France history of war | France government history (part 4)

-France history war
france war history

This last article about France war history

He moved across Europe, creating puppet states
and installing his family members as royalty

France revolutionary war

of the countries he conquered.

His greatest
victory was in the Battle of Austerlitz, which

led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.

Securing victories against Austria, Prussia,
and Russia, the only real threat to the Napoleon

was Great Britain.

A planned invasion of the
the British Isles had to be called off after

the entire French fleet was destroyed in the
Battle of Trafalgar

France instead opted for economic warfare,
with the introduction of the Continental System,

which forbade European countries from trading
with the British.

In 1812 Napoleon invaded Russia

for refusing
to adhere to the blockade on trade with Great

Britain. This turned out to be a fatal mistake,
as Napoleon lost half a million men in the

brutal campaign.

France Germany war 1870

Encouraged by his defeat, the countries of
Europe once again formed a coalition against

him, and decisively defeated the French army
in the Battle of Leipzig, eventually leading

the surrender of Napoleon.

The monarchy was restored with Louis XVIII
being crowned king, and Napoleon was exiled

to the island of Elba.

why did France declare war on Germany ww1

However, he managed
to escape less than one year later, gained

support in Paris, overthrew the monarchy,
and raised an army… but the coalition formed

against him and he was defeated at Waterloo
by Britain and Prussia.

Napoleon abdicated for a second time, and
was exiled to the even more remote island

of Saint Helena, where he died at the age
of 51.

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After decades of unrest, France once again
had a monarchy, but the French Revolution

and Napoleon had such a profound impact on
not only France, but Europe as a whole.

In 1815, the monarchies of Europe convened
at Vienna, to restore the pre-revolution borders

as best they could. France was to remain a
Great Power.

France soon had another revolution, as the
people were once again sick of being ruled

by the absolute monarchy of Charles X. The
king was overthrown in what became known as

the July Revolution, and he was replaced by
the “citizen-king”, Louis Philippe, a

distant cousin of Charles X.

France war flag

Almost simultaneously, France invaded Algeria,
which became an incredibly important part

of their colonial empire, and within a few
decades ruled over huge parts Africa.

Throughout the July Monarchy, there was a
distinct atmosphere of revolt and protest

in the air, so to protect the monarchy, political
meetings were banned In 1848,


with many revolutions throughout Europe, the
king was forced to abdicate, and France was

once again a Republic. Louis-Napoleon, the
other Napoleon’s nephew, was elected President.

In 1851, unable to run for re-election, he
organised a coup and declared himself President

for life in referendum of questionable integrity.
France briefly became an Empire again when

Napoleon III took the imperial title in 1852.

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Napoleon III was nothing like his uncle when
it came to war and diplomacy. Poor decisions

and humiliating defeats, culminated in a war
with Prussia in 1870, which ultimately led

to the unification of Germany, who became
the dominant power on the continent. The Second

French Empire quickly collapsed and France
became a Republic for the third time.

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Ever since their unification, Germany had
been a major rival of France.

In order to

try and isolate them, France signed an alliance
with Britain and Russia, the Triple Entente.

france 1914 war

France joined the first world war in 1914
when Germany declared war on them for mobilising

their army to support Russia, who had mobilised
their army in support of Serbia, who had been

declared war on by Austria.

Germany’s plan was to quickly defeat the
French, and they actually did get close to

Paris, but the allied powers were able to
hold them off, and the Western Front quickly

become a stalemate in trench warfare.

Despite winning the Eastern Front against
Russia in 1917,

the tens of thousands of American

reinforcements became too much for Germany,
who were slowly pushed back, eventually resulting

in victory for the allies.

With the signing of the Treaty of Versailles
in 1919, French Marshal Ferdinand Foch said

“This is not a peace.

It is an armistice for
20 years”… if only he knew just how true

his words would be.

France flag 1939

In 1939, France declared war on Nazi Germany
after Hitler’s invasion of Poland, however

they initially took a defense position, and
therefore were unable to prevent Poland from

being conquered. France itself was invaded

as the Nazis bypassed the French defensive

fortifications known as the Maginot Line by
simply… going around it via Belgium.

Unable to deal with the German Blitzkrieg
tactics, Paris soon fell, and most of France

would be under Nazi occupation for the next
four years.

General Charles de Gaulle declared himself
head of a government in exile in London, and

when the Nazi power began to decline, the
Resistance was formed, and Paris was liberated

in 1944, as the Allies were ultimately victorious.

In the 1950s, France began the process of
decolonisation, starting with Libya. When

it came to Algeria though, things were a little
more complicated… Algeria was considered

an integral part of the French Republic, and
with France indecisive about what to do, a

war for independence began in 1954, lasting
for more than seven years.

The crisis in Algeria caused the French Fourth
Republic to collapse, and Charles de Gaulle,

who had previously resigned from politics,
returned, and proclaimed a new constitution.

Algeria officially gained their independence
in 1962.

With the establishment of a new constitution,
the French Fifth Republic was founded, the

country that France is today. And so, that’s
where I’m going to leave things, because

in the words of historian John Julius Norwich,
“all history books must have a clearly defined

stopping place, if they don’t, they drag
on til they become works on current affairs”.

And for me, 1958 is where I’ve decided to

the line.