon joined in the war by Prussia and Sardinia. Just as it looked like the armies of Prussia and Austria would defeat France, the French armies pulled off a stunning victory at Valmy; a city less than 100 miles away from Paris. This victory boosted the morale of French troops and turned the tide of the war. In 1792, King Louis XVI was tried before the National Convention where he was found guilty of having conspired against the liberty of the nation. In January of 1793, he was put to death by the Guillotine. They established neighborhood watches that were intended to find anyone who was not loyal. These watches would turn in suspected traitors, who would often be put to death. This period of time is known as the Reign of Terror, and lasted from July 1793 until July 1794, during which approximately 17,000 individuals were executed. After the Reign of Terror ended, the Jacobins was a political club that sought to take over France with their government, but they lost their power in France. The National Convention continued to rule as the government, however, a new constitution was written, which once again denied the right to vote to those who could not afford to pay a vote tax. This constitution established the office of five directors, known as the Directory, who ruled France. The Directory ruled from 1795 until 1799. During this time, they used the army to put down a number of disputes within France. Once again, the rich began to grow wealthier, while the poor had very little. During the revolution in France, one general in particular began to outshine all the others. This general was a 26-year-old by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte. In October 1799, Napoleon returned to Paris, having been in Egypt with his armies, to take part in a coup d’ etat, or a military overthrow of the government. In 1804, Napoleon named himself as emperor of France and had himself anointed as such by the Pope.

For Napoleon, the return to France meant a return to service with the French military. The country was declared a republic in 1792, three years after the Revolution had begun, and the following year King Louis XVI was executed. The years of 1793 and 1794 came to be known as the Reign of Terror, in which many as 40,000 people were killed. Eventually the Jacobins fell from power and Robespierre, their leader, was executed. In 1795 the Directory took control of the country, a power that would resume until 1799. Napoleon’s great political skills soon led to a new constitution that created the position of first consul, which amounted to nothing less than a dictatorship. He also instituted the Napoleonic Code, which forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion and stated that government jobs must be given to the most qualified. Internationally, he negotiated a European peace. Napoleon’s reforms proved popular. In 1802 he was elected consul for life, and two years later he was proclaimed emperor of France. In 1803 France again returned to war with Britain, and then with Russia and Austria. In 1810 he arranged for the annulment of his marriage to Josephine, who was unable to give him a son, so that he could marry Marie-Louise, the 18-year-old daughter of the emperor of Austria. The couple had a son, Napoleon II on March 20, 1811. At Waterloo, he was defeated in a raging battle against the British, who were reinforced by Prussian fighters. Napoleon surrendered to allied forces on March 30, 1814. He went into exile on the island of Elba. Napoleon’s exile did not last long. He watched as France stumbled forward without him. In March 1815 he escaped the island and quickly made his way to Paris, where he triumphantly returned to power. Napoleon once again suffered a humiliating loss. In 1815 the British government sent him to the remote island of St. Helena in the southern Atlantic. His health began to deteriorate, and by 1817 he showed the early signs of a stomach ulcer or possibly cancer. By early 1821 he was bedridden and growing weaker by the day. In April of that year, he dictated his last will: “I wish my ashes to rest on the banks of the Seine, in the midst of that French people which I have loved so much. I die before my time, killed by the English oligarchy and its hired assassins.” Napoleon died on May 5, 1821.

On January 18, 1803, U.S. President Thomas Jefferson sent a secret message to Congress asking for $2,500 to send an officer and a dozen soldiers to explore the Missouri River, make diplomatic contact with Indians, expand the American fur trade, and locate the Northwest Passage (the much-sought-after hypothetical northwestern water route to the Pacific Ocean). The proposed trip took on added significance on May 2, when the United States agreed to the Louisiana Purchase–Napoleon’s sale of 828,000 square miles (2,100,000 square km) of French territory for $27 million. Lewis was dispatched to Philadelphia for instruction in botany, celestial navigation, medicine, and zoology. As his co-commander he selected William Clark, who had been his military superior during the government’s battles with the Northwest Indian Federation in the early 1790’s. The U.S. secretary of war denied Lewis’s request of a shared command, but Captain Lewis and Lieutenant Clark chose to address one another as “captain” to hide this fact from the other members of the expedition. The expedition company traveled nearly 8,000 miles. The captains and at least five others kept journals. President Jefferson had instructed Lewis to make observations of latitude and longitude and to take detailed notes about the soil, climate, animals, plants, and native peoples. Lewis identified 178 plants new to science, including bitterroot, prairie sagebrush, Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine, as well as 122 animals, such as grizzly bear, prairie dog, and pronghorn antelope. The scientific names Philadelphus lewisii (mock orange), Lewisia rediva (bitterroot), and Clarkia pucella (pink fairy, or ragged robin) are but three examples of the men’s discoveries. The expedition encountered immense animal herds and ate well, consuming one buffalo, two elk, or four deer per day, supplemented by roots, berries, and fish. They experienced dysentery, various diseases, boils, tick bites, and injuries from prickly pear; yet only one man perished over the course of the journey. The expedition held councils with Indians, in which the corps had military parades, handed out peace medals, flags, and gifts, delivered speeches, promised trade, and requested inter tribal peace. There also was something of a magic show (magnets, compasses, and Lewis’s air gun) and an invitation for Indian representatives to travel to Washington. The Lakota tribe attempted to prevent the expedition from continuing upstream nearly turned violent, but Chief Black Buffalo’s diplomacy diffused the situation. On April 7, 1805, a small crew departed on a St. Louis-bound keel boat laden with boxes of materials for Jefferson that included live magpies and a prairie dog. On June 2, 1805, the expedition party arrived at a fork in the river. Not knowing which waterway was the principal stream, they sent out reconnaissance parties up both forks. On July 4, 1805, the party finished the portage and, to celebrate Independence Day, consumed the last of their 120 gallons of alcohol and danced into the night. The Corps of Discovery met with a grand reception at St. Louis on September 23. Congress rewarded them with double pay and public land. The captains each received 1,600 acres, and their men received 320 acres . The final cost for the expedition totaled $38,000. Jefferson appointed Lewis governor of Upper Louisiana Territory and appointed Clark an Indian agent. Some of the expedition stayed in the military, others entered the fur trade, while still others took to farming in the region or returned to the East.

So one thing lead to another like how Napoleon sold the Louisiana territory to America and the Lewis and Clark explored it. If Napoleon didn’t go bankrupted then we might not have the America that we have today. Everything happens for a reason in the end.


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